They don’t come better than this.
I missed the 9-0 drubbing of poor Bournemouth on the weekend helping my daughter move to college, but it made me nervous for today; there seems to be an odd effect that takes place after that kind of performance – remember the “scoring boots” game against Palace a couple of seasons back? Newly oil-infused Newcastle are no slouches, as their draw vs City showed. It was the perfect setup for a disaster, and disaster almost struck after Isak took the visitors one up before the half.
It still felt that way even after in-form Bobby took the Reds level in clinical fashion after a perfect assist from an otherwise lackluster Mo. The Magpies were exhausted, but Liverpool couldn’t seem to overcome their resolute defensive line, and the little bit of luck that’s needed in games like this didn’t look like it wanted to materialize.
Until it did.
Andrew Marriner was taking no nonsense from Newcastle, and so as they worked hard to waste time, the ref simply added that time back on his watch. That allowed the Reds to launch one last attack in the 98th minute that resulted in the 12th corner of the game (to Newcastle’s none). And that little bit of luck finally arrived, and with a vengeance. The ball could have gone anywhere, twice, but when it fell perfectly for Carvalho, the youngster smacked it with every ounce of passion and motivation he could muster (which are a lot). The ball rattled the inside of the crossbar, almost tearing the frame off, before landing in the back of the net. It took me a second to even register that it went in. At least judging by the TV, the same was true in Anfield as well.
We’re back in Kloppage time.
It is this kind of luck that sets apart winning teams from also-rans. When it is in good form, Liverpool is particularly good at these last ditch winners, and even though it is really early in the season, it somehow feels monumental. It took perhaps a bit longer than we would have liked to fire up the machine in this campaign, but this kind of win in this kind of moment should crank it up a notch. Just as importantly, the youngsters are having a massive impact. Not just Carvalho for his winner; Harvey Elliott is the easy selection for man-of-the-match, and if the outcome of having all these injuries is he gets to keep shining, it might not be the worst thing in the world.
Feel encouraged, my fellow Reds.
This is how it starts.