Sunday, 27 April 2014
Monday, 14 April 2014
Sunday, 6 April 2014
Well, we got through it. This game against West Ham certainly wasn't good for fans' nerves, but in the end Liverpool pulled through to extend their win streak to an immensely impressive 9 games. The headlines will be dominated by Anthony Taylor, who made two extremely poor decisions that hugely changed the shape of the match. In the end though, all that matters to Liverpool is the three points, who with the win keep the title race in their own hands.
Right from kick-off it was clear that Liverpool weren't going to have it easy. West Ham started off strongly, defending solidly as well as mounting a few promising attacks of their own. The reds still had the lion's share of the chances however, with Sturridge blazing wildly over a couple of times and Suarez chipping an effort onto the bar. The first half was a frustrating, nerve-wracking affair, and the relief was tangible when we finally broke the deadlock through a Gerrard penalty. The captain is a true talisman for our club: his passion and drive (excuse the cliches) is infectious, and you can see his belief rubbing off on the entire squad. If we are going to pull off a sensational Premier League title win then he will be central to it.
Soon after this came Anthony Taylor's first awful decision. Right on the stroke of half time, West Ham won a corner. Mignolet came to claim the ball, but dropped it after being struck in the face by Andy Carroll. Guy Demel subsequently turned it in, but Liverpool were rightly convinced that the goal shouldn't stand. It seemed that the assistant referee shared their conviction- initially, he flagged for a foul on the keeper. Astonishingly though, Taylor, following a conversation with his assistant, over-ruled the decision! Had we gone on to lose points from this game, it would have been a cruel way to lose control of the title race.
Fortunately for us, the referee was to 'make amends' later on in the game. With 20 minutes to go the feeling of nervousness that defined the first half was back, and stronger than ever. It was at this point that we won our second penalty. There was no doubt about the first- Suarez won it by totally out-doing Tomkins, who then handled the ball in an almost identical fashion to Rafael in our game against United. The second was less stonewall: Flanagan burst into the box in hot pursuit of the ball, but Adrian appeared to get there just before him. Replays showed that he did indeed get the first touch on the ball, but he did then grab hold of Flanagan's foot. Either way, the penalty was given, and Gerrard set Liverpool back on the path to ultimate glory with an emphatic finish.
Try as our opponents might, they just can't seem to kill off the feeling of optimism and excitement that has descended upon the club. With only 5 games to go, and safe in the knowledge that victories in all of them will secure us the title that would mean so much, it is a truly amazing time to be a fan of Liverpool FC. Now we have to look to the game that could ultimately decide the destination of the Premier League trophy- Liverpool vs City.
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