An ideal response to a cringe-inducing opening fixture, Wednesday’s home encounter left us with some encouraging talking points:
-Much credit is given to Rafa’s tactical prowess, this week proved his proficiency at man-management. After he was admonished by Benitez to “stop arguing with defenders,” and to, “get back at opponents by scoring,” Fernando Torres responded with a performance that was light years ahead of his display at White Hart Lane. On the score sheet in four minutes, creating chances for himself and others, running at defenders; every action he made spoke volumes- and what they said was, “Right, boss. I’m on it.” How firmly was his nose planted to the grindstone? An eyebrow full of stitches didn’t even slow him down.
-Glen Johnson is well on his way to becoming a bargain. His Anfield debut was absolutely perfect. Purchased with the intention of being able to unlock the defensive sides that gave us fits last season, Johnson looked every bit the locksmith we needed.
-If it wasn’t painfully obvious on Sunday that Yossi Benayoun must start, surely it is now. At least until Aquilani can walk, Yossi is the creative sort of player that we need on the pitch. He is confident in taking a man on, knows when to distribute, and can score goals. Remember last season when he said that if he didn’t start getting regular playing time, he’d be off? Thank God he did.
-Lucas seems to be maturing as a footballer right before our eyes. He is by no means the heir to Alonso’s throne just yet, but if he continues as he currently is, we could all be looking back wistfully at the days when we called for his head on a platter.
-Reina is absolute class. But we already knew that, didn’t we?