Thursday, April 12, 2007

Into The Semis, It's Chelsea Again

Crouch Proves The Difference

UEFA Champions League
Quarter Finals 2nd Leg

LIVERPOOL 1 - 0 PSV Eindhoven
(Liverpool win 4-0 on aggregate)

LIV - Crouch (67min);

Match Highlights:

The big man is scoring for fun again. Once ridiculed as just a bambi on ice and his inability to hit the cow's arse with a banjo, Crouch has came a long way and last night, he scored his 5th goal in 4 starts and it takes his European tally this season to 6, on par with the likes of Drogba and van Nistelrooy. Only Kaka is above the trio with 7 goals.

It's hard to imagine Crouch being mentioned along with the likes of Kaka and van Nistelrooy but this man has proved his worth. Despite failing to score in his first 24 hours of play in the Liverpool jersey, he has since turned into a rather unnoticeable goal scorer and the 6 goals in 9 Champions League games speak for itself.

His goal last night completed a formality for Liverpool as they carried their 3-0 win over from Holland back to Anfield. Even with the Kopites roaring them on with songs and warming their throats over the impending visit of Chelsea with the 'F*** OFF CHELSEA FC' song, Liverpool rarely got into second gear and it proves to be quite a dull match with nothing much of note.

Even with Rafa rambling about how they'll show respect to their opponents, knowing that they're one foot into the semi finals, he dropped key players like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher and let the likes of Sami Hyypia and Bolo Zenden with a run out.

Things didn't go Liverpool's way as Craig Bellamy had to be stretched off with a knee injury. Without Bellamy's pace up front and his constant harrying, it was a little more difficult for them to play.

And credit to PSV for turning up with a plan in mind and did well even though they know they had absolutely no chance. Their task's difficulty was upped a notch late in the second half after debutant Dirk Marcellis was unfairly sent off for a challenge on Zenden. It was a yellow card at worst but Italian referee, Roberto Rosetti, decided to show a straight red. A very odd decision indeed.

Playing with 10 men, PSV still looked particularly comfortable as they had an edge in terms of possession but Liverpool once again showed their clinical side as Crouch nailed the final nail in the coffin after Robbie Fowler's fantastic assist.

Riise's cross was turned towards goal by PSV defender, Eric Addo, and Gomes had to be at his best to prevent it from going in but Fowler was there to pick up the ball. With the angle being too acute, he choses to square the ball back into the penalty area for Crouch to score a tap in.

And Liverpool should've put an icing on the cake late in the game when Jermaine Pennant had the chance to further extend the lead but his finishing really needs to improve as both his initial shot and the follow-up was blocked by Gomes.

It wasn't a game you'll expect to see in a quarter finals as neither team had the urgency to step up but it was probably due to Liverpool's smash and grab effort last week in Eindhoven that provided the team with the comfortable 3-0 cushion. With ManYoo winning 7-1 last night, they'll surely grab all the major headlines while Liverpool looked like they've sneaked into the semi-finals quietly without much controversy.

It wasn't the best of matches but it was a professional performance from both sides. Now the Reds will move on to the semi-finals with Chelsea in sight and a repeat of the 2005 Champions League season is on hand.

Semi Finals:

Man Utd (ENG) vs AC Milan (ITA)
Chelsea (ENG) vs LIVERPOOL (Eng)

For more goals and highlights, visit for more!

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