“Liverpool na our wife” came the respond from a renowned gooner in the Red Base of Port Harcourt, after he was asked about his view of the upcoming Anfield battle within the next 24 hours. Footballing discussion had erupted and the game between Liverpool and Arsenal was top on the agenda. That gooner was me.
24 hours later, I boarded a tricycle to a major viewing center, opting at the last minute to go anonymous since it was to be my first view in a long time since I used that center. With high expectations I have perused the twitter-o-sphere, observed the starting lineup of both teams. A friend of mine tagged Liverpool’s midfield as “light”. He was later to understand why it was light and even swift.
A friend of mine on the suburb of Lagos had allayed his fears to me, but I encouraged him that it will be 3 points in the bag. I later understood that he had a dream just like the one he had before the infamous 8-2 loss to the Red Devils.
1min: 1-0 Skrtel. Stung but not ruffled. It was not expected but we have 89 minutes to respond. No panic.
3min: Giroud misses. What? That would have been a good response. But, well we will have more chance.
10 min: Skrtel Scores from Corner kick. I smiled with fury beneath the smile but hope underneath the fury. 2-0 down with 80 minutes to play? Hope dey joor. Remember Barcelona.
16min: Ozil robbed, Sterling scores. Mehn, what is happening? Ozil self, this is a big game and Liverpool is pacy. 3-0 down with 74 minutes to play? Arsenal can do it, but they have to get themselves up.
20 min: Ozil again and Sturridge scores. This is not allowed. Hands on head, mouths wide open, is this Arsenal? Yes it is. Remembers Reading, “we need a goal in this half to pull this back” COYG. But we are slow. Where is Walcott? Missing him now.
45min: No added goal. Remembers Newcastle: If Newcastle can do it, we can. COYG. I still had hope but….
At Half time, I skipped the analysis on TV and went through my twitter timeline. Lo and behold, the twitter gooners had started their outpour on any one from Ozil to Wenger to the team.
52min: 5-0. Damage limitation, Biko. Are we heading for an 8-2? I should have travelled earlier. I was pained.
In as much as the gunners were 5-0 down and were heading for a major defeat, I felt we needed a goal at least to salvage a pride. In came in Wenger’s triple change relieving Ozil, Monreal and Giroud of their misery. I started to pounder on Flamini’s absence and Kim’s mysterious injury.
The ox was brought down in the 69th minute for Arteta to convert. 5-1 consolation. Mignolet saved Arteta’s free kick but the rest was medicine after death because Liverpool had closed up their midfield with new fortifications.
I navigated through my twitter timeline and this tweet made me laugh.
After the shrill of the whistle, I was too weak to stand. I looked at the next fixture: Chelsea plays. I wished the Blues to stutter against Newcastle but they were hazardous.
I got back to my house, packed my bags and headed the serenity of the village in the rain forest away from the buzz of the city, licking my wounds of the defeat, pondering on how Monday morning will be at the office. I resorted to Goonerdaily’s BBM group where we pondered on the hammering.
Norwich held Manchester City, and Fulham had fergie’s time to thank as Bent grabbed a late equalizer at Old Trafford. This results adding ice to Arsenal’s loss and makes Wednesday a must win. Must win? that was what we said before we tripped on the trip to Anfield.
I took solace in Enyimba’s 3 goals in 7 minutes at the Aba township Stadium in the CAF Champions League to win 3-1 overAnges de Notse of Togo. The Togolese team had been 1-0 up till Sibi Gwar equalized on the 83rd minute. 2 minutes later, Kinsley Sokari scored Enyimba’s second. Sibi Gwar grabbed a brace on the 90th minute. If only Arsenal had done me this favour.
Arsenal: Win, lose or draw, I am a gooner.