Thursday, October 02, 2008

Milestone Night In Liverpool

Keane Breaks Duck As Liverpool Strolled To Victory

UEFA Champions League

LIVERPOOL 3 -1 PSV Eindhoven

Scorers:
LIV - Kuyt (4min), Keane (34min), Gerrard (76min);
PSV - Koevermans (78min);

It was a memorable night at Anfield even though fans turned up, expecting yet another routine win by Rafa Benitez's boys. A controlled, discipline performance was expected and what we saw last night was exactly that.

But hell, even Robbie Keane scored this time.

The Irishman finally broke his scoring duck of 11 games as he connected with a fantastic Fernando Torres cross and directed it into the bottom right corner of Andreas Isaksson's net. He finally could do his cartwheel celebration but this time, donning the jersey of the club he supported as a boy.

It was one of those nights where your gut feeling just tells you things and it happened. I'm sure everyone's pleased that Keane opened his account in a European night. His quality is proven but it just needed that touch of luck.

Earlier on, he was expecting a penalty as he was brought down by Timmy Simmons but the referee wasn't interested. And we thought it was not going to be his night, again.

Well, let's not forget about another milestone set by a great Liverpool player last night. It's none other than captain Steven Gerrard.

Only the 16th player to carry the honour of scoring 100 goals for Liverpool, Gerrard fired in his 100th with his usual thunderbolt right-in-the-back-of-the-net style. A freekick from 30 yards out didn't stop the skipper from sending out a homing-missile like shot into the net. It was as if the ball itself had in mind where to go.

Beautifully taken.

It was an icing on the cake for Liverpool as they strolled through the game without even moving out of gear 2 and looked comfortable and untroubled throughout. Though the gloss was removed when PSV hit back with a goal that somehow silenced the Kop, it was still a disciplined and controlled performance, just like any other Liverpool games recently.

Scoring early, as I mentioned before, is a boon or bane for clubs and thankfully, Liverpool didn't slip into complacency mode after Dirk Kuyt giving the home side the lead in just under 3 minutes.

How we always said that the Reds were profligate and impotent with cornerkicks, we finally made it work out last night. Gerrard's outswinger, Torres' ingenious movement and Kuyt's followup.

Isaksson should have done better. Looked more a routine save to me than anything. Who knows what might happen if it didn't go in.

But that's not the point. It probably round up a pretty satisfying week for the Liverpool fans as we taught our poorer neighbours, Everton, a good football lesson and getting all 3 points in the Champions League is definitely good news.

In the best start of the season we've seen in quite a while, it remains to be seen how consistent Liverpool can get. But seeing Rafa dropping his usual chop-and-change tactic, there might be a shift of ideology from the Spanish manager.

Probably, he begin to realise the mistake that he has been making for the past few seasons....