Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Liverpool Light — now that’s entertainment

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Crouch celebratesWas it just me, or did anyone else secretly prefer Liverpool Light to the Real Thing?

The Liverpool side that took the field for part two of the triple-header with Arsenal featured eight changes from the team that came away with a 1-1 draw from the Champions League first leg, including an all-new midfield and attack.

Rafa Benitez must have felt slightly apologetic when he sent out Peter Crouch to lead a team made up mainly of fringe players but things turned out better than he could have hoped.

Inspired by an immense Crouch, they showed far more ambition than they had in the Champions League game and probably deserved more than the same 1-1 scoreline. Anfield Red are among those now wondering if the striker should start on Tuesday. I’m not saying they were any better than Arsenal, or even better than the Liverpool team from the first game, but their willingness to improvise going forward and occasionally leave gaps at the back made for a far more entertaining game.

Vlog on the pitch — What on earth was Bendtner up to?

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Tune into the latest Vlog on the Pitch, as our dynamic duo Owen Wyatt and Jon Bramley discuss Manchester United’s effortless brilliance, Barcelona’s flawed beauty and Nicklas Bendtner’s inexplicable fondness for Irish dancing.

Leave us your thoughts on the week’s Champions League action in the comments below, or better still record your own video musings, post them up to youtube or wherever tagged “vlog on the pitch” and if we like them we’ll put them up here.

Arsenal and Liverpool serve up real English flavour

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Fabregas and Lucas

Just how English was the all-English Champions League quarter-final between Arsenal and Liverpool on Wednesday?

As English as bacon and eggs? Or as un-English as a croque monsieur served up by a French chef with a sense of humour working in a Spanish tapas bar somewhere in deepest Essex.      

Grant was Sunday’s big winner, Mascherano the loser

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Ronaldo celebrates his goal against LiverpoolAvram Grant was being ridiculed last week as not good enough to manage Chelsea, while referees were getting stick for not coming down harder on dissent.

Cue Grand Slam Sunday — when Chelsea virtually ended Arsenal’s title hopes and Javier Mascherano left Liverpool with 10 men at Manchester United following a quite avoidable red card, clearing the champions’ path in their quest to retaining the title.

Can new improved Torres make the difference for Spain?

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Torres in a heap

The great 1970s TV programme ‘Fawlty Towers’ left its mark by being voted Britain’s fifth best sitcom in 2004, and the way Fernando Torres is going he’s bound to leave an indelible print on English football.

‘Fawlty Towers’ only lasted four years, in which a mere 12 episodes were shot. No doubt Liverpool will want the 24-year-old Torres to stick around a little longer, even if he didn’t sparkle at the weekend against Manchester United.

Champions League draw — your views

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Cech prepares for last season’s penalty shoot-out

The draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League looks great, but there will have been a collective groan from anyone looking ahead to the semi-finals.

With the inevitability of doom, Liverpool and Chelsea are set to meet again in the last four — if they make it through the quarter-finals. Their two previous semi-final meetings were tense, certainly, but the quality of football was pretty dispiriting.

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