Thursday, November 08, 2007

So Big A Win, I Don't Quite Know Where To Start

The LED Ain't Broken, Mind You

*takes in deep breath*

LIV - Crouch (19, 89), Benayoun (32, 53, 56), Gerrard (69), Babel (78, 81);

Liverpool broke the Champions League record by scoring a mind-blowing 8 goals past Besiktas, the very team that defeated the Reds just only 2 weeks ago in Istanbul. The victory definitely painted a very different pictures depending on how you see things.

The Besiktas we saw was SO bad that I've absolutely no idea how did we 'managed' to lose to these bunch, so convincingly, in the last round.

But we all know at the way we play in recent weeks, I shall quote Russell Peters and say 'somebody's gonna get hurt REAL bad!'. We played okay and created enough chance but just not putting them into the net.

Liverpool kicked off the game knowing that the European nights in Anfield are numbered because the Liverpool City Council has given a go-ahead for their new stadium and what a way to commemorate the milestone, with a record win.

After a cagey start, Liverpool started to gather momentum and Yossi Benayoun seemingly, at the thick of action most of the time. A sign of a great performance, perhaps?

Through some serendipity and luck, Liverpool got the opening goal, one the relieves the tension and pressure of the players and the fans heaved a collective sigh of relief. Peter Crouch went through and though his initial shot was blocked, he was able to follow up and the out-of-favour striker finally found his scoring touch again.

Yossi Benayoun added a second with a highly controversial build-up to the goal but take nothing away from that finish. It was dead accurate, leaving Hakan Arikan with no chance. Well, he didn't have much for the entire 90, did he?

Flood gates opened and Liverpool relentlessly pounded Besiktas and all was over when Benayoun added a second after half time. Besiktas' players head dropped and looking like a caged animal, trapped and no way out.

Benayoun got what he fully deserved with a simplest of hat trick and Gerrard scored from probably the move of the game, combining excellently with Andiry Voronin before Ryan Babel coming on to make some major impact.

Two goals from the Dutch forward and both weren't conventional goals you'll see in a match. A brilliant Henry-esque back heel goal and also his determination allowed him to pressure Toraman into hitting the ball straight into his back and very fortunately, beyond Arikan's reach.

Crouch rounded things up with a 'rare' headed goal after a brilliant cross from who else but Yossi Benayoun and it indeed, concluded a night of massacre of the highest order.

Besiktas was frankly 'pants' and clueless most of the time but to smash 8 goals past a professional team is no mean feat. Credits to where it is due and although I've been critical on Liverpool for the past however long it is, I must say 'what a performance'!

Plenty still to do though. Porto win means we really need to win the remaining two games while Rafa will have to work a way as to how to bring this form back to the Premiership this weekend.And the man of the moment, Yossi Benayoun. A hat trick and two assists. He was the hero and played a vital and pivotal role to Liverpool's biggest Champions League win. What a performance. That'll certainly keep Pennant out for the side (despite his injury) for quite some time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Silly Medic

Have a laugh :D

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wasteful Reds Held

English Premiership

Blackburn 0 - 0 LIVERPOOL

Liverpool's unbeaten run this season continues as they were held to a dull nil-nil draw by Blackburn Rovers. But the visiting Reds will surely be disappointed by the outcome as well as the overall performance as they huffed and puffed their way through.

There was a apparent lack of urgency from the away side and only started to pound on the Blackburn goal in the last 10 minutes of the game, especially when Rafa Benitez decided to throw on the out-of-favour Peter Crouch and the injury-proned Harry Kewell.

Given the nickname as a 'cup final' player, Kewell came on to make an impact but still looked a long way from full match fitness.

Crouch, too, came on and nearly gave an undeserving lead after connecting well with Steven Gerrard's corner but it was cleared off the line.

Despite impressing in his previous outing against Arsenal, Dirk Kuyt was preferred by Benitez to play upfront on his own and it took only a glance to tell that Kuyt was ineffective as a one man strike force.

He couldn't be blamed for much of the game as the Liverpool midfield were stifled by an organised and tenacious Blackburn team and it is of common knowledge that Liverpool lacked the spark and creative force within. There was no movement and the passing was appalling at times.

Yet when presented with chances, Dirk Kuyt fluffed it all and Liverpool will travel back to Anfield with only a point. A hard fought one indeed. As a striker at the top level, he is expected to take the chance and put Blackburn to the knife for their carelessness but as we all know, he isn't the best finisher out there.

As a striker, he is supposed to score goals but apparently, not being the 'sharpest knife in the drawer', he skied one of the best chance Liverpool had in the entire game and two others.

I personally admire his never-say-die attitude, desire, determination and mental strength but when the 'knife meets the butter', he's expected to cut it but as profligate as Liverpool had been for the past month or so, he didn't help the situation.

Especially when Torres is out with an injury and Crouch out of favour.

But to be fair, Liverpool didn't deserve to win this game as Blackburn, too, had their fair share of chances and came closer to scoring than the visiting team. Both David Dunn and David Bentley skinned the Liverpool defence and were unlucky not to score as both their shots found the frameworks instead.

As one of the 'Top 4' of England, it's apparent that Liverpool doesn't seemed to be on the same level as the other 3 teams in Chelsea, Arsenal and ManYoo as they possessed a balance team with a couple of players capable of changing the game just with a moment of magic.

Arsenal is a joy to watch and they have shrugged off their impotency and exchanged it with sharpness and maturity while ManYoo grew from strength to strength. Chelsea moved on from Jose's era and are steadily improving.

While Liverpool at times, looked like 11 strangers, clueless on the pitch and even with a tactics set by Benitez, there was no shape and players don't make runs and create space for each other, making life difficult for every players.

There were times when I thought I was watching England but at least we could control possessions better.

Though we know that Ewood Park is a tough place to visit, it is no excuse that they are there for the taking and that as a club contending for the Premiership, we ought to start to play well and get the right results. Continuing with this form is only going to make us fall backwards from the pack.

It already looked as if we're falling further away in terms of quality and that many believe that players like Kuyt, Crouch, Sissoko or Riise won't get us anywhere near the Premiership crown and it is true in some way.

But I believe Rafa has bought himself plenty of time, contrary to the tabloid reports about his job on the line, and he is capable of turning things round. But maybe he just needs to learn his lesson and stop being so stubborn and sticking to his own principles and guidelines.

Rotation or whatever the ideology is, it might work in the La Liga which he won the title, it might not happen in the Premiership.