Youth Thrive In Goal Fest
|Loving the celebration haha...|
Brendan left several Liverpool regulars at home and I must apologise for the match preview because I read that Raheem Sterling was also left at home when in fact he was on the bench. Pacheco started up front and the only real experience in the side was the likes of Jamie Carragher and Stewart Downing.
It didn't take long for the games first goal to appear which isn't surprising now knowing it ended with 8 goals. The home side actually gifted Liverpool a head start after a comedic mix up in their defence. A cross from Stewart Downing was relatively unchallenged by any Liverpool players but an attempted clearance ended up smacking defender Ojala in the face and going into the back of the net. Hilarious.
What made me laugh even more was that Downing finally got an assist... for an own goal.
Usually these Europa League group matches are far from entertaining and it's often a struggle to stay interested but immediately once we knew our youngsters were on show that added interest and excitement. I actually said in the match preview that I felt the youth would aid our attacking ability and it certainly did.
Pacheco is somebody I enjoy watching but unfortunately for him despite his hard work he wasn't serviced well enough on Thursday night. Other youngsters like Suso and Wisdom were looking very comfortable in the Liverpool side, Suso was oozing confidence when taking on any defensive efforts.
For me also Assaidi had a very decent game, I was expecting to be more impressed by Sahin but it was the 24 year old that impressed me more last night even though Sahin also offered an assist. Obviously it's hard to forge a real opinion in games within the Europa League but it was a great start for me.
Young Boys found an equaliser thanks to a poor decision from Enrique to clear the ball and scored with a simple finish from Nuzzolo. Liverpool felt hard done by at this stage because they shouldn't have been gifted that opportunity, step up Andre Wisdom.
A cross from Sahin saw the youngster rise above the Young Boys defence and with a confident header Andre sent Liverpool back into the lead. Wisdom is another youngster many fans are aware of and I'm particularly interested in following his improvement as I've always had a soft spot for defenders.
At half time the game showed no signs of slowing up. Both sides were finding themselves with chances perhaps not always deservedly so but nevertheless it was shaping up to be a cracking game for a Thursday night 6pm kick off.
Young Boys found their second equaliser just after the 50 minute mark. The man who scored the own goal was now redeeming himself and Ojala made sure he headed home his sides second goal.
At the hour mark Liverpool decided to bring on somebody with a bit more experience as Fabio Borini replaced Pacheco.
Before Borini had even got chance to help his side though Young Boys had found a third goal. Another slip up from the defence allowed Zarate plenty of space, his finish in fairness was quality and not even one of Carra's almost famous last ditch attempts could save Liverpool from going down.
Jonjo Shelvey replaced Assaidi shortly before Liverpool found an equaliser and the earlier substitute Borini was cheeky enough to try and claim it. Unfortunately for the Italian he didn't get a touch but Coates' header was a good one and even better Stewart Downing got an actual assist! Wahey!
Now it was the other substitutes turn to get himself involved in Liverpool efforts and Jonjo Shelvey at only 20 himself was actually now considered one of the more experienced players on the pitch.
A good set of passing and movement allowed Henderson to set up Shelvey and he was left with a simple slot in to put Liverpool back in the lead.
Raheem Sterling now entered the field of play with 15 minutes to go and replaced Stewart Downing.
Young Boys were now looking like they were out of ideas but it was still dangerous for Liverpool to hope that at 4-3 that would be enough for the points. Thankfully Jonjo was on a mission to seal the deal.
On a run and presented with the opportunity to pass to a team mate Jonjo saw the space and time to push on himself once in position he finished with a superb strike to smash Liverpool home.
It wasn't exactly the usual way to go about it but Liverpool had collected all three points and due to a draw in the other game were placed top of the group.
Defensively it was worrying but attacking wise it was grand. With Manchester United on Sunday and probably the inclusion of all the regulars they seriously need to sit up and take note. The youngsters did us proud on Thursday and it was the fringe players that scored, some may include Shelvey as more of a regular but even so he isn't the one who is supposed to be relied on for goals.
Sunday will be the first match at Anfield since the release of the Hillsborough documents and I sincerely hope that both sets of fans show respect to one another, there are always the minority but lets hope that we can all remember the 96 as football fans and not as rivals.
After Vidic and Gerrard release 96 balloons and the stands mosaics tell of the truth and justice for the 96 I hope Liverpool can pull a win out of the bag too!