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No Great Escape for Liverpool

November 24, 2009

Liverpool hopes of one more great Champions League escape were dashed on Tuesday night, as Fiorentina sealed their place alongside Olympique Lyon with a 1-0 win over the French side, leaving the English team’s 1-0 success against Debrecen irrelevant.

Liverpool, of course, only have themselves to blame for leaving their fate in the hands of a team that had already secured their own qualification.

There will doubtless be a lot more criticism of Rafa Benitez, his transfer dealings and the perceived failures of man management, but the analysis of exactly why Liverpool failed to progress can wait for another post.

For now, consider one question: Might this result actually work in Liverpool’s long-term favour?

The club could certainly have done with the revenue from a run to the semi-finals or beyond but, with the best will in the world, did this season’s team ever really look capable of making it as far as Madrid?

With a squad that (everyone has said) is inferior to last year’s, maybe it will prove in their interests that they no longer have to juggle Champions League and Premier League campaigns. They can now have a leisurely tilt at the Europa League — if they make it to the final it will be an enjoyable run, if they don’t … well, who really cares? — and concentrate on doing something about that dreadful domestic form.

The priority, as always, must be to secure qualification for the group stage of next year’s Champions League. That 19th league title looks as elusive as ever but a top-four finish may have just become a more realistic possibility.

PHOTO: Liverpool’s coach Rafael Benitez looks on as Steven Gerrard walks off during the Champions League soccer match against Debrecen at the Puskas stadium in Budapest November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Comments

Crap performance again, Debrecen should ave had an equaliser at the end. Desperately disappointing and I’m doing my best not to just shout Rafa must go!

Posted by dirk | Report as abusive
 

You should not have any high hope if your fate is left in the hands of Frenchmen and Italians. Remember how Germany and Austria both proceeded to next round by playing a perfect scoreless match to oust Algeria from 1982 World Cup.

Posted by Mario | Report as abusive
 

Luckypool is the actual name of this team from Scouserland as that,s all they seem (sic)to have.If you don,t have enough clasy players in the team you can,t expect to challenge for titles ,sorry for Luckypool ,depending on one player ,not world class ,Stevie Gerrard ,is ridiculous ,the facts prove it,no champions league ,no Carling cup ,no FA cup no Premiership this season ,nothing,sorry .

Posted by Samuel | Report as abusive
 

gerrard is world class, as is torres and reina.but you are right they dont have enough strength in depth and i think thats there for the whole world to see, oh and they are still in the fa cup.

Posted by maid | Report as abusive
 

Still in the fa cup eh? So are Man U and Chelsea. Nothing for Liverpool this season and no Champions League for next year either.

Posted by James | Report as abusive
 

gutted

Posted by j | Report as abusive
 

lets stop with the excuses , liverpool have been shouting out excuses after excuses over the last god knows 18 years or so since the prem started. we ve changed managers we ve had great pleyers in the past too, mcmanaman, rednap fowler ince now gerard torres and others. but yet we can t get a team together or squad together to challenge for the league never mind win it .last year was our best but way of the mark to win teh league. we werent’ even there till teh end. were one game wonders when we play againt the top teams as we play this underdog style of football. when its upto us to take the game to others we re rubbish.how many excuses can we make. we just rubbish as a club. utd dont have any world class players rooney and giggs are amazing but world class i dont know.torres and gerrard are world class but yet utd are miles better than us. they have players that play togehter as a team, they learnt how to pass the ball prob defences and get thier goals. even with a defence that has been leaking goals not as good as they were before they still up there.they play a style which can play against any styles of football where as we play best against attacking teams.were rubbish. lets face it.

Posted by mosh | Report as abusive
 

FOOTBALL, CRICKET, WAR….PEOPLE ARE ENGAGED IN SO MANY THINGS…ONE STEP MORE AND ONE SHOUD BE ASHAMED…HEART WILL CRY….HOW COME THIS HAPPEN AND NO ONE KNWOS ABOUT IT. DOLPHINS ARE MURDERED BRUTALLY..NOT ONE, NOT TWO…NOT THRE…THERE ARE NO COUNTS…PLEASE COME FORWARD AND DO SOMETHING TO STOP IT.http://www.scribd.com/doc/22402170/An imal-Cruelty-Shame-on%C2%A0Denmark%C2%A0 -Feroe-island

Posted by Rahul Roy | Report as abusive
 

rahul, what are you talking about? this is a sports blog about sports! not about tuna

Posted by i love tuna | Report as abusive
 

I love tuna as much as the next man … but Mark Fish is the better player.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive
 

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