Good morning, dear reader.
You have absolutely no idea how close I was to just writing ‘DEJAN LOVREN‘ and nothing else for today’s piece.
In last night’s top-of-the-table clash you had 21 footballers all at the top of their game put in excellent performances, plus the self-proclaimed ‘best defender in the world’.
Dejan, my boy, you are not.
Lovren was so bad last night, I felt incredibly sorry for Virgil van Dijk who was absolute class once again but, when paired with an idiot, runs the chance of ending up on the losing side. You could see VVD look at his ‘partner’ and think, ‘what the actual fuck have I done to deserve him?’
For me, Lovren was massively at fault for both City’s goals; but that is not to say that City did not deserve to win, they just about edged what was a very exciting match.
A couple of things didn’t quite go Liverpool’s way, so at least the excuses if they do bottle the title are being lined up early.
Firstly, they were less than a centimetre from taking the lead when John Stones wellied the ball into Ederson and it rebounded towards the goal. Stones reacted quickly enough to hack it off the line, just, whilst nutmegging Mohamed Salah in the process.
Secondly, and they kind of have a point with this one, how did big Vinny get to stay on the pitch having launched himself two feet in the air in the direction of the ball and Salah?
Yes, I know he got to the ball first (just) but the laws say that is a red card. And Jurgey lad was well within his rights to inquire as to how Kompany had got away with it, very much at pains to make it clear that he ‘likes the guy, but that was a clear red card’.
Kompany was utterly sold up the river by a loose pass from John Stones and you could just see what was about to happen. And it did. And Anthony Taylor didn’t fancy it.
Would that have guaranteed Liverpool would have won and opened their lead up to ten points? Of course not. City played very well on the night and Leroy Sane is still the player who most reminds me of Ryan Giggs. It was a wonderful finish after Dejan Lovren decided he didn’t need to hang around in the same defensive line as his mates and played Raheem Sterling onside.
Lovren had also been guilty on the first goal, falling asleep at the near post as City’s record goalscorer (with massively silver hair just so you cannot miss him, Dejan) nipped in to score.
The gap is now four points but, as we knew before kick off, there is still a bucket load of football to be played.
At what point do Chelsea take the hint that Callum Hudson-Odoi might actually be a very good player and it’s worth letting him grow? Bayern Munich have offered Chelsea £30m for the teenager having already seen £15m and £20m turned down.
This is Bayern. They are a big club. They know what talent looks like. And whilst Hudson-Odoi going there by no way guarantees that he has the same impact as Jadon Sancho, for example, surely there is enough in this for Chelsea to think, ‘OK, so if we played Bayern tomorrow they’d probably beat us so they are better than us. And they want to buy one of our substitutes to replace Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery. Hmmm, what does it mean?’
I really hope that Hudson-Odoi goes for it, does well and scores the winner against Chelsea in a Champions League quarter-final at some point.
The Poch has once again responded to the chat that he ‘needs to win silverware’ saying that is Champions League qualification, not winning the sodding EFL Cup, that keeps him in a job. I think that might mean that we see a slightly weakened Spurs side for the matches against Tranmere in the FA Cup and Chelsea in the aforementioned EFL Cup in the next week. Call it a hunch.
Jermain Defoe knows he needs football at this time in his life and he isn’t getting enough of it at Bournemouth. He also knows he needs to play in a league that is just about rubbish enough for him to still bang in the goals. So, putting the two facts together, he is off to play for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.