What a response. It was raining goals again at the Bridge and Chelsea answered emphatically any doubters of our title credentials or, more importantly, the ability to hold our nerve. It also was a non-too-subtle salute to a certain Glaswegian’s tiresome mind games. Spurs once again decided to be dismal at the feet of United on Saturday and, never one to miss such an opportunity, the result offered Fergie the chance to crank up the pressure further. Please Alex, not the mind games, our tiny little brains can’t cope with it. If no one saw the press conference Ancelotti’s measured outlook to the weekend was a classic, both dismissive and funny at the same time. He may not have been at the flicks watching ‘Clash of the Titans’ but, who knows, I’m hoping it was more of a Likely Lads scenario with him and Butch Wilkins trying frantically to avoid the score. The point was it didn’t matter what happened with United, destiny’s in our hands, something the players were pleasingly keen to repeat after the game. It’s exactly the kind of attitude we’ll need in spades at the weekend because if we’re on the top of our game there’s no stopping us.
The conspiracy theorists were quick to point out that many scousers wouldn’t be exactly perturbed if Chelsea win on Sunday. This will inevitably get stirred some more in the build up thanks to Ferguson and this week’s key lesson no doubt will have to be repeated again. This theory, of course, is complete rubbish. Somehow I think the professional pride of the Liverpool players might have a say and likewise, no fan is going to be cheering against their own team. Not when a place in the Champions League is still up for grabs. As much as we all hate United that just doesn’t happen. No, whatever spiel the United camp come up with this time, it’s as tough an away fixture as you can get. Sunderland, on the other hand, is an easier game on paper. Strangely, with former manager Steve Bruce and his previous record of rolling over, there’s been a lot less debate on the integrity of this fixture. One reason could be the media would love a final day title decider and anything that supercharge or stoke up the earlier game, the better. The second of course, if we win, the title is almost ours and United might just find Sunderland away a trickier game than they have bargained for. Everyone may be predicting one more twist in the title race and we have to hope that it’s Steve Bruce who does us a favour rather than Manure’s most hated rivals.
Also on Sunday the PFA players of the year awards once again resulted in some farcical decisions from the intelligent ranks of top flight professionals. The same day as Lampard netted his 20th league goal of the season, with a deft a finish as you could only dream of, he was once again omitted from the starting eleven. (What, no bench or overpaid squad members in this PFA team?!) Similarly the decision to put Antonio Valencia ahead of our own Malouda is a baffling one, even with the blue-tinted specs safely removed. Both can lay a strong claim to be the most improved players this term, yet one has five goals this season and the other a closely-contested sixteen. Never mind the ones that missed out what about Ivanovic as right back? As great a season as the lad’s had, probably by his own admission, he’s not even our best right back. Fingers crossed Chelsea players can pick up the only awards that count at the end of the season and leave the consolation prizes to the rest.