REAL MADRID 1 – 0 LIVERPOOL
Well, it’s happened again. We lost to (Real) Madrid. This time it wasn’t such a “destruction” of our team, we simply conceded one goal and couldn’t manage to score any of our own to claim a draw or win.
Before the game, many fans were concerned at how Brendan Rodgers was going to handle our tactics. The starting 11 line up looked like we were about to play a league cup or FA cup game. It wasn’t exactly a “Champions League line up” with our strongest possible side starting from the first whistle.
Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Phil Coutinho, or Raheem Sterling would not be a part of the starting 11, with Lucas Leiva, Emre Can, Joe Allen and Adam Lallana seemingly “better choices” as midfielders (in the managers opinion) for going up against the current European Champions. Also in defence, Kolo Toure and perhaps even Skrtel were choices not expected to be made for this fixture. the Strikers chosen were Markovic and Borini who were not exactly the first players people had thought they were going to see either (Balotelli and Sterling were more likely for the striker positions in most people’s minds). Nobody could have accurately predicted (with 100 % accuracy) the manager would have made all these choices for this important game. It got the fans scared even before kickoff that we may not have a chance of getting any points from the game with such a weakened side.
With all the tactics chosen and the game had kicked off, we actually didn’t look like a “weakened side” in our play. We kept possession for most of the first half. It was surprising to see us dominating the game and not going three goals down before half time. We saw some spectacular defensive play from Kolo Toure who was dribbling around Cristiano Ronaldo and making the World Player of the Year winner look bad every time he attempted to attack or win the ball from us.
Our fans were in good spirits and making plenty of noise, the Liverpool fans who had travelled to Spain drowned out the sound of the home crowd for most of the game, even after when they had taken the lead by scoring first.
The only goal of the game was scored by Karim Benzema, who Liverpool have had interest in since his appearances in the 2014 World Cup for France. He had impressed our scouts and we had a chance to bid for him in the Summer Transfer Window but did not… it seems we may have saved ourselves some defeats that were assisted by his goals if we had chosen to make our offer and bring him to Liverpool by now. If we ever have a bid accepted for him in the future, I’m not so sure he would receive a warm welcome to the club any more.
As far as “blame” for the goal goes (though i don’t like to point fingers at the Liverpool players), Simon Mignolet could not have saved the powerful shot that came from a floating cross by Marcelo. It was a set up that didn’t really have an option to be blocked by any one defender and our goalkeeper would have injured himself trying to save such a powerful shot. No blame should be put on anyone for this. All we really should have done in reply to it was score goals of our own and that didn’t happen, unfortunately.
Liverpool will now need to continue their Champions League campaign with victory against both Basel and Ludogorets because with Basel in 2nd place and on 6 points while we have 3 points and are place in 3rd in our group, we cannot afford to drop points or we will find ourselves not qualifying to the knockout stages. We’ve already proven we can beat the Bulgarians (Balotelli got a goal against them to help us win our only Champions League game so far) but we will need to get “revenge” against the Swiss who already beat us once to make sure we reach the last 16. both Basel and Ludogorets will also need to face Real Madrid one more time and so we will still be able to gain qualification, especially if Madrid keep up their winning form in the group.
Liverpool now soon face a major Premier League battle as we have to play Chelsea at Anfield.
Hold your heads up high, reds. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.