Liverpool Suffer Champions League Knock

So,we're down but we are definitely not out. We all expected the trip to Italy to be a tough tie but i don't think many were expecting the lashing Liverpool appeared to get tonight. The viola's star player who i read about this morning in several articles was definitely portrayed correctly as "a threat".

Benitez fielded a side with one swap, the injured Mascherano out for Aurelio who would be sitting on the left wing for the start of this Champions League match. A rocky start to say the least after a rather slow opening to the game but it began to become a bit more lively for Fiorentina who had started the match in exactly the right mind-set by the looks of things.

Dirk Kuyt and Glen Johnson appeared to be the only means of attack running up to the 20minutes mark after several pushes forward were confidently stopped by the experienced back four of Fiorentina. As for the Italians the young Jovetic was already causing our defence some havoc, with his skill and speed he'd found himself in the penalty area on several occasions already but this had luckily come to no avail.

Fiorentina keep the majority of possession running up the the half hour mark and Pepe Reina is required for the first time in the game after a powerful shot is whipped in by Marchionni and Reina makes a brilliant save. This was infact a sign of things to come as shortly after Jovetic is back once more and this time he buries it. After Liverpool attempt to play the offside trap Insua is caught too deep playing the young Italian clearly onside, Jovetic takes a low shot into the far corner and the Reds find themselves down in the first half.

Liverpool attempt to re-group and maintain a deficit of only one goal but hope is short lived after Jovetic punishes even further with another goal. Reina almost managed to keep it at bay but was unfortunate and the Spaniard found himself beaten for the second time within 10 minutes.

A first half performance that wasn't threatening anybody, barely a chance and rather shoddy at the back, no balls fed through to Torres and not any real flashes of those typical Steven Gerrard moments. The game was not lost yet but boy did we need a turn around.

Second half begins and whatever Rafa and the boys said and did in that changing room it must have worked because we came out a completely different team. First of all Benayoun finds himself in acres of space after he is left free by the defender, a typical skillful run into the area and Yossi forces a save from the goalkeeper Sebastien Frey within the first minute. Then almost immediately the away side gain themselves a corner, the ball is whipped in and Lucas connects with a fantastic effort, his header just skipping over the cross bar, easily the best attempt of the night for Liverpool. We weren't finished yet, just moments later Kuyt fancies his chances and again forces Frey to make a good stop. Three chances in less than 5 minutes, i thought this was going to be one of those classic comebacks.A memorable match at a ground that had never seen an English opposition win.

For the best part of twenty minutes Liverpool pushed and pushed half chance after chance went by yet nothing. Even the goal shy Carragher found himself with the opportunity to have a pop at goal, a powerful shot which unfortunaley drifted wide.Torres threatens, Gerrard has a chance, we even see Skrtel with a super run into the area and a cross that is so close to being converted by the awaiting Fernando Torres. This just wasn't our night. As the minutes ticked down and chance after chance was sent wide it was clear we were staring a European defeat in the face.

Full time: Fiorentina 2 Liverpool 0.

Overall i think that we went into the game poorly at the start, there was no sense of emergency to get out there and get that all important first goal. After Fiorentina began to break down the defence it was clear they fancied they're chances and when those chances came they took them. I still can't decide whether we were more unlucky or just plain bad. The defence again is becoming a problem for me but at the moment i really cannot figure out why this is, i don't understand why especially Carragher and Skrtel who played brilliantly together last season can't seem to get it together. I can only hope the defence improves as I'm sure it will. As for choosing a MOTM i again feel uncertain as nobody really stood out tonight but for his efforts and drive i think i am going with the Captain tonight. Anyway, more to the point when have Liverpool ever had a smooth ride in the group stages? Olympiakos 2005 anyone? Here's to the almost inevitable turn around.

Match Stats:

Shots on target = Liverpool - 4 Fiorentina - 4
Shots off target = Liverpool - 6 Fiorentina - 3
Corners = Liverpool - 10 Fiorentina - 4
Fouls = Liverpool - 15 Fiorentina - 9
Offsides = Liverpool - 4 Fiorentina - 3
Passing Success Rate = Liverpool - 81 Fiorentina - 73.5

Did you feel as though the talented Jovetic let himself down tonight after he appeared to have "dived" on 3 occasions during the match?
Do you know or have a theory as to why our defence is leaking so many goals?
How do you feel about the offside trap?
Were you a fan that was infact expecting a defeat from Fiorentina?
Please leave your thoughts below, it would be great to hear what some of you have to say about tonight's performance.