SAFC 0 Liverpool 2: don’t blame Liverpool’s Friend

We must be consistent. We have mocked, repeatedly, referees who try to “make up” in a second half for an outrageously wrong decision in the first.

So let us hear it for Kevin Friend’s steely resolve.

Far from being kind to us to atone for the atrocious penalty award, after he correctly judged the foul to have occurred outside the box only to be persuaded otherwise by his visually impaired linesman Billy Smallwood, he just got nastier. Most of the decisions that mattered today went against us.

The red for John Mensah was borderline. Had Mr Friend been eager to show an even-handed sort of approach, he’d have given the Ghanaian the benefit of the doubt, not least because we were – for heaven’s sake – 2-0 down by then, and beaten. And wasn’t this the same ref who failed to award a red when Darren Bent was brought down in a much more clear-cut scoring position at White Hart Lane last season?

Jamie Carragher admitted afterwards that the officials got it wrong, at least on the penalty. But then Liverpool have a habit of turning fouls outside the box into penalties at the Stadium of Light. No one has ever forgotten Gary McAllister doing it 10 years or so ago, with possibly the longest, most accomplished dive in the history of football cheating.

But that ends Monsieur Salut’s whingeing about the officials. Although the penalty probably changed everything, in that we were previously the better, sharper team and subsequently looked like Hartlepool Reserves, we did not lose solely because of one-sided decisions.

We lost because we could not turn good forward play in the first 30 minutes into anything resembling a proper chance unless you count the brilliant move and cross that left Richardson agonisingly short of being able to apply a final touch. We allowed a not very good Liverpool to threaten us every other time they advanced on our goal. And we mustered all of one shot on theirs, by Cattermole as late as 86 minutes.

This was the performance of a team of strugglers, not one pushing for a place in European competition. We were beaten by ordinary opposition and therefore, in front of a sell-out crowd that saw little reason – Niall please note – to consider their money well spent, we got what we deserved.

As Gary Rowell said in his summing-up of the game, this was one we’d all looked forward to and yet our team never really got going. All tickets went a fortnight ago. And on the day, with a strong-looking starting line-up and good options on the bench, we fell flat.

The French have a word for when something full of promise proves such a damp squib: pschitt. Pronounce it any way you want; that’s what it was/we were.


Mignolet, Bardsley Richardson, Mensah Henderson, Muntari, Welbeck, Bramble( c) Sessegnon, Ferdindand, Gyan
Subs: Gordon, Zenden, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Cattermole, Colback, Onuoha


Reina, Johnson, Meireles, Agger, Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt, Lucas, Carragher, Spearing, Skrtel
Subs: Gulacsi, Cole, Kyrgiakos, Rodriguez, N’Gog, Poulsen, Wilson

Monsieur Salut

13 thoughts on “SAFC 0 Liverpool 2: don’t blame Liverpool’s Friend”

  1. On a different note entirely, I think it was McAllister who got a match-winning penalty against Sunderland at the SOL a few seasons back when he was brought down in the D.

    Marty; As M Salut said a few weeks ago McAllister started to go down for that one somewhere in the middle of Fawcett Street.

  2. Sobs. The Kuyt foul was one of the most cynical things that I’ve seen on a field for a long time. All of our subs had been used and it was a deliberate attempt to leave us a man short. He should have been straight off.

    You can guarantee that has it been at Anfield and Catts had done the same to Glen Johnson he would have been off.

  3. On a different note entirely, I think it was McAllister who got a match-winning penalty against Sunderland at the SOL a few seasons back when he was brought down in the D.

    And this may sound like whingeing from my part now, but I have seen a lot of Liverpool in the flesh in recent seasons and I don’t think there’s a team anywhere near them when it comes to gamesmanship and hoodwinking officials. It’s appalling at times.

    Forget Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd. Liverpool are the masters at it.

  4. Colin this is just whingeing. If Mensah hadn’t been pratting about on the edge of his own box it would not have lead to the sham that followed.

    Were the linesmen and the ref responsible for the fact Sunderland never mustered a shot in virtually 90 minutes? By the time they did get a shot in on 86 mins I was back in the car!

    They were that bad they made a poor Liverpool team, there for the taking look good. The bigger picture, one point in 18. Season imploded when Bent was sold. Simple as that.

    And why is it every time there’s a full house – if you can call 1,000 empty seats a full house – they play so awfully. Look back at all of the big attendances in recent seasons and see what the results were.

  5. Yes Johnson deflected the ball NOT the beachball.Also Torres’s ‘gamesmanship’ at Anfield was far more deserving of condemnation.Only two wins at home against Liverpool since 1965, and very few draws says it all really, except the Liverpool team today are but a shadow of their former selves.They deserved to win because we were poor but I very much doubt that this is the start of a Merseyside renaissance.

  6. for the last time, Bent’s shot hit Glen Johnson, not the beach ball. And has nobody mentioned Kuyt’s cynical attack on an obviously crocked Bardsley when we’d used all the subs?
    Having said that, if you don’t shoot you don’t score, and if you don’t score, you don’t win. We obviously need to create more

  7. I’m not even sure that the “penalty” was even a free kick. Watch it again and you will see that Mensah was clearly intent on bringing him down. However, as he went to take him down he withdrew his legs as he saw that Bramble was coming across to cover. I’ve had enough of this bollocks about decisions evening themselves out over the season as we had Stuart Attwell to contend with at Anfield.

    We had the commentator telling us that “you can’t blame the referee.” To some extent he may be right as we have the same buffoons causing consternation week in and week out. I can guarantee that had the situation been reversed and the venue was Anfield, that it would not have been a penalty.

    Even themselves out? Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a complete fix and I’m sick to bastard death of it.

  8. My guess, Alex, is that almost any neutral would have agreed with the commentary team that the penalty was scored against the run of the play and against the team that had looked better up to then. If that is the case, and we proceeded to play appallingly for the rest of the game, it seems perfectly logical and fair to say the decision changed the game. Beachball – yours – had already been wiped out by the mixture of shabby refereeing and cynical lack of sportsmanship that put you in front at Anfield.

    But yes you’ve had some good results and so have we. You may even recall the away performance of the season wasn’t your win at Chelsea but ours. Today you were poor to average, but that was still some way ahead of the way we played for an hour and was enough.

  9. Ah come on, you and Steve Bruce can’t have it both ways! We won’t blame the officials for our abject display, but the wrongly awarded penalty BY THE OFFICIALS changed the game!

    Pschitt happens mate. We lost last season to a beach ball goal which should not have been allowed. You lost today, NOT just to a penalty – it was because Liverpool dominated, created EVERY clear cut chance, scored twice, had one cleared off the line, and your goalie was your man of the match.

    And this ‘average’ Liverpool team is currently one of the top 3 in England over the last 10 games and who has beaten Chelsea away and thrashed Man U. Don’t just spout what you read.

  10. First the officials made a mistake then spearing dived. But wasn’t it the defender who created the problems all by himself. If you tackle ppl from behind momentum brings him forward and if the decision was against Liverpool, you won’t be complaining. In all honesty 1shot on target in 97 mins hardly justify a strong team. An ordinary Liverpool side beat your team comfortably says it all about your team. Seriously it’s the most comfortable game I’ve seen Liverpool win this year.

  11. We had a strong side out, strong for us. You looked ordinary, ordinary for Liverpool with all its great traditions of quality.

    And every neutral agrees we should have beaten you at Anfield. No self respecting Red has been heard to say we didn’t deserve to beat you last season, beachball or not. But you hammered us at Anfield and became comfortably the better side today after Jay Spearing’s McAllister-style dive fooled the linesman.

  12. Strong Sunderland side & ordinary Liverpool side, Don’t make me laugh. You havn’t got one player that would get in the Liverpool team.

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