OBY’s Dugout- Lyon (A)

The bare minimum the reds were looking for coming out of the Stade De Gerland tonight was a point. Even then, the kopites wanted 3. It was never going to be an easy match. With so many of our team sidelined the bench comprised of youth players. Prior to the match the ITV analysts were discussing who would be the better option; Voronin or Babel? Personally I thought we lost either way. Boy was I wrong.

Voronin chosen for the starting line up then and the reds don’t seem to be making much head way in the early minutes but luckily neither are the French giants. Eventually Liverpool begins to run play and boss the game. Having the majority of the chances and blocking Lyon at every opportunity, Rafa’s men start look better than they have over recent weeks. The reds sporting our changed white strip tonight had the first major chance of the game when the cross came in and El Nino made contact, unfortunately there was no direction and the keeper saves down low. The other notable chance from the first half fell to the previous debated Andriy Voronin who made a great 40 yard off the ball run to meet a lobbed through ball in the area. With his first touch he strikes at goal but unfortunately like Nando before him hits it low and straight at the keeper. Saved.

Out for the second half then and after a dominant performance in the first 45 minutes by Liverpool. Fans could be forgiven for appearing optimistic. Change of play this time with Lyon coming back into the game and things looking a bit more difficult for the reds now. Closest chance from the reds point of view came when Lucas was one on one with the keeper. Fair play it was a difficult angle but for a player at Liverpool FC you would still expect him to score. He didn’t, but the rebound falls to Dirk Kuyt to try an exquisite over head kick to try and put the rebound in. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough on it to force it in. Still 0-0. So time for a change then and personally I was enticed by what I saw of our newly fit midfielder Alberto Aquilani last week at the Emirates. So I was fairly disappointed to see Ryan Babel would be replacing Andriy Voronin. It would turn out to be a good move as the Dutchman received the ball on the edge of the area, took it inside and delivered a strike that had us all screaming for joy. Short lived ecstasy though as Lyon would go to get the equaliser on the verge of the 90th minute after a lack of communication in defence allowed them in for the goal.

So unfortunate in the end when the reds played the best they have for a while but still just couldn’t get that win. Now to the issue which everyone is talking about. Should Rafa go? Personally I think yes. But I don’t base that on recent results. Ok, people have been fired based on worse runs than the one were on right now (Can you imagine being an Ipswich fan?). No I think Rafa has took the team as far as he can, I don’t see the ability to win the prem in him and think that he tactics as of late are that of a desperate man. If the pressure is getting to him it is unfortunate but I think his time has ended.

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