Malaysian All Stars 3
So to the Bukit Jaslil Stadium for the next pre season match. Apparently capacity wise it is in the top ten arenas in the in world and it was sold out!
It was an impressive indication of our popularity over here and when you see a crowd like yesterday’s I guess it justifies all the efforts that were made by the club to get here? We repaid the crowd’s enthusiasm by starting with a stronger side than the one against The Cave men of Sunray. Meireles, Agger, Spearing, Adam, Carragher and Carroll all started.
The game began at a typically pre season friendly pace. The heat and the pitch didn’t help with the latter causing a number of passes to go astray. Again Joe Cole looked lively and had the first chance which saw him hit the post. Soon after we took the lead thanks to Charlie Adam penalty. One wonders if he will be taking the spot kicks and free kicks in the Premiership, perhaps Gerrard, Kuyt or even Suarez will have something to say about that? The penalty situation was out of all proportion to the occasion. The home side protested at the decision as if their lives depended on it and then Adam, having scored with his first effort, was made to retake the kick!
As expected The Malaysians turned out to be much tougher opposition than Wednesday’s opponents and they equalised just before the break via a really good free kick from Rahim which gave Jones no chance. Steve Clarke, running things because Kenny had returned home to help sort out the Stuart Downing deal, fielded an entirely new line up for the second half. We cut loose just after the hour when Ngog got two quick goals. The first was after a mix up in the Malay defence after a cross from Insua. Two of their defenders failed to deal with it leaving him to prod it home in possibly off side position. The second was more straightforward, a good ball from Aquilani that was thrashed home into the roof of the net by the Frenchman from just inside the area.
Our fourth was probably the best of the game Aquilani putting through a brilliant ball to Insua on the left whose cross evaded everyone except Maxi who finished on the far post. Again Aquilani had a decent game. Providing plenty of creativity and having a significant hand in four of the goals. Just like Ngog’s performance today one shouldn’t read too much into this but I’d really like to see the Italian get another season with us. The question is does he want it?
Malaysia pulled two in back in as many minutes through Sali. Both goals were avoidable however although the home side continued to press for an equaliser, we regained our concentration and finished things off through Maxi after good work from Aquilani and Kuyt. The Dutchman and the Italian combined again immediately after to make it six and cap a good work out.
There is no escaping it, in terms of this season this game will be minor signifcance however, it meant an awful lot to 80,000 plus who were there yesterday and that IS important.
Malaysia: Sharbinee Allawee, Jasuli, Asraruddin Putra, FadhliMohd Shas, Rahim, Rohidan, Shaarani, Hadi Ahaya, Subramaniam, Bakhtiar, Ahmad. Subs: Masril Mat Nourdin (gk), Farisham Ismail, Rizal Fahmi, Faris Ramlan, Faruqi, Safee Mohd Sali, Azmi Muslim, Govandar, Shakir Shaari, Remeli, Mohd Saad, Amirulhadi Zainal, Fahmie Che Mat (gk), Suppiah, Ashaari Shamsudin
Liverpool (first half): Jones, Flanagan, Carragher, Agger, Robinson, Coady, Spearing, Adam, Meireles, Cole, Carroll.
Liverpool (second half): Gulacsi (Hansen 69), Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Insua, Aquilani, Shelvey, Poulsen, Maxi, Kuyt, Ngog.