13 September 2005

and so it begins...

five minutes left in the Liverpool-Betis match... we just had a nice little bit of passing in their half which didn't come to anything, but wasted a bunch of time.

great save from Reina on that free kick there. looks like we just might hang on (famous last words, right?). I'm still getting used to the Spaniard in goal, but he's mostly made good decisions in this match, only a couple times where he looked in the wrong place.

I was very pleased with the first half, particularly the first twenty-five minutes or so, but am much less pleased at the moment. they made some changes at the half that we didn't compensate for, and they became a much greater threat in midfield. Rafa won't be happy with the second half, I think.

five minutes of extra time, ugh. another goal would be good here, lads.

as far as the squad goes, I thought Carra did a reasonably competent job as captain, but perhaps the second half is where we really missed the leadership of Gerrard, when they altered their formation, we didn't cope well; Hyypia really needs some cover at the back, he's just not fast enough to get in the way of some of these speedier forwards; Sissoko is improving rapidly, this is the first match I've really been impressed with his contribution; Garcia still isn't a right winger, but he didn't give the ball away as much as I expected him to; as for Crouch, he has a good touch and decent vision, but it's like watching a giraffe play, I get distracted by how bony his knees are and I miss what he's done with the ball; Cisse needs to settle down a bit when he (or his teammate) makes a mistake, I'm all for my team playing with passion and heart, but I worry that he gets discouraged too easily. the rest of them were good at times, but overall not breathtaking.

the goals, though, were awfully fun to watch. Carra's ball forward for the first goal was great, and Flo-Po's control was excellent to chip the keeper so neatly. some nice passing for the second goal, with every passer having a defender breathing down his neck and still sending the ball to where it would do the most good.

and that's it finished. Real Betis 1 - 2 Liverpool. could have been worse, but I wouldn't want to be in the dressing room now. one expects strong words to be spoken.

in other CL matches today:
so there ya go. the group stages of the Champions League are underway. ESPN2 had the Liverpool match on today, and should have Man Utd on tomorrow. it's like they know.

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