Kuyt 5, Keane 34, Gerrard 76.
PSV Eindhoven 0
It was a game to remember for two of our players.
Steven Gerrard must be elated by his hundredth goal. It’s a great achievement, especially for a midfielder, and it was appropriate that the feat was achieved via a trademark howitzer in front of The Kop. Robbie Keane will feel relief at finally getting his first goal for us. But had these two events not happened, the game would, I’m afraid, have been a forgettable one. It was a routine, uneventful win yet, given our busy schedule, a thoroughly satisfying one. Sometimes you just want to do the job, get it out of the way and move on to the next one?
Rafa made one change from Saturday, Aurelio for Dossena. He showed faith in Alonso even though Mascherano was available but presumably not match fit? PSV’s game plan to hold the ball, pack the midfield and frustrate lasted all of four minutes before it came crashing down.
An early corner from Gerrard found Torres whose first time effort on the edge of the six yard area was blocked by Isaksson’s legs. PSV failed to mop up the loose ball and Kuyt found the top corner via the keepers failed attempt to gather. Poor marking, poor keeping and a great start!
There then followed what might be politely called a period of consolidation in which we knocked the ball around without finding too many openings but without giving away any chances. We were going nowhere but PSV were lost. Then on the thirty third minute it happened.
Kuyt after tight control, found Torres on the right wing who sent over an early ball. All Robbie Keane had to do was guide it into the right hand corner. He did, with his ankle! However, who cares, relief, summersaults, just to make sure that monkey has really been removed from his back, and now everyone can talk about something else!
After that we went back to relaxing. Torres got through on goal and missed a chance, flicking wide with the outside of his foot, when one would normally expect him to convert. However, it was very comfortable and we were able to take it easy. Given this I was surprised that Rafa didn’t substitute Torres who came in for some rough treatment in the second half.
After Gerrard’s glorious third the evening was slightly spoilt by Koevermans’ goal. He latched on to a ball from the wing that we had more than one opportunity to clear long before it reached him. A case of relaxing straight after what must have been regarded as the third killer goal and a lesson learnt?
However it was a good night, six points out of six which, with fixtures coming thick and fast, was just what we wanted. And the script? Surely that suited Gerrard and Keane down to the ground?
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Kuyt, Gerrard (Babel 81), Alonso, Riera (Benayoun 68), Torres, Keane (Leiva Lucas 75).
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Mascherano.
PSV: Isaksson, Kromkamp, Simons, Marcellis, Salcido, Brechet (Pieters 46), Mendez (Dzsudzsak 76), Culina, Bakkal, Amrabat, Wuytens (Koevermans 60).
Subs Not Used: Cassio, Rodriguez, Zonneveld, Nijland.