Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Toulouse 0-1 Liverpool (CL qualifer)

Thankfully I managed to get my internet working in time to be pleasantly surprised BBC audio commentary of this match was available online (CL wasn't last season, but maybe that's only the competition-proper). Sadly, I wasn't able to see it, but by all reports I didn't miss much from a pedestrian game played in a mid-afternoon 30 degree heat.

The good news is that Rafa was able to make six changes - starting Hyypia, Mascherano, Benayoun, Babel, Voronin and Crouch - without obviously fielding a weakened team. It wasn't so surprising to see some new signings bedded-in in Europe, to help them acclimatize to the team before being thrown into the Premiership.

Though defences enjoyed the best of the game, we seemed fairly comfortable. Voronin's cracking goal under-scored what excellent value for money he was. While it's still early days, it looks like he'll offer our first-team far more than Robbie did (I hate to say it) and - much as I like Crouch - I'm even starting to wonder what a Torres-Voronin partnership would look like for first-choice.

The bad side, however, is that the away goal counts for nothing (it would only come in to play if they score at least one at Anfield), and our recent qualifying history has been to win 2-0 away then lose at Anfield and squeak through - it looks like we'll need a full-strength team in two weeks' time. Also Gerrard picked up a minor knock before his substitution and Carragher showed signs of what was hopefully just cramp - we'd better hope both are fit for Chelsea's up-coming visit.

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At 11:53 am, Blogger Rob Jubb said...

Eh, they backed off him a bit, let him turn. Is a nice finish though.

At 1:24 pm, Blogger Ben said...

Yeah, having seen it later it wasn't as special as the commentators and some reports made out - but for a free signing he's definitely looking good!


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