Thursday, May 24, 2007

No Athen Joy for Reds

For the Italian, it was a sweet revenge. For Liverpool, they will ponder why they were not sixth time lucky having dominated most of the games.

The Italians have 2 person to thank. One is their goalkeeper Dida and the other is the man in black. I cast my mind back to what the commentator said before the game. "Milan have won the all the European Cup Final when the German referee was the offical for the games except in Istanbul 2005." Mind you, Milan did not lose in normal time in 2005. So as you can see, history favour the Italians.

It turned out to be true. The German referee gifted Milan a free kick just a minute before half-time. Milan scored from the resulted free-kick. It was a physological blow for Liverpool who controlled the game from the start. Replay showed that there was minimal contact on Kaka by Alonso. The referee could have waved play-on.

Dida redeemed himself this time by producing crucial saves from Pennant and Gerrard from each half. The two shots were going in until the save. If Pennant shot went in, Liverpool would likely to win the Cup because Milan will need to attack more and Liverpool can exploit with their pace against the ageing Milan's defence. However, Kuyt's goal is a mere consolation.

I'm very proud of the the way Liverpool played. They dominated but lost. Rafa can say "The better team lost." Sounds familiar? You bet.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Rafa: You nearly blew it.

Liverpool was plain lucky not to have the 3rd place snatched from them after Arsenal were held to a draw by Portsmouth after they themselves came back twice to draw Charlton.

I was furious with the team put out by Rafa during the last 3 matches. 2 consecutive away defeat and a home draw really disappoint me. I can understand Rafa priority is the Champion League. However he also need to cement the third place by fielding a string team. Imagine if Liverpool lose the the Champion League match and Arsenal beat them to the 3rd place? What does that mean? Liverpool will play in the Champion League qualifying round. What if Liverpool were knocked out during the qualifying round? It will mean UEFA Cup.

I am a relieved man when Liverpool clinch 3rd spot. Rafa's plan nearly backfired.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Athens -Here We Come

Semi-finals - 01 May 2007 20:45 (CET) - Anfield - Liverpool

Aggregate: 1 - 1 Liverpool (4 - 1) win on penalties

1 - 0
Agger 22

Match report
Pepe Reina celebrates sending Liverpool through with Steve Finnan (©Getty Images)
Penalty joy as Liverpool reach finalTuesday, 1 May 2007
by John Mathewsfrom Anfield

Pepe Reina saved two spot-kicks as Liverpool FC knocked English rivals Chelsea FC out of the UEFA Champions League 4-1 on penalties to reach a second final in three seasons on a dramatic night at Anfield. Chelsea deniedDaniel Agger's first-half shot had taken the semi-final into extra time but with no further goals and the aggregate scores locked at 1-1, a shoot-out ensued in which Dirk Kuyt struck the decisive conversion. After Boudewijn Zenden had tucked away Liverpool's first attempt, Reina guessed right to save Arjen Robben's effort. The next penalties were scored by Xabi Alonso, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard before Geremi was outsmarted by Reina and Kuyt stroked in the clincher.

ElectrifyingAnfield had basked under a cloudless sky and brilliant sunshine at kick-off, but as darkness fell and the temperature dropped so it rose to boiling point inside the famous old stadium which, as expected, was full of song and passion throughout. Visibly lifted by the crowd, Liverpool started brightly and had most of the early possession without making inroads until the place erupted in celebration in the 22nd minute.

Agger goal
Gerrard fooled everyone with a low free-kick from the corner of the box which Chelsea expected to be curled up towards Peter Crouch and the mass of bodies around him; instead the Liverpool captain squared it to Danish international defender Agger, who sidefooted the ball past Petr Čech with power and precision. The aggregate equaliser was greeted by near pandemonium and Chelsea struggled to get into the match until Didier Drogba gave Liverpool a scare when he beat the offside trap but not Reina, who blocked his shot from a promising position.

Essien chance
The Premiership title-holders had another decent opportunity to equalise five minutes before the interval, however. Drogba climbed well to nod Lampard's corner towards the Kop End goal, yet Michael Essien could not apply the finishing touch with his header and the ball bounced to safety past Reina's right-hand post.

Off the bar
Although it seemed impossible at the time, the tension increased after the break as both teams went in search of goals. Crouch thought he had done enough to score when he towered above Paulo Ferreira and Essien to meet Jermaine Pennant's cross but his downward header was kept out by the feet of Čech. Soon afterwards, Kuyt went even closer with a header that came back off the crossbar. With so much at stake, errors were commonplace and what the game lacked in fluidity, it more than made up for with intensity.

Carragher scare
Determined to fight back, Chelsea went within a whisker of levelling matters on the night when full-back Ashley Cole raided down the left in the 75th minute and cut the ball inside from the byline; Jamie Carragher, in an attempt to deny Drogba, connected from three metres out and saw his clearance skim over the top. As play and the psychological pendulum swung this way and that, Zenden brought another save from Čech, yet the clocked eventually ticked down to

90 without further score, prompting extra time.
Offside decisionKuyt found the net in the first additional period but an offside flag ruled his effort out after he had followed up Čech's parry from substitute Alonso's stinging drive. Čech frustrated Kuyt again after the stretching Drogba was centimetres away from turning in Shaun Wright-Phillips's enticing centre. Tired minds and weary legs failed to conjure a match-winner, however, and penalties beckoned at the Anfield Road End. Here, Kuyt did get his winning goal and, for the seventh time in their history, Liverpool are through to the European Champion Clubs' Cup final; Chelsea, beaten at this stage for the third time since 2004, still await their first.
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Pre Match

Jose...You deserve it!!!

Well....Shut up Jose! Your team is out of the Champion League and your EPL title is out of reach. It's time you zip your mouth and respect the team that are better than you. Do you know you are slapping yourself when you taunt the opposition. You gave them the motivate to put your mouth in your ass. Calling Liverpool a "small team"? Calling Ronald uneducated? If a "small" team like Liverpool can make it to the final of the European clun premier competition twice in 3 years..then what do you call Chelsea that spend millions and can't even get into the Final of UCL? You call that "small" team, Jose? Na Bei!!!

Please stop calling yourself the Special One. This title should be given to Rafa Benitez and of course the 12th man for Liverpool...the Anfield Faithful....

Jose....give the team credit and not insist that your team is the better one. If your words "the better team was knocked out"....then Liverpool must the better team in the first leg. Jose..your days at Stamford Bridge are numbered....Prepare to pack your bag and go.....Mr. Roman Abramovic is calling for your head...Can't you hear that?

My Betting Tickets

When Liverpool was paired with Chelsea for the UCL semi-final, I never gave them a chance despite truimping over the defending champion Barcelona. I bought Chelsea and Man Utd is win the UCL. Now with Chelsea knocked out (deservedly so)..Man Utd represent my best hope of winning....However, I love to see Liverpool winning the trophy again...I dun mind losing money...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Liverpool v Chelsea - Champion League (2nd Leg S-F)

Tomorrow morning will see a repeat of the 04/05 semi-final. But this time Liverpool will need to overcome a 1-0 defict to stand any hope of earning the ticket to Athens. Being a Liverpool fan, I would hope to see the Reds progress to their 2nd final in 3 years. However I'm quite skeptical about their chances. The recent events might just swing Chelsea's favour. The EPL title is as good as gone for Chelsea after the draw on Saturday. The Blues would also want to put an end to the controversial defeat 3 years ago. Looks like Chelsea is more motivated than the Reds.

My prediction : 1-1 or 0-1.
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