Well, Liverpool might not have got the best draw, but we’ve certainly got the coldest. The Costa Brava and San Miguel will have to wait. It’s Costa Clayton Vale and a four pack of Boddingtons for us. Not quite as glamorous, but at least it’s cheap.
Manchester City are currently better at Liverpool at football.
I would like to argue against that, but there is a league table that will have me off. We have beaten them 4-3 this year, of course, but there was a small matter of a 5-0 defeat at The Etihad too. Which, by my maths, puts us out on aggregate.
In fact if you look at our results against all the other top four sides in the Premier League this season, Liverpool lose a two-legged tie. And for Chelsea, in fifth place, we are heading to Stamford Bridge with a one all draw. So our results against top sides this year makes a bit of a mockery of the “no one will fancy Liverpool” narrative that Liverpool fans are enjoying spreading at the moment.
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And yet, you imagine Manchester City would have fancied any other English side apart from Liverpool. Anfield in the first leg is going to be red hot, with flares to meet the Liverpool coach and hostility to meet the Sky Blues. John Stones and co. could barely cope with a bit of noise in the league game. So it will be interesting to see how they cope with this.
Yes, Manchester City will probably manage to sell out this one and they’ll all boo the Champions League anthem and turn the lights off for a bit, but it won’t be anything like Anfield. Where the crowd have pulled the team through bigger battles than this.
Just ask Chelsea in 2005, where the gap between ourselves and the league leaders was even larger, yet Chelsea couldn’t score over two legs thanks to some brilliant defending, uncharacteristically poor play from Chelsea and The Kop sucking in a Luis Garcia goal (that was definitely over the line).
Just ask Real Madrid in 2009, whose players turned up proclaiming Liverpool to be not very good, yet got turned over 4-0 and relied on Iker Casillas for it not being many more.
All the big names came in that period and most of them left beaten.
And it wasn’t all star Liverpool teams doing. In fact we beat Juventus with Scott Carson, Igor Biscam and Antony Le Tallec in the team. Together we achieved great things. And all the talk on Merseyside is that, after a few years off to give everyone else a go, we are ready to do it again.
If the fans can do their bit, I fancy the team to do theirs. Then it’s probably just a small matter of having to beat two of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and we get to lift number six. Easy.
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