The most satisfying thing about this win is that it flew in the face of the narrative that was already being written.
And let’s be honest, you couldn’t really blame the whole Shankly-Industrial Complex for believing that this was going to be some sort of redemption tale. Sweet, sweet justice after some centre-half got injured in the Goodison game.
After all, they are used to having everything their own way. It’s us who throw the ball in the net for last-minute winners, or freeze at Wembley – you know the script by now. We fuck up, they have the last laugh.
But not today, mister. Not today.
No, Robbo left his elbow in the ribs of James Rodriguez, the littlest fella on the pitch, and that was really the extent of the Sunday League posturing from the lads in what ended up a relatively tame encounter.
Eveton’s counter-attacking style has resulted in Rodriguez becoming isolated in recent games. He enjoys loads of possession and having the majority of the game in front of him, so it’s been difficult for him of late. But, as he showed with his goal at Old Trafford, he only needs one moment and he can change a game, and this time it came after only three minutes.
Controlling an awkward ball infield from Abdoulaye Doucoure, the crafty Colombian held off a challenge and put a bit of stun-run-through on the cue ball, behind Ozan Kabak with a silent B, and into the path of Richarlison. The Brazilian is so much more effective starting further upfield, as opposed to having to wrestle with fullbacks out on the touchline, and there was simply no question of him failing to beat Allison with his angled drive into the bottom corner.
Howdya like me now?
Liverpool, who have not won a Premier League derby since December 2019, responded with a fierce volley from Hendo that Jordan Pickford tipped brilliantly around the post.
Obviously Pickford was only playing because UEFA and the European Court of Human Rights failed to uphold the law – that staple of phone-ins immemorial – that players should be banned as long as the opponent who got injured in a challenge with them is unable to play.
And that’s why we voted leave.
If Seamus Coleman had scored his flying header as half-time approached it might not have exactly put the game to bed but it would have at least turned off the X Box and brushed its teeth.
As it was, we entered the second half with just the single goal lead and with Herr Hollywood in a huddle with his players that they could have had in the changing rooms but wouldn’t have been picked up by the cameras.
So, like, what would have been the point of that?
Ancelotti made exactly the substitutions that you would have made, and we won the game, so he officially ‘got them spot on’. With Everton conceding possession and the persistent danger of a ball breaking for one of their forwards, or more likely the referee being conned by Mo Salah or Sadio Mane falling to the ground like a performance piece about the horrors of nuclear war, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin entered the ‘fray’ and settled matters.
A ball out of defence by Tom Davies saw Richarlison spin superbly past…some cunt, no idea… and then set Calvert-Lewin free for a run on goal. Allison saved the initial effort but as Calvert-Lewin scrambled for the rebound he stumbled over Trent, floundering on the deck, and the referee gave the penalty.
Before we start, I hope they feel massively fucking aggrieved about an unjust decision.
However, it was one of them where you see what you want to see.
And we saw Sigurdsson step up and tuck the ball home.
Like an anxiety dream.
But in the back of the net nonetheless.
And that, kids, is how I met your mother.