Proof! Set Pieces Should Be Drilled Into Every Player's Skull!
A great friend of mine always makes the point that, at any level, set-pieces are the most important weapon in football.
I think that the events at Anfield last night stand to prove his point perfectly.
Let's call a spade a spade—last night's game was nothing special, and chances were few and far between.
Sure, both sides had great chances to take the lead in the first half. Fernando Torres missed a sitter from 10-yards out and a fantastic header from Tim Cahill was denied by Pepe Reina.
However, when Steven Gerrard finally broke the deadlock, neither side had particularly looked like scoring. No great chances had emerged, but that is the star quality Gerrard has, the ability to appear from nowhere and score a stunner.
It looked all over for Everton. They weren't having any chances and for all their hard work they were failing to break Liverpool down at all.
Enter their hero, the set-piece. The only time in the first 40 minutes of the second half that they had looked dangerous was when Mikel Arteta whipped in an evil free-kick that the Liverpool defence struggled to deal with.
They didn't learn their lesson, and when they gave away a free kick between the edge of the area and the corner flag, Arteta would get another chance.
It was beautiful, none of the defenders could deal with it and all Tim Cahill had to do was slightly divert the ball into the net.
A great set-piece will give any team a chance to score. Everton were the epitome of that last night. Liverpool need to learn lesson's about set-pieces if they are going to win the league.
If Arteta keeps to his fantastic delivery, and his teammates continue their fantastic work ethic, then Everton will be in the UEFA Cup next season.
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