Hat-tricks usually pack more of a punch, unfairly at times. They also create expectations, sometimes unfairly as well. Luis Suarez met no post or crossbar to deny him his brilliance, leading Liverpool to a 3-0 win over Norwich. Suarez also scored on of the best goals this season with a brilliant 45 yard chip over John Ruddy.
All in preparation for the FA Cup final with Chelsea, but finally, with a successful twist. This was Liverpool’s only fourth league win in 2012, turning their league campaign and chase for a Champions League ticket a rather lost cause. Europe in general would have been too far to reach if there wasn’t some little thing to the Carling Cup.
But not even the FA Cup will be able to hide the horrendous 2012 Liverpool are having. Maybe the taste will be different with a win over Chelsea on May 5. Maybe the taste will be a bit better with three more wins in the next three matches in the Premier League, but I doubt that. It’s not about firing or not Kenny Dalglish. This was just as much the players’ fault as it was his. American owners tend to be patient, as they were this season. Just look at AS Roma.
But maybe it’s about building for next season. Charlie Adam out of the lineup, while the Henderson – Shelvey – Gerrard middle of the pitch worked brilliantly against a team that was the pleasant surprise of the season in the Premier League. Again, it was too much of a garbage time feeling around Carrow Road.
And there’s the What If question. Liverpool have had their problems, but they’re surely better suited for a highest position than 8th. Not yet title contenders, but a team that’s supposed to be challenging for those two final Champions League spots. It should have been that way, but too many things went wrong during this disappointing season.
Liverpool’s season has come down to pretty much one match, determining if it’s been a success or failure. That’s not the way things should be viewed, but in most sports, despite everyone repeating the same old lines about building for the future and long term vision, one match, one result, is usually what everything comes down to. Basing your entire fate on one match against Chelsea is quite dangerous. Just ask Barcelona.