Yobo (own goal) 12, Kuyt 80
When people talk about luck they enter a subjective world. Take Liverpool FC for example. Many will put our recent poor form down to bad luck with injuries others, whilst not denying that it has played a part, will say it runs deeper than that. I guess it depends on your own agenda, luck is always open to interpretation.
Yesterday was a case in point. We got a welcome win that many will say was not without good fortune. But was this due to some of the things that fell our way and some of the things Everton didn’t take advantage of? Is luck earned or does it just fall your way randomly? Does it even itself out? Whatever the case it was our turn today. However, the win shouldn’t be allowed to hide the problems that we still have, I hate to say it but Everton bossed us for long periods of the game but it shouldn’t stop us from taking some much needed credit for having the fortitude and character to keep them at bay and then make the most of the opportunities that came our way?
Rafa started with the same side that faced Debrecen which meant no Torres. Once more the increasingly mythical and elusive Aquilani was kept back which will prompt many to ask how long do we have to wait for him to play? If he is on the bench then surely he is fit? Over to you Rafa!
The first ten minutes were uneventful as both sides struggled for a foothold. Then we were dealt the first card of fortune. We slowly worked the ball across midfield from right to left, Aurelio found Insua who passed to Mascherano who was about thirty yards out. His right foot shot was heading wide past Howards’ right hand post but it took a deflection off Yobo and found home in the opposite corner. Mascherano went ballistic at what he thought was his goal but the dubious goals panel might think otherwise. However, who can the begrudge him this moment and it should not deflect (no pun intended) from the fact that it’s a sign of his improved form which coincidently seems to have emerged since Argentina qualified for the World Cup?
Insua nearly made things very difficult for the home team with a good header form Lucas’ cross however Everton stepped it up. Perhaps a team going through a less tortuous time might have made more their chances or were we just lucky or may be they were unlucky or just poor where it counts, in front of goal? Bilyaletdinov missed a gapping open goal at the far post after a throw in had been “head passed” across our area. Jo was also heavily involved in Everton’s attempts to equalise, he had a decent chance and two that were correctly disallowed. The second again underlined our vulnerability from set pieces as Everton created the chance from the corner in crowded area. In the second half Cahill, and then Fellaini from the rebound, produced two vital point blank saves from Reina who showed why, given all our dubious defensive form, he has been a such a valuable player for us, without him this season it could have been so much worse.
Perhaps it was going to be our day after all? Everton kept the pressure up however, the longer the game went on without a blue goal the more one felt the luck would turn our way. Sure enough with around ten minutes to go Gerrard seized on Yobo’s miskick and found Riena whose shot, after being saved by Howard, rebounded to a well positioned Kuyt to make it safe.
Does that mean we are lucky or is that Everton couldn’t make the most their chances? Should we have expected pressure from the home side and, as a result, did well to keep them at bay? As I said at the top of this piece it’s all subjective. The win should not be allowed to hide our faults but for now I’ll just be happy with the three points thank you very much, its been a long time!
Liverpool: Reina, Insua, Agger, Carragher, Johnson, Aurelio, Mascherano, Leiva, Kuyt, Gerrard , Ngog. Subs – Cavalieri, Aquilani, Riera, Benayoun, Kyrgiakos, El Zhar, Skrtel
Everton: Howard, Baines, Yobo, Distin, Hibbert, Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga, Cahill (captain), Pienaar, Fellaini, . Subs – Nash, Saha, Gosling, , Neill, Coleman, Baxter