The game started off in cagey fashion as Liverpool tried its damnedest to break through a Chelsea defense that seemed to have 13 players on the pitch. The Blues piled themselves in their own box. Each throw in was a production. Each Mark Schwarzer goal kick was taken with what can only be described as negative urgency. You could see as much frustration in the scowls of Liverpool players as I had across my face. Then out of nowhere a cruel twist of fate occurred.
After their colossal win against title challengers Manchester City, Steven Gerrard's post game huddle featured the line, "This does not fucking slip!" It is as if a force surrounding my supported clubs thought, "This would make a clever headline." as Gerrard slipped when attempting to control a tame Martin Skrtel pass. The slip allowed Demba Ba to burst through and slot home past Simon Mignolet in stoppage time; time primarily added to the clock from Chelsea's time wasting tactical approach. I felt as if there was no justice.
Liverpool headed to the locker room down, a place they'd never come back from all year. "But they are on an 11 game winning streak, that no comeback shit ends today!" is what I told myself as I paced back and forth after the first 45. After that brief moment of positivity, the negative brain waves started to crash. Had I done it again? Had my support of this team doomed them to fail? Is that slip going to be Liverpool's equivalent to John Starks's Game 7? Is it akin to Clayton Kershaw's meltdown in last year's NLCS? The Reds had another half to bring me off the ledge. Needless to say I proverbially jumped.
Liverpool continued to mount an attack on the Chelsea goal. Even though several efforts forced the ageless Aussie Schwarzer into several good saves, there didn't seem to be any chance of penetrating the Great Blue Wall protecting the Kop end netting. Captain Fantastic continued to fire away in attempts to right his wrong. He even had a clean header that was saved. Joe Allen had a fortuitous volley dealt with. Luis Suarez suffered a similar fate with his. The door was slammed shut as a final surge in the dying embers of stoppage time was reversed into a two on one pitting Mignolet against former Red Fernando Torres, who had come on for goal scorer Ba, and Willian. The Belgian stood no chance and Willian walked the ball in for the dagger. That dagger was twisted by the sideline histrionics of Jose Mourinho beating his chest like he just bodyslammed Andre The Giant. The Special One had all but "conceded" the Londoners hopes of a Premiership crown with his pre-game commentary but at the end of the day the only thing conceded was two goals by a battered Merseyside squad.
I don't want this to be the way this ends. If Liverpool don't win the Barclays Premier League this session I'll be absolutely gutted. I am already thinking of the excuses I'll make for them when they are overtaken by goal difference by Man City that final day. I am as always a complete and total fucking wreck. Luckily for the rest of the Liverpool faithful, the players are keeping a cool head. They are sticking steadfast to the "We Go Again" mantra and preparing themselves for an away trip to Crystal Palace and Newcastle coming to Anfield on the season's final day. I have no doubt that the Reds will indeed go again. I will try to keep a cool head myself hoping on the close of May 11th I am not saying "Here we go again."
Image Credit: Liverpool Crest (Wikipedia.org)