Only our third loss of the season but still a rather painful one. It is hard to accept defeat to the enemy, especially in an F.A. Cup tie. We were the much better team until Lucas got sent off and from then on it looked like there would only be one winner – Everton. Our best hope was to get to a penalty shootout and that is what I was hoping for as I have a lot of confidence in Pepe when it comes to saving penalties. We would have won the shoot out with no doubt!
Loosing Stevie G early on did not help but Benayoun came on and did okay when he was playing behind Torres. I like Yossi and he is a critical part of our team. For me he should start more games. Maybe if Gerrard’s injury is long term, which I hope it is not, Yossi can get his time to shine. I liked the way we set out to attack before the red card. I do not think I have seen Dossena bomb down the left like he did yesterday. It is a pitty his crosses at times were not on point.
Lucas Lucas Lucas!! This is the second time he has cost us against Everton. Fair the first yellow card should not have been awarded to him but he should have thought about pulling out of the second challenge that resulted in his second booking. That red card turned the game and the result. I for one am not a big fan of Lucas. He has just not done it for me during his time at Anfield. Rafa has given him a lot of opportunities and surely by now we should see the quality that made him become one of Brazil’s best players. I honestly can not see how he was ever named the best player in Brazil a couple of seasons back.
But Lucas aside, we failed to hang on for a few minutes at the end of extra time to force the game into penalties. Granted, Gosslings effort took a slight deflection but we should never have allowed him that shooting opportunity to start off with. Really, it was poor defending by Arbeloa that made the goal.
Our F.A. Cup run is over now and now we can focus on the Champions League and the Premiership. My only concern is that last nights game must have taken its toll on the players. The guys looked tired out there and they have no result to show for it. And with Portsmouth coming up this weekend, I just wonder how fit the lads will be.
Yea, gutted to be beaten by Everton but if the league is the priority this year then we should really only concentrate on competing for it in parallel with the Champions League. I’m sorry but I have to disagree with Rafa and his belief that we have strength in depth. Sorry but after 12 or 13 players I think we are very average. The likes of ManU and Chelsea can replace players during the game and not weaken the side. I don’t think we are at that level. ManU have 3 top strikers in Berba, Loony and Tevez whilst Chelsea have Drogba, Anelka and Kalou. We have Torres, Ngog, Babel and Kuyt but are the last three capable of shooting us to the title – don’t think so.
So every clould has a silver lining – the players are looking tired and will now have less fixtures to play but we were still heads and shoulders above Everton until the sending off. Another fact is that Pienaar should have had a straight red for his tackle on Lucas. Everton were putting the boot in which is what inferior sides will do to try and level the playing field.
It was great to hear the almighty cheer that went up from the boys in blue when Gerrard was walking off injured. They all then believed that Everton actually had a chance to win as they were now playing agsint mere mortals.
Congrats to the young lad who scored. The story was prepared for one of them last night and he made sure he added the last chapter.