Aaron Jude Saldanha reflects on Liverpool’s unconvincing victory over Marseille in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday…..
Many will hail Steven Gerrard as Captain Marvellous after his wonder strike against Marseille in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. True, he was brilliant on Tuesday night in France, but football is a team game; you cannot just have a one-man-show all the time. I think that if a team has to win the UEFA Champions league, it cannot play football like Liverpool did. You just cannot!
I will say that Marseille were unlucky not to have won the match. It is always difficult winning against a side that has got a strong challenger for the England captain's armband in its lineup and even tougher when they have won the title you're playing for five times. Hatem Ben Arfa did play quite well and so did Niang, even tough he missed a few golden chances. Moreover, you cannot blame Steve Mandanda: he did well to deny Babel. And, by the way, where in the world was his defence?
On the other hand, Liverpool did have their chances. They could have made their game more convincing. I cannot even come close to saying that their game was good. What they should have done is just pass the ball around and then suddenly pass it to someone on the wing and quickly mount an attack.
Managing was another thing that stopped Liverpool from playing a satisfactory game. For heaven’s sake, when you have a 20 million pound striker and he is fit, then why not play him? When your main striker is recovering from a hamstring injury and needs time to come back to his normal scoring self, then why not start the game with the fit striker? Then, maybe you can bring the recovering striker to partner the fit one in about the 70th minute to make an impact on the game. What was Rafael Benitez thinking?
As far as Marseille are concerned, their coach did quite well in his team selection. The one thing that he failed to do was pump motivation into the team. A second reason why his side did not win was the fact that his team failed to gel together and play as a team.
Aaron Jude Saldanha
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