It caught me out too. The revelation from Jurgen Klopp that he manages a football team and not a group of basketball entertainers shocked me to the core. And that a Premier League goalkeeper is able to save shots with both his hands AND his feet totally blew me away.
King Klopp was making the point that his Liverpool side cannot go out and blitz teams every week; especially when Liverpool headed down to Brighton off the back of their first league defeat of the season and then being dumped out of the FA Cup by Wolves.
But the Premier League leaders widened the gap to seven points with their ‘mature’ 1-0 win against Chris Hughton’s team.
Sure, it was solid and unspectacular but when you have Mohamed Salah capable of brain-bending defenders into doing daft things in the penalty area then you are likely to nick a goal in the tightest of matches.
That Salah, what a one season wonder, eh?
The other thing we learned from the match, other than the sport at which Liverpool currently excel, was that Fabinho is a much better centre-back after one game than Dejan Lovren who plays there every week.
Over at Wembley, it was great to see former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane pick up the Sky Sports Football tongue in a matter of minutes. Every player Keane mentioned was a ‘top, top player’ and both teams were ‘top, top teams’ meaning we didn’t really miss Jamie Redknapp too much.
One thing that wasn’t ‘top, top’ was the Wembley pitch. What was ‘top, top’ was watching Graeme Souness having to give Paul Pogba a dollop of praise for his first-half pass to Marcus Rashford. Rashford now has nine more goals than a certain Cristiano Ronaldo had for Man United after 150 games. That’s not too bad, really.
Pogba and Rashford, supported by Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard played the first 45 minutes with the kind of attacking freedom most United fans believed was possible. I wonder what was holding them back all that time?
The second half belonged to one man and one man only. Remember that goalkeeper in decline? No, not Hugo Lloris. The other one. David de Gea. He made 43 brilliant saves in the second half at Wembley and 42 of them were with his feet. They are facts, deal with them.
Mind you, an idea for the Tottenham players might have been not to keep shooting straight at him. There was no doubt who was getting called in for the random drug test at the final whistle.
Is it too soon to just give to Ole?
It was great to see yet another top English talent do the business at the Athletics Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Declan Rice, who might still be Irish as he hasn’t made up his mind officially, scored West Ham’s winning goal against Arsenal.
West Ham are actually starting to look, play and sound like a proper football club which makes the likely disappearing act of Marko Arnautovic to China even more odd. Well, it’s not that odd. His bleached blonde head has been turned by the millions on offer.
Michail Antonio confirmed that ‘we all know Marko wants to leave’ meaning that the potential of Hammers fans seeing Samir Nasri form a partnership with the Austrian won’t even get off the ground.
As for Arsenal, hands up if you could identify what Unai Emery’s style of play is supposed to be. No? Nobody? Nope, me neither. Having had the last decade of a team with no identity it seems a bit daft that Arsenal seem to find themselves in exactly the same position once again.
But it’s Ozil who’s the problem, OK?
Apparently, Chelsea turned down a £35m bid during the week. No, not for Callum Hudson-Odoi, the talented teenager keen to chance his arm with Bayern Munich, but Willian. £35m for a player who is clearly past his best, despite the match-winning performance against Newcastle, when you have a homegrown replacement chomping at the bit and an overpriced American on the way in? That’s a strange decision, even by Chelsea’s standards.
Eden Hazard was back in the middle as Chelsea managed to pick up all three points against Benitez’s side who, as a result, find themselves back in the relegation zone.
But, according to Richard Keys (the sexist one that used to be on Sky), Newcastle need not be in the bottom three because he has a solution all worked out. Rather than keep talking about the lack of transfer budget, Keys has suggested that Rafa should put his money where his mouth is and dip into Mrs Benitez’s housekeeping to bring in a couple of players. You know what, Keysey? I’m not really sure that’s how it works.
If Rafa was the waiter in a tapas bar, for example (it is almost believable), and he wasn’t making enough on tips each night, it wouldn’t really be up to Rafa to spend his wage on putting a few adverts in the local paper and put up a few posters. Especially when he knows the owner has a pretty big pot of money that he could spend on local advertising.
Still, if he did do it then maybe Mike Ashley could pop down and take a couple of training sessions?
One of Everton’s main shareholders opened his mouth in the press during the week, suggesting the team’s league position isn’t good enough. Marco Silva could well be under pressure already, pressure that might have been slightly alleviated given they beat Bournemouth at Goodison Park on Sunday. What’s that? Everyone beats Bournemouth at the moment? Fair point.
Still, it would be good for Silva to last the season at Everton for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the long drawn out process to get him and secondly, it would be good to know what he is like given a whole season in charge of a club. My gut feeling on that one is not actually that great but at least give him a chance to prove me wrong.
But then what do Everton’s owners really expect? Top six? Well, that’s not going to happen. The best they can really hope for is fisticuffs with the likes of Wolves, West Ham, Watford and Leicester for that seventh place finish and even that comes with a bit of a curse attached to it; Europa League qualifying.
It’s been a while since Fulham have scored three goals without reply but they managed it against Burnley. The only problem was that they put two of them into their own net meaning Burnley’s post-Jonah Hart revival continues.
It was all a bit too much for Vice Chairman Tony Khan who told a fan, via Twitter (because you say things on Twitter you’d never be brave enough to say to someone’s face), to ‘go to hell’ after the Fulham fan asked Khan to ‘get out of my club’.
There were ‘Puel Out’ banners at the King Power Stadium meaning Southampton felt right at home for their trip to play Leicester. And, well, they won. Once again Leicester’s French manager finds himself having to defend himself more than his players seem to manage on the field and, frankly, he seems to put in as much effort as they do if you judge him by his Match of the Day interview. Not bothered is our Claude.
Not many weeks go by where the words ‘Crystal Palace’ and ‘missed opportunities’ aren’t comfortable bedfellows and this weekend was no different. Palace managed to miss chance after chance against Watford and were, obviously, punished by it. Watford’s Craig Cathcart had even felt sorry for Palace’s inability in front of goal by putting the home team ahead but made amends by equalising before Tom Cleverley volleyed home the kind of goal good enough to win a match far, far better than this.
Wilfried Zaha, incidentally; no goals or assists in the last 13 matches. Maybe he should go back to falling over in the area more often?
Huddersfield really, really needed to beat Cardiff but to win football matches you need the ability to score goals. And that is one thing Huddersfield are not very good at. More frustrating than fact for David Wagner was the fact his team were awarded a penalty and then the referee changed his mind.
The match will be best remembered for Neil Warnock’s thoughts on Brexit, happily reminding those of us not of a pensionable age how those that won’t have to live with the future created it with their vote. The best bit of that press conference? The fact it was done under a ‘Visit Malaysia’ banner, a banner put there by the man from Malaysia who pays his wages.