They huffed, they puffed but they failed to blow United’s house down. Liverpool look set to finish the season with no silverware to show for it and yet to make an appearance at the rebuilt Wembley.
After tonight’s victory for Manchester United at the JJB the title race will be over if United gain a single point from their remaining two games. With the wretched form that is currently plaguing the Gunners and the return to dominance from United, you wouldn’t be to surprised if they did it in style this Saturday either.
So what has cost Liverpool any silverware this season? The delicate hamstrings of the truly outstanding Fernando Torres certainly has had an impact. Even if Torres features in Liverpool’s final two games he will still have only made 24 appearances in the Premier League this season. When a team is missing a player like Fernando Torres a team needs a goalscorer to replace him. This wasn’t expected to be a fatal problem, after all they signed Robbie Keane for £19 Million in Summer – how wrong we were. The Irishman signed from Spurs on July 28, never really got to grips with life at the club he supported as a boy. In fact, the man who was ‘fast red and talked like father ted’ only found the net 7 times after 28 games in all competition – only 5 of those were scored in the league. Keane re-signed for Tottenham in the mid-season transfer window.
Even in spite of the above, Liverpool still have a better goal difference. However it is the points they have dropped, particularly at home that have cost Liverpool a first Premier League title. Liverpool have drawn seven games at Anfield. The five that stick out being Stoke City, Fulham, West Ham, Hull City, Manchester City. Naturally you can not expect to win every game and therefore accept they will drop a few points. Hence, I did not mentioned the home deadlocks with Everton and Arsenal in the previous statement. The Reds away form has so far, bettered their title rivals. but United have won 16 out of 18 homes games and that is why the title yet again is heading to Old Trafford.
The Reds could have so easily progressed further than the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, had it not been for a superb display from Chelsea and some sloppy marking from set-pieces in the first leg. That 3-1 defeat left the Reds a mountain to climb at Stamford bridge. Athough they made a great go of it drawing 4-4 in the return leg. But, alas it was was not enough to stop Guus Hiddink’s side progressing to the next stage at their expense.
I mentioned in the opening of this article that Liverpool are yet to feature at the new Wembley, which of course means that they have failed to make either domestic cup final in the last three seasons. This season they were denied a run to Wembley by Merseyside rivals Everton. Incidentally, Liverpool’s last domestic trophy was the FA Cup in 2006 – beating West Ham on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
Worry not Reds fans, despite this season’s near misses. I do not think for one minute that the current side is not capable of great things – this summer will be a big one at Anfield. If Liverpool can add a little bit more depth to their squad by signing players truly capable of challenging for places in a fully-fit squad then they will take some stopping.