Monday, March 21, 2016

Whose Perch is it?

photo by Alan Vernon.via PhotoRee

This article is genuinely funnier to read after the events of this past weekend, although I'm guessing that's not the case for Liverpool-loving Correspondent Scott, who wrote it:

When title hopes are long gone and domestic cups are snatched away early, there is always a special satisfaction in humbling an historic, acrimonious rival. Prior to Thursday night, it had been Liverpool regularly capitulating to Manchester United. But after a dominating display at Anfield last week, the good Reds weathered an early flurry by Martial & Co. to again show more verve going forward and more resolute defending. It was a deserved aggregate win for Liverpool as they will now progress in Europa and Manchester United are left with slim chances to save this lost season.   If I were ever to take the low road to schadenfreude, there was no better time than when the camera panned to Darth Ferguson in the stands (he of “knock them off their f-ing perch” infamy), smile wiped resoundingly from his ever-red face.  But I digress…

The Klopp effect is taking time to take root, especially without an influx of players chosen by him, but through the erratic play and results one can see a growing confidence and cohesion. No doubt the return of Sturridge and a healthy Coutinho is a big factor, each of them consistently befuddling defenders.  Coutinho’s deftly chipped finish past an amazingly in-form De Gea is Exhibit A as to why the Brazilian is our most important player and why he is making inroads on the Brazil national team.

Progress has been made in other areas as well.  A previously porous defense has turned particularly parsimonious, even when regulars are out injured.  Sakho has begun to impose and his partnership with Lovren, especially, has been solid.  Clyne has had an off day here and there but has been remarkably consistent and even the rampaging Spaniard, Moreno, has begun to show his defensive chips instead of only his ability to gallop forward.  Even Milner, when conscripted to left back out of necessity, holds the line when not wearing a path down the outside channel.

Other players, too, are starting to acclimate and hit their stride.  Firmino comes in and out of games but when he comes in, boy does he ever, combining with the surging Lallana as well as the aforementioned Coutinho and Sturridge.  Emre Can continues his development into a top-notch player by breaking up plays and showing the work rate of a Milner acolyte.

All that is to say, Liverpool have won 3 in a row in the league and are progressing in Europa.  The fans are Klopping in the stands and this supporter has allowed hopes to become cautiously optimistic.  It would be nice to get on that perch again.

This is farlieonfootie for March 21.


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