A lovely week for Liverpool ends with a great Champions League draw for the quarter-finals.
I heard many Liverpool fans saying they wanted Ajax, but I always suspected that was as much for the “alternative” enjoyment to be had in Amsterdam than the idea of facing the only team left in the competition who look to have more legs than Liverpool.
I was in a meeting when the draw was made because I’m actually a very serious businessman, but the cheers I heard from not just our office, but the surrounding companies who had spent the last half an hour pretending to do work but actually watching Sky Sports News was evident.
Liverpool had got the plum tie. The one leaving the rest of the country cursing “bloody scousers”.
Especially, anyone who lives in North London, I would imagine. I mean Manchester United got Barcelona, but at least that’s a laugh.
We shouldn’t underestimate Porto, they are obviously good, but they do feel more a last 16 team than a quarterfinal one. It was that stage where Liverpool met Porto last season, and beat them 5-0 away. That game will be on their minds as much as ours in the build-up to the tie. Bloody hell, not them again.
The comments after the game in Munich by the Bayern manager were fascinating I thought. Here are a selection of them.
“We were up against very, very strong opponents. They closed us down well, attacked very early and at a high pace. We tried to use our full-backs to attack. We didn’t succeed because our opponents did a really good job. Liverpool are a top team. They were finalists last year and are among the top teams in the Premier League. They exposed our limitations.”
These quotes show just how hard it is to play against this Reds side. Bayern Munich are top of the Bundesliga, but weren’t able to play their game against Liverpool at all.
We were too big, too strong, too well organised. Many said after the game that Liverpool hadn’t played that well in Germany, including ex Liverpool players, but these people forgot how much of our game is suffocating the opposition. Making the best look ordinary.
Porto will remember that and they’ll know how tough this team is. How little they give away and how easily they can hurt you.
Liverpool are in a great position to go through. And then it’s anyone’s….
It’s funny that it has taken a favourable quarter-final draw to make many Liverpool fans realise their team can win the competition. Considering we got to the final last year and no team left in the competition has won it more.
But, that’s league title fever for you. It’s all-consuming. However, maybe this Champions League run can be the tonic.
Take some of the pressure off and remind us all that the Premier League isn’t the be all and end all.
A 19th would be great. But, a sixth would be pretty wonderful too…