Liverpool Exit Champions League

Liverpool last night managed to provide their part of the bargain in Budapest but a dominant Fiorentina spoiled the party with a 1-0 win over Lyon in Florence.
It is always a very surreal feeling when you are watching a match in which your team have took the lead yet you are more concerned about a result 590miles away as your Champion's League story depends on it.

I said in my match preview that win, lose or draw this game would not be forgotten. It certainly won't be remembered for an outstanding performance but for the disappointment of winning and not raking in any benefits from the result.

The game started very lively and within 4 minutes we had taken the lead courtesy of a somewhat untidy N'Gog goal but a goal nonetheless. N'Gog is becoming more and more focused each game, his ability to hold up the ball and continue play is excellent. His skill and strength are also major aspects he keeps highlighting in his recent games and his goalscoring record? Well that speaks for itself.

The early goal was just what the doctor ordered, it filled N'Gog with even more confidence and gave the team belief. After seeing that goal go in so early it was imminent that the team would pick up the prescription and net a few more to seal the deal.

This however wasn't the case and although Liverpool continued to hold on to the lead, by half time the game had slowed dramatically. The second half didn't offer much more hope with Debrecen appearing to get some sort of hold on the game and occasionally threatening the goal. Rudolf providing a lot of the attack from the Hungarian side but there were no gifts in store for the aptly named striker for this time of year.

Liverpool were already aware of the situation in Florence before the first half had ended. Fiorentina had been awarded a penalty and had successfully converted it meaning Liverpool (as it stood) would be out. Whether this had an effect on the play i don't know but this all boils down to our general performance in the competition. After the results against Lyon it was always going to be a big ask from ourselves let alone relying on the other result.

So disappointingly Liverpool exit the top club competition in Europe after a mixture of bad luck, injuries, silly mistakes and a lack of chances taken we have to turn our backs on the competition for this year.

Leaving us in the wake of the more and more interesting prospect of the Europa League. Formerly known as the UEFA Cup this competition is not one to be laughed at. In some cases it is more challenging than the Champions League itself and this is a big opportunity for Liverpool to pick up some silverware.

The competition this year is filled with talent: Ajax, Sporting Lisbon, Benfica, Valencia and not so much talent ; Everton. Joking aside even the English clubs (if they progress) will provide intense competition over two legs.

Realistically without taking the eye of the ball too much in the Premier League as it is vital we finish within the top four i feel as though this is a brilliant chance for Liverpool to collect some more silver which will only add to the reason why we are still "the most successful club in England".

We have experienced the majority of the opposition before and over two legs i am confident against any team you throw at us, with time to regain control of results and improve our form and the assumption that injuries will no longer be as much of a burden, this is a very winnable competition for the lads.

So despite the heartache it is time to focus on a brand new task;
Liverpool - Europa League Winners 2010.
Has a sort of ring to it doesn't it?

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