Sometimes, a movie doesn't have to make you think or amaze or confuse or make you cry. It just has to be fun for two hours with buttery popcorn for you to feel good. And sometimes, football is the same way.
Liverpool were kind of everything today, and instead of worrying about what it means for the future or how it fits into what they're trying to build, it was fun to revel in the mindless chaos of it. It's supposed to be fun, right? Part of the entertainment was how awful Liverpool were at times, how utterly brilliant they were at times, and they hit every peg in between.
After all is said and done, they now only have to hold serve at home in the group to progress. That's all right, isn't it? Let's do some bullets!
-We knew what the team sheet would look like, but I don't think anyone expected Dani Pacheco to play as the central striker. To say it didn't go well would be to captain Team Obvious. When you see a team like this, you worry that the senior players will treat it as an occasion that's beneath them. That wasn't the case. Effort wasn't the problem. Brains were.
-I thought Jamie Carragher had showed something of a hint earlier in the campaign of not being a total liability. Then today happened. Slow, clumsy, and foul-prone, he could have given away two penalties in addition for the two goals-against he was at least partially culpable for. This has to be his last season, but I don't want it to go out with performances like this.
-We're all clear, right? No one want to see Jose Enrique out there against United Sunday, yes? Good, glad we got that straight. At this pace, in a week or two "Jose Erique" will be a verb meaning to be a total clod or pull a total clod move. "Things were going so well in my job interview until I totally Eriqued and mentioned how hot I thought the guy's wife was."
-Let's talk about something good. We'll start with Jordan Henderson, who was massive in a deeper role today. And his pass for Shelvey's winner was simply sublime. Positionally sound, and dogged effort. The problem is there's still no room for him in the first choice 11. He's also a harrier, not a true holder like Lucas, so he can't counterbalance Joe Allen. He simply won't replace Gerrard, and Shelvey would appear to be in too good of form to be left out. I hope the discussion doesn't ever get to the point where we have to wonder if Gerrard should be dropped. But there's a league game coming next week where Henderson will get another start. As long as he keeps this level, Rodgers will find a way to use him.
-Requesting more of Suso, please. Creative, fearless, and stronger than you find most kids his age. There's a player here.
-Anyone else feeling the development of Shelvey may become the storyline of this season? How easy did he make his second look? Because it wasn't.
-I bet Brad Jones gets hit by a lot of cars.
-Ok, I've been hard on Fabio Borini, and I do think his whiff on Coates's goal is something that very well may define him for a while. But let's give credit where due. He makes the right runs, he never stops running, and generally he's in the right spot, even if he misses. Shelvey's second and Coates's are a result of Borini pulling away or distracting a defender with his movement. That's not something to be discounted. It's a distant starting point, but it is something. And he's much younger than everyone realizes.
Mindless fun. I'll be happy if there are more European nights that are defined that way.