Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Kop Idol Carra

Oh what a night? Anfield erupted as the holders were knocked out of Europe. Pity that we didn't score despite all of our chances. We really took them to pieces in the first half and it could easily have been 3-0 at half time. Riise hit the bar as did Momo. Bellamy, Kuyt and Riise all had efforts saved in quick succession with JAR's effort being cleared off the line by Puyol. But because we didn't score, we let them back into it in the second half. Gudjohnson scored to make the last 15 mins really nervous. But thankfully we had Carra and Finnan on hand to foil their efforts. There were some amazing tackles from them both to save us and keep our season alive. I think that we played very well over the two legs and deserved to go through. Ronaldinho could have been sent off for a petulant kick out at Carra if the ref had seen it. Barca can't have any hard luck stories. Rijkaard was magnanimous in defeat. Messi wanted Liverpool when the draw was made but didn't get the result he wanted in the tie. I hope that Barca can recover from this and go onto win La Liga, starting with beating Madrid on Saturday night.

Anfield has a deserved reputation for being special on European nights. This was the case again here. The Kop was full of colour. Even the Rafatollah got an outing. I hope that when we move to the new stadium that we can still create nights like this. It was a fitting occasion for David Moores to bow out as chairman. Similarly, it was good timing by Hicks and Gillett for their first game at Anfield.

Good atmosphere and decoration in the Lotts on Liffey st. Thomas was the lone Barcelona fan in the pub and it was fairly quiet when he celebrated the goal. I hear both sets of fans got on well in Anfield too. Good to see the respect between our two great clubs.

In the draw on Fri, I don't think it matters who we get too much. I don't mean that we're over confident but I mean that they are all hard teams at this stage of the champions league. Lille would be nice. I fear that it'll be an English team given that there will probably be four in the next round. I'm glad that I backed us at 33-1 in December when we drew Barcelona and Paul Merson sniggered. It's not nailed on but we have as good a chance as anyone given that it's a relatively weak season in Europe this year.


guiti-sergi said...

Hi MAL! guiti-sergi from the Cats@Dub... Congrats for the victory... I said we could win 1-3, but you played really good... Good luck in the next games...

Mal said...

Thanks guiti-sergi. I really enjoyed the two legged tie and it was good to see great attacking football from both teams. I heard good things about the Barca fans in Anfield so I hope that there will be continued friendship between our two clubs.

John said...

Well Mal, quite a week it's been. I was sure that given your dominance in the first half, and the amount of times you were a whisker away from a goal, that Barca would come back and steal it. I was surprised though that even when they got the goal back, they could not build on it and really exert any pressure. Full credit to the Reds though, you never lost your composure, unlike one team I know who once let a 3 goal lead slip in a European Cup final. I don't think I've seen you since that night actually...

Anyway, the stage is set for a rematch, as I reckon AC will win well over two legs against Bayern, and you should have the measure of PSV. The semis will be tough no matter which team we play, but hopefully our experience will count. As for the Pool, I have a sneaking suspicion that Valencia will squeeze past Chelsea, depending on the fallout from the Inter brawl.

The 2nd leg of Milan's game against Celtic was great to watch, Kaka is so on fire that if you put him in a brown paper bag, put him on someone's doorstep, rang the bell and then ran away, the resident would stamp on the bag and get sh*t all over his feet. I sincerely hope he doesn't head for Spain after this season, though why would he if Daddy Silvio brings in Ronnie and Buffon? One aspect I didn't like about Wednesday's game was Super Pippo being back, though he didn't get caught offside too much, and mostly stayed on his feet. He seems to have been giving Gilardino some lessons though, I was ashamed of his carry on in the first leg.

Anyways, that's all the news from The Hague, Milan V Inter on Sunday, the return of El Gourdo... Should be a goodie.


Mal said...

John, I would love another Liverpool v Milan final. Haven't been as drunk since that night in your house two years ago. Kaka is indeed on fire. I too hope he stays at Milan as I would hate to see him at Madrid. What about Roma v Utd? Can Totti and co step up on the big stage?

Katherine said...

Haven't been as drunk my eye.

Sergi said...

Hi Mal. Anfield was TERRIFIC!
i took some few picts of the match,
USe any picture if u want. I have some more of that night.
Being there was difficult to explain. Sad night for FCB but was very nice too!

Liverpool fans are great.

linda said...

Needless to say, congratulations.

At the end of the game, the Barca away fans stayed to sing and chant with the Liverpool supporters.


Apparently the Barça fans started chanting "Liverpool, Liverpool" at the end and the 'Pool fans responded with "Barça" chants.

If only European every knockout tie could happen with such dignity and in the right spirit.

Mal said...

Good photos Sergi.
Linda, I heard that there was good chanting and appreciation between both sets of fans at Anfield. Great to see.