Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Liverpool beat second biggest team from Manchester

We've had to wait six seasons for this. Does that make it sweeter? What a result? We outplayed them by their manager's own admission. What was even more impressive about the victory was the fact that it was achieved without our two best players. That Rafa doesn't have a clue.

I only got to see the first half of the match live as I was in the airport about to get on a plane. I then had to sweat on the result for an hour and twenty minutes while the plane was in the air. I don't have to tell you that I was overjoyed when I turned on my phone after we landed. The only downside is that I'm not at home to discuss it and slag a few people. I'll have to make do with a beautiful beech in southern France. Tough break for me.

This is the team that I would have played but I didn't think that Rafa would start without Kuyt.
As it happened, Dirk did start, up front with Keane, and had a great match. True he should have scored, definitely once, and maybe twice, but his movement and link up play were very good. He did really well to get his head up and pick out Babel for the winner. Despite the fact that he can do a job on the right, he should be played up front. If he isn't going to get a game there then he should be on the bench and used as an impact sub.

I do feel slightly churlish talking about individuals in what was a superb team performance, but I have to mention monster Masch. He was awesome. He could have done better for the Tevez goal but after that he bossed the midfield alongside Alonso. Once Carrick went off it got even easier for them. Scholes and Anderson were fairly poor as was the Utd passing in general. Vididc getting sent off was the icing on the cake rather than being a direct cause for victory as we had the game won anyway at that stage.

Ryan Babel made a huge impact when he came on. His nutmeg on Wes Brown was quality. Poor Browny looked like a mug. Liverpool were in control when Babel came off the the bench but he really put the book in and put them to the sword. I hope he does continue to deliver like this against the big teams and make the step to deliver on the vast talent he possesses.

What about young Albert? Riera made a stunning debut. His dribbling skills were sublime. He was a joy to watch and got the Kop going. If he can do this consistently then £5.5m will look like an absolute steal.

Jocky Hansen assess our tactical approach and our potential title challenge for the BBC. "After the international break you don't usually get a match like that, the quality and entertainment was just so high compared to other matches we've seen between the top four." He also says that Rafa's "tactics won at the end of the day." Never let a cliche opportunity pass.

The champions league is upon us once again. Just like last year we're playing Marseille. They stunned us in the first game at Anfield last time out but I hope that we've learned from this and we can put them away in the Velodrome tomorrow night. Losing Nasri and Cisse must have hurt them even though they did buy Ben Arfa.

The Liverpool Daily post suggest that we could be back in for Gaz Baz in Jan.

Soccerlens have a review of the Liverpool youth and reserve team, focusing on those players who are likely to make an impact in the coming seasons. They do manage to leave out Bruna and Pacheco which is a glaring omission on their part. Another Hungarian teen is on the way to the reserves. Poloskei, a 17 year old midfielder, will join on a season long loan from MTK in Budapest.

Pepe reveals that when he returns to Spain in the future he would like to play for Atletico. Thankfully, that won't happen any time soon. He also says that he recommended the Villareal winger Cazorla to the staff. Xabi's agent has hinted that he could move on in January. Does that mean that we'll make another effort to sign Barry?

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