If Liverpool had played its entire season at home, it'd be in fourth right now, cosily certain of Champions League football after the summer and in absolutely no danger of finishing below noisy neighbors
No wonder its fans look so miserable.
Because Chelsea's in town on Sunday, and if
Certainly defeat would be the easier accomplishment after that sapping extra-time encounter with Atletico, which was enough to force manager
That would push
"The idea is to take maximum points and see if we can get into the Champions League through the back door," Gerrard said this week. "We won't give up."
Anfield hasn't been the most bountiful hunting ground for Chelsea in the moneyed era, but the frustrations it endured there under
Then, Liverpool was vulnerable on set pieces, completely unable to cope with the vigor and intensity of a front three determined to give defender
When Liverpool beat leader Blackburn on the last day of the 1994-95 season, United failed to win its match against West Ham and had to make do with second; how Anfield would love to see something similar happen this time. Pride, if nothing else, will stop Liverpool from being overwhelmed as Stoke was. And despite his and Lampard's protestations to the contrary,
"We seriously believe we can win," Sunderland manager
The Mackams want to hold onto 10th, and have the scalps of Spurs and Arsenal to prove it -- not to mention a draw at Old Trafford last October that would have been a victory but for a cruel late deflection off
Now, common sense dictates that I dedicate the rest of this column to the fight for fourth, which heats up Saturday with the meeting between Manchester City and Aston Villa. But I won't. The key game there isn't until next Wednesday, when City play host to Spurs, and besides, how can I possibly ignore Fulham's heroic Europa League win Thursday? That's right, I can't.
"We made a major piece of history here," manager
Under Hodgson, Fulham has become everybody's second-favorite team, anathema to the instant packet-mix success of the Premier League's richest clubs with his softly, softly, catchee monkey approach. He's no stranger to spending money -- the $16 million he forked out for the injured
"We are in the final for no other reason than we have played very well in some difficult games," Hodgson told reporters "It's been a wonderful journey and it's an achievement as a coach I am very proud of."
He's been gathering the support of impressed neutrals along the way, and if the cheer that went up around Anfield when news from Craven Cottage filtered through is anything to go by, he'll take Fulham to Hamburg as armchair favorites, if not the bookies'.