Last night’s victory over Sunderland was so important. It wasn’t even the result as such, it was the way in which the game was won. Working out how to break down a strong resilient defence that frustrates and frustrates has become an all too familiar failure this season at Anfield. But last night, goals from David Ngog (52) and Yossi Benayoun (65) saw to that.
The most optimistic of us would point out that last night’s victory puts us four points behind Manchester United. However, they have two games in hand. But we still have the chance to go to Old Trafford and take points off them. And surely United will hit a bad patch sooner or later?
It’s depressing that it’s resorted to this. Watching our most ugly rivals for a slip-up that might let us back into the title race, or at least bring us closer to the top of the league. This depressiveness was felt by the journalists at the ground last night, describing it as ‘œAnfield gloom’.
But out of the Anfield gloom, up popped Ngog to raise spirits and a much needed victory in the face of all the off-the-field and on-the-field frustrations of late. As John Edwards of the Daily Mail describes:
There had been little to cheer about up to Ngog’s breakthrough, though, as the realisation that the title had eluded them once more led to leaden legs on the pitch and a subdued atmosphere off it.
Similarly in this morning’s Daily Mirror:
Of course Chelsea did the same by winning at Portsmouth, but what was Liverpool’s second home league win since Boxing Day lifted the gloom that has descended on Anfield following the shambles at Middlesbrough at the weekend.
But it was a victory that we needed. One that yes, on paper we should win everytime, but football isn’t like that. This was always going to be one of those games that the visitors make you work for. But the Reds found a breakthrough, and credit should be given where credit’s due. Says James Ducker of The Times:
In truth, it was probably more a case of Sunderland shooting themselves in the foot than anything else. The defending for Ngog’s goal was abysmal and, the moment it went in, Sunderland effectively fell to pieces, undoing all their previous good work in the process, but by the same token this was a long overdue example of Liverpool grinding out an un-pretty victory here.
Finally, Ian Herbert, in this morning’s Independent, reflects on the positives from last night’s win to carry on to forthcoming games.
Liverpool have salvaged some respectability for now and though thoughts are reserved, as usual come springtime at Anfield, for a solitary, jug-eared trophy, there was something to take into combat with Real Madrid next Tuesday.
Roll on Real!