Liverpool Message Board
I have been critical of Rafa in the past but I am glad that I am eating my own words right now.
Rafa's Tactics and substitutions really impressed me last night. And I thought he got everything spot on.
1) Playing Gerrard of Keane was a great system, it gave Chelsea problems as they couldnt control the midfield.
2) Substituting Keane with Babel was another inspiring move as I think we were playing even better in the second half because of Babels pace. I like the fact that Rafa didnt go all defensive trying to protect the 1-0 advantage. This attitude sends out a message to the opposition that ' we mean business' and most importantly to the players that 'We are good enough' we dont need to park our bus infront of the goal to labour a win.
3)Defensive strategy was very clever, due to the wet surface most of the attack was going to be crosses for the strikers, and the defence played the offside trap damn well. As shown when Malouda was battered by Reina and it was ruled offside.
Well done !
Totally agree - for this game.
Playing Masch at the expense of one striker is a defensive tactic that can pay off well for us against top class opposition - like Chelsea, ManU, maybe Arsenal, Barca, Real - especially away from home.
I wouldn't want us to use this tactic in home games, though. At home we neeed to be unbeatable and that means attacking, with two strikers and Gerard/Alonso as our midfield.
I think the same defensive tactic against At Madrid nearly cost us when it became obvious At Mad were not the class team we were expexcting. We needed to change tactics in that game and didn't seem to be able to. Similar situation against ManC recently. We went in defensivly and ddin't seem to be able to change to attack mode when ManC proved to be less of a threat than we expected.
It is great to see Babel being used as a central striker, too with Riera proving the goods on the left wing. At last we get to see Babel's real potential. Now if only Rafa can do the same with Kuyt. Use Penant on the right wing and keep Kuyt as one of 4 strikers - Torro, Keane, Babel and Kuyt. Other teams would then be drooling at our potential strike force.