Liverpool were let off yesterday by the opposition as they struggled to come to grips with their European opponents in the first. half. Joe Cole took his goal well, inside of minute 1, but after that Liverpool took the foot off the petal and Bucharest deservedly equalized after some clever play in he middle of the park.
I was in pretty much agreement with Hodgson 11 and I think he is doing a good job of giving everyone a game. I would have liked to see him bring on Pacheo a bit earlier but overall you can't really argue with his substations. Liverpool's second half display was much better with our new boy from Portugal impressing. He was always looking to go forward and as the game wore on Bucharest seemed to tire. Once we went ahead at 2-1, after a sillly foul inside the box, the game was not really in doubt. I thought Joe Cole did a good job in the middle with some very direct play. He was always willing to take on the opposition which was nice to see.
I thought Babel tried very hard but overall he did not play well. He never really beat anyone for pace and his passing was terrible. I hope he keeps working hard and fights for his place but at the moment we still seemed very limited on the left side of mid field. Maxi was also very poor in the first half but really came on in the second half. Perhaps Roy had a good talking with him at half-time. Martin Kelly defended well but was a bit slow at times in the attacking third. Overall I thought he did ok. In the end it was a 4-1 score with only 25,000 on hand to watch it.
Next up for Liverpool is our friends down the M62. I just don't know what to make of their season so far. Rooney will be fired up after missing out on the Everton game and it's always a tough game. I'm not sure how Hodgson will line up but I expect to see Gerrard partner someone in the middle of the park, probably Lucas with Cole and Torres up front. I think the back four will remain the same as Birmingham last week.
I don't every really look forward to these games but as United have genuine title aspirations this is a must win game for them. I would suppose that if we can go and get a draw that would have to be considered a good result. Of course, the media are not playing up this battle as much as in the past because everyone gets along with Roy and it's two British managers going at it. Just thinking about this game makes me nervous! If United get an early goal we could be on for another hiding like the one we got at Man City but I hope that we can actually put in a good first half performance for a change
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