Thursday, August 21, 2014

SAS 2.0

photo by angermannvia PhotoRee

Scott is so drunk on Liverpool's success we're surprised he was able to string together a relatively coherent piece this week:
So who decided to start the English Premier League the weekend right before kids go back to school in Broward County, Florida?  Clearly not anyone who earns absolutely nothing blogging about the former while trying to shuttle kids about to the latter.  Inevitably, the dearth of time to write, and resulting non-post, led to a Tottenham-like tantrum from the “I can’t possibly blog while I summer in the Hamptons” Correspondent Ed who only recently converted that season to a verb.  Making up for lost time, said Ed is clearly so “Fired Up” he had to “Pinch This” before his latest “Roundup.”  Meanwhile, the Bossman continues to claim "writer’s block" while he slings his toys from his pram and gurgles on about something like “we’ll see at the end of the season.”   Those who were there swear it was uttered in Dutch.
But I digress.  While there were several interesting games this past weekend, the one that captivated our home, and required a crimson sartorial display, was the clash between Liverpool and the team it has so remorselessly pillaged during the transfer window.  The bottom line summary of this encounter is: for a team so resoundingly burgled (well, they were fairly compensated, but that’s a really fun word to use) of their key players, Southampton gave the red Merseysiders more than just a little scare and Liverpool were lucky to win.
Despite having the most of possession, Liverpool lacked many real chances until Jordon Henderson battled for the ball and then played the most sublimely weighted and directed pass that I have ever seen.  It was as if Raheem Sterling needed not even actually kick the ball to score, but rather by simply continuing his then-present gait he would have notched the 1-0 advantage.  The Saints leveled shortly after the restart via an emphatic strike from Nathaniel Clyne, who surged forward from defense to catch, mainly Martin Skrtl, slightly out of position.  Energized by the goal, Southampton outplayed Liverpool for a period before the Reds began to assert themselves again, even if the visitors were consistently dangerous.  Ultimately, it was none other than the new SAS (Sturridge and Sterling) who combined for the winner, the latter deftly cushioning his header into the path of the former who ever-so-barely grazed the ball to guide it into the net.

In the end, it was an excellent result for Liverpool, as it easily could have been 2-1 the other way, and just might have been, save for the heroics of Simon Mignolet.  Optimism abounds at Anfield with Dejan Lovren now marshalling the back line, Sterling showing early promise to be one of the most exciting players to watch this year, Sturridge starting up where he left off last year with his scoring and a much-reinforced bench, some soon likely to start. Only Phillipe Coutinho seemed to take a step back from his preseason excellence but some of that could be chalked up to formation.  Brendan Rodgers was like a child on Christmas wanting to show off all his toys as he used no fewer than 3 formations (before he finally got it right) in the game.  Interestingly, despite not directly influencing the game significantly, the introduction of Rickie Lambert, and simultaneous switch to 4-4-2, gave Liverpool its best run of attacking play

In any case, 3 points were required and “won” and we move on.  It will take wins like this to win the title.  And maybe another premier striker.  Maybe Mario Balotelli (AKA “Red Card in Waiting”)?  That would both thrill and terrify me, and I’m not sure which one more

This is farlieonfootie for August 21.

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