Controversy & Contagion

Controversy at Anfield Whatever next?

There have been two major talking points in the last two home games. The first involved the Everton penalty. All my partisan instincts are imploring me to scream abuse at the decision and indeed Lovren hardly touched Calvert-Lewin, but crucially, from the official’s angle, he could see the hand in the back. It was sloppy and naive defending from Lovren, but clever play by the Everton teenager. Then there was the disallowed goal last night with ongoing passionate debate carrying forward into today. Ball to hand, no question, but would we not have been screaming blue murder had such a goal been allowed at the other end?

I promise you, I’m not being suddenly all fair-minded and for sure, I thought last night’s rookie official was an apology for PL refereeing; totally out of his depth. But more about that in a separate blog.

Right now, it feels like the clock has gone back a year. It’s not that we’re failing to create chances, but once again there’s a panic in the opposition penalty area; snatching at chances on the one hand; taking an extra touch on the other.

To be fair, it’s right to accept bad luck sometimes and certainly when Salah headed wide from a yard out, the hard-hit cross from Trent-Alex did take a very late deflection enroute.

However, Firmino only had to hit the target in the first half, while Alex-Chamberlain let himself down with a bad first touch when he allowed Foster to save. Solanche had two opportunities to shot at an open goal, but tried to make sure with the extra touch both times. As for Firmino overall , the feeling last night was he’d left his all-round skill back in Brighton.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’m not sure what any manager can do if his players create chances but contrive to spurn them one after the other. The worst part is that the virus can take hold in a moment, but the longer it goes on, the more contagion sets in.

Sunday at Bournemouth is a tough task for the Reds, who seem to find their style of play anything but straightforward to combat.