Liverpool Football Club, how you continue to destroy my health….
The home side were far from their best on the night, and in actual fact were quite poor for the most part. However, Stoke weren’t too bright themselves, and Mark Hughes may just be rueing the fact that he left Xherdan Shaqiri on the bench from the outset.
This narrative being spun by journalists and pundits that Stoke deserved their win in regulation time with the solitary goal, which was incorrectly ruled onside and by margins where a Sunday league linesman would have flagged, is rather interesting. For as long as I can remember, a “good effort” shouldn’t mask poor officiating to the point where commentators become more relaxed in their critique. Unless I’m reading a rulebook which fell from Noah’s Ark, I didn’t think such things were written in the bylaws? The whole attitude of “it was marginally offside, but Stoke played well and deserved their win on the night” doesn’t hold water with me and, if anything, questions any impartiality the said commentator(s) might have.
If brutal honesty has a seat at the table then Liverpool should have put the tie to bed at the Britannia Stadium three weeks earlier. In any case, any narrative involving the officials was thankfully quashed by the better side prevailing over two legs of football.
Special praise needs to be guided Simon Mignolet and Joe Allen’s way. The unsung heroes got Liverpool over the line tonight. It’s well documented that the big Belgian has had his problems this season, however it was nice to see him prosper in this moment. As for the man known as the “Welsh Xavi”. Good things seem to happen when Joe Allen takes his place on the pitch. His cool finish from the penalty spot ensured the Redmen continue their path to potential cup glory. Yes, Jurgen Klopp’s men are off to Wembley!
By Simon K.