We'll have that top space of the group now, thank you. The performance delivered by the Reds in the first half seemed to be more of the same. There was lots of passing, not particularly well, with virtually no opportunities being created. PSV's Lazovic snuck one in between Cavalieri's legs after a controversial corner kick. He then proceeded to pull a pacifier from his shorts and stick it in his mouth for his goal celebration. You can draw your own conclusions as to where exactly he had that thing lodged.
It looked as though PSV would lead at the half until a free kick taken by Lucas glanced off of Ryan Babel's head during extra time. Liverpool came out much stronger in the second half. Robbie Keane would have probably came up with a goal if he had been playing deeper or if Babel hadn't been a selfish prick twice in a row and passed back to Keane. To be fair, Keane had a great opportunity earlier on and passed rather than attempt a shot. He also seemed to be playing in more of an attacking midfielder role than a striker. That role did lead to him supplying David Ngog with a long pass and the young Frenchman finished beautifully. Albert Riera can also be proud of his goal that was a howler from about 25 yards out that ended up in the top left corner.
A solid performance by Liverpool. It was good, but still not great. Cavalieri did well in goal, giving Reina a much deserved night off. Steven Gerrard surely also felt fortunate to not have to see the cold wet pitch. Even though he scored a goal with a glancing header, I felt Babel was the weakest in the team. He wasted too many opportunities. Robbie Keane's work rate seemed to emulate Dirk Kuyt who was also given the night off. Lucas showed some of the quality that Rafa is convinced he has, but still has a long way to go. I don't see him yet as the midfielder that's going to supply the forwards with smart passes.
Stephen Darby, Jay Spearing, and Martin Kelly were handed debuts through substitutions. Alberto Riera, Álvaro Arbeloa, and Andrea Dossena all picked up yellows because the ref was obviously going in alphabetical order based on first names. It was a night that the younger players can definitely be proud of, but I doubt we'll see many of them this Saturday against Hull City. Benitez will likely throw all of the experience he can into the league match because those Tigers are looking a little scary.
I've heard of Carragher being called man of the match as well as Lucas. My man of the match has to be Albert Riera who was consistent throughout the match and always posed a threat. It is a nice change to have so many players performing at a decent level for that choice to be a hard one.