FA Carling Premiership
Game 20: Friday 26 December 1997
Liverpool 3 - 1 Leeds United
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
Referee: S J Lodge (Barnsley)
|« Bolton Wanderers||Aston Villa »|
|Leeds||Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Haaland, Wetherall, Wallace, Hasselbaink, Ribeiro, Hopkin, Halle, Molenaar||Bowyer, Beeney, Lilley, Kewell, Maybury|
|Liverpool||James, Kvarme, McAteer, McManaman, Leonhardsen, Fowler (Riedle 85), Redknapp (Berger 85), Harkness, Ince (Carragher 85), Owen, Matteo||Babb, Friedel|
|Liverpool||Owen 46, Fowler 79, 83|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||4||?|
|Maggie||Bah bloody humbug!|
|The Guardian||Owen sets up victory hat-trick|
|The Times||Owen quick to let his feet do the talking|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Owen the central figure as Leeds pay for hesitation|
|Links to Reports on the net|
|Soccernet||Soccernet match report|
|Carlingnet||Carlingnet match report|
I'm afraid we suffered from the Anfield jinx today, but there is no way that our defeat can be simply put down to bad omens and the predictably useless referee. The plain, simple and unescapable fact is that Liverpool play good passing _football_ with an ease built up from years of good habits, whereas we stutter and stumble and make the beautiful game anything but.
We again defended with some aplomb for the most part, with Molenaar doing surprisingly well against the pace and trickery of young Owen, and playing the ball competently from the back. Sadly, once this happened the ball entered the Bermuda triangle known as the Leeds midfield after which anything could happen, although mainly the result would be that the opposition would have the ball back in under 50 picoseconds after yet another dreadful pass. Only Bruno looked like he knew we were not playing in red, with Daft Alfi and Hopkin, especially Hopkin, again being the central midfield from hell. Up front Jimmy won a surpising number of Martyn hoof flick ons, but noone bothered to try getting on the end of them and Wallace was back in full Rev Lee winding up mode.
Collectively, we showed all the footballing intelligence of a beermat and it didn't half ruin my bloody boxing day. The bottom line is that the midfield needs some _major_ brain surgery. Indeed, we had young 'arry on the bench today, and the game was crying out for him to replace the hapless Hopkin, but Graham just froze and did nothing. Still, what do I know - noone is paying me a million a year to produce a team that cannot string together four consecutive passes.
Like I predicted earlier, I think we are in for a "readjustment" period, as our lack of class starts to tell. Roll on Villa - and just as bloody Collymore has decided to start scoring again!
Martyn: 7 - not to blame.
Robertson: 6 - still backs off but produced a couple of good tackles.
Molenaar: 7 - showing Lord Eddie's masterly coaching skills.
Wetherall: 6.5 - can't pass the ball for toffee.
Halle: 6.5 - tried hard, but had noone to pass to.
Kelly: 5 - a great fookin' eejit.
Hopkin: 4 - needs a long spell with the great Mr. Gray. Not a captain.
Daft Alfi: 5.5 - er, very quick.
Bruno: 7 - tigerish tackles, needs team mates with brains, though.
Jimmy: 6.5 - too greedy at times, but at least he has a clue, unlike ..
Wallace: 5 - sees a blind alley and goes for it - again and again.
Leeds fans: 8 - the team really are not worthy of us.
Scouse fans: 3 - another set of trappists. Pathetic.
Ground: 8 - well sized but still intimate. Easy to find, too.
Graham: 4 - what about the bloody subs, you berk?!?!
Get rid of the bloody athletes and give us some footballers, Mr. Graham.
When a rational and independent judge such as Ian St John allows
himself a smile and a discreet little jab in the air, there can be no
doubting the significance of Liverpool's first hat-trick of wins
The display in the second half was something
akin to the days Liverpool won titles and cups for fun, soaking the
rest with their backwash.
The display in the second half was something akin to the days Liverpool won titles and cups for fun, soaking the rest with their backwash.
© Guardian Media Group plc
Jon Abbott (firstname.lastname@example.org). Last modified $Date: 2003/07/20 11:09:22 $.