Many pundits often say that to be a successful team you have to acquire the acumen or the nous to win ugly. In other words, to be able to win a match even though you are not playing particularly well. The sign of true champions is to be able to grind out a result when you are not at your best.
Anyone who follows football will acknowledge that Liverpool have played some breathtakingly brilliant football at time season. We have blown away formidable opponents such as Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Everton with our brand of swashbuckling, inventive and so effective football. When teams “come out to play” against us we have invariably brushed them aside with a swagger and a confidence that has been rarely seen at The Fields Of Anfield Road for many years. It has been a joy for Liverpool fans to watch our beloved Reds this season as the goals have flowed and the excitement levels have reached fever pitch.
The doubters however have raised concerns regarding Liverpool’s ability to knuckle down and scrap and battle for the points if the free-flowing football machine had stalled for the day, or the opposition’s style of play stifled our cavalier approach. We witnessed one such occasion recently when Sunderland visited Anfield. We weren’t at our best and all credit to Sunderland they played exceptionally well on the night. In previous seasons we probably would have lost or drawn such a game but today’s Liverpool are made of sterner stuff. We beat the Black Cats 2-1 to maintain our title challenge.
At the beginning of March when most fans looked forward to the next batch of fixtures, two “potential banana skin” away games were on the horizon. Southampton away and West Ham away. We came away from Southampton with a relatively straightforward 3-0 win and with a growing reputation that we might have finally become a side that can acclimatise to different match situations and get the result come what may.
In the past West Ham have been noted for their own brand of attractive football but now managed by Sam Allardyce, all those principles and the finer points of the game, have not unsurprisingly gone out of the window as Allardyce has West Ham playing the “up and at ’em” style of football he has inflicted on every other side he has managed.
There was no doubt that this would be a stern test for the men from Anfield but, like most other tests put before them, Liverpool came up trumps and emerged victors in a really tough encounter. Forget for the moment the refereeing issues and lets just look at the game and the result overall. Liverpool deserved to win this match and did so to provide all their doubters with some more humble pie.
As in so many games before, Steven Gerrard stepped up to the plate and led by example. His two cool penalties ensured the three points were heading to Anfield and we would again be returning to the top of the league.
The way in which the fans celebrated suggests that the “Make Us Dream” banner may soon be replaced by “We Now Believe”
Five Cup Finals left, with the very impressive and title favourites Manchester City up next. The way Liverpool have gone about their business this season, who would bet against us turning City over and taking yet another all important step to possible glory!!
Watch the highlights from the game here in this video below…..
West Ham Vs Liverpool 1 – 2 (6 April 2014)
The fans celebrated with even more belief
Liverpool fans West Ham 6 April 2014
Liverpool fans celebrate victory over West Ham at Upton Park 6 April 2014.