Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Liverpool 2-1 Crewe

Too bad our young reserves aren't like Arsenal's; still, this was an opportunity for Benitez to name a completely(?) changed side, with only Babel really having a claim to be a first team regular (even if the 'fringe' players now include Pennant, Hyypia, etc). To be honest, I wonder whether the mix of players has something to do with the performance: maybe a full reserve side would have a better understanding from playing together.

Nonetheless, it apparently helps the likes of Insua, Plessis, El Zhar and Ngog to play alongside more established players and, while Crewe made them work for the win, they came through the test. Agger's opener was cancelled out, but Leiva restored the lead and - though we couldn't make the game safe, despite the introduction of Torres (who created several chances) - it was avaoiding a major scare or 'cupset' that mattered.

The main downside was finding that our new right back, Degen, is officially made of glass. I was surprised that Benitez named such a strong bench actually: surely a few senior players, in case the game needed 'rescuing', would have been caution enough, and he could've had some more youngsters in case we were coasting. Had he not named Carragher and Skrtel, for example, then not only could one of them have had a night off, but Darby could've got a chance too.

Anyway, let's hope to avoid Premiership opposition in the next round, and see what our second string can do there.

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