John Gibbons: Merry bloody Christmas Liverpool fans, it’s the same old story

The Anfield Wrap writer tries to wrap his head what happened in London Friday night…


You have to hand it to this Liverpool side. Staring in the face of a 3-2 defeat, totally undeserved on the run of play, they muster themselves to a thrilling equaliser showing incredible strength and character. There is just no beating this side.

Did you believe me? I almost convinced myself for a minute. Of course, what I actually meant, was that Liverpool played brilliantly, tore the opposition apart creating chance after chance, should have scored four before half time, instead scored only one, still went 2-0 up after half time and somehow managed to draw against a team who looked dead and buried. Yes, that’s more like it, isn’t it?

I haven’t had time to check the stats, but I’m pretty sure that is the 40th time this season Liverpool have gone two goals up and failed to win. But for once you have got to feel for our centre-halves.

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They were terrific all game, keeping top class strikers at bay, on the front foot of all times. They defended well, they passed well, they played so well some of their team mates froze in disbelief. In fact, if you freeze frame the first Arsenal goal, you can actually see Joe Gomez thinking “fucking hell, Dejan is playing well” as he lets Alexis Sanchez run in and score.

I’m not sure what Simon Mignolet is thinking about for their equaliser.

Maybe how nice the Emirates is. Maybe what he’s having for Christmas dinner. Maybe why on earth he is still Liverpool goalkeeper after all these years.

I have no idea, but he isn’t thinking about stopping the ball going in the goal. And that seems like some sort of occupational oversight. I haven’t had sight of his job description, to be fair, but I reckon that’s in there.

Then Arsenal score again because why not and Liverpool are 3-2 down after having scored the winner five minutes earlier, which is some going. The Reds do score that equaliser I told you about earlier, but it’s still another frustrating night.

Another night where Mo and his mates must look at those behind him and wonder how many goals they need to score to win a game.

The Fab Four missed chances, of course, but as Jurgen Klopp said after the game, three goals should be enough to win. The fact that it so regularly isn’t speaks volumes of those whose job it is to keep the ball out of the other net.

They are all capable of good games, like Lovren and Klavan showed last night, but it will be someone else’s turn next week. Mignolet will make some saves and Lovren will make a mistake.

Consistency at the back wins you league and our lads couldn’t even spell it.

So, we remain in fourth, remain handily placed for Champions League football next season, but remain close to 10 points behind where our football deserves.

Where our attacking players should be. Where they might start to think they deserve. The man who scored our first goal already is thinking that way, and more will join him unless the rest of the team can get their act together, or the owners get their cheque book out as soon as possible.

At least the games come thick and fast over Christmas. Can’t wait for Swansea to come Anfield on Boxing Day and get a point.

Merry bloody Christmas!

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