Friday, October 24, 2008

Stamford Bridge has fallen down

Rafa is appealing for calm. Well I for one, intend to lose the run of myself. Look at this. It's a sight for sore eyes.
An 86 game unbeaten record at Stamford bridge came crashing down with our 1-0 win. Glorious. It's a pity Jose wasn't still around to see it. But more than that, we layed down a marker that we are going to title contenders as long as we can keep this form up, or at least, recover quickly when our form dips, which it inevitably will at some stage. Can we do it? Maybe. Will we do it? I think that depends on Hicks on Gillett more than anyone. Don't be surprised if they fuck us up by selling players or sacking Rafa at a crucial moment. I'm more worried about that than matters on the pitch destabilising us.

Rob Smyth in the Guardian match report suggests that Boswinga was less inclined to rampage forward due to "the considerable threat of the excellent Albert Riera." Henry Winter in the Telegraph says of Riera "if Bosingwa suffers a recurring nightmare over the next month it will involve a deft Spaniard ghosting past him." He had a great game. But Xabi was man of the match for me. He was superb. THe fact that he scored a deflected goal makes up for a few deflected Lampard and Joe Cole goals that Chelsea have scored against us. I am so happy that he didn't leave for Juve and I hope he goes on to spend many years here. Gerrard had a fine game too, probably his best of the season. He's sometimes accused of not showing it against the other big 4 clubs. No way that could be leveled at him yesterday. John Giles was full of praise for the captain on RTE tv.

The BBC blogger Phil McNulty suggested that a win would suggest that our start to the campaign wasn't another false dawn. So it has proved to be, so far. We're top and three points clear of Chelsea. Utd fell further behind by drawing with the blueshite at Goodison which makes the weekend even sweeter. Rafa says that it's a massive win. It is indeed Rafa. Before this game, Rafa hadn't beaten a top four side away from home in the league. That coupled with the fact that Chelsea haven't lost at home in four years make it something of a red letter day. I'm really happy that we managed to beat both Utd and Chelsea without Torres and Utd without Gerrard too. 6 points from 6 against top 4 opposition so far. This shows the strength of the squad that Rafa has developed. Henry Winter reckons that the gaffa was central to the win. "Liverpool were all heart, lungs and flying feet but the key factor was the mind of Benitez".

John Giles said that we were far better than Chelsea on the day and deserved the victory. I find it hard to argue with him. They created very little of note. "We didn't expect the result, but need to understand that Liverpool are a very good team," Scolari said. "Benítez is intelligent. He knows and I know that we don't have a two-metre centre-forward, so they gave us space, but when we crossed they have players who are very good at winning the ball." So Rafa let them cross, knowing that we could deal with it, and then we could win the ball back and channel it down the middle where Javier, Stevie and Xabi dominated Lampard, Mikel and Deco bar the end of the first half. Clever. Carragher and Agger were rocks at the back. Nothing got past them and Pepe didn't have too much to do.

It was hilarious to see England's Lionheart John Terry shit his pants when he was confronted by Pepe. He was well able to stick the elbow in when Reina had us eye on the ball, but once Pepe squared up to him he ran off to hide behind the ref. Such courage.
As Rafa said, we need to keep it going against Portsmouth on Wed. We slipped up badly against Stoke after beating Utd. Let's not let the same h=thing happen here. I'm hoping they'll be vulnerable with 'Arry gone. But Defoe and Crouch are going to be dangerous. Crouch is going to want to prove a point.

Here is some footage of Atleti and LFC supporters exchanging scarves and embraces at the Calderon on Wednesday night. Good to see. We're making friends all over Europe, as happened when the Barcelona fans visited Anfield last year.

Ryan Babel on the mike in case you've missed it. He had an impressive cameo when he came on against Chelsea. I hope to see him add a few more of those over the next few weeks.

Andy Gray reckons that Rafa could cost us the title. He is a blue nosed bullshitter. What's he saying now? Prick. He must be sick having to praise us.

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