Liverpool v Trazbonspor Thursday 19th August 2010
After a relatively easy tie against FK Rabotniki, Liverpool came up against a much stronger opposition in Trabzonspor. After the game against Arsenal at the weekend, Roy Hodgson chose to start this game with just four of the players who started that game and give a chance to some of the other players in the squad, including giving a debut to Christian Poulsen whilst resting players such as Gerrard and Kuyt who weren’t even on the bench.
I would have to say that Poulsen did a good job in this first start for the club, and considering he hadn’t played for a while I thought that he acquited himself well and will be a good asset to the club. Ryan Babel started up front in place of David NGog (who was on the bench) and Joe Cole played just off Babel as the second striker.
Much of the first half was tough as Trabzonspor really did give us a game and came out to try and win the game from the outset, putting us on the backfoot initially. They really did put the kybosh on us, and stopped us playing , for the majority of the first half. Then a moment of magic where a move started by Cole was cleanly finished by Babel put us in the lead.
In the second half Torres replaced Babel and we started playing properly. To be honest we should have put the tie to bed in the second half, we had enough chances including the missed penalty by Cole (it has not been his week has it?) and the disallowed goal from Poulsen, as well as a couple of chances from Torres, which he would normally put away.
Poulsen’s goal was disallowed for a foul on the keeper, but when viewing the replay it seemed that their keeper did make the most of the knock he got on the hand, rolling around the pitch in complete agony for a while afterwards, so the ref disallowed the goal.
I have seen enough from this fixture to be reasonably confident about the second leg in Turkey. I much prefer the way we man mark the opposition when they are in our penalty area now, and hopefully this will see us give away less silly goals like we have done in the past. It is only a slim lead, but the main thing is that they didn’t score at our gaff, and if we can score over there then we will be almost home and dry. After all, we only need to score one and hopefully that will do it.
It won’t be easy, I have no delusions about that. Trazbonspor are a good, well drilled side and will not make it easy for us, they are chasing the tie and will probably come out all guns blazing, so we have to make the one goal lead count. Hopefully we will prevail, I am sure that Roy would expect nothing less.
Liverpool Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Aurelio, Lucas, Poulsen, Maxi , Cole, Jovanovic, Babel.
Subs: Cavalieri, Pacheco, Wilson, Spearing, Skrtel, Ngog, Torres
Trabzonspor Kivrak, Glowacki, Korkmaz, Cale, Gulselam, Inan, Balci, Yilmaz , Colman, Bulut ,, Gutierrez.
Subs: Zengin, Atas, Badur, Jaja. Alanzinho, Kacar, Yattara