By Steven Kelly
It’s complicated. We should be happy but there’s a palpable dread about how this ends because of others. Well, one other…
For my generation, it’s even more bizarre. Liverpool in the 1970s and 1980s irked the heck out of everyone; always just a little too good, annoyingly omnipotent.
Supporters of many clubs reminisce about their greatest team never finishing top because of us. Now look where we’re heading.
Spurs at an NFL-ravaged Wembley must surely take something from City, but no; not even close. Commentators sounded bored out of their skulls with the brain-freeze mundanity of it all.
See, I don’t remember this in our golden era. Maybe it’s different when you’re at the epicentre, but it felt like others at least had a chance to catch up.
The Emirates has always been a frustrating place for us. Highbury wasn’t much better, admittedly, but the ‘new’ place feels like kryptonite sometimes.
An odd statement perhaps about a team that hasn’t beaten us for three years, but even Klopp’s games there have been unnerving.
Almost squandering a 4-1 lead, going from 2-0 up to 3-2 down in five minutes last time, now this; plenty of chances to make it a cakewalk yet never the better side at any stage. Truly weird.
Arsenal and Liverpool had turned into the class clowns from our school days. Great fun, almost everyone loved them but never a real sense they had the gravity/gravitas to make it big in the harsh real world.
All those high-scoring draws kept tv companies sniffing around but the serious business of titles would always be going on elsewhere.
With Wenger gone and Klopp working a minor miracle on our defence, there’s a feeling those nicey nicey days may soon end.
Fat lot of good it’ll do either of us if City keep this up and this game still could (should?) have been 3-3. How much has really changed?
Before the match there’d been more speculation about a super league, presumably because each of the major countries has a clear competition flaw i.e. there isn’t any.
Maybe the big English clubs will falter when winter kicks in? Bright sunshine against Cardiff, 5.30 and floodlights at Arsenal, darkness is descending in more ways than one.
It was a good match, one where you sensed everyone was relieved with avoiding defeat but wary that one point wasn’t going to be enough.
Van Dijk should have had goals, but it’s hard to be critical when he effortlessly glided through another defensive masterclass alongside the increasingly confident Gomez.
Not so Alexander-Arnold, who was the focus of Arsenal pressure from the off — like it was planned. Chelsea had done something similar.
Fabinho was also out of sorts, if he’s ever been in them. There’s still been nothing from Keita either.
Which is the straw everyone’s clutching; for a side so well placed, you can’t honestly say they’ve hit many if any heights thus far.
I could moan (again) about offside. Bad enough when a centimetre gap chalks off a perfectly good goal (that happened to Arsenal in fairness) but when the officials don’t even know the rules on who’s active or not you’re in trouble.
Mane’s goal stands at Anfield, with weak linesmen worrying about how they’ll look rather than what’s actually correct.
You can also complain about Klopp’s substitutions, which he’s never got a grip of in all his time here, but essentially it was a fair result.
And a good point, which some were in danger of forgetting afterwards. Until we get the mythical “level playing field”, there won’t be much chance of passing City at this stage.
The whole league needs to be looked at. Ask Southampton what they think of Liverpool fans complaining about “fairness”; hospitals will overflow with bust guts.
We’re doing fine. Somebody else is doing finer. Deal with it.