Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid

Well I never expected that! 4 goals, attacking football, Dossena scoring and a young player getting a chance! Not sure which of these surprised me most!
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Make no mistake; this scoreline actually flattered Real Madrid. Liverpool were that good.
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Everybody, myself included thought that Benitez was going to deploy his usual tactics of playing extremely defensive and I thought we were going to be treated to a truly awful 90 minutes of football.
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I’m delighted to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. From the start we went for the jugular. Fernando Torres was back in the team and he was playing like a man possessed against his former Madrid rivals. Real had no answer to him all night. He nearly scored after 4 minutes, receiving a ball from the left he made a defender of the calibre of Fabio Cannavaro look foolish with a deft turn and only an excellent save from Casillas prevented to shot from going in. From the resulting corner Casillas made an even better save from Javier Mascherano’s long-range screamer.
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The goal came when Liverpool broke up the pitch and took advantage of some woeful defending, which allowed three of our players to be completely clear and Torres made no mistake and delighted in silencing the Real fans who were taunting him. Casillas made another good save from Skrtel to keep real in it.
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We played with the style and fluency that has been completely missing from our performances this season. The only surprise was that it took another 12 minutes for our second goal, as we were completely dominant. We were awarded a penalty, wrongly for handball by Heinze when the ball hit him on the shoulder. Gerrard fired it in for 2-0.
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This seemed to wake Real up a bit and Reina had to make a good save from a Sneijder free kick and Higuain started to cause problems for our defence.
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Any fears of a comeback were allayed early in the second half when a poor Diarra pass was seized upon and the resulting move ended with Babels cross being drilled in by Gerrard on the half volley for a tremendous goal.
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The game became almost a training exercise and we were even able to give Jay Spearing a run out for 20 minutes.
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The 4th goal came from the most unlikely source, yet more poor Real defending resulted in another breakaway and Andrea Dossena was found in the box and slotted home to put the final stamp on a truly dominant performance.
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It has to be said that Real were awful. They are a pale shadow of the Real teams of 5 years ago. They played with absolutely no cohesion, Robben went missing in the first half and their defending was comical. Some of this has to be attributed to Liverpool making them play badly but there seems to be big problems for Madrid that recent good results may have masked.
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It was good to see the return of Torres and Arbeloa, both of whom were excellent. If we stand any chance of getting anything at Old Trafford both of these players will be vital. For once, there wasn’t a bad performance from anyone. Ryan Babel showed what he could do and he was the effective weapon we need him to be all night.
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I was very happy with the way the team played as a unit. Instead of the usual hitting the ball long for Torres to run on to, there was measured attacking and everyone was involved. It was good to see Jay Spearing get a game and he played well and deserves another chance.
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This game just adds to my frustrations about the league. We proved we can play open, attacking football without leaving ourselves wide open so why don’t we play that way in the league? I cannot fathom how a team that can destroy Real Madrid can’t score against Stoke, West Ham or Fulham. I would be amazed if we play anything like that at Old Trafford, but that might be the best way to play them, as they will not be expecting us to go there an attack. It also shows that Benitez is definitely more suited to managing in the Champions League than domestically and it seems that once again, his priorities are winning the Champions League, despite the overwhelming wishes of the fans.
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To end on a nice note, it was good to hear that the Real fans, which had been kept in the stadium after the game, gave the Liverpool side a standing ovation when they came out for their warm down. Its things like that that make European nights at Anfield are truly special.