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 ???
you know whats funny, aside from sunderland we have not scored first in ANY game that we have won this season….boro, manure, marseille,
So Stoke to score first on Saturday then ????
What a goal by Gerrard. Simply world class. I was really impressed with Babel last night, I think this season we are going to see some great things from the man be it out on the wing or in the central position. He was very unlucky not to get a goal.
Praise must also got to Reina who as times we do not praise enough, I feel Lucas did not have a great game at all but I know he is a better player than we saw last night. There were a lot of tired legs towards the end of the game yesterday and I think Rafa is going to ring the changes against Stoke on the weekend and probably give Arbeloa, Skrtel, Mascherano and Kuyt a breather.
I hope we do not make it a habit of having to fight from one goal down this season!
I know the idea with Stoke is to let some players recover but ensure 3points on Saturday. A lot has been spoke about the rotation up front but i was thinking about defense. Now tell me if I am talking crap but could we get away with Carragher at right back, Dossena on the left and Hyppia and Agger in the middle. This means that you could rest both full backs and Skrtel. Nobody in that back four would be playing out of position. Carragher was a great defending RB before moving into the middle. Agger would also be quick enough to cover in behind Hyppia. i think he is too good a player to be sitting on the bench and Stoke could be the right match to get him back into the starting 11.
I don’t think there really is need to push Carra at right back, i gather that Deggen is fit now and I really would like to see him play as it is said he is good going forward, so maybe Deggen at rightback against Stoke and then if we need to rest both Carra and Skrtel we can replace them with Sami and Agger although I doubt Rafa will change both centre backs at once and will most likely only replace one. I think Dossena will continue at left back until Aurelio is fully fit again.
As you said Dave, we just have to make sure we win against Stoke.
Carragher at right back is a disgrace. I’m sorry but he is simply not a threat and if that’s all we can trot out then we are in sorry shape indeed. I’d rather see Darby there than force Carra to the wide areas.
Give him a day off and allow Degen or whomever to have a run out there. This isn’t meant to come across as negative to Carra, I just think he’s deserving of a day here or there, and to not be forced out of a position where he truly does do wonders for us at times.
In truth, it was a mediocre performance all around vs. Marseille with the exceptions of Babel and Stevie. Sadly for our captain it’s moments like these that put such enormous expectations upon him. Ones that he is not up to fulfilling. He can produce moments of sheer brilliance, but at the same time can be found disinterested and lacking ideas often enough that it keeps him from truly being the world’s best player.
Just think if he could consistently bring to the pitch what he brought last night?
Congrats to us on the 3 points, and let’s move along to hopefully 3 more against Stoke. Other than the Scum game, I’ve yet to be very impressed by us at all. So let’s keep taking what we scrape out and use it as a focus to what we can accomplish if we get our acts together.
Go team. =)
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