Where to begin? Well, first, that was the worse match I've ever seen Mascherano play. From the beginning it looked as if he was somewhere else. I'm not sure it was because he rarely plays for us these days, but his decisions on the ball were atrocious. I was actually surprised to not see him collect a few yellow cards (Yes, a few) with his suspect tackling.
Pennant was also a joke. I have no idea why Benayoun wasn't brought in to start the second half because it looked quite apparent to me that JP was a red card waiting happen. This was easily his worse appearance for us that I've witnessed. He needs to get his head together because if he continues being such a menace, he's really just a waste of space and that's a shame because he's so talented.
Gerrard, Arbeloa, and Hyypia were unimpressive as well.
As a team, we were shocking. Near the end we seemed to get it together and had a couple of near chances, but honestly, I didn't think we were going to score anyway. In the end, Porto were either just as poor or our defense is just that damn good, you can decide because I don't really care.
Positives? I thought Torres did well to worry the defense and forced them to have at least two to three players there, just in case. Kuyt played well also and probably should have gotten the penalty call after being pushed down in the box by a Porto defender, but it was away so we weren't going to get any calls. Babel put in a decent effort also, even if it found him all alone deep in the enemy's territory at most points.
Do I have a right to complain about a 1-1 draw at our most difficult opponent in the group stage's home? Not sure. I think if we played better, we could have pulled off the win, but maybe I'm not giving the Porto defense enough credit.
In the end I look at it this way, we played like crap and still got the point because of a penalty. That's impressive on some levels. Nobody was hurt and now Pennant will be available for more league matches. Mascherano though was wholly disappointing and I hope he never puts in a performance that awful again.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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