On a fine English afternoon the glorious Reds of Liverpool FC entered daunting (and crumbling) Old Trafford to face off against some other team playing in red. It quickly became apparent that they would be facing off against not just the 11 men on the pitch but the man in black. After a perfectly timed dive by Ji-Sung Park it looked like Liverpool would face watching their hated opponents essentially clinch the title in front of their 3000 travelling fans.
But Rafa's Reds have shown that they have the heart to come back. What would come next would definitely fall under the "wildest dreams' category. Please put all of your bitter ranting and joyful exhortations in the comments. More pictures and videos after the jump.
Fernando Torres is a very special player. To suggest that he is anything other than the world's best striker is to invite embarrassment upon yourself. Luckily for manchester united, he's been hampered by injuries this season. Unluckily for united, even a bum ankle wasn't enough to keep him from exposing Nemanja Vidic for the equaliser.
After weathering a terrible penalty call and some excellent pressure from the home side the Reds were back in business within six minutes. As the travelling Kop was belting out the Fernando Torres song he cut open the united defence and found his partner in awesome Steven Gerrard who was brutally hacked down by Patrice Evra: penalty. Some background: five years ago I made the trek to Anfield and saw my team take on Fulham. In goal that day was Edwin Van Der Saar. Liverpool was awarded a penalty early in the second half. I had my camcorder all set to record Gerrard's goal when VDS made a save and the game ended 0-0. So to say I was nervous is a bit of an understatement. The end result:
But how do you properly celebrate such a massive goal? Why, you give a kiss to your millions of adoring fans at home:
That goal gave Liverpool a 2-1 lead but manchester united are not the champions because they have the FA in their pocket and referees are afraid of Slur Alex Ferguson. They have some quite good footballers. All jerks but they can play the game. The first 15-20 minutes of the second half were nerve wracking as Liverpool bunkered down to weather the storm and then Nemanja Vidic committed another howler and tackled Steven Gerrard just as he was about to break in alone and he was sent off. Just as I was bemoaning the injustice of being robbed of a sure goal Liverpool's Brazilian left back Fabio Aurelio buried a perfect free kick inside of Van Der Saar's left post. More impressive was that he scored it with Cristiano Ronaldo in his pocket.
The result was now beyond the abilites of even Alan Wiley (the ref) as even another questionable penalty would not be enough to ruin Liverpool's day. There were only two questions left to answer: What would be the final scoreline and how many different ways could the united-loving commentators twist themselves into pretzels denying Liverpool credit for the victory. I have rarely heard two fellows announce a game from their knees but kudos to them for the accomplishment. Oh, and the answer is in the title as Andrea Dossena, for the second straight game, potted Liverpool's fourth to pile anguish on top of humiliation and doubt for the home side:
Truth be told, the title is probably still heading towards the hellmouth but Liverpool's season has been a statement of intent. Doubles over Chelsea (the away win ended an 86 game unbeaten streak at Stamford Bridge) and manchester united (5-2 on aggregate) will give the team the belief that they can win the title. Better efforts against the dross of the league or a healthy Fernando Torres this season likely would have seen the team run the league a bit closer but as any united fan that existed before 1999 (it's a small sample size) can tell you that most champions have to run second before winning it all. Winning it this year is likely filed under 'wildest dreams' but then again so was waltzing into Old Trafford and pouring four past united's vaunted defence. So I guess I'll just dare to dream until it's officially over. Or in other words: TITLE!!1