The perks of this job is great. I get to write about football, and get paid a modest sum for it. It’s lovely, yeah; but there will be days, where the euphoria sweeps your unbiasness away. I’m sure unbiasness isn’t even a real word, but then again, this day was anything but real. I should be ordering another pint, about now but my editor, god bless, him, has commissioned a match report from my end. This match report that you shall read will be hours too late (Editor’s Note: This article was submitted so late that it had to be published the next day), and will have been conjured up will all the miraculousity (that’s not a real word either) of that Coutinho worldly – because, believe me, the fact that I can muster words at this point is, indeed a miracle.
Let’s get this over with.
#1 We Were Rubbish
Skipper Jordan Henderson was shoehorned and struggled like a Magikarp, Genie Wijnaldum looked like he needed the Marauders’ Map, Adam Lallana was suffering from Descartian existentialism, Coutinho stole ‘Arry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak, Alberto Moreno button-mashed his tackle button in all the wrong occasions, giving away a scandalous penalty. The Liverpool starting eleven looked liked some of them hitched a ride, some took the bus, some a coach, and the rest drove here to the Emirates, and are meeting for the first time in ages for a game of college-reunion kick-about. Yeah, that was the team chemistry in the first-half. All of this made Liverpool fans howl inside from the inner sanctum of their very souls for a wizened defensive midfielder.
#2 Then, We Weren’t
All it took, all it took was for the wee lil’ Magician to conjure up something obscenely R-rated. Mild mannered Petr Cech maybe would have averted his eyes there, such was the filth of that top-corner strike from 30-yards. You could feel the air around the Emirates change the very moment the ball went in – and with the stroke of half-time something inside Arsenal broke.
I would have loved being a fly on the wall of Juergen Klopp’s half-time team talk – chances are it would have left my tiny insect ears ringing, because from the instant Liverpool came out in the second half, there was an impending sense of BOOM written all over the screwed up faces of the men in black who otherwise wear red. And BOOM it was. A raucous blur of verticality from the Liverpool side saw chances being fashioned at a ready rate, and it wasn’t before long the levee broke. Wijnaldum found his bearings before locating an on-rushing Adam Lallana in the box, to whom he drifted in a loopy cross in. Adam finished with aplomb, Arsenal slumped over.
It all clicked, liked a well-choreographed Indian Bollywood dance and song. The 30-pass sequence for Liverpool’s 3rd goal is going to go down in Four Four Two StatsZone chalkboard history. Nathaniel Clyne zipped in a raking low cross into the box for, who else, but Coutinho to oblige with a volley close to the goal mouth.
Then it was the Sadio Mane show, where he was possessed by what seemed like an amalgamation of a wildebeest and a gazelle when he took onto his periscopic run and thumping finish that left the entire Arsenal defence looking like they were sedated by tranquillizers.
Yes, Arsenal did get a couple back, but that were just a blip on my radar in the midst of such sheer impudent joy. Not for a moment did I think we’d lose the match, even though in hindsight it was a little too touch and go in the end.
#3 It’s All Good, But…
While I write this second last paragraph to this article, with the certitude of another couple of cold ones being slid across the counter, while I’m ecstatic, it would be remiss to entirely forget the glaring shortcomings this squad still has, as it was laid bare in the first half. Alberto Moreno is young and enterprising, and perhaps someday may yet prove to be a decent wing-back once he irons out his concentration lapses – but that’s for a later day, as the dire need of having another left-back in for cover is utterly urgent. As is the requirement for a defensive midfielder – Arsenal were given a free rein in the spaces vacated by Wijnaldum and Henderson, neither, able to come to terms with the duality of their duty.
If these issues are not addressed, Liverpool might as well throw in stomach ulcers, high BP, arrhythmias and receding hairline with the 20% off on their LFCtv GO subscription.