Tuesday, November 06, 2007

it's a hat-trick for Benayoun; an embarrassment of riches for Rafa

And there it is! Just as the world loses faith in the Merseyside lads, they strike back by breaking a Champions League record! Just yesterday Derek sent me his condolences (prematurely, I'm happy to say) and I replied that I'm so tired of watching Liverpudlian draws, I could spit. And now this! 8-nil over Besiktas!

It looks like Arbeloa is the running partner I've always wanted for Benayoun. There was some fine interplay in the first half, both of them playing like gangbusters, and the post-Hammer Israeli was on fire in the second. The Turks were so intent on marking Voronin and Crouch (everyone seemed obsessively freaked out by Crouch's height) that Yossi was able to run with a fair amount of freedom.

But all the Reds played well. Voronin gave lovely assists (how about that Brazilian backheel, eh?); Gerrard showed a piece or two of his mastery; the young Ryan Babel was exciting with his own backheeled goal. Even Harry Kewell seemed fit and ready, and before this week I'd forgotten he was still on the side.

All that said, a win like this is a little mortifying for everyone. I genuinely grieve for that brave and beleaguered keeper, so often seeming like the only Besiktas man on a pitch filled with men in red. And I take my hat off to Rafa Benitez: he is a true gentleman, obviously uncomfortable with a point-margin this extreme. Tommy Smyth can rail against him as he pleases, but Rafa is a favorite human of mine in the footballing world. He carries with him an enviable air of grace in both defeat and victory.

Go, you Reds!


thebixter said...

So you only post when your side scores an 8-ball? No wonder you've been MIA!

Lisa said...

Well, just try and RESIST writing about it when it happens, you know what I mean? I'd been whupped into passivity by a long, soul-killing, dreary series of draws. I hope to God they're not JUST KIDDING about this resurgence.