It’s been many years since I wrote about domestic football on my blog, but it’s not every day that the two teams I support play each other, being three leagues apart. The last time my hometown team Plymouth Argyle and Liverpool met was in 1962 at Home Park when both clubs were in the old Division 2.
I have to admit that I expected Liverpool to win the game easily, even with Klopp’s young inexperienced team. But the first half gave me some hope that the Pilgrims could force a draw and earn a replay at Home Park. The home side, Liverpool had more than 80% of the possession, however, Argyle repelled all of Liverpool’s attacks and had a little luck with Origi’s goal being disallowed for a foul on Miller.
Clearly buoyed by the 0 – 0 scoreline at half-time, the Pilgrims pushed forward and even had a couple of chances on goal. The Liverpool manager decided to bring on Sturridge in the 63rd minute and Firmino and Lallana in the 74th minute. This put more pressure on my hometown team, but amazingly, Argyle held firm, throwing bodies in front of the ball while goalkeeper McCormick made some crucial claims.
When the 90 minutes were up; the fourth official held up a board that said six minutes of added time. These were some the nerviest minutes of my life. Before the game, I was unsure which side I would be rooting for; or whether I would be neutral; in those six minutes, it was very clear that Argyle was the team I was 100% behind. Thankfully, Plymouth blocked every attack and to Home Park we go for the replay.
I believe that Red’s manager Jurgen Klopp underestimated the Pilgrims, expecting the fourth tier club to crumble under pressure. Obviously, this did not happen, Argyle kept their discipline and shape despite the heavy pressure from the Reds. Speaking as a Liverpool fan, I think this has been an issue for Klopp’s Liverpool which has cost them points as proven by the 2 – 2 draws with Sunderland and West Ham.
I have to give a big shout out to the 8,500+ Pilgrims that traveled the 300 miles to Liverpool. I believe the visiting fans were louder than 45,000+ home fans, I’m sure the Argyle players really appreciated their vocal support and drove them on to get the result; which of course was to come away with a draw.
So it’s back to Home Park we go for the FA Cup 3rd round replay and man, how I wish I was back in Plymouth right now to see the Pilgrims host Liverpool. But sadly living in America, being more than 24 hours and thousands of dollars of travel away, I’ll just have to hope it’s shown on US TV.