…merely put 3 (or 4) past Pepe Reina. At Anfield. How hard could it be?
If you ask The Telegraph’s Henry Winter, pretty darn hard (though not in those exact words.) Decrying Eindhoven’s “pedestrian…polyglot attack”, accusing the hosts of “Sunday league defending”, while hailing Rafael Benitez’ men as “enterprise and organisation personified.”
Steven Gerrard will dominate the headlines yet this was a collective triumph by the men from the Mersey. They defended stoutly, kept the ball patiently, and attacked with pace and precision when the right occasion arose. Every one of Rafa Benitez’s European scholars contributed handsomely to the club’s largest ever Champions League win.
Steve Finnan was outstanding at right-back, delivering inviting crosses for Gerrard and Peter Crouch to score. In between, John Arne Riise also found the net, spectacularly from 30 yards as Liverpool all but booked their place in the semi-finals. PSV have managed only eight goals in 810 Champions League minutes; they must now score three in 90 minutes – too tall an order for the men from the Low Countries.
One shuddered to think whether Ronald Koeman’s hosts had read the scouting report on their guests. It must have highlighted Gerrard’s goal threat from the deep, when racing in on a cross (a tape of the 2005 European Cup final would have provided a warning).
In Wednesday night action that probably didn’t make the 30 seconds of ESPN Deportes highlights on “SportsCenter”, a 51st minute strike by Dexter Blackstock (above) gave QPR a 1-0 home victory over Preston North End, moving the hosts 4 points clear of the drop, while dealing a serious blow to the Lilywhites’ promotion hopes.