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Friday, 2 April 2010
BENFICA 2-1 LIVERPOOL MATCH REPORT
Please let me apologise for this report as i watched this match in a pub with no commentary and well my eyes were not focusing too well as i had been drinking for the previous six hours prior to the match so accuracy and incident in this match will be rather vague but i will try my best and hopefully you will enjoy the read never the less.
It was always going to be a tough match especially away from home against a Benfica team that has been scoring for fun this season.
The team that Rafa put out didn't surprise me at all especially with the attacking threat Benfica have. Lucas coming back into the team was a certainty giving us two holding midfielders once again. Like I say the team selection didn't surprise me, although I don't agree with it, Gerrard once again moved and unable to influence the game because he gets played to high up the park. It was good to see Babel start again although he did let the team down badly with his actions. Overall I couldn't argue too much with the team, Rafa's tried and trusted formation away from home.
As I just entered the pub to watch the game I just caught Agger's goal being replayed, it looked a clever finish from a defender that missed numerous easier chances last Sunday. To me it looked like Benfica were on top and Liverpool being on the back foot even before Babel saw red. It just seemed to be wave after wave of Benfica attacks. But then on thirty minutes the game changed after Torres had been clattered from behind by Luisao, which in my opinion could very easily been a red card for a deliberate kick with no intention on playing the ball. Babel took great displeasure of the incident and confronted Luisao, but as they clashed Babel raised his hands to the big defender's face to push him away and referee Eriksson didn't hesitate to produce the red card. This decision shocked the life out of me, I couldn't believe how harsh this decision was, to me it was handbags, but if you raise your hands then you run the risk.
As i watched the rest of the first half I was just hoping we could get to half-time safely. We managed it just.
The second half was no different with Benfica puting Liverpool under tremendous pressure. You just felt a goal was coming and on the hour mark it came in the shape of a penalty. I'm afraid i have no recollection of the incident i don't believe I had a memory lapse I just reckon that I nipped off to the loo, but I do remember the penalty being taken and being scored by Cardozo, to be fair like I said the goal was coming. Liverpool did have a goal disallowed which I saw little wrong with, but I think its fair to say the referee was a "homer".
Benfica were awarded another penalty with twelve minutes to go when Carragher slid in on the bye-line to try and block a Benfica cross only blocking it by the way of a flailing arm. Not much Carragher could do to get out of the way of it but there is no dispute that it hit him on the arm and you felt the referee was just waiting for moments like these to aid Benfica, there really was so many questionable decisions all night long.
It made the remaining minutes really worrying, Liverpool just could not afford to lose another, just about managing to hang on, got to say 2-1 is not the worse result away from home and I think we can still go through.
After the way this game panned out it could have ended up a lot worse than it did. Still great to get that away goal could be priceless. Going to miss Babel and Insua next week in the second leg which is a blow. Don't think we played that well and were hemmed in our own half for most of the game but I think next week will be a lot different and with the atmosphere at Anfield as well I think we'll pull through.
MAN OF THE MATCH- AGGER for his defending and especially his priceless goal
Posted by james walker at 14:30