Oby’s Opinion…on the Inter game

Liverpool 2-0 FC Internazionale

The Match

On the whole I feel it was a superb performance by The Reds who completely out shone the Italian Champions. Milan had not been beaten in all competitions for five months facing teams such as AC Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina, for a team who failed to beat Barnsley at the weekend and who have been on a very bad run of form over the last two months this was as big an upset as the Barnsley game itself.

I feel all players had a great night and all thoroughly deserved a man of the match award. However if I had to choose who it went to then I feel that Javier Mascherano takes the prize. True he never set up any goals or created memorable scoring chances but when Stevie Gerrard made his surging runs forward to help out Torres and Lucas made his regular trips to the wings to help out Kuyt and Babel then Mascherano dominated the central midfield and stopped Inter building a good offence from the heart of the team. I would also like to make special mention of Ryan Babel. He played a fantastic game of football and had Crouchie been on from kick off then I feel The Reds would have scored more than two as Crouchie dominated the aerial route once he came on. And as always Captain Fantastico has to get a mention. He didn’t play his best game for Liverpool; in fact he was pretty quiet for 70 minutes but once the Reds started to mount some pressure and sensed a goal he stepped up to the plank and ended up scoring a goal in the quality of the infamous Olympiacos saviour goal.

Of course all the Evertonians and the Mancs will base our victory on the red card received by Marco Materazzi. I must admit I don’t feel the second offence was deserving of a yellow card but if he wasn’t booked for that then surely he would have been booked later on in the game as he was fouling Torres a lot in the first half hour.

Pressure?

There’s no doubt that the team has come under tremendous pressure over the last two months with their failure to win easy games and their shocking two conceded goals against Havent and Waterlooville. But if the Inter game will have any effect then it will result in a light up tempo atmosphere in the home dressing room as the players know that they have done the hardest thing for a team in a lack of form. They won, and against the Italian champions. Perhaps now some of the pressure on Rafa Benitez’s shoulders will lift and the team will begin to perform again where it matters. On the pitch.

The Bad News

Although Rafa got his tactics right on the night there were three things he did which I strongly disagree with. Firstly the substitution in which he took Babel off and brought Pennant on was a stupid move as Babel was one of our best players on the pitch at the time and once Pennant came on he had no influence on the game what so ever. Ok, so he put in the cross to Kuyt for the first goal but, other than that what did he do. Secondly, the choice to play Lucas Leiva from the start was indeed a bold one. In my opinion Lucas is much too young to be given that responsibility, even though in his last few appearances he has shown tremendous development and has begun to grasp the pace of the Premiership. Finally, Dirk Kuyt is a striker. Although he eventually scored from the position he should not have been played out on the wing as he showed he is not a winger by some of the crosses he put into the box.

10 comments on
Oby’s Opinion…on the Inter game

  1. it is about opinions we waited all night for a goal pennant delivers the cross that we finally score from and you think it is insignifigant while not being convinced by the player you should agree he made a telling contribution albeit in the last 10 mins

  2. I also initially raised an eyebrow at the Babel substitution. For you to however in hindsight go on and have to ask “what did he do” (refering to Pennant), other than provide the cross that ultimately lead to a very important goal seems rather bizzare.
    But no matter, the important thing is that the team won and stunned more than a few with their performance on the night (including myself). Now, we will have to wait three weeks and hope that the team and Benitez can reproduce the same sort of magic in Italy.

  3. Your analysis of the match was OK as like you I felt the key was Mascha’s performance.The point about Pennant coming on for on for Babel worked as without that cross there wouldn’t have been that goal so for that contribution alone the swap worked,it’s the little things that win games.I thought Babel was tiring from all the work he put in same for Lucas who for his age had a good game and given a little time he’s gonna be some player.As for playing Crouch from the start I’m not sure on that one as I feel crouch is one of those rare breeds that can come on and switch on right into a game (like last night)that’s when he’s most effective in my view.We played a really good solid game and deserved the scoreline of 2-0 now we must score over at their place to put the tie beyond them.Well done guys…

  4. I totally agree with u oby besides for ur piece where u talked about the bad news

    DIrk kuyt played excellently out of position he should play there more often.

    As for the babel, pennant switch it was a very good one because although babel was playing extremely well he wasnt using the flanks as well as pennant was with his superb crossing. Lucas did a good job and is getting good exposure to the champions league, but he should rather bring him of the bench and play gerrard in the center.

    My starting line up for the san siro will be

    Reina, finnan,carragher,skrtel,benayoun,gerrard,mascherano,pennant, torres, and crouch

    Subs: Lucas, Kuyt,Itandje, Babel,Alonso,Hyypia

    If rafa needs to turn on the pace bring on Babel..and later once secured bring on lucas to apply pressure at the end

    If the strking patrnerships not going well then bring on Kuyt

    But i have a very good feeling Benitez will start Kuyt with torres

  5. As they say, football’s a game of opinions.

    There was nobody else to play the second holding role other than Lucas. Please recall Alonso still has the gash on his head from the Barnsley match.

    Unlike you, I felt Babel didn’t contribute very much. His trickery was clever and all, but I couldn’t remember any meaningful cross or pass from him to another Liverpool player all the time he was on the pitch.

    Peanut may be awful in people’s eyes, but his two meaningful passes resulted in the goals. P.S. he kept the ball and passed to Gerrard for his goal.

    As for Kuyt, give the man a break. He has been totally headless, but I put it down to him losing his father and he wasn’t able to get it out of his system. Sure, kick a man when he’s lost his life’s anchor, why don’t you?

  6. Have to agree with you on Leiva and how he could possibly be expected to take on such a responsibility. I mean after all this is a guy who won Brazil’s Player of the Year (past winners include Romario, Tevez and Ronaldinho)last season and played against Boca Juniors (an obvious half-rate team)for Gremio in the final of the Copa Liberterdores which I’m sure you know is Latin America’s equivelant of the CL.
    Too young indeed!

  7. “he took Babel off and brought Pennant on was a stupid move”
    “Ok, so he put in the cross to Kuyt for the first goal”

    Ohhhh, I’m sorry. I thought the objective of the game was to score goals. Silly me. We should just leave players on who are playing well – but not scoring goals. Players who come in or are playing “out of position”, but score goals are doing it all wrong. They should stop doing that. It would be a lot better if we just tie or lose the game and Rafa should leave them well enough alone.

    You sure told Rafa the correct way of running a team. Thank you.

  8. ‘Milan had not been beaten in all competitions for five months facing teams such as AC Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina, for a team who failed to beat Barnsley at the weekend and who have been on a very bad run of form over the last two months this was as big an upset as the Barnsley game itself.’

    Very strong statement that. Disagree. Upsets compared, European football is a totally different kettle of fish to the FA Cup.
    I think Oby needs to realise that it might be as big an upset to the press, that Inter getting beat by a Liverpool side who have under performed lately. But it’s not an upset for me. No chance. I know a lot of our players can perform the way they did against Inter. They just haven’t displayed it for a while when we come up against teams that on paper, we should beat.

    We may not be good enough to compete for the league in all honesty, but we’re better than we’ve shown ourselves to be lately. People should remember that and not concede defeat before it’s already come!

  9. Dear Oby
    I agree with yr analysis and Babel is a consistantly good player.I also felt Benayoun shld have been on to replace lucas as he is a crafty guy who can create and bamboozle opponents.
    I believe L’pool should focus on 4 weaknesses re:premier league’ 1.Slow attack buildup ie.release of ball and getting into spaces too slow-2.inaccurate passes at crucial moments 3.lack of team understanding 3. poor finishing-aim for top corners better than low corners.

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