Heroic, but it wasn’t to be…

Liverpool exit the Champions League a day before the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives. Of course Anfield observed the occasion in impeccable fashion in memory of their 96 lost comrades. On the night at Stamford Bridge Liverpool took a 0 – 2 lead, Fabio Aurelio scoring from a free kick and Xabi Alonso’s spot kick put the Reds in an excellent position at the half time interval. Seven minutes after the half time break Didier Drogba forced a mistake from Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina who parried into the back of his own net to make it 1 – 2, minutes later Alex unleashed a Gerrard-esque rocket to make in 2 – 2. Frank Lampard made it 3 – 2 to the home team in the 76th minute which you would have thought would have killed off Liverpool’s spirit, but the Red’s were having none of it. Liverpool kept on fighting hard to take a 3 – 4 lead in a two minute period of play with Lucas Leiva finding the back of the net with a fortuitous deflection and Dirk Kuyt’s near post headed goal. With the score at 3 – 4, the Red’s still had hope of going through on away goals if they could have scored once more goal but those hopes were dashed by Frank Lampard goal in the 89th minute of the game. The final score was 4 – 4 on the night and 7 – 5 on aggregate in one best Champions League clashes in it’s history. It’s disappointing to see Liverpool go out of the Champions League after such a heroic performance but any true Liverpool fan will be proud of the boys for what they have achieved with their never-say-die attitude. At least Benitez can concentrate on the league now, it’ll be a tall order but if Manchester United slip up then Liverpool are in prime position to take the Premiership for the first time since it’s inception in 1992. Of course the Manchester United fans I know have started chirping up about Liverpool going out of Europe but United aren’t secure as they visit Estadio do Dragao in the return leg with two away goals against them, we’ll see if they’ll still be gloating this time tomorrow.

Plymouth Argyle claimed a point from St Andrews against 10 man Birmingham City. But Argyle will feel they should have had more with an extra man and taking the lead from the penalty spot after Jamie Mackie collided with keeper Maik Taylor. The Birmingham keeper was harshly sent off for his collision with Mackie leaving the home team with 10 men. But Argyle couldn’t break down the resolute City defence to make sure of the three points. Franck Queudrue equalised for the home team five minutes after half time to keep City in the hunt for the Championship crown. Plymouth will feel even more frustrated and disappointed as Ashley Barnes had two goals disallowed for offside during the game. But ultimately at this point of the season with a handful of games remaining every point is vital, a point is better than coming away empty handed, that point could be the difference between relegation and staying up!

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