Let me set set the scene. Aston Villa took the lead through a Lucas Leiva own goal. This is the guy who Liverpool fans generally don’t like but who Rafael Benitez really rates and clearly thinks is good enough to replace Xavi Alonso.
Just before half-time Steve Sidwell took a shot from distance which was deflected for a Villa corner. Pepe Reina had a tantrum, kicked the ball away and earned himself a yellow card. The fourth official had indicated a minimum of one minute injury time to be played but after Reina’s little hissy fit and time-wasting, referee Atkinson allowed the corner to be taken. 42 seconds in to the second minute of injury time, the corner was taken and Villa went 2-0 up.
With twenty minutes remaining, Fernando Torres put Liverpool back in to the game, scoring to halve Villa’s lead.
But then two minutes later, St. Stevie Me, who so often saves the day for the scousers, dashed all their hopes of a dramatic comeback. Nigel Reo-Coker burst in to the Liverpool box and Gerrard took him out, sliding in and getting nothing on the ball, giving Atkinson no choice but to point to the spot. Ashley Young sent Reina the wrong way and made it 3-1 to Villa.
“Liverpool have just had probably their best season for 20 years, finished up with 86 points and still finished four adrift,” Ferguson said. “It will be hard for them to match that, let alone improve. Other teams will read Liverpool better.”
Much like his prediction about Chelsea last season, it appears as though our manager is getting it right again. Not because I’m writing Liverpool off simply due to their start to the season (I wrote them off long before then!) but because they lost two games all season during their best effort in 20 years in 08-09 and now they have lost two of their opening three in 09-10.
Not looking good for the Mad Waiter and co. Aww. All hail he Rafalution!