Second String Liverpool Keep Out First Rate Ronaldo
Looking at the starting line up yesterday you would have been a fool to suggest Liverpool would only concede once at the Bernabeu. After Brendan Rodgers fielded what was essentially a B team there was disappointment from several Kopites on Tuesday evening who had been looking forward to a glittering tie with Real Madrid.
I was another fan raising questions about the choice of line up, mainly because I felt it was a bit disrespectful to be honest but as always, whoever Brendan picks I will back them 100%. One player I was happy to see introduced was Kolo Toure. I've been calling for him to be back in defence for a while now and boy did he put on a cult hero's display.
It quickly became evident in the first half that despite the slightly unconvincing starting XI, there was a method in Rodgers' madness. He'd instructed his team to remain compact, disciplined and when you manage to keep Cristiano Ronaldo silent for the majority of the game... there has to be credit given when due.
The issue for Liverpool though was that they had no fire power. It was a big risk from Brendan to decide to field that team and then also fail to start one man out of the following list; Steven Gerrard, Mario Balotelli, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling.
When Liverpool made breaks and the ball fell to Lazar Markovic, you couldn't help but feel that the Real Madrid back four would have been bricking it if the likes of Sterling were on the end of it.
It took Real just 25 minutes to find the back of the net when a Marcelo cross found its way to Karim Benzema. The Frenchman finished with a shot high into the net and celebrated with a fist pump as the home fans for once made more noise than the travelling ones!
Maybe that's an exaggeration but from what I heard last night and from the videos I have been watching, the travelling Kop were in brilliant voice and considering they had every right to complain, they put on a brilliant show.
In the second half Rodgers eventually made the decision to bring on Sterling, Gerrard and Coutinho. Whilst chances increased, we never found that final product and to be honest by the end of the 90 minutes I genuinely felt as though we deserved a draw.
The work rate of some of the players last night was immensely high, a bit of a slip up for the goal aside and we would have battled out a 0-0 draw at the Bernabeu, something nobody was expecting. The ifs and buts about what would have happened if Rodgers fielded a proper side will forever remain but at least we didn't get battered!
We're still in with a shout of going through but require two victories to do so, in order for that to happen we're going to have to buck our ideas up a bit I think! However this game will have certainly given Brendan something to think about line up wise.
I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:
@LFCKirstyLFC Rodgers keeps on about intensity! I didn't see any last night. Possession was good but they looked scared going forward.
— John Bocking (@bonospal) November 5, 2014
@LFCKirstyLFC Baffled by the Starting XI, was expecting a horror show but was proved wrong. Everyone played really well, Toure was brilliant
— James McGhan (@JMcGhan94) November 4, 2014
@_TheLiverBird "Kolo"Next up for Liverpool is Chelsea.
— Connor Axiotes (@connoraxiotes) November 4, 2014
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