Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thank you, a summary and that, uh, next match

A quick note of gratitude and thanks, again, to everyone who took time to read the live blog Tuesday. Match Pricks visitors on Tuesday set new viewing records for the site by huge margins. We couldn't be more flattered. The live blogs are a real blast and we're glad to see people enjoy collectively freaking out with us and getting caught up in the matches as they happen. Look for them to be a mainstay during the rest of the Champions League this season. The Match Pricks Live Blog series might even continue today with United and Inter from Old Trafford.

As far as the "most complete Liverpool performance in more than a year" that we all shared Tuesday: I was surprised – after watching later Tuesday a replay of the first half hour, all of the goals and bits and bobs of the second half – that I didn't miss much during the live blog. Well, except for Mascherano's yellow card, which should've gone to Alonso. One of the papers mentioned that it's possible Frank De Bleeckere might have booked Masch because he kicked the ball away when play was stopped. Other than that, however, I was surprised how little more there was to add. It was just incredible. It's rare for Liverpool to surprise me much anymore. Usually every match makes sense, more or less and for better or worse, in how it unfolds. Middlesbrough was a shocking-disappointment-kind of surprise and totally unexpected. But Tuesday was the other, delirious kind of surprise. Who knew? Babel and Kuyt and Alonso and Mascherano, all playing superbly in rhythm with Gerrard and Torres running roughshod over Cannavaro, Pepe, Heinze and the rest. Casillas is the only thing that kept it from 7-0 or worse. Regardless of whatever happens Saturday at Old Trafford, Liverpool will always have this night against Real Madrid as a testament to their European ferocity under Benitez.

Speaking of The Damned United (yes, I know the film is about Clough at Leeds, but just go with it) ... Saturday could be epic, for all the wrong Liverpool-based reasons. I've not seen Fergie make any comments in anticipation of the match, but there's a sense United, in one of their most-glorious runs, would prefer to make an example of Liverpool on Saturday, similar to how they crushed Scolari's Chelsea into irrelevance. I'm not full of hope for this one, but Tuesday's result makes whatever happens Saturday somewhat more tolerable – unless it's 6-0 or 8-0 to United or something. Then I'll just go outside and retch for half an hour.

Anyway, after Tuesday's fun, I'm toying with the idea of another live blog for Saturday. The match is only on Setanta in the U.S., so it might be of more interest for Match Pricks' States-based readers. I'd be watching through a dodgy Internet feed, but it worked just great for the 1st Leg against Real Madrid, so I'm curious to do it that way again. Plus, anyone stopping by could possibly witness the psychotic devolution of a human being impulsively hammering out his thoughts as he watches one of his last sweet dreams get strangled and then immolated by Jintao. And who wouldn't want to see that?!


Colin said...

Brilliant comment about form and matches following a somewhat predictability once you become so intimately familiar with a team. So true.

Jon said...

I am scared to death of our visit to OT on Saturday, but I am still enjoying the complete demolition of Franco's men at Anfield last night...

I couldn't resist pointing my browser to MARCA this morning and working my way through a brutal translation. Even the fluffers have taken aim at Real for their performance.

This horribly translated section speaks volumes - the last line is priceless.

The unbearable smallness of Madrid

"As it were known, Madrid fell in Liverpool. It did and like which it now is: a small equipment (it was harvested like so at the beginning of the fiasco), vulgar, of medium coat, if it has some coat. In house still it shouts and some are scared, but outside it is a sad dummy, as soon as it crosses the Pyrenees. The long ago frightful white t-shirts are now sad flags of unconditional surrender."

Full credit to the boys (and the fans who turn out for European night like no one else) for making it impossible for Real to breathe, let alone push back.

On to the weekend. Hopefully Inter gives United a game and beats them up a little ahead of Saturday. I am a realist, and your point about them teaching us a lesson is spot on. That said, the thought of having to live with United's taunts for another year makes me sick (especially as we were on top at the break - salt in the wound there).

Until Saturday, thanks for the great work on this site.

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