We started with a side that I figured we would go with. Vic back up top (actually played wide right most of the time) and the same back 4. Yobo wasn't back and the total bench age added up to just over 100 thanks to AvdM and Carlo Nash.
Liverpool started with Keane and Torres upfront and Mascherano was missing from the line-up. We had the first chance of the game in the first few mins when Vic controlled a ball just outside the box and took a shot that had Reina scurrying to his left to thwart. After that, Liverpool settled down and passed the ball around for a while.
We didn't seem to be getting too many passes in but Pienaar did his best with what he got. Howard Webb took every opportunity to stop play and check if the Liverpool player wanted a foul, so the game didn't have too much flow to it. We on the other hand were not getting the rub of the green (or Red) with 50-50 balls.
Then, out of nowhere, they played a through-ball to Torres and he snaked past our centre-backs and was one-on-one with Howard and somehow contrived to hit the post. The commentators that were available to us on ESPN via Setanta were Martin Tyler and Paul Walsh. Paul Walsh didn't lose an opportunity to put us down when we were called for invisible fouls and praise the ballerina Reds for their play. (Sure he has an inflatable doll of Torres/Gerrard stashed away at home!).
Pienaar was booked for a challenge even though Howard Webb had his back to him at the time. Skrtel, the alien lookalike, was all up in Cahill's face for an innocuous challenge near the corner flag as they battled for the ball. As the whistle blew for half-time, I was left wondering whether the second half would be any different.
The second half started with Liverpool showing a lot more urgency... perhaps the Spanish waiter threatened to read them his Sir Alex's rant again! We made a few desperate clearances in and around our box with a great effort by Baines to deny Hyypia standing out in my mind. Torres ran into the box and fell over after a feather touch from Jags, leaving the players, the fat waiter, crazy Sammy Lee, the Kop and Paul Walsh crying for a penalty. Somehow, Howard Webb kept his wits and waved play on...
As the half wore on they took off Keane for Benayoun. Just after that, we broke down the left and Vic, after what looked like a push on the Liverpool defender, ran into their area and Skrtel helped him to ground... penalty claims were once again denied (and rightly I think!).
Then, from the restart the ball was played in from the left to Gerrard, who found himself in space and as he charged forward, three of our players ran to close him down... sadly they were just too late as he shaped and shot past Howard into the bottom right hand corner... the crowd and players went wild... Gerrard himself did a slide on his knees to please the crowd. Hilariously, Reina tried to replicate that near his own goal but ended up jarring his left knee, lifting up a clump of dirt and nearly falling flat on his face!
Instead of throwing on Gosling/Jutciewicz at 'em, we carried on with the same. My wife and I sat in silence praying for a miracle... somewhere, somehow, we needed a goal.
Then on 87 mins, Benayoun committed a foul on the right a little away from the corner flag. The angle was so acute that there was no way Arteta could have shot directly. I saw my wife close her eyes and fold her hands in prayer... Arteta stepped up and whipped it in ferociously... and the amazing/incredible/spectacular Tiny Tim got away from his defender and met the ball at the near post and headed it backwards into the goal!!!Our lads went mad... so did the wife and me as we ran round the house screaming...
I expected nearly 5 mins of added time, which never came (thankfully). So Part I of the drama this week ended 1-1 which was a fair result in my eyes.
- Howard: Saved well from a Gerrard shot and kept his concentration well.
- Hibbert: Seems to be getting better by the game..solid at the back for the most part..needs to be better going forwards.
- Jags: Solid. Awesome as he's been all season.
- Lescott: Managed not to get booked and looked solid too.
- Baines: Got caught out at the back couple of times in the first half but 2nd haof was great... great crosses going forward... deserves to keep his place.
- Neville: Few silly challenges on Gerrard early on but settled down later.
- Arteta: Quiet game by his usual standards but the free kick was pretty good.
- Ossie: Poor game for me... very poor
- Pienaar: Full of beans... very good tonight... troubled them whenever he got the ball.
- Anichebe: Was good at times but lacks the confidence and skill at the moment.
- Cahill: I'll never run out of superlatives for this guy... my favourite player tonight and on most days for us. What a goal... priceless (hope Man City dont read this and bid £50 million for what they think is priceless!)
ps: Did anyone else notice Mark Halsey patting the fat waiter on the back and joking around after Liverpool scored... very fishy if you ask me! Also, the way the entire Liverpool team fell over and rolled around every time they fell down was so pathetic... my 2½-year-old nephew is steadier on his feet!!!
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 19/01/2009 at 21:58:31
I see also that it was our Nr 10 who fed him, he is almost reaching the same status but Cahill does it regularly and he has done against Liverpool.
We have have proooooved that we can score against them. We have proooooooved that we don't give up having conceced. So, come Sunday, let's go out and take the redshite and stuff their FA dreams where only Satan can see them.
2 Posted 20/01/2009 at 03:21:21
I thought Anichebe?s touch was spot on tonight ? he brought the ball down really well and tried to take people on down the line. My only complaint about him is that he goes down too easily. The one he went down for today was almost a carbon copy of the one he slotted home against Nuremburg.
3 Posted 20/01/2009 at 04:11:30
Osman played well but really went absent for long periods of the game, this to me shows how lopsided we really are. Baines and Pienaar on the left give us some attacking power but Hibbert and Osman really are often ineffective and Hibbert not only lacks a decent cross but he is unimaginative in his play.
We could do with a real right winger who can take the ball to the corner flag suck in a defender or two and cross. Now I wonder how much Cristiano Ronaldo would cost.
4 Posted 20/01/2009 at 05:56:02
Above all I am very happy from the whole team performance, great team spirit, our supporters were genius too... I will surely come to Goodison and sing along with you guys... by the way, I?m from Mauritius.
5 Posted 20/01/2009 at 06:10:28
"On a side note (before i say it i am a bit of a day tripper) but while waiting to get a taxi outside the ground to my hotel i could not believe the amount of non-english at the game. espicaly one of that magnitude.."
I just wanted to add that in, nothing like a bit more salt for those title wounds.
Back to the match, well.... it wasnt pretty was it? But then again Moyes had not set out to go for the jugular. Tactically, he got it spot on. It must be nice to have the faith in the back four again. Away from home, against the top team in the league, your game plan can only be based on stopping the other team play, and nicking a goal. Especially given the lack of options.
I am not going to criticise any player today, as they all had a job to do, and all executed it. Big Vic had little in way of support, as Arteta was sitting so deep because of the speed they were breaking. We couldnt afford to support Vic much, and rightly so. Torres, Keane, Gerrard and Riera will punish you if you commit too much in going forward.
Leighton did a good job on the left, and Pienaar really had the fire in his belly too. I hope he can stay in that frame of mind for the rest of the season, another cracking Moyes buy. So all in all, an effective performance. I wont say good, as I hated watching it to be honest. After they scored, I really couldnt see a way back into it. But the goal was their demise. By taking off Ladyboy and the Gypo, they were forced to sit back deeper. If you see the replay, watch Mikel position himself another 15 yards up the pitch, without the fear of the break. This shows he had the desire, and belief that we could still get something.
And that man Cahill shamed me for not believing, and not for the first time this season. And more sweetly, it was straight off the training ground for sure. It was completely undefendable once the Alien (thanks Santosh!) had lost Cahill.
One thing to consider is now the standard has been set. This team has to perform to this level now consistently. On this form, we will be in Europe again. The back four have redeveloped their grit and iron, Yobo must now wait for his chance.
I admit, our style of football is not graceful. But then again, beautiful football is not a guarantee of winning matches. Moyes is playing to the strengths of the team. Which is, keep it tight, and nick goals through set pieces and defensive mistakes. Until some real money comes in, lets hope this style of football remains effective. In Moyes We Trust.
6 Posted 20/01/2009 at 07:37:05
7 Posted 20/01/2009 at 08:28:19
Roll on sunday...
8 Posted 20/01/2009 at 08:55:42
I think they’ll rest a few on Sunday so, like a Circus Stalker, lets go for the juggler
9 Posted 20/01/2009 at 09:14:01
10 Posted 20/01/2009 at 09:47:34
Setanta made Jags the man of the match (and quite rightly).
Did anyone hear the stat that we haven?t won a penalty at Anfield for something like 70 years?
I?m always amazed (and pleased) as to how well we do given the apparent gulf in class and cost. The defending might be miraculous and the Mikki/Tim double act wonderful, but some of our passing and tackling does make you wonder.
I would also like to see some rugby like stats comparing the height of our team with theirs. We seemed to have a team of midgets in comparison.
11 Posted 20/01/2009 at 09:44:09
Don?t be like some of the other pricks on this website that overlook good genuine play and someone that works well for the team.
Totally agree that Cahill is a God and for someone so small, gets a ridiculous number of headed goals.
12 Posted 20/01/2009 at 10:12:58
Neville is lost in midfield and Pienaar cannot pass the ball to a team mate... mhe was atrocious.
13 Posted 20/01/2009 at 10:14:57
Probably the same people who said that Baines couldn?t defend...
14 Posted 20/01/2009 at 10:21:26
What exact purpose does it serve to call Robbie Keane a ’gypo’?
Can I suggest plugging your brain in?
15 Posted 20/01/2009 at 10:10:08
Let?s hope Tim can summon up those Samoan gods on Sunday and bring curses raining down on the RS. It was 5:00am this morning in Taiwan when screaming could be heard from my apartment. I will warn the neighbours that this will be happening again this Sunday, and it will not be me celebrating Chinese New Year.
16 Posted 20/01/2009 at 10:57:53
He did have a very good game by his standards. I wonder though, if Cahill hadn?t of scored would Victor have got so many plaudits or would he have been hung out to dry for not shooting and starting the attack for Gerrard's goal? If he can learn to stay on his feet, he?ll make a very good squad player.
17 Posted 20/01/2009 at 11:30:56
My only criticism is for that twat of a steward who stopped Tim doing his traditional celebration..... who the fuck does he think he is!!!
We go with the same eleven on Sunday and finish the job (oh no, I?m starting to believe again :o).
18 Posted 20/01/2009 at 12:24:12
Neville is starting to understand the holding role ala Carsley, which in turn allows Mikel more freedom in the centre.
Pienaar worked himself into the ground.
Big Vic stepping up to the plate.
Fantastic team performance.
Baines my MOM.
Also noticed the twonk steward stopping Cahill celebrating his goal but the Everton fans singing "You?re gonna win fuck all" at the end ? Priceless.
19 Posted 20/01/2009 at 12:36:30
Osman was a passenger YET AGAIN!!!!!
Easy change for Sunday would be Gosling for Osman.
20 Posted 20/01/2009 at 12:51:41
As for Pienaar... he could not pass the ball to his own team, and he has been misplacing passes for a few matches now. He may be industrious, but being unable to find a team mate with the ball is unforgivable.
But a great result all the same... roll on Sunday.
21 Posted 20/01/2009 at 13:23:35
Neville was in their face from the word go and made some timely tackles, one I can vividly remember on Torres as he made his way through. Both played well.
For me, Osman was the only one who didn?t justify his place. He needs to do more.
22 Posted 20/01/2009 at 13:27:29
I agree with many on Vic; each game I hope and wait but he worries me long-term.
23 Posted 20/01/2009 at 13:37:18
24 Posted 20/01/2009 at 13:45:46
Ossie wasn?t in the game that much, but in his defence our main tactic down the right was for Hibbert to launch the ball over midfield and try and get Vic in behind. Whereas on the left Baines tended to link up more with Pienaar.
I thought Pienaar did well as Liam says. His distribution let him down at times, but I still think he gives us a lot down the left flank. He?s just not in sparkling form at the moment. Ciaran ? you may not have said that Pienaar didn?t offer himself up and run his socks off, but you did describe him as atrocious, which is not a word I would have chosen to describe his efforts.
I thought Timmy, Jags and Baines were excellent, but as a team they all deserve credit.
25 Posted 20/01/2009 at 14:15:57
26 Posted 20/01/2009 at 14:39:36
Pienaar of course ran his socks off, as he always does, and was actually not bad on the ball, but these things are irrelevant considerations whenever the end result of this endeavour is giving away possession.
This is why I thought he was atrocious ? not because he didn't do the things others are praising him for, but simply because those things were negated by the end result.
Not being able to pass at that level is unforgivable.
27 Posted 20/01/2009 at 13:57:35
Because I use the term ’Fat spanish waiter’ means I have a thing against Spain? Get a grip.
My apologies if I offended you, but I was insulting a Liverpool player, not your country!
28 Posted 20/01/2009 at 15:49:18
You can shove your apology up your árse...where it can reside with your brain.
The degree of pure racist idiocy involved in labelling an Irishman a ’gypo’, is not salvaged in any form by your cute attempt at exoneration -by the use of the term ’politically correct’.
I am not politically correct, I am however offended by an ignorant ásshole stereotyping a whole race on the basis of their brainless prejudice.
If you want to hide behind anything, then how about hiding behind you’re own stupidity instead of blaming others for your inadequacies as a human being.
Politically correct indeed....what a fúckin excuse.
29 Posted 20/01/2009 at 15:45:03
30 Posted 20/01/2009 at 16:57:40
Second please stop name calling we are all blues.
Finally I personally would like to see AVM come on in last 30 mins for either the industrious Pienaar ( whose passes seem to go astray) or osman who seemed out of the game. Leaving subs until final 5 mins leaves little chance to change much. Also AVM to most teams would be an unknown. If he ain’t good enough then don’t put him on the bench. Right now we are short on fit squad members but he is on the bench early in the season when we had more fit players.
Come on blues for Sunday!!!
31 Posted 20/01/2009 at 17:34:15
My only note of caution is the squad is too small and must be supplemented to see out the season strongly.
I dont want to witness another fade out due to fatigue etc....COYB’s
32 Posted 20/01/2009 at 18:45:37
Heres hoping for another great performance on Sunday.
33 Posted 20/01/2009 at 21:09:48
Big Vic was up against one of the meanest defences in the league and stood up to the physical battering very well in my opinion and not everyone can do that. I thought he gave a really good account of himself. If there was a weak link it was surely Osman, he was awful and is certainly not what you need in a derby game. A lot of debate as to whether Gosling should or should not have played the fact is with Osman going AWOL yet again Gosling would at least have afforded us a physical presence. In a games like that you simply cannot afford to carry passengers.
34 Posted 20/01/2009 at 22:42:49
I’m of Irish decent. American. Folks here, 5 generations removed from Ireland, still often assume I drink too much - not true in the least.
Potato eater, drunk, gypo, whatever...
All comments like water off a duck’s back. Solidarity should be the rule here. Ciaran, don’t let it affect you. Laugh, be happy, pay no attention if it gets under your skin. I seriously doubt there was any real malice at all. In fact, I’d doubt it categorically (sp?).
Like water off a duck’s back.
35 Posted 20/01/2009 at 23:18:29