Carragher 86, Gerrard 90
It’s always extra special to win in the manner of yesterday’s game. Ever enacted such a situation in your imagination or, when you were younger, your back garden? The reality is even more exciting, elation and relief all rolled into one. That’s what ripping yarns are made of. When everything looks lost or impossible it all comes good, just in the nick of time.
No doubt there be those who will say we were lucky, (we were) and that Middlesbrough didn’t deserve to lose (they didn’t). However, the cold, but comforting, facts are that for the second Saturday in succession we’ve pulled the irons out the fire and fashioned a victory when for most of the game it didn’t look we were capable of doing so. Two performances that aren’t exactly going to set the world alight. However, we’ve dragged ourselves home through shear force of will when perhaps last season we might have ended up with a lesser result. This bodes well for the future but at some stage soon we will need get our act together and start playing well. Roy of the Rovers moments cannot be expected every week?
We began brightly with Kuyt going close. However, it didn’t take long for us to realise that we going to be in for a difficult afternoon. Taylor fired over with the defence taking the first of many afternoon snoozes. Torres and Keane showed more green shoots but not many shots as they, and almost everyone else in red, laboured mainly due to our own lack of inspiration and an impressive, confident Middlesbrough.
Things didn’t improve in the second half as we huffed and puffed and Torres, much his frustration, was crowded out every time we got the ball. Alonso was also having an off day, perhaps due to this weeks events, which was seen in a sorry batch of poor deliveries from set pieces a duty he eventually relinquished to Gerrard and Kuyt. Middlesbrough were not willing just to make up the numbers, Tuncay turned Carragher brilliantly only to shot directly at Reina. Then Mido edged them in front with long, fizzing, daisy cutter from about twenty five yards out that gave Reina no chance.
By now we were a damsel in distress, chained to a railway track with the 4-45 chuffing up at great speed. As Bonnie Tyler said we were “holding out for a hero”. Alonso, who couldn’t even pass wind in this game let alone the ball, had a cross deflected. Jamie Carragher seized on the loose ball and drove home off Pogatetz for his second premiership goal in eight years. The grandstand finish was set up but ‘bro hadn’t read the script. Reina lurched at Aliadiere like a Saturday night drunk however Carragher was there to deny Mido his second with a well timed tackle.
It only remained for Gerrard to leap into the nearest phone box and pull on his cape and tights. After his free kick from the left edge of the area was turned away, our hero not to be deterred finally saved the day dispatching a peach of an angled shot from the left edge of the area that gave Turnbull no chance. Roll the credits!
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa (El Zhar 83), Carragher, Skrtel, Dossena (Aurelio 75), Kuyt, Gerrard, Alonso, Benayoun (Babel 65), Keane, Torres.
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Agger, Ngog, Plessis.
Middlesbrough: Turnbull, Wheater, Huth, Pogatetz, Taylor (Hoyte 75), Aliadiere, O’Neil, Shawky, Downing, Alves (Mido 60), Sanli (Digard 87).
Subs Not Used: Emnes, Adam Johnson, Williams.