The midweek match against Arsenal drew a large crowd to the pub here in Toronto, and Liverpool FC - clad in their Ronald McDonald costumes - did not disappoint! As with Brighton on the weekend, Liverpool took three points from Arsenal in another 2-nil win.
Many fans complained of “butterflies in the stomach” before the match, not because of a lack of confidence in the result, but the growing importance of every match from this point forward. City dropping points this week makes every match feel like a final!
Not a single person - not the regulars nor the new faces - were disappointed that they turned out to the pub for this match. The atmosphere was simply electric. No place else to be from this point forward but in the pub for our watch parties.
Check out my highlights and match notes below.
MATCH WEEK #30
ARSENAL 0 - LIVERPOOL FC 2
Jota 57', Firmino 62'
SAM'S MATCH NOTES
You may be expecting a rant of some kind today but I was sure to take a Xanax before the match so even the iffy refereeing didn’t bother me as much. That said, there is still lots to chat about.
Gabriel Martinelli played an amazing first half for the Gunners. He lead an attacking style that Liverpool simply struggled to cope with. The typical high press we play was not as effective as it usually is and so Arsenal had us on the ropes for most of the first half.
Yet, as is often the case, Klopp’s magic halftime talks did wonders and Liverpool were highly effective in the 2nd half, bringing home the three points.
ALISSON SHOWS UP BIG TIME
With so much focus on our attacking line, Salah’s contract, and revolving midfield, we sometimes forget that we have the world’s best goalkeeper on our team (no offense Donnarumma). You know Pickford has an Alisson poster hanging over his bed.
The comparison between Alisson and Aaron Ramsdale could not be starker today.
Just compare how Becker reacted to the turnover in the 50th minute. With the defenders out of position, Alison ran out to take the shot away from Lacazette on the breakaway, who was forced to pass the ball across the front of an open net.
Martin Odegaard was making the run but Alisson - prowling back across like a tiger tracking its prey - stopped what should have been an easy goal for Arsenal.
Back on the other side of the pitch, Ramsdale had a clear eye on the Jota’s shot and even got a hand to it, but could not stop it from going in the net.
Complete night and day, the two keepers.
ANDY ROBERTSON: THE MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER ON THE TEAM
So it’s no secret that I’m in love with Andy Robertson. I have a man-crush on the Scotsman and I don’t care who knows it!
Still, doesn’t change the fact that Robbo is the most underrated player on the pitch. I can go on and on with examples of how his play completely changes the pace of a game but we don’t need to look further than today’s match.
Specifically, tune in to 3.22 of DAZN”s match highlights below.
Andy picks up a clearance at the top of the box and tries to drive it to the net only to be blocked by Saka. The ball ricochets to the sideline with Saka in quick pursuit. But Robbo does not back down.
He immediately runs behind, positioning himself for the clearance attempt he knew was coming. Robbo steals the ball and drives the net, leaving Saka standing there looking at his navel.
His familiar run up the left resulted in a powerful pinpoint pass to Bobby Firmino who expertly flicks in into the net.
The fans in the pub lost their minds, chanting Bobby’s name and singing his song.
Me? I was yelling F$%^ YOU! That was all Robbo!
That one-man wrecking crew would take on a pub full of drunk Ruggers and still get the ball to within a millimeter of a striker.
Seriously, just watch…I’ve queued up the recap video for you here.
Oh, and let’s not forget his thumping of Messi.
THE FRONT FIVE
It’s almost embarrassing - the riches we enjoy as Liverpool fans. The “Fab Four” was broken up only to become a lethal Front Three.
But Klopp and FSG - despite what you may be hearing from the #FSGOUT chorus - were strategically bringing in players such as Jota to strengthen our attacking team.
You remember Jota…the player whose transfer had Wolves fans laughing at us for paying £40m to bring the Portuguese to our club?
Yeah, well, Jota is now tied with Sadio Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2nd most goals in the Premier League.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, The top three goal scorers in the league include Salah, Mane, and Jota.
The stealthy acquisition of Luis Diaz has proven particularly astute by FSG, who now boasts a “Front Five” that will make any keeper shit their pants.
Jota’s goal to kick things off today was very Salah-Esque, just from the left side of the pitch. Under pressure, he managed a shot on net at such an acute angle that even Salah’s jaw dropped.
And Bobby’s awareness and reaction to score the second goal may look simple - or even just lucky - but very few players on the planet could have converted that pass with such finesse.
It’s an embarrassment of riches and a sign that FSG is building for the future.
LET MO GO.
Knowing the importance of this match, the announcement that the King, Mo Salah, was not in the starting lineup should have been what everyone in the pub was stressed about.
Yet, the talk was all about seeing the Robbo-Diaz-Jota build-up play.
I’ll just leave that there.
BACK IN THE PUB...
What an incredible experience in the pub today. Almost a hundred fans stepped out of work/school early to join us for this important match, including a good spattering of Gunners!
The singing, chants, and cheers could be heard from the street! Check out our Instagram Stories for some of the excitement.
With the end of the season approaching and still competing for 3 titles, every game is going to be electric! Be sure to make a reservation at the pub and come join us!
AND THE WINNER IS...
Kieran Joyce! You're the winner of a pair of Official LFC Socks!
All members are automatically entered into the "magic spinny wheel" for a chance to win an LFC prize during each Premier Leauge Halftime! Watch our Instagram feed at the half to see if you're the winner!
Check out the member draw below.
JOIN US NEXT MATCH!
Saturday's match against Manchester United has been postponed to make way for the Sunday 2 PM FA Cup Quarter Final match, where Liverpool FC takes on another team brimming with confidence: Nottm Forest.
Please make a reservation at the pub you plan to attend. It's a courtesy to our pubs so they can best plan staffing.
UP THE REDS!!
You’ll Never Walk Alone.
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