Jon Flanagan toasted arguably the greatest moment of his young Liverpool career with a Domino’s pizza and a night on the couch watching Match of the Day 2.
The travelling Kop reserved their loudest roar for the moment the local lad battered home his first ever goal for the club against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Flanagan showed all the poise and instinct of a world-class center-forward as he stormed the far post, maneuvered his body over the travelling ball and arced it in off the underside of the bar.
Even the typically humble Scouser had to admit that the goal, Liverpool’s third in a remarkable 5-0 thrashing, was a sweet one to relive back at home in his living room.
“I got back from London just in time for Match of the Day 2 and I had a Domino’s,” Flanagan told the Liverpool Echo. “It was nice to watch the goal again. I recorded it too. I’m still buzzing. To score was a dream come true.
“It was perfect as my dad, two of my uncles and some of my mates were there. It was brilliant to be able to share that with them. All the lads piled on top of me and they were buzzing for me.
“I don’t think they were expecting it as I don’t get many. I think my last one was for the U21-s against Crystal Palace.
“When I got back to the dressing room I must have had 30 to 40 messages on my phone.”
Flanagan’s goal was the perfect way to crown yet another brilliant performance from the No. 38.
From first whistle to last he was his usual industrious self, tracking the dangerous Aaron Lennon and ploughing forward at every opportunity.
And when the moment came to exploit huge gaps in the Spurs defence, the 20-year-old was full of conviction, arriving in the box at just the right time.
“The manager has been telling me to push on when I can and try to get into the penalty area,” explained Flanagan. “I saw Jordan Henderson running through and with them down to 10 men I spotted there was plenty of space in front of me.
“When Luis Suarez got it, I was hoping he would see me, and it was a great cross. It dropped perfectly so I decided to hit it first time.
“To be honest, I thought it was going to come back off the bar. When I realised it had bounced into the net it was just an unbelievable feeling. It’s all a bit of a blur really. I was just thinking ‘bloody hell, I’ve just scored here’.”
The win at White Hart Lane was Flanagan’s fifth consecutive start in the Barclays Premier League for the Reds.
It means he continues to keep the likes of Martin Kelly and loan signing Aly Cissokho out of the team in the absence of Jose Enrique.
Flanagan insists retaining his place in the side is his primary aim — and anything over and above, including a sensational strike, comes as an afterthought.
“First and foremost I need to concentrate on defending as that’s my main job,” he said. “But as a full-back in the modern game you also need to be able to get forward and pose a threat in the final third.
“I know I’ve still got a lot to learn. Brendan has given me a run in the team but I have to keep repaying that faith with good performances. My confidence is growing with every game and I’m feeling more like part of the team. It’s up to me to keep it going.
“It was hard for a long time because I wasn’t sure if I would get a chance. I had a difficult time with injuries last season. I’ve just kept my head down, worked hard and made sure I was ready when the chance came. Hopefully I’ve shown the manager now what I can do.
“Sunday was a big test for me up against Aaron Lennon but I felt I coped with him quite well. I’ve never really been one for getting nervous as I tend to just take things in my stride.
“The games come thick and fast at this time of year and we need to keep it going. We have to try to pick up as many points as we can.”
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