Liverpool 0-0 Braga (0-1 aggregate)

Europa League Last 16 2nd Leg
Thursday 17 March 2011 - 8:05 pm
0SC Braga
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Liverpool started off the game with a promising stride having both Joe Cole and Andy Carroll testing the goalkeeper. Trailing from a goal down in the first leg, Liverpool had to push on and go for it at home against Braga.

But what pace and punch Liverpool posed early on in the first half, it soon fizzled out and left a sluggish, dull outlook under the Anfield floodlights. No doubt about it, Braga were here to frustrate and waste time. Yet at the same time, they worked hard to put Liverpool under pressure and even tried to play it about a bit. And who could blame them? This was the famous Anfield they were playing at, they might as well make the most of it.

As the first half dragged on, Joe Cole was trying his best to dent some damage in a tough defence. Andy Carroll was a clear threat by his movement off the ball and presence in the box. But like we’ve seen on so many occasions in recent times with Liverpool, the creative edge from back to the middle was little or nowhere. A few offsides and that was about it really. Apart from Kuyts hard work. That doesn’t always create goals though. We needed more.

The second half kicked off and it wasn’t long until Carroll ended up with a yellow card out of frustration. Understandable really. He’d been making some great movement off the ball but there wasn’t really the craft or vision to back him up. He ended up chasing a ball down to the byline and lashed out at a defender with his foot.

Frustration grows from the Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish.

Only the 60th minute and there were chants of “attack, attack, attack-attack-attack!” from the Kop. Mixed with frustration and nerves, Kenny Dalglish and the Liverpool fans were watching football that was all too predictable.

In the 75th minute, it was a double substitution. Ngog and Spearing on, Maxi and Cole off. Ngog instantly having an effect on the game by holding the ball up and even having a shot on goal. Finally a bit of attack from the reds.

Liverpool were pilling the pressure on and the Anfield crowd were finally finding more vocal power.

But Liverpool’s passing was not quite up to the highest of standards and we were pegging ourselves back with wayward passes in the air. The officials didn’t help with things of course as some decisions were raising more than an eyebrow.

In the 85th minute Carroll was denied by his own team mate Kuyt for his first Liverpool goal, as the big number 9 got on the end of a corner only to see the ball hit the back off Kuyts head instead of the back of the net. Typical. Straight away Skrtel was given an opportunity to blast the ball home but was denied by the advancing keeper. A mixture of bad luck and lack of composure kept the scores at 0-0.

Ngog went agonisingly close trying to get on the end of a free kick in the dying minutes but he just couldn’t get that vital touch on the ball to head it home. And that was the end of Liverpool’s Europa League hopes, ended there.

The tie wasn’t lost in the first leg. It was most certainly lost at Anfield. The pace was too slow and the quality was missing in many places all over the pitch for the reds. To win trophies you have to really penetrate teams and be able to start attacks from the back. You have to have some imagination and invention. And most of all, quality passing. Coasting along with some players who gain a lot of credit just for hard work alone, does not meet the standard expected at Liverpool Football Club. And tonight is another example of how it is costing us.


6 comments on
Liverpool 0-0 Braga (0-1 aggregate)

  1. For many seasons now we’ve not addressed the lack of width in the side which is what we need more then anything else. It’s these wingers that create the most chances for forward players, just look at the Mancs who always have plenty of them available.

    No doubting that the players worked incredibly hard for the equaliser so can’t critisise them in this regard.

  2. Think it is time for us to have a good look at our “fringe” players. Cole, Wilson, Maxi, Spearing, Lucas, amongst others quite simply, they are just not good enough if we have aspirations of achieving Champions league football and Winning the EPL. And lets just not even get started on N’gog. He cant pass, cant shoot and cant stay on his legs long enough to be productive. Flog him for whatever you can get for him. He is a waste of bench space.
    Seriuosly, we need to totally rebuild our entire squad, which is going to take vast amount of resources to do so. we need 2 left backs, another right back, And another center half to replace Soko.
    We need A quality Dm and at least 1 maybe 2 Creative mids, 2-3 wingers/wide players and another striker. That together with Suarez, Carrol, Gerrard, Agger, Kelly, Miereles, Kuyt, Johnson, and a few of the younger players pushing through you we could then start considering Looking at challenging for trophies. Until then, we really don’t deserve to be challenging for titles just because we are Liverpool. It takes quality, not history, to achieve greatness. And currently, we lack quality.
    Hopefully the summer we are able to rectify at least some of the positions we are seriously lacking quality in.
    Either way, ill still be getting up to watch every game. YNWA

  3. well the stats before indicated it could be dejavue 4 games 2 goals. the stats here for this game the reds had ten offsides and none for braga. how many offsides had kuyt had this season. why does kenny keep on playing cole,when pacheo could do better.carroll tries hard but he hasnt the skillset of saurez. could be a long time before we get into europe need a creative midfield.

  4. Sorry guys Cole,Ngog, not good enough,Maxi ???,Miereles deep??? just toothless tonight and needs to be addressed but it did under Rafa,£20mil for Aqua man or £35mil for Carroll both injured??? i think we need 4 good strong players just to get us going,Gutted tonight.

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