11 December 2007

LIVERPOOL 4 (Gerrard 4, Torres 11, Kuyt 48, Babel 91)

World Class cheat Gerrard threw himself over the outstretched legs of Givet to win a penalty which he converted at the second attempt. Marseille were caught out by another longball which was gathered by Kewell. He turned his marker before passing to Torres, Torres ran into the box and slalomed his was past three players before rolling into the bottom corner. Torres dummied a Kewell cross and the static Marseille defence, playing one of the poorest offside traps I've ever seen, watched as Kuyt ran through before shooting over Mandanda. Babel, on as a second half sub for Torres, ran down a longball, flicked the ball around Mandanda as he ran out of the box and tapped into an empty net.

Liverpool qualify for the last 16 in second place which guarantee's a tie against another of Europe's elite sides - either Real Madrid, Milan, Barcelona, Inter and possibly Sevilla. It's a good job that tie won't be played until February because on current form only Inter would put up a challenge. Marseille claim a UEFA Cup spot. Something i.e. their league form tells me they won't be back in this competition anytime soon.

Attendance : 53,000
Assists : n/a, Kewell, Kewell, Aurelio

PORTO 2 (Lucho, Quaresma 62)

Porto took a deserved lead on half time with a farcical goal. Seconds after Rustu made a fantastic save to deny Sektioui, Quaresma's corner was cleared to the edge of the box, a miss hit shot ballooned up in the as the Besiktas defence stood still appealing for offside, Rustu came off his line, Sektioui passed to Lucho and he fired into an empty net. Lopez nonchalantly flicked on a hospital pass and Quaresma left three defenders for dead before side footing past the excellent Rustu.

Porto's potential last 16 opponents are Schalke, Olympiakos, Celtic, Lyon, Roma, Fenerbahce or PSV and Arsenal or Sevilla and with the exception of the last two teams they've got a good chance of progressing further.

Attendance : 40,000
Assists : Sektioui, Lucho

28 November 2007

BESIKTAS 2 (Tello 27, Bobo 88)
MARSEILLE 1 (Taiwo 65)

Tello's free kick caught Mandanda napping at his near post. Rustu, replacing the appalling Arikan after he conceded eight goals in Besiktas' last tie, should have done better when Taiwo got hold of a half cleared corner to equalise. Delgado broke the Marseille offside pass with a great diagonal ball to Bobo, he ran into the box and with two team-mates waiting for a pass fired between Mandanda's legs into the bottom right corner.

Attendance : 26,000
Assists : Delgado (won fk), n/a, Delgado

LIVERPOOL 4 (Torres 19, Torres 78, Gerrard 84 Pen, Crouch 87)
PORTO 1 (Lisandro 33)

Torres headed in a Gerrard corner to score his first ever Champions League goal. Porto's giant Polish midfielder Kazmierczak ran over Mascherano on the left wing and Lisandro spectacularly headed his cross past Reina. With his back to goal Torres, fed by Kewell (he'll be injured next week), brilliantly turned on the edge of the box and shot past the advancing Helton. Stepanov handled to concede a penalty and three minutes after Gerrard converted Crouch headed in a corner.

Attendance : 41,095
Assists : Gerrard (ck), Kazmierczak, Kewell, n/a, Gerrard (ck)

6 November 2007

LIVERPOOL 8 (Crouch 18, Benayoun 32, Benayoun 53, Benayoun 56, Gerrard 69, Babel 78, Babel 81, Crouch 89)

Besiktas goalkeeper Hakan Arikan set the tone for this match with an awful piece of handling to allow Crouch to open the scoring on a rebound. Benayoun, in a ton of space in the box, had time to pull down Voronin's cross before blasting a half volley into the bottom left corner.

More poor handling gifted Benayoun a second and on Arikan's third rebound he completed a hat-trick. Voronin's clever back heel released Gerrard and just as he shot the ball took a deflection off Diatta past Arikan. Babel scored with an outrageous back heel and got a freak second three minutes later. Diatta inadvertently helped on a longball and Toraman's clearance cannoned off the Dutchman's back before looping over the hapless Arikan. Crouch headed Liverpool into the history books from a stunning Benayoun cross.

Besiktas were lucky to get 0. Hakan Arikan gave the worst display of goalkeeping I have ever seen. Three of Liverpool's goals were a direct result of his handling errors and another two as the result of deflections. Of course with the players confidence sky high Benitez will almost certainly pick a much changed line-up against Porto.

Attendance : 41,143
Assists : n/a, Voronin, n/a, n/a, n/a, Benayoun, n/a, Benayoun

PORTO 2 (Sektioui 27, Lisandro 78)
MARSEILLE 1 (Niang 47)

Marseille goalkeeper Mandanda committed a crime against football when he saved Moroccan international Tarik Sektioui's outrageous mid-air back heel volley. The winger did get on the scoresheet midway through the first half. Starting on the right touchline he cut inside two players, skipped a tackle and slowed down as he approached two defenders before suddenly executing a one rotation step-over and pushing the ball between the Marseille players, he ran onto his own through pass and rounded Mandanda before tapping into an empty net. Unbelievable. You won't see a better individual goal all season. Niang equalised with a superb diving header early in the second half. Lisandro crashed a header in off the underside of the crossbar from a Quaresma cross to send Porto top of Group A.

Attendance : 47,000
Assists : Stepanov, Bonnart, Quaresma

24 October 2007

BESIKTAS 2 (Hyypia 13 og, Bobo 82)
LIVERPOOL 1 (Gerrard 85)

Carragher made a brilliant sliding tackle on Brazilian striker Bobo as he ran into the box however his clearance rebounded off Agger back to Bobo, he laid the ball off to Ozkan and his shot took a deflection off Hyypia wrong footing Reina. Danish referee Bo Larsen clearly wasn't sent the same memo Premier League referees have been sent this season because he rightly failed to award Liverpool a penalty when Pennant went down after a defender muscled him off possession. Liverpool were punished for defending high up the pitch. Hyypia slid in to tackle Bobo as he ran onto a low, driven centre, Bobo flicked the ball away from him and fired under Reina's legs as he advanced off his line, 2-0. Gerrard hit back three minutes later, returning Tandogan's poor clearance with interest.

Attendance : 32,500
Assists : n/a, Uzulmez, n/a

MARSEILLE 1 (Niang 69)
PORTO 1 (Lucho 79 Pen)

Cheyrou headed a poor clearance back into the box towards Cisse, he brought the ball under control before driving a centre towards Niang and he held off Stepanov to score. Lisandro threw himself over Mandanda to win a totally undeserved penalty. That imbecile Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez was the ref so it's hardly surprising he gave it. Lucho ignored an object thrown from the stands to equalise.

Attendance : 40,000
Assists : Cisse, Lisandro (won pen)

3 October 2007

MARSEILLE 1 (Valbuena 77)

Attendance : 41,355
Assist : Zenden

PORTO 1 (Quaresma 92)

Attendance : 33,750
Assist : Lucho

18 September 2007

MARSEILLE 2 (Rodriguez 76, Cisse 91)

Nasri's right wing corner evaded everyone in the Besiktas penalty area, came back off a post and Rodriguez put away the rebound. Diatta hit a long ball out of defence, Faty headed it back, Cisse tried to take the ball on his chest but as usual his control was dreadful however he FOULED Diatta before the defender could clear and used his pace to storm into the box and toe poke under Arikan.

Attendance : 47,000
Assists : n/a, n/a

PORTO 1 (Lucho 8 Pen)
LIVERPOOL 1 (Kuyt 17)

Lucho converted an absolute gift of a penalty. Finnan hit a monstrous 40 yard free kick to the back post, Hyypia flicked on and Kuyt headed in the equaliser as two Porto defenders crashed into each other. Pennant was sent off for going through the back of Fucile which is not doubt a cue for idiots to call into English phone ins claiming it wouldn't have been a booking in a Premiership match - yes because English refs are crap.

Benitez must be feeling charitable because he thought Porto's penalty was legit.

Attendance : 50,000
Red Card : Pennant 58 (Liverpool)
Assists : Sekitioui (won pen), Hyypia