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Everyone knows the captain's speech after the 3-2 victory over Manchester City.
1. We go again
2. This does not f**king slip
3. Every match like a CL final
1. Liverpool next match against Norwich ended with a 3-2 victory again
2. Stevie slipped against Chelsea
3. Crystal Palace fought back from 3-0 down to claim a draw (aka 2005 CL final style)
Steven Gerrard is not only Captain Fantastic, he is a football prophet. All shall worship him.
Ziteng (Singapore) YNWA
Not Giving Up Hope
Following a frustrating draw with Villa on Wednesday night, a tired looking Man City hammer away at an obdurate West Ham on the final day of the season but with two minutes to go are still locked at 0-0. Similarly Liverpool, still in shock over their amazing eight minute capitulation at Palace, are drawing with Newcastle at home having decided to use the game as much needed defensive practice. West Ham win a corner, their first of the game at the Emirates, after Deminchelis slices a clearance.
Out of a crowd of players one rises above all as the ball is swung in expertly by Liverpool fan Kevin Nolan and he meets it squarely with his head; Joe Hart is caught flat-footed and the ball hits the back of the net. Finally Andy Carroll pays back his GBP35m transfer fee. On hearing the news Anfield erupts as the fans suddenly realise they are on the verge of a remarkable and unexpected triumph; Brendan Rodgers, realising that his attacking philosophy has after all been vindicated, substitutes off Flanaghan, Sakho and Skrtel and brings on Aspas, Moses and Coutinho. You know the rest.
Rob, LFC Dubai (Still proud)
Future Is Bright
Going from 7th to at least 3rd in a season, possibly 2nd is a spectacular achievement and today's disappointment shows how far Liverpool have come in such a short time. Last night's implosion was spectacular but Palace have been tough to beat all season. A lot of lessons learned by our manager and we have more funds from Champions league to strengthen for next year. BR's manager profile has soared and our team is full of young talent! The future is looking great for Liverpool ... and although we dreamed (and why the hell shouldn't we dream!), we knew it was always going to be tough. It's not over until someone lifts the trophy but either way, the future is bright!
Rob (it could be worse ... we could have imploded an entire season like man utd) Sydney, LFC
The thing that annoyed me most last night was Neville looking at the devastated Liverpool fans and saying that they'll be thinking that we won't come this close again, with Chelsea and United strengthening. Utter nonsense. That's not what we're thinking. Other teams can do as they please. Brendan's building something special here.
So never mind the scapegoating there'll inevitably be from reds when emotions are running high. Never mind the rival fans rejoicing. (And if it's anybody except City fans then we've had a better season than you, so wind it in, eh?) Watching this amazing attacking team has been the most fun I've had in years and its rate of improvement has been staggering. My generation has grown up with our dads telling us about the amazing teams of years gone by. Well now we can bore our kids with tales of the team who launched themselves into a title challenge they had no right to be in. The team who blew the opposition away time and again. The team addicted to goals.
Last night wasn't the end. This is just the beginning. Come August, we'll have a deeper squad and first XI upgrades in a couple of key positions. Come August Brendan will only be at the start of season three of his long-term project to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Quite simply, come August, we go again.
At the time of writing, it seems that barring a miracle, Liverpool will not with the title this year. It has been a fantastic run, and a wonderful effort by BR to get them into contention and automatic CL qualification.
However, I cant help but feel that had BR just focused on what was required in the last 3 games, we would have won the title. Against Chelsea, we kept hammering at them and got caught on the break when a draw would have been enough. And after Palace made it 3-1 last night, he should have realized that we were never going to make up the 9 or more goals we needed to beat City. We should have seen the game out and at least still have a chance should City slip up somewhere.
To lose a 3 goal lead in the last 15 minutes was crazy and will haunt the players and BR for time to come. Hopefully they learn from this and come back even stronger next season. The defence needs to be sorted sharpish to keep us in the hunt next time.
...He is a brilliant young manager with lots of new ideas, tactical flexibility and fantastic man management, but BR really does not know how to close out a game. Yes, at three nil we were all screaming for everyone to push forward and get another, but as soon as that first deflected strike went in, BR should have told the team to slow the pace of the game down. Instead, we try to attack quickly again and Glen is miles out of position to allow them their second.
There were two aspects of that that was intriguing. One as Carragher pointed out is that there are no leaders in the defense and Skrtel despite having a good season is not a leader. Glen will never be, Flanno is a kid and well Sakho just makes you nervous. The second is BR's inability to sense the change in momentum. Even at 2-3, he should have introduced Agger, spoken to one two players and changed the shape. BR needs to learn from these games, learn from the master Sir Alex who used to sense changing momentum better than everyone, learn how to play a European tie like Rafa.
Last word goes to Victor Moses. For all your cocky arrogant talk, your air kick in the last minute was as funny as it was pitiful.
Sid, LFC, India.
Losing A Three-Goal Lead Is Bad
Considered opinion on last night's match:
1. To win the title Liverpool would probably have had to have won their last two games with an aggregate score of 17-0.
2. Their position now is only slightly worse than it was at the beginning given that now MCFC have to lose one of their remaining games rather draw it.
3. Losing a 3 goal lead is bad.
4. Palace fans were amazing and the atmosphere they created was just incredible.
Now here's the thing
5. A few years ago I lambasted Lee Westwood for accepting 2nd in The Masters when there there was a shot at glory with 5ish holes remaining. He has not been in that position since and may never be again, who knows if Liverpool's players will be where they are again. As a sporting millionnaire if you have a slight chance of glory you should take it, after all it is not like the money is the most important thing as it would be to you or I. Liverpool's chance of winning the title was slight at best given that MCFC had to drop points for them to win. I'd rather they come second trying to win than accept 2nd outright.
Paul "I'd rather burn out than fade away" Rhodes
...Now the dust has settled from last night's madcap game, I'm going to have a stab at attempting to summarize what I've just seen from Liverpool and Palace:
•Starting with the very obvious, but Liverpool's defending in the last 10 minutes or so was completely unacceptable from a team harbouring ambitions of winning the title. I've seen in the gossip columns that Liverpool have been linked with quite a few attacking players but Brendan Rodgers has to significantly improve the defence, he'd be insane to splash millions on another attacking midfielder. I think this has overtaken Newcastle - Arsenal as the worst capitulation in Premier League history.
•I'm sure it's of little consolation to Liverpool fans but it's quite nice to have such an obvious area that needs to be improved. It gives quite a lot of optimism for next season knowing that they're just one or two competent defenders away from being the finished article.
•Barring his threat from attacking set pieces, I'm not actually sure what Martin Skrtel is contributing to Liverpool's side. He doesn't seem to have any redeeming features that you'd want in a centre back so I have no idea how he's keeping Daniel Agger out of the side (unless Rodgers has reservations about playing 2 left footed centre backs)
•I felt quite sorry for Liverpool in that when it went to 3-1, they clearly had no idea what to do. There was 80 minutes gone, the game was still won in their minds and they had the goal difference albatross to think about. I think it's very hard to criticize them for not shutting up shop, they were still 3-1 ahead with 10 minutes to go and they needed to score goals.
•Has anyone ever seen the tide turn in an individual battle the way it did in Glen Johnson vs. Yannick Bolasie? For the first hour or so, Johnson was playing like Dani Alves and Bolasie wasn't even coming close to containing him and then something changed and Bolasie began to run him ragged. It's a credit to Bolasie that he still had the energy to be going at Johnson even up until the 95th minute. He's one of the few players I've seen who you genuinely have no idea what he's doing to do with the ball when he gets it, which can be exciting and comical to watch in equal measure.
•Gerrard's post-match speech against City, the slip against Chelsea and this Palace game are going to be iconic moments from this season. The last 10 minutes or so of Premier League Years 2013/14 is going to be car-crash television for Liverpool fans.
•Was I the only one who found it highly ironic that it was Kolo Toure consoling Suarez after the game, when it was crazy moments like his mistake against West Brom that will be the reason Liverpool don't win the league? I know you win as a team and lose as a team but after scoring 52 goals, Sturridge and Suarez will probably be seething at the defenders for all of this
•Twitter has its detractors but yesterday it spawned one of the greatest hashtags I've ever seen; #Crystanbul
Brett (Aware of exactly what Liverpool fans are going through), AFC
Immensely proud to be Palace, a fantastic way to see off the season at Selhurst. I'm not arsed which of the big teams wins the title but when a team is grabbing the ball out the net at 3-0 up it's nice to ram it back down their throats. We've now wrecked the title dreams of John Terry and Luis Suarez, you're welcome football.
A lot will be said about how Liverpool threw it away but as a club we displayed the spirit that has got us to 11th, the fans never stopped, even at 3-0 down and when that is the case how can the players. The fantastic atmosphere is a result of a lot of hard work from a core group of fans. Over the last few years they have come up against many obstacles and been labelled certain things but the main objective has always been to provide a better atmosphere. That the chairmen have allowed this to grow is a real testament to how they have run the club, always open with the fans and trying to make the experience better for everyone. I would urge the Premier League to review some of the sanctions/fines that are given to clubs when the fans choose to stand, as you can see what can be created. When we were promoted the first few games you could tell we were in the Premier League as the stewards were a lot more keen on getting people to sit down, I was worried we would start cracking down but thankfully the owners have valued a great atmosphere above some possible fines.
I wonder how the Liverpool fans that were paying £500 for any ticket to the game feel today, I guess they have seen something special but not in the way they imagined. Really really hope that is not Jules' last game at Selhurst, he deserves to go to the World Cup with Argentina, outstanding save from Sturridge last night. Nice to see Dwight Gayle grab a couple of goals, think he could turn out to be a decent player and that should give him massive confidence. We've had a great time this season down at Selhurst and everything is looking rosy, Palace being Palace though I'm sure there will be something just round the corner to throw a spanner in the works, just have to enjoy it while we can!
Half The Battle
'Arry for United. Hear me out!
What seems to have been overlooked or omitted from any post-mortem of United's season is what part a lack of humour/fun has played in their demise. Whilst Ferguson is painted as this tyrannical leader I think it's pretty clear he had huge charisma and possibly played the straight man to Melunsteen and Phelan's double act. I think the balloon incident highlights the camaraderie in the camp at that point and I imagine it was fun going to training each day. Based on this I'm not sure bringing in a strict disciplinarian (Van Gaal) is going to improve things. Why not 'arry? Sure, he may be lacking in tactics and grammatical nuances however he'll have them smiling again and isn't that half the battle?
Liverpool Missed Henderson
Clearly, Liverpool missed Hendo's hard running and closing in the past few games since he was suspended. His return on Sunday, sighhh....is a little too late.
While Glen Johnson, Lucas Leiva and even Stevie G were culpable for playing out of their respective position in the last 15 minutes, Liverpool still needs them for their experience, for next season.
Now is not the time to chop and change for next season, instead, buy players to improve on the depth of the squad.
Hopefully, the loanees of Fabio Borini (Sunderland), Oussama Assaidi (Stoke), Andre Wisdom (??), etc, with their battle-harden experience in the other Premier sides, can better contribute to Liverpool's squad next season.
As Brendan Rodgers said early in the season, the squad is a little thin, especially in defence and midfield (defensive midfielders).
Thoughts On Chelsea
I think Matt Stanger may have slightly over-interpreted the Chelsea result. This was a dead rubber for Chelsea after an emotionally-draining defeat to Atletico (who'll you'll note lost to Levante at the weekend) and vital for Norwich to have any chance of survival. The league had already been lost in the defeats to Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa so it's disingenuous to argue that this was a crucial point in the season.
I'm also inclined to think that Mourinho's been fairly consistent with his messages, i.e. that this is a year too early for Chelsea to win the league but that next year will be different. He's also consistently asked for his most talented players to take more responsibility and achieve more consistency - and I think he's right to demand more of Hazard, Oscar and co. It's also hard to disagree with the analysis that Hazard and Eto'o cost Chelsea the tie against Atletico with defensive errors (though it was Mourinho's fault for playing them when neither was match-fit); nor that Oscar has gone off the boil in the second half of the season.
I know it's fashionable to have a downer on Mourinho at the moment, but Stanger may want to moderate his views somewhat - after all, it was only just over a month ago (after the win against Arsenal) that he had crowned Chelsea champions-elect. His view at the time "If Chelsea lose to PSG, barring an acute crisis of confidence it seems almost certain they will secure the title. If they make it to the semi-finals, it will require an incredible effort to remain on course in that final week in April" seems in retrospect to have been about right.
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, London