Liverpool beat their arch enemy Manchester United 2-0 at the weekend and this result is without doubt one of the sweetest for the scouse house in years. Nobody gave them a chance. The media ripped them to pieces. Benitez was ready for the chop. And even John Terry labeled them a two-man team. My how things can change so quickly in football. The magicians of Merseyside pulled the rabbit out of the hat big time with this victory and I believe they surprised us all!
With four losses in a row resulting in one of the worst runs of form in the club’s history, Liverpool appeared as though they were heading into some serious turmoil. As the owners continue to be at each others throats and key players suffer from injuries, the hopes of bringing the title home after so many years was slowly fading fast once again. The walls at Anfield were caving in and the claws were coming out thick and fast from all angles.
Even the Liverpool fans turned on manager Rafa Benitez. The fans have always been Rafa’s security blanket. They feel a sense of loyalty for the Champions League success he has brought to the club. The fans fell in love with Rafa when he secured the Champions League trophy. And then when he took them to another Champions League final, they fell in love with him all over again. And last year when Rafa couldn’t quite finish off United in the title race, the fans showed their support once again. But finally that loyalty was tested after a recent run of bad results, including a dismal loss to Sunderland last week.
Going into the United game, Liverpool football club was under an intense amount of pressure. Rafa Benitez was probably under the microscope more than ever before. Some say that a loss to United could have cost him his job, despite the recent vote of confidence from the board. The entire city needed to get behind the team. The manager needed to pull it together. And the players had to go out, perform heroics and get a result that nobody believed they could. Well somehow it all came together and Liverpool won one of the most important games in their recent history. A loss would have meant their Premier League hopes were all but over. And it could have spelled the end for Rafa. Instead he and his red army get to live and fight another day.
This is what makes the Premier League so exciting. Just when you think a team is down and out, they fight back and show their will to win the biggest prize in domestic football. Credit to Rafa and his team for the togetherness they showed and the team spirit they displayed to win the game over their most hated of rivals. Let’s not sugar coat this in any way. These two teams despise each other and Liverpool’s victory will leave a bitter taste in Manchester United’s mouth. The reigning champions were beaten fair and square. There is no referee to blame it on this time. Perhaps it’s Fergie and his Red Devils that face the pressure now.
How do you think Liverpool will do from here? Can they still win the title? How do you think United will bounce back from this loss? Do United have enough quality in their team to crowned champions again? Does anyone else agree it’s time for John Terry to shut-up?