In late September I started a thread called “October is key”. Why is December not key, or May? Well, simply because since our fans demand the Premiership, but commerce dictates Champions League progress, October is a unique month that has both key Premiership fixtures and a spate of CL games. A good October would have given us something quite unique in recent times: going into the hectic Nov-Jan period in a leading Premiership position AND Champions League progress assured.

Within 30 minutes of the kick-off of yesterday’s European internationals, a fantastic start to the first half of October may now see us fail to capitalize in the latter half. Injuries to Torres and Babel are serious causes for concern as so far in their respective Liverpool careers, they have been a devastating one-two attacking punch. One from the start, and the other from the bench.

However, much like when we coped extremely well against Manchester United without Gerrard and Torres, we may now have to go into the next few weeks, with key games against Atletico (sad if Fernando can’t play in his first club return to both his club and his country since his move) and Chelsea, with a similar dogged mindset and belief that other members of the squad can step up.

Against Wigan, I suspect Kuyt will continue his good early season form and get the striking role alongside Keane, who thankfully is also hitting some form, recently scoring the winning goal for ROI. This is really the moment for Keane to seize an early opportunity in his Liverpool career to be a hero.

Who then for the right of midfield? I suspect Pennant will be resurrected (however, Benayoun may trump him, to me its really who can protect Arbeloa better once Kuyt is not stationed on the right), with Xabi and Gerrard in the middle. Mascherano rarely starts games after his long international treks and I don’t see him getting past the bench in this one. However against Chelsea away, I suspect the 4-2-3-1 will be used again, with Keane having to adapt to playing as a lone striker, but Gerrard and Kuyt’s support should help. Of course, Rafa may play N’gog instead after a Keane hattrick in the Calderon.

For Wigan, their key men, Zaki, Palacios and Valencia may be injured or suffering from a bit of jet lag, so perhaps the early kick off on Saturday may have some benefit. Agger looks pretty certain to start as he will need some games under his belt if he’s to cope with the Champions League game on Wednesday with Sami unavailable for selection.

Our lineup against Atletico will likely be fairly attacking given their recent defensive fragility, and Atletico’s state of mind after their weekend derby with Real will also play some part. Invite Atletico to attack may be asking for trouble, with Aguero in some really wonderful form at the moment.

The Chelsea game, the penultimate fixture for the month, really will be a big test. With any luck, it will be a top of the table clash. Realistically, a draw will be an excellent result given their recent form and home record. However, there’s a bit of the devil about us this season, and if we were to nick a win and ruin their proud home record (85 matches and counting) then even the most jaded of Liverpool fans may begin to fantasize about glory in May. And I don’t mean in Rome.

An injury time winner by Dutch work horse, Dirk Kuyt, completed a spectacular comeback by Liverpool at Eastlands on Sunday. Trailing 2-0 at the interval, Rafa Benitez’s side looked to be dead and buried but an outstanding second half performance saw Fernando Torres bag his second brace in as many games with Kuyt netting the winner in the 92nd minute to end his 11 month premier league goal drought. The victory lifted the Reds back to the top of the league trailing Chelsea only on goal difference.

Kuyt, described by one Liverpool fan as a “useless fucking prick with about as much skill as a double amputee victim with Parkinsons ” capped a fine display when he tapped in Fernando Torres’ blocked shot from close range. The Dutch international has been in fine form this season and while he has been prolific in the Champions league has struggled to produce similar goalscoring form in the league. After scoring only 3 league goals last season, 2 of which came from the penalty spot with the other deflecting off his gall bladder and bobbling past a flat footed Shay Given at St James, he has been under increased pressure from some sections of Liverpool fans to find the net more regularly. Despite his lack of goals, Kuyt has been arguably Liverpool’s stand out performer this season.

All the talk before the game was about City finally having the resources to break into the top 4 this season, with Liverpool’s title credentials also on the line it made for a mouth watering prospect. Despite starting the brighter Liverpool found themselves a goal down after 20 minutes. Shaun Wright Phillips, son of former Arsenal Striker and simpleton, Ian Wright, picked up the ball on the right hand side. He got by Brazilian full back, who had an awful game at Left back, with relative ease and cut the ball back from the byline. A defensive mix-up between Alvaro Arbeloa and Jamie Carragher saw the ball pop out to Stephen Ireland who volleyed home sweetly from 10 yards. It was the insane, bald Irishman’s 3rd of the season, each goal dedicated to a different dead grandmother.

Liverpool had a couple of chances themselves the best of which fell to Kuyt after superb work down the left from the impressive former Man City winger, Albert Riera. Kuyt could only blaze over with the goal gaping like a 46 year old hooer’s clunge. However, it was City who extended their lead. Wright Phillips caused havoc in the Liverpool defence and was eventually brought down on the edge of the box by a combination of clumsiness from Riera and Aurelio. Javier Garrido and curled a beautiful left foot shot into the top corner to give the Blues a commanding lead going in at half time.

Liverpool came out for the second half and looked a different team and inside ten minutes they had a goal back through Fernando Torres. The Spaniard, who seems to has rediscovered his form after a couple of inept performances earlier in the season, was on hand to tap in from 6 yards after some lovely football on the right hand side between Steven Gerrard and Arbeloa.

Minutes later City were reduced to 10 men when Pablo Zabaleta’s two footed lunge on Xabi Alonso earned him a straight red card from referee, Peter Walton. The tackle on Alonso was the third such incident in as many games on the Spanish midfielder which coupled with the abuse received by sol Campbell by sections of the Tottenham Support at Fratton park recently has prompted talk of a vendetta against homosexual players in the league. Chariman of the “Bum Homophobia Out of Football” Campaign, John Fashanu, who’s brother Justin bummed himself to death after receiving unmerciful abuse from the Terraces after it was revealed he loved the cock, is looking for harsher measures to be taken against any footballer holding such backwards views.

“So what if a player is gay? Does he deserve to be abused for his sexual preference? I mean fair enough they shouldn’t be allowed in the showers till everyone else is gone and they most certainly should not be allowed near children but to single someone out for abuse on a football picth just because they listen to The Pet Shop boys and wear tank tops off the pitch is absurd. These people are human too, somewhat.”

Liverpool were now controlling the game and the equaliser came from that man Torres again. On the 5,278th time of asking, a Steven Gerrard corner managed to clear the first man. Torres rose at the near post and guided a header past Joe Hart in the City goals. It was now a case of whether City could hang on. They couldn’t and Kuyt popped in injury time to seal an important victory for Liverpool.

They surely won’t be happy with falling behind by 2 goals but for the fourth time this season they came back from behind to snatch victory sending out a message to the rest of the league that they are genuine title contenders. Sterner tests will come, none moreso than a trip to Stamford Bridge in a fortnight, but for now Liverpool can be satisfied with how their season is developing.

The Road End MOM – Fernando Torres. Not his best performance but 2 more vital goals from the Spaniard got Liverpool back in this game.

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