As Bobby Vee once sang – ‘Like a rubber ball, I come bouncing back.’ And that is exactly what Liverpool did. After four straight defeats, their worst run in 22 years, they managed to grab a vital 2-0 victory over Manchester United at Anfield.
A defeat for Liverpool would have extended their run to five straight losses for the first time in 55 years and could have effectively ended their already very faint title hopes of their first league title in 20 years. But a win now keeps them in
contention, despite being nine points behind league leaders Chelsea.
Goals from Fernando Torres and David Ngog secured a much needed win for the Kop. But, as usual in a game against Liverpool and Manchester United it was not without controversy. Before kick-off the Kop faithful once again protested against owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who were in attendance. That was followed by Manchester United fans throwing inflatable footballs onto the field before kick-off. While in stoppage time both Nemandja Vidic and Javiar Mascherano were dismissed for second bookable offences.
Victory for Rafa Benitez in his 200th game in charge means that he has won 114 games out of 200, just behind Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish who won 120 of his first 200 games in charge.
Liverpool are not out of the woods just yet by any means. They face Arsenal in the Carling Cup mid-week and will want to prove that this was not a flash in the pan victory, and that the four defeats before this victory were a minor blip.
Before today’s game Manchester United had been unbeaten in 11 games in all competitions but Liverpool exposed some fatal flaws and managed to dominate the game from start to finish.
Even manager Sir Alex Ferguson agreed, speaking after the game he said – ‘It was a disappointing afternoon. It was a disappointing performance,’ the Scot said. ‘Liverpool were the better team, they deserved to win the game, but there were so many controversial things that happened we have to feel aggrieved at some of them.’
Crisis, what crisis? Well, all teams go through a rough patch, but I think Liverpool still lack the quality needed to win a league title, but so do Manchester United. Neither defence is as air-tight as previous campaigns which could prove to be their downfall.
It’s early days yet, but one thing is for sure, there are many more twists and turns to come at Anfield.
Now that’s a fact.