A beachball. A bloody beachball. In October.
Liverpool’s loss to a freak goal – in off a beachball – is pretty hard to take. Obviously, teams have spells of good and bad luck over the course of a season, but how do you legislate for something like that? To add insult to injury, the goal should not have stood. Rafa Benítez suggesting, “these things happen”, is admirable. It also seems a little unlikely, unless there are far more beachball-assisted goals in Spain.
However, Liverpool did have another 85 minutes, plus a whopping seven minutes injury time, to score a goal and right the wrong. Yet, they failed to score. As easy as it would be to blame inflatable balls and poor officiating for derailing the season, Liverpool need to look a little closer to home. And I’m sure they will.
With Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City dropping points this weekend, it’s becoming more and more likely that Manchester United are going to win the Premiership. Again. And essentially by default. They are not playing particularly well, look shaky in defence, yet their rivals are unable to capitalise.
This is shaping up to be a livelier season, though. It has to be good for the league that every side is capable of dropping points. Let’s hope it stays that competitive until May.