Alonso 45, Kuyt 63, 89.
It was a weird feeling over the weekend. Although we won 3-1 it was almost as if we had lost!
I am of course referring to the hopes that were cruelly dashed at Old Trafford. Spurs 2-0 up at half time only to be swamped by deluge of second half goals. No doubt the Mancs gained a substantial psychological boost from their comeback just as we may have been slightly knocked back? I hope we weren’t as the first half performance suggested that the Mancs are vulnerable. Whatever the case, we need to keep marching on. I guess it shouldn’t be forgotten that although we are chasing the Mancs, Chelsea, who also won over the weekend, are chasing us!
Anyway, having had time to think about it, I’m slightly annoyed at myself for allowing a Liverpool victory to be clouded by something the Mancs have done. It should never be like that, regardless of the circumstances. We can only do what’s possible and not live our lives through the fortunes of others. Another win to keep the pressure up was achieved at Hull on Sunday and that is all one can expect?
It wasn’t a terrific game but who can complain about 3-1? Truth be told it could have been more had, for example, Torres had a bit more luck with his two main efforts one, earlier in the game, tipped over by Myhill after Benayoun’s shot had rebounded out and another, at 2-1, headed against the crossbar.
Hull will doubtlessly complain about the circumstances that lead to our first goal. Did Boateng foul Mascherano or was he falling over anyway? Perhaps the award of a free kick, which Alonso smacked home on the volley after his first effort was stopped by the wall, was a tad unfortunate from Hull’s point of view. However, that’s often the price paid for having football officiated in the way it is. It’s a split second judgement which if you aren’t the right position, or don’t have the back up of the linesman, can go wrong. To err is human and all that? Deep down Hull know the circumstances but their frustration, given their position, is understandable. One wonders if it was magnified because, until the goal, they had worked hard to close us down, not let us settle. To concede on the stroke of half time after all that work must have been a physiological blow?
Hull can have no excuse for the rest of the game. The “up and at ‘em” attitude was taken too far by Folan who deservedly saw red for his stupid kick out at Skrtel. After that our man was undeservedly barracked by the home crowd but he had the last laugh after his scuffed “centre half’s shot” was redirected by Kuyt’s head into the goal.
Hull rallied and exposed the defensive tension that seems to be coursing through the side at the moment with a close range effort from Geovanni who found himself unmarked and untracked. Kuyt finally eased any last minute tension with a simply goal from six yards out after Myhill had failed to hold Arbeloa’s deflected shot. Did anyone see his “contemptuous”, “arrogant” gesture after the goal? Totally “beyond the pale” Dirk, the “Fergie police” have been informed!
After the game Rafa complained about the Hull pitch almost as if he had felt left out by the others complaining about Wembley! There’s a point but if we are the side we want to be we need to play on all surfaces, in all weathers against all types of opposition, sorry Rafa. Having said that there was one clearance from Reina that seemed to bounce at angle of almost ninety degrees on itself!
Reina was hauled over the coals (see title, yes I know!) for his performance by Alan Hanson on Match of the Day as indeed was the whole defence. Recent reports would have us believe that defensively we are wobbling like a jelly being held by a member of a four man bob sleigh tem whilst careering down the Cresta Run! However, others suffering the same sorts of pressure, are merely “grinding it out” or “digging deep”?
Finally, a word about Dirk Kuyt. Two goals on Saturday enhancing his knack of scoring when it really matters. Kuyt gets a bad press as he lacks Torres’ gliding, smooth as silk sense of effortless ease and does not reproduce the swashbuckling superhero “save the day” routines of Gerrard. “Dirk Can’t” an uninformed, “no red” friend of mine keeps calling him. This is unfair. Why should Kuyt not be his own man instead trying to replicate others? As Rafa said after the game
“Kuyt is a fantastic professional and is always working hard to score. He was very positive and we are really pleased for him.”
A guess every team has an unsung, much maligned (outside the club) hero? Meanwhile while the Mancs fight it out midweek with Arsenal, Dirk and the squad will rest and wait until Sunday and that, regardless of all the talk and the permutations and theories, is all we can do?
Hull: Myhill, Ricketts, Zayatte, Turner, Kilbane, Fagan (Mendy 62), Boateng (Manucho 79), Marney, Geovanni, Barmby (Cousin 62), Folan.
Subs Not Used: Duke, Hughes, Garcia, Halmosi.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Kuyt (Dossena 90), Alonso, Mascherano (El Zhar 84), Benayoun (Agger 87), Lucas, Torres.
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Riera, Aurelio, Ngog.