February 2010 Archives
Or is it? Today we saw the Liverpool Football Club of old emerge from the shadows. Every player this afternoon played their heart out and it was one of those matches that turned out to be a pleasure to watch.
At a quarter past two this afternoon, I received the team news and immediately my heart was lifted, knowing that Blackburn can be a hard team to beat. It was Reina, Mascherano, Aurelio, Agger, Caragher, Lucas, Gerrard, Benayoun, Kuyt, Rodrigeux and Torres. The Substitutes were Cavalieri, Aquiliani, Babel, Insua, Ngog, Kelly and Ayala. The referee for the afternoon was Alan Wiley.
The teams came out into a stadium that was in full voice, which was wonderful to hear, after the quiet weeks that we have witnessed recently. Blackburn kicked off to start the game and almost immediately Pepe Reina was in action and I must admit at this point, he seemed a little unsure of himself. This was not going to stop Liverpool though, they were in for the kill right from the start, their passing seemed to have improved overnight and there was very little that Blackburn could do except fight for the ball. The old Blackburn emerged very quickly and it was not long before Salgado earned Blackburn their first yellow card of the afternoon for bringing down Fernando Torres
Thursday night saw the team begin their latest Europa cup adventure on foreign shores. They had travelled to Romania for the second leg of their opening game in the competition against Unirea. The game was being played in the national stadium because UEFA felt that Unirea's stadium would not be big enough to cope with the interest that the match would hopefully generate.
The team was as expected, Reina, Insua, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Lucas, Masherano, Babel, Benayoun, Gerrard and Ngog. Substitutes were Cavalieri, Aquilani, Torres, Aurelio, Kyriaskos, Kuyt and Kelly.
The game opened in a very wet and unfriendly looking stadium. There was very little noise from the crowd and to be honest it certainly did not seem like a European night. The television commentator remarked that there were actually people in front of each stand trying to get a response from the supporters.
Unirea kicked off, but Liverpool quickly gained possession of the ball, with Skrtel getting his first touch. Unfortunately, though it was eventually wasted with nobody to meet it. Unirea had gained their first free kick but with the pitch being slippery, it was miss-kicked and a chance was lost. Stevie G did have a chance for goal but the jinx that has befallen him this season still appeared to be around and he missed yet again
28th October 2009, and Liverpool fans were more excited than they usually would be about the 4th round of the Carling Cup. On the long trip down to the Emirates Stadium, buoyed by the two nil victory over Manchester United three days earlier - the travelling Kop couldn't wait to see Alberto Aquilani in the first team.
It was always said that it would take a while for the first glimpse of the Italian playmaker and, although it took longer than first imagined, his gradual introduction to Liverpool Football Club began against a second string Arsenal side.
The last quarter of an hour was all he got but was still enough to whet the appetite of the supporters looking eagerly for a saviour to their already disappointing season. Comparisons to the departed Xabi Alonso were inevitable and a couple of beautifully weighted passes out wide didn't do anything to remove the probably unwanted and highly pressured tag of 'Alonso's replacement.'
ANOTHER European night, another reason for Liverpool's statisticians to scribble another entry into their books.
While, inevitably, the focus was on Steven Gerrard after he took his tally of European goals to 33, surpassing Alan Shearer as Britain's all-time leading scorer in continental competition, there was another significant foot note.
Four years and one month after joining Liverpool from Brondby, Daniel Agger made his 100th appearance for the club; only when you fully consider the date he actually arrived on Merseyside can you begin to put that achievement into context.