Liverpool crumble when it matters most
The guys at multichoice (read dstv) were so kind as to bring us the game. By us, I refer to the guys subscribed to dstv access, which is the most basic form of tv you can get from them as the word suggests, dstv ACCESS. To them I say I big thank you. Please bring us the Champions League final, DFB Pokal, FA Cup final this evening, heck and even the Euro final with a few games thrown in.
The first half of the game was quite interesting for Liverpool fans as they did almost everything right. Nathaniel Clyne bossing the right wing. Milner and Emre doing the same in midfield. Sevilla on the other hand were practically out of the game with probably on one chance (Gameiro’s overhead kick). Krychowiak, Banega and Nzonzi trying too hard to make life hard for themselves by moving the ball to high pressure zones instead of playing a simple pass. They hence resorted to playing long balls to Nzonzi. So unlike them and Spanish teams, I think. Part of this was due to the effective pressing by Liverpool. One couldn’t really blame Gameiro when he seldom received any service from the three in midfield.
D.Sturridge scored a fine goal with his out boot and we all thought Liverpool were winning this. They had a few chances, which they did not take and would as happens often, came to haunt them. There were also plenty of penalty appeals by the Mugsmashers and it’s sad that none went their way. All in all, they outwitted and outplayed Sevilla.
Before we could even settle down to watch the second half, Gameiro slotted one for the recent two time holders after some fine work by Mariano or Moreno’s blunder depending on you’re the state of the glass. Game on. What followed was the opposite of what we saw in the first half. Nzonzi dropped deeper. His partnership with Krychowiak coupled with Banega’s Ozilesque passing was quite something. They went back to the basics; moved the ball with more conviction and determination as was seen in the second goal.
On the flip side, Liverpool seemed clueless. Coutinho looked off the pace. Their opponents played their hearts off. At 2-1 one would have thought Istanbul. But it was far from happening since they hardly played the ball. Almost everything seemed to go wrong with them. Not long and they conceded a third which to be honest, I thought was an offside until watching the replay. I think this and the fact that they were playing poorly deflated their belief in plotting another historic comeback as we had seen against Dortmund.
No substitution would help them. Not even the entry of the Welsh Xavi, remember how he scored an equalizer when we were playing against them at Anfield? Benteke and Origi didn’t make the impact they were brought on to. D.Sturridge played behind them but that too didn’t work.
In the end, they cried the defeat off, I think, not really because of the defeat on the night but of the repercussions it came with; failure to play in the Champions League next season.
Steven Nzonzi now has a Europa League medal. How beautiful can life get.