Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Champions League: 4-4 Chelsea

One would suspect someone somewhere did not really want Liverpool to win the tie against Chelsea. Trailing 1-3 from the first game, it was a tall mountain to climb but since it is Liverpool, that was not impossible at all. And we almost proved that again tonight.

But of course one would argue that we are really concentrating on the League title this year. And if we were not involved in the CL, we could give full attention to the BPL. To me, the destiny of CL was in our hands whilst the BPL depends on the scums to lose it. Hence, it does not really make sense to throw away an opportunity of a silverware like what some fans have suggested so that we could fight in a cause that is really in someone else's hands.

Rafa started with Lucas in Gerrard's role with Benayoun on the left flank. With Mascha and Alonso dictating the middle of the park, we were 2-0 up at halftime. Even when they scored two goals, the game was still in our hands. What boggles my mind is how a kid like Lucas (he scored a deflected goal right before another quick goal that put us backinto the game) is given a man's role, when logically Benayoun fits there better. Other mindboggling decisions include taking out Mascha, after which Chelsea scored a few goals, taking out Torres when we needed to score goals that would have won us that game and taking out a defender when all we needed was one goal to win us the tie leading 4-2 with 8 mins left. Twice in the game we needed only one goal to win the tie but couldn't do it.

Rafa knows best I  guess. If one were to speculate, it would seem that Liverpool did not really want to win the tie. Therein lies the conundrum of 'what ifs'. The result was as it is because of the players started and the changes made. Who could really say of the end result if different players were started and different changes made? Maybe the score would have been worse for us and the excitement that eventually lead to much disappointment for fans around the world would have been missed altogether.

All in all, there is no denying that all the players on the pitch gave their all, and that's all that matters. We did not go down feebly and indeed we gave them a fight and a scare of their lives. Now, let's concentrate on the League Title by winning all our remaining matches and hope for the scums to lose one or two before the end of the season.

You'll Never Walk Alone!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

One Nil Despite of...

Which player, three out of five times, passes the ball to an opponent player?

Which player, more often than not, breaks down an attack of his own team?

Which player loses the ball so easily in midfield, he looks like an Under 15 player of a Malaysian school?

A Teh Tarik at the mamak's on my expense for anyone with the correct answer.

Benayoun, coming in late in the game against Fulham, showed the passion and intent of the Liverpool side that won massively before the international break. With the woodwork denying Liverpool of at least three goals earlier in the game, it looked like it was going to be another of those nights for us. As the game approached the final whistle, the fans would not have been wrong to question of the missing 'we-must-win-this-game' attitude in our side that destroyed manure and real madrid not too long ago.

With ten minutes left in the game, suddenly all the players upped their tempo as if it was pre-planned. Not a game for the weak-hearted, when chances after chances were not taken. And when everything started to look very bleak for our premiership and next season's Champions League challenge, Benayoun steps in to score a goal in the dying minutes that could very well define our whole season. Not for the first time this season too. For a player who was supposedly injured coming back from international duty, he deserves an extension to his contract and a pay rise immediately after that display.

Apparently that last minute goal was our eighth time this season. An exciting match to watch definitely, but I prefer for us to score a couple of goals early in the game and build on that as the game progresses.

With this win that put us two points clear at the top, Liverpool can now go on to play Chelsea in the CL with a better frame of mind. And with Rafa's contract impasse out of the window, and the likes of Gerrard and Kuyt having agreed to their contract extension, we are more stable than ever before. All points to a good finish to the season.

Man of the match: Benayoun, of course.

Accolades to all the players, except for the one whose name is not mentioned above. He only deserves half of the praises in my books.