Amit Sharma

Liverpool FC: Out but far from down

rodgers_zenit

The fight was lost but the war is far from over. Last night at Anfield, Liverpool played out another classic European night of football, though this time the result was not what those special nights are usually associated with, even though the team were victorious on the night, winning the game 3-1, they crashed out of the Europa League on the away goals rule, the aggregate score being 3-3.

European nights return

This season European nights had seemed to be missing that special magic and buzz that would normally be found when entering the Shankly Gates and beyond for European games. That was not the case last night. The magic, the atmosphere, the desire and energy were all evident, the atmosphere before the game, the noise from the crowd when the teams emerged onto the pitch and after each of our goals, the hunger the players showed could not be questioned, yet unlike previous glorious nights, the team eventually came up short.

The result may not have been what we all wanted but we cannot deny the effort and desire the team put in. After going a goal down, an Olympiakos, Istanbul type fight back was needed, and boy did the team try. A goal from the improving Joe Allen and two delicious free kicks from Suarez set up a grandstand finish, which unfortunately did not prevail. Yet in the pain of defeat and elimination can be pride at the performance of the team and encouragement and realisation that the team is improving and are committed in the cause to restore the club to the elite of English and European football. Nobody can question the player’s commitment last night, the expression on Suarez’s face when he scored his second goal and that of the players at the end of the game is more than enough proof.

Europa League – is it important?

For all those naysayers that ridicule the Europa League and team’s involvement and question its value, the roar from the crowd last night, urging, pushing, wanting the team to score the goal that would have taken the game into extra time, showed though it may not be as glamorous as the Champions League, it is still a European cup competition and any competition that a team is involved in means something to the fans and also the players, who looked emotionally drained at the end of the game. Don’t tell me playing in this competition means nothing to them.
(Europa league trophy here http://www.false10.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/el-trophy.jpg )

Despite elimination from the competition, there is a bigger picture emerging from the game. The team is now looking like a side that are comfortable playing together and playing in the manner the manager sees for them. Some of the slick, intricate passing last night was breath-taking. During the second half an instance where Jose Enrique was near his own corner flag being hustled by an opponent, showed exactly how comfortable this team is in its passing ability and style of play, as he did not boot the ball into row z. Instead we saw passing right out of the Barcelona text book, which resulted in the Liverpool players passing and moving into space which then lead to an attack. Small exchanges like this show the methods being employed by the manager are working, slowly but surely.

The battle continues

For all the slick play we saw last night, another and perhaps more important element emerged. The players looked up for the fight and seemed comfortable donning the famous red shirt. Too many times this season we have seen certain players seem afraid to play their own game, too many times we have seen certain players look afraid and nervous, that was all replaced yesterday with a team of confident and determined players. The whole team looked ready for the challenge and even after conceding the first goal, leaving themselves with what seemed an insurmountable mount (which eventually it was), they continued their fight. Never once did we see any of the players heads drop.

The inspirational Suarez was his usual active and hardworking self, but that is nothing new. We expect that every time he steps onto the pitch, but those around him played in his mould, they all worked hard and oozed confidence, even after being a goal down. Henderson, Allen and Assaidi (when introduced) have been questioned throughout the season, but last night they showed signs of improvement. Through defeat we must look at the positives and how the team can move forward. The performance of the three mentioned and the team show that Brendan Rodgers may be right; his plan on returning Liverpool to the top is in motion and may come to fruition.

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  • Cycle13

    Just to point out another goal wouldn’t have taken it to extra time, but would have won the tie.

  • rodgers supporter

    great article!
    this was positive performance and even tho we are out of europa league, confidence and progress we shown is promising!
    allen scored, enrique played great, downing and henderson too! i also hope that assaidi will play in premier league as he did last night! great dribbling moves!
    YNWL

    • Butragenio

      “confidence and progress” it like a politician speaking. Big words that will have to be swallowed back when next season we’re out of the race before xmas! change your name. See the light!!!!

      • Top Hat

        ‘Confidence’ and ‘progress’ are big words for you? Don’t let me keep you from reading ‘Janet and John go to park’, it’s more your level, I think…

        • Butragenio

          Haha “big words” meaning they carry a lot of definition with them. I dont think you need to be so angry with me for expressing an opinion.

    • I did not choose, I was chosen

      Downing did not play “great”

  • Android

    Shocking!!! At the rate we going we won’t even get to Europa league 6th place. At least with king Kenny we got a cup. We have the players but the manager is shite!!! Time to hunt for a new manager.

    • Souey

      Deluded…if you can’t see we’re on the up then you need some more perspective

      • junior galtieri

        ‘if you can’t see we’re on the up then you need some more perspective’

        i find it perverse than any liverpool fan would equate being knocked out by Oldham in the FA cup, being knocked out by a veryt aberage Zenit side in the Europa and being beaten and behibd West Brom in the league a sign of things being “on the up”

        It suggests to me precisely the opposite

        What concerns me eben more is that Rodgers seems to think he’s doing a great job here – and with posts like that it’s perhaps not surprising that he’s reached such a conclusion

        I haven’t given up on BR yet – but let’s not pretend he’s doing okay – 8th in the league, and no chance of silverware is not okay for this club

        Have stabdards really fallen this low

    • munyuktae

      Time to hunt you down

    • doyley

      Android, get back in your manc box!!!

    • Butragenio

      agreed

  • I see improvement

    Android calm yourself, if us fans show a bit more commitment to the cause and create an atmosphere like we had against zenit more often then that will only help the team further. Anfield has been quiet for a couple of seasons, granted theres not much to shout about but if we want the team to improve i believe the supporters must also improve.Nothing worse than hearing opposing fans singing wheres your famous atmosphere!

    • munyuktae

      That’s the point, FSG investing money, the team work hard, and why dont we simply investing faith and support? If they dont like the team then give them solution, not cheap rants and stupid internet bullying. At least my concern for the team is getting better, but not for the LFC supporters attitude.

  • Butragenio

    Amit Sharma, are you for real? why feed these poor souls all the bull? OF COURSE WE’RE DOWN! We’re out of everything and its only February! My god, when have Liverpool fans become so docile as to accept everything. In a few years we will be rallying for the team to avoid relegation! And what is this about “slick play”? We were playing a mediocre team. Its not like we were against Barcelona, Real, Bayern! You dont take comfort from single games, but from the whole season. And we have a double cancer in the club. 1) FSG dont have the financial clout for the club 2) Brenda is not the man to steer this ship.

    • doyley

      Butragenio, your talking shite!!!

      • Butragenio

        Doyley, you’re shite!!!

      • Butragenio

        Doyley, you’re shite!!!

  • Peter_Maxwell

    “…wanting the team to score the goal that would have taken the game into extra time
    …”

    The game couldn’t have gone to extra time after the away goal??

  • jack

    I will be absolutely heart broken if Luis leaves… but if he stays… who wouldn’t want to play along side him? I think BR should sit with him at the end of the season and let him know his plans for the next season… tell him if we cant make CL than he can leave at his own wish….

  • saraceninc

    Just more wind, the table speaks for itself, sorry to sound pessimistic, but that is the singular fact. Man U is now 30 points ahead of us and the guy tells us of perfecct performances!! Probably next season will not even be in the second rated Europa with nothing but balloney ! wake up BR.