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Friday, 30 April 2010
LIVERPOOL 2-1 (AET) ATHLETICO MADRID MATCH REPORT
Hoping for another special European night at Anfield the supporters came out in force and once again what an atmosphere. The atmosphere was unbelievable, really makes you understand why European football is so important for this club.
Rafa chose a very attack minded team with a few surprises. It was great to see Aqualani, Benayoun and Babel all playing in the same team but to put Mascherano to right back and switch your right back Johnson to left back was very strange when Johnson can't use his left foot.
Liverpool nearly scored in the first minute when hit a shot in the first minute which the goalkeeper blocked for a corner, it really got the crowd going. It was a really good start from Liverpool keeping Athletico on the back foot. But then Athletico gradually crept into the game and started pass the ball about and make Liverpool wary of how dangerous they are with one or two attacks.
Then Liverpool got the breakthrough right on half time with a great goal from a quick throw in from Mascherano sending Benayoun clear down the right and he put over a low cross into the box which Aqualani struck low into the corner of the net, it really was a great finish and had the crowd in raptures.
The second half however was different, Athletico came out a different team and had Liverpool on the back foot for most of the second half and gave Liverpool a few scares with Liverpool struggling to make headway or looking like scoring a second goal the game went into extra time.
Beginning to wonder how Liverpool were going to score, then suddenly Benayoun suddenly was played into the left side of the box and hit a first time left footed shot into the corner of the net which the young Athletico keeper could not keep out, giving Liverpool the vital lead.
It was short lived Athletico kept coming at them and with Liverpool running on empty Athletico got their all important goal when a Johnson attempting a clearing header broke kindly to Athletico and a lovely cross was sent over to the unmarked Forlan at the back post and he made no mistake from six yards out.
Liverpool were sunk with this goal and were really shattered physically and mentally and unfortunately could not get a goal .
I felt Liverpool gave everything but were playing against a very good Athletico team. Tremendous support as always. Gerrard,Kuyt ran themselves into the ground, Aqualani was superb, Babel worked his socks off, in fact the whole team couldn't have gave any more. But Rafa's substitutions were questionable, taking Aqualani off when he was playing so well, then when we needed a goal he took Mascherano off and put on another right back, worse still best player on the park Benayoun was taken off for Pacheco, decisions very strange for me.
However proud to be a Red last night with the commitment of the players and the fans last night best club in the world.
Posted by james walker at 02:49