Usually, the author is in the right country to be able to watch and playback Patriots games for your Cheat Sheet and chatter-ing pleasure. Time differences got in the way, so when the Ravens won in the wee hours of last night, he was as asleep as the Patriots went to 1-2. Lucky for the rest of you, John Henry’s toy/Boston’s completely unofficial football club, Liverpool, played rival Manchester United earlier in the day. If you’re feeling a tad anglophile this morning, this will help.
Football is a different sort of passion around these parts. It requires attention to detail in your chants and cheering, and while the Rodgers and Hammerstein singing faithful of the Kop did all they could, Liverpool truly went up against uneven sides thanks to some poor interventions by the match referee. Notes follow from the 2-1 losing result against the Mancurian rival:
- Sent Off. Jonjo Shelvey’s booking near the end of the first half was truly a death nail to a Liverpool side that had outplayed United in the first 40 minutes. While it is very easy for the Merseyside supporters to claim an unjust decision, even non-partial spectators agreed the call was a little much. Shelvey had been warned once earlier in the game on a tackle that likely could be deemed much worse, but as these things go, the later call would end up being the more decisive one.
- Playing a Strong 10. For more than a half, Liverpool had to play down a man to the much more tuned up United, but they certainly held their own. Most of that thanks should go to Stevie Gerrard, who had one of his best games of the early campaign, and a goal to boot. United equalized so quickly, though, as with their ability to control the ball on the counter with an extra body on the field made things far too easy for them in the second.
- Robin van Persie hits the ball with more power than is imaginable. Even guessing right on the decisive penalty, Pepe Reina got hand on it and still couldn’t keep the sides level. True, the penalty, like Shelvey’s red card, is disputable. That’s how things seem to have gone for the Merseyside club this season.
All and all, Patriots or Liverpool, supporters of both clubs were certainly left wanting more at the end of Sunday. Next week we’ll talk about American football again, I promise – the Pats travel out to Buffalo to face a division rival and we’ll cover that instead (Liverpool are away at Norwich).