Not much trouble for the Reds Wednesday night as they cruised to a 3-1 win over Dutch champions PSV to maintain their perfect record in this seasons Champions League group stages.
Liverpool started with almost the same side as against Everton, with the only change being Aurelio for Dossena. We got off to the perfect start when Isaakson could not stop Kuyt’s shot for the opening goal after brilliantly parrying Torres’ volley.
Liverpool then coasted for the rest of the half as PSV were playing without a recognised striker in a defensive formation, meaning the back 4 had an easy evening. Torres got the ball on the right and produced a fantastic cross for Keane to hook the ball into the far corner of the net for his long-awaited first Liverpool goal.
After the break, PSV started to play with more ambition, but with little success. The most notable goal came when Torres was fouled and Gerrard smashed the free-kick in from 30 yards to score his 100th goal for the club, a feat not reached since Michael Owen did it in 2001. Koevermans scored PSV’s first and only chance two minutes later but it was a simple win for Liverpool and a perfect start for the Champions League campaign.
I was amazed to discover that 72 of Gerrard’s 100 goals have come under Benitez. Gerrard was extremely close to Gerard Houllier and it was under Houllier he developed into a star.
PSV look to be a pale shadow of the club that reached a Champions league semi-final a few years ago and has been a mainstay of the competition for years. It is tough for a team like PSV to retain their best players as the Dutch league is not considered to be that strong in both footballing and financial so players often move on to a higher standard of competition and money.
The next game is against Atletico Madrid and will be extremely hard. It will be a big occasion as Torres is returning home so will get a tremendous reception, as will Luis Garcia and Florent Sinama Pongolle from Liverpool fans. Look out for Sergio Aguero and Simao as two real threats to our defence.