Liverpool supporters have many highs and lows to reflect on from this season. Here are 21 memories, listed in chronological order that I will think of when I remember the 2007-2008 Liverpool campaign:
Signing Torres – In July of last summer, we were excited about getting Torres. He was excited about coming to Anfield, and we were all ready for the new campaign.
Gerrard still has the magic - Steven Gerrard nailed an 87th minute curling free kick to put Liverpool up 2-1 against Aston Villa at Villa Park (Aug 11). It gave the Reds a win in their first EPL game.
This Spaniard might be really good - With Chelsea's Tal Ben Haim nipping at him, Fernando Torres slid one past Petr Cech on a counter in the first half. Liverpool would draw against Chelsea (Aug 19) at Anfield after Frank Lampard converted a controversially awarded penalty, but we got a glimpse of Torres' talent.
Is Derby this bad? - Alonso had two, Babel had one, Torres had two and Voronin had one. The Reds outed Derby six to nil at Anfield (Sept 1). Ouch. Yes, Derby was that bad.
Torres first hat trick…it’s a fluke – facing Reading (Sept 25) in the Third Round of the Carling Cup, Torres netted three times to add on to Benayoun's 23rd minute goal. But we didn't expect it to happen again. After all, it was Reading…in the Carling Cup.
Poor performances in the Group Stage – After a draw at Porto (Sept 18), a loss at home verse Marseille (Oct 3) and a loss in Turkey to Besiktas (Oct 24), we were worried that our Champion's League hopes were slipping away.
Great performances in the Group Stage – A total turnaround. In the next three games of the group stage, we outscored Besiktas (Nov 6), Porto (Nov 28), and Marseille (Dec 11) by a total of 16-1. It was highlighted by an eight to nil trouncing of the Turks at Anfield. Crouch, Benayoun, Gerrard, and Torres all had three goals each during this three match run. In our guts, we knew it could turn around…and it did.
Torres and Gerrard substituted – Against Reading (Dec 8), Gerrard and Torres were taken out in the 60th and 71st minute while we were still in the EPL title hunt.We lost 3-1 and controversy arose around Benitez's decision, but it made a little more sense after we won at Marseille a few days later (see above).
Too Many Draws – In late December and January, we drew to Man City, Wigan, Luton Town, Middlesborough, and Aston Villa, as well as loosing to West Ham. We were in a slump.
Barnsley???? – In the 93rd minute, Barnsley captain Brian Howard scored against a sloppy Liverpool defense to knock the Reds out of the FA Cup (Feb 13). It typified where we’re at and made us feel like the season was going down the tubes. We needed another turn around.
Another hat trick? Is Torres the real deal? – Fernando Torres took in his second hat trick again Middlesborough (Feb 23) at Anfield. We thought Torres was good, but maybe he was great.
Another hat trick! Torres is the real deal! – Torres netted three again verse West Ham at Anfield (Mar 5). His armband proved he was a Red, Torres, Torres! You'll Never Walk Alone it said, Torres, Torres!
Taking Down Inter – Two goals in the last 10 minutes put us up 2-0 at Anfield (Feb 19) verse Inter. It gave us the confidence to go to San Siro (Mar 11) and leave with a three to nil aggregate after Torres drilled in a beauty (celebration pictured at top).
Hot Streak – From Mid February to Mid March, we won seven in a row (Inter, Middlesborough, Bolton, West Ham, Newcastle, Inter and Reading). Torres scored nine, and we outscored our opponents 18-4. It was the turnaround we needed after the Barnsley loss at home.
The English Road – On March 14, we drew Arsenal for the second round of the knock-out stage. We were excited and yet gulped as we realized that if we beat Arsenal, we'd probably have to face Chelsea. And if we handled Chelsea again, we'd probably have to face Man U.
Mascherano's Red – We had hoped that the focus of our trip to Old Trafford (Mar 23) would be a draw or win, but instead it was Javier Mascherano being dismissed in the 44th minute by referee Steve Bennett. The debates began…
Solidifying Next Year's Champion's League Spot – It looked like fourth place, and the final English Champion's League spot were up for grabs when we went into the hometown derby with Everton (Mar 30). But after Torres scored early, we took away a victory and never looked back again at fifth place.
The Last Ten Minutes of the Arsenal Series – We were on the pitch for 270+ minutes with Arsenal in a seven day period (April 2, 5 & 8), but the last 10 minutes turned out to be the most exciting. Adebayor scored in the 84th minute at Anfield to send Arsenal to the next round. But then, Babel was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty. Stevie G became a hero again as he sank the penalty in the 86th, then four minutes later, Babel sealed the deal by finding the net on a breakaway.
El Nino hits 30 – Fernando Torres netted his 30th goal of the season vs. Blackburn (Apr 13) at Anfield. He was on his way to working into the list of guys who shook the Kop.
Another Chelsea Semi-Final – This tie (April 22 & 30) both elated us and ripped our hearts. I will remember Riise's agony, Drogba's dominance, Torres sullen look, overtime at the Bridge, Lampard's mother, and his penalty shot.
We had lots of ups and downs this campaign. The ownership controversy is not mentioned intentionally. There are more important things to remember.
I'm disappointed that we didn't win anything because we definitely had the talent and opportunities to win some hard wear. But next year holds promise.
With Torres netting 33 total and working well with Gerrard, and with up and coming guys like Babel, I think we'll make a run at the EPL title.