Monday didn’t start well for me. It’s bad enough to work on a holiday (our office was closed in observation of MLK day), without having to hear a day-long leftist rally from my window overlooking Dupont Circle. Nor did I enjoy giving directions during lunch time to Obama supporters from out of town.
But all that changed when Tim Cahill headed Everton level with Liverpool in the closing minutes of the 209th Merseyside Derby.
Everton had played Liverpool dead even in the first half, thanks to as committed a display as I can recall seeing. But, as the snowfall turned into a snow storm on Merseyside, Liverpool was bossing the second half. In our first threat of that half, more than 20 minutes in, Victor Anichebe was denied a penalty (correctly, I think) after a long, powerful run. Liverpool promptly went on the attack, and Everton somehow contrived to leave Steven Gerrard unmarked in the center of the pitch about 35 yards from goal. As three of our defenders raced over from the same side to close him down, the great Gerrard lashed a trademark goal.
Everton didn’t look like scoring until the 87th minute, when our free kick specialist Mikel Arteta stood over the ball in a dangerous position on the left wing. Somehow, Liverpool forgot to mark Tiny Tim Cahill, he of the trademark headed goals. This time, instead of having to outleap large defenders, Cahill only needed to stoop slightly to direct an unstoppable header into the net from Arteta’s pinpoint cross.
We didn’t really conquer Liverpool today, we merely obtained a 1-1 draw. But denying Liverpool two points at Anfield, and preventing the Shite from regaining first place in the Premier League, felt like victory. On the way back from the sports bar to the office, I was even able to smile at an Obama supporter as I provided her directions.
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