“THE best team didn’t win,” said Brendan Rodgers after the match. It’s the kind of talk that was heard throughout last season when discussing league game after league game where Liverpool had dropped points, but this time it had a bit of a different ring to it.
Far too often last season words like “unlucky” would be used in discussions of games featuring more dropped points; time and time again woodwork, referees and amazing feats of goalkeeping would be said to have stood in the way of three points for the Reds. The longer the season went on the more it felt inevitable that no matter how good the performance was the result wouldn’t be good enough. In the end it was almost like players were going into league games assuming they’d already lost, that no matter how well they played the game would be decided on luck and that until it was time for Liverpool’s luck to turn it wasn’t worth trying too hard. Whatever it was, their minds weren’t right, their focus wasn’t there, they didn’t look like a team determined to win every game.
Liverpool lost Lucas Leiva, the man whose absence played a huge part in the poor second half of last season, within five minutes of kick-off. Liverpool didn’t spend the rest of the game with their heads down cursing the bad luck of losing such an important player, they got on with the task at hand as if his absence had been part of the plan in the first place. It wasn’t bad luck, it was just one of those setbacks that happen in football and they just got on with it. Read more