Congratulations to Rafa and his merry men last night for a great away win and an opening three points in this year ECL program. it was never going to be an easy match with all pundits and Rafa getting it right that Marseille were a vastly improved side from last year and it was not going to be another 0-4 reverse. The Stade Velodrome faithful who turned up for this one saw there club motto ” Droit Au But “ (Straight to the goal) fulfilled with a quick passing move from the good footballer in the Cheyrou family, Benoit (maybe we were meant to sign him instead of his crap bro Bruno) which released the club captain Cana to put the Frenchies 1-0 up. Their front line was looking very dangerous last night especially with the pace of Kone and my MOTM Cheyrou pulling the strings in midfield but I knew we had a good chance of scoring as they did look poor in defense. I didn’t have long to wait as Gerrard once again produced the goods to bring the Reds level with a looping,curling piece of excellence that left the keeper stranded and looking a bit foolish but there was nothing really he could have done.
Liverpool looked more free and fluid last night and not playing the normal confined and restricted style we mostly see from Rafa in these situations. I don’t know if this was a change in tactics by him or else the team just didn’t play to his proposed style. This made the game very open and good to watch as there was plently of chances for both sides to play attacking football. Liverpool later on did get tired which let them back into the game but I suppose this was expected after the running that was done during the ManU match and in the end only the brillance of Reina again gave Liverpool the win .
Plus points for the night was the return of Gerrard. There are not many midfielders who two weeks after surgery would be playing so well. His passing wasn’t great but his first goal (which was a carbon copy of one he scored against Luton in that weird FA Cup match) was excellent and keeping his nerve when having to retake the pen was top notch.
I also think a mention should go the Babel who was excellent all night and should have scored, he is starting to repay Rafa’s belief in him with some fine performances and I feel showed last night that he could do the business as a striker as well, if required. A mention goes to Dossena who for me the jury was still out on. Last night however I thought he had his best game to date whilst Jamie Carragher had another stormer which we come to expect (and to think England wouldn’t pick him).
Negative points was the performance of Torres who looked well of the pace but I know this will return with a few more games uder his belt and also Kuyt and Lucas who still for me give the ball away far too many times. There fitness is 110% but when the rest of the team is getting tired but winning the best thing to do is keep the ball but they kept giving it away and a few times nearly payed the penalty.
Overall however a good start to the Champions League and one thing to remember is that we can get better. There is no way our team is playing to their max which is great as we are still getting results. Once Torres and Keane get going, who knows what is to come ???