|photo by Scott Ableman||via PhotoRee|
Liverpool's first win of the season -- in game six, mind you -- clearly has Correspondent Scott in a delirious frame of mind:
George Frideric Handel's perennial yuletide favorite seems to have been written especially for Liverpool's clash with Norwich City last Saturday at Carrow Road. A powerful chorus of goals brought sweet music to Reds supporters' ears as the visitors broke their winning duck in spectacular fashion. While Luis Suarez provided the melody throughout with a hat trick, Steven Gerrard and Nuri Sahin each harmonized by adding to the tally. And, as the German composer's seminal work depicts the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of the Messiah, Kopites everywhere are praying that it will now hail the second coming of Liverpool's dominance in the English Premier League.
Incarnation seems manifest in the Liverpudlian side in the form of three teenagers being molded into first team players, namely Raheem Sterling (17yrs), Andre Wisdom (18yrs) and Suso (18yrs), whose first of many names, incidentally and coincidentally, is Jesus. Sterling continues to impress, notching another assist on the day. Meanwhile, Wisdom belied his age through a performance befitting his surname, stalwartly defending with good choices and skills. But it was Suso with whom I was most impressed. Calm on the ball, creating chances and holding up play with the ball when needed, the young Spaniard gave many reasons throughout the game why Read Madrid and Barcelona are still kicking themselves that they missed out on his talent. Most encouraging of all, however, was how the midfielder seamlessly and cleverly linked up with Suarez throughout the day, much better than Jonjo Shelvey has been able to do lately.
Passion has certainly been unleashed in Nuri Sahin as he exploded from the bottom of the Real Madrid depth chart onto the EPL scene with a goal and two assists against the Canaries. Nor has Passion ever been a problem for Suarez, with two yellow cards for dissent so far in this young season. Fifteen minutes into the game I was encouraged to see a few times when the Uruguayan could have gone down easily but instead stayed up or immediately popped back up. Such encouragement was dashed twenty minutes later when he went down hard and fast after a tap and heavy breath from a defender. So it was not at all surprising when, in the 23rd minute, Suarez was stung once again by his own reputation after receiving a hammer-blow in the form of Leon Barnett's elbow to his shoulder in the box. Mike Jones waved off appeals for a penalty, just as others have done this season. While I think it was a penalty that should have been given, until Suarez consistently abstains from tumbling unnecessarily, those appeals will continue to be ignored and I can't blame the referees who would rather miss a foul than call one that wasn't.
Resurrection is certainly one way to describe Gerrard's performance of late, netting at Norwich, and Manchester United before that, to rebound from subpar performances against Sunderland and Arsenal. We hope he is firmly back on the legendary trail he has been blazing for years.
And Resurrection is also the feeling in the air around Anfield as players, fans, opposing coaches and commentators alike concur in their belief that, with time, Brendan Rodgers will breathe new life into one of the greatest football teams of all time. They have played hard and well all season so it is only fitting that they begin to receive their rewards. Hallelujah and Amen!
This is farlieonfootie wishing Correspondent Ed a Happy Birthday on October 5th.