What a frustrating night for Liverpool! At the end of the day, the 0-0 scoreline was actually a good result for Liverpool as we just did not look and play like the team we are. Thanks has to go to my man of the match, Pepe Reina. Without his first half penalty save and his overall brilliant game, we could have come back from Belgium with egg on our face having suffered an embarrassing defeat. But as Rafa has come out and said, “It is clear we did not play well, and we are lucky not to have conceded. We were poor, but at least the result was good. It really was a very bad performance, and it surprised me, because we have been playing well in the pre-season games and with a lot of confidence. We have been talking about it in the dressing room, but you don’t always have to say too much after something like that.”
The coach and the players know that last night’s game was poor and we have to step up a huge notch by the time Saturday comes around and we face Sunderland in the Premiership. I must say I was a bit disappointed with the Keane – Torres partnership. It did not spark at all during the game but I guess it was largely because they were not supplied with enough ball to feed off as Liverpool in general did not control the game. Which is rather strange as we seem to ‘boss’ the midfield in most games and have a large chunk of the possession. The blame to this can be the fact that Mascherano is not available and Gerrard only came on in the second half. When Gerrard is fully fit and Mascherano is back from the Olympics, we will be much more solid in midfield and have quality possession to supply to our front men.
As I had mentioned in the build up to this game, all eyes were going to be on the starting lineup to see if Alonso played. And yes hid did start, meaning that he is now cup tied for the Champions League and as a result I can not see him leaving Liverpool this season. This now certainly means that Gareth Barry will not be signing for Liverpool anytime soon. Rafa started the match with the same eleven players that started the match against Lazio: Reina, Arbeloa, Dossena, Carragher, Agger, Alonso, Plessis, Benayoun, Kuyt, Keane, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Gerrard, Voronin, Insua, El Zhar, Pennant.
A huge improvement is needed by the Reds when Liege come to Anfield for the return leg. I am always confident going into a European game at Anfied. My only worry is that we failed to get an away goal. A would have preffered a 2-2 draw in last nights game as opposed to a 0-0 result. But I have faith and we will win outright against Liege at home. But for now as Rafa always says, we must focus on the next game and not the game against Liege. It is Sunderland on Saturday and we have to get a result.