The time is 5.57am. I am drained emotionally and physically. I was another roller coaster ride served up Liverpool for their fans. First, Drogba scored. Lucky if you ask me. Kalou was offside but IMHO as the self proclaimed 5B class of '99 top draw central defender (i know that was yonks ago :p) Riise was partly at fault for that goal. Now that's for another story. Then Benayoun produced some magic and to put Torres through and he equalized. M Bar was filled with euphoria. It seems all was going well as we were at the ascendancy. You can tell that the Mancs match was taking a toll on the Chavs.
Into extra time, Essian put one into the back of the net but it was rule offside. A bit lucky for Liverpool as would not think Pepe would have save that even if his view was not blocked by one the Chav players. Right after that, Sami lost possession in the box to Ballack and he was a judged to have fouled Ballack inside the box trying to get the ball back. Penalty. Up stepped Lampard to send Pepe the wrong way. All credit to him after a traumatic week for him. After the goal, Liverpool had a strong appeal for a penalty after Drogba brought down Hyypia in the box. For a moment the ref almost gave it but then change his mind in the last minute. It was basically curtains for us when Drogba got another one for the Chavs. Another pass from the left (why am I not surprised). Babel got one back for us but it was then to little too late. The Chavs are going to Russia.
Am I disappointed? Of course! Who won't be? But this is not a bad way to go out. Soccernet says our performance was insipid in the first half. Bollocks, I say. We were on the back foot but we soaked up the pressure and got back to them in the 2nd half. The lads have gave their all (except for 2 guys who needs to get a bashing from Shankly's ghost). Some might say Stevie was quite subdued but come on, we can't expect him to save our arses all the time. He performed his duty well but didn't went all gung ho. Tactically Rafa planned everything out perfectly. I can understand the rational of subbing off Nando for Babel. He wanted Babel to run the chavs ailing defense ragged. And he turn out to be the provider of the lifeline.
This match was loss by individual mistakes (some avoidable, some not) and also luck, or rather the lack of it. Decisions went against us time after time. Hyypia's foul on Ballack, his appeal for penalty, the first goal when Kalou was offside. Most importantly, we were creating chances. Especially the second half and in extra time. In football, sometimes you need luck. We were indeed lucky when we dumped Arsenal. Luck works as a double edged sword. Well, this is football for you. Wish the Chavs all the best in Moscow. I would rather they win it instead of the bloody Mancs.
Seeing that our season is already over, I will try to do a season review soon. Until then, YNWA. I will still be wearing the Liverpool badge proudly tomorrow.
P/S: By the way, the folks at myRawk was commenting on, "Wow!!!! So many plastic flags!!" Courtesy of a certain Russian Millionaire. Liverpool still has the best fans and the best stadium.