What a strange season. It's almost as if the losses or draws are more encouraging than some recent wins. But then again, being a supporter is never being satisfied, is it? Sorry for the delayed wrap, something of a family emergency yesterday. Nothing serious, and all is well now.
After the first 15 minutes, I think we were all eying a real padding of the goal difference. When battling with this many teams for position in the table, there's a great chance that goal difference will matter. If it does, all those points tossed away are really going to hurt. But Liverpool dialed it back, knowing that Villa wasn't going to create anything on their own. It's what ManUre did to Liverpool there for a couple years under both Rafa and Houllier. Let them have the ball, they're not going anywhere. So it played out.
And if the woodwork wasn't some demon spawn magnet that only attracts circular leather, we'd all feel so much better. A 4-0 win was on the cards, so reachable, and then it didn't come to fruition. After that 15 minute surge, Liverpool just checked the watch, tapped their foot, and waited for the final whistle.
Three points. Bottom line. And with more on offer this week, we'll just see where that haul leaves the Reds.
-We knew at some point that the two straight years of football was going to catch up to Luis Suarez. It may be now. It's only a couple matches, and even though he scored against QPR and created chances against Villa, he always will with that amount of talent. But there is a slight jade to his game now, and he's going to have to miss a match or two at some point. Maybe Liverpool are just trying to cram in the matches for Suarez with the feeling he's going to get an enforced rest from the clowns at the FA. Either way, the legs could use some more jump.
-Still, with this defensive excellence, Liverpool can challenge for whatever they want without that much change at the other end.
-Well, the excellent Charlie Adam wasn't going to last forever, was it? Thankfully, it was only Villa who wouldn't have been able to take advantage if Liverpool's entire midfield played from their knees.
-Shelvey was an interesting inclusion, but other than Gerrard he's been the only midfielder to occupy the spot right behind the forwards and consistently get into the box. That's necessary when playing a 4-2-3-1. So that's encouraging. Still, one would have to think he and Henderson are competing for the same spot when everyone's healthy.
-Villa fans got a pretty clear illustration why Stewart Downing left for Liverpool, didn't they? That booing stopped pretty quickly.
-Then again, it must be pretty hard to be a Villa supporter these days.
Wigan on Wednesday, and even though they scrapped a point against Chelsea and Liverpool rarely play well at the desolate wasteland of the JJB (or whatever it's called), it's three points Pool have to have.