Wow, that was some result. Needing a win in the uber-hostile atmosphere at l'Olympic Marseille to get into the lucrative last 16 of the Champions League and we come out to stuff l'OM 4-0. Outrageous.
Gerrard put away the rebound to the penalty he won and subsequently missed. Torres slalomed through the Marseille defence feinting here and there before clinically sliding the ball into the far corner. Kuyt was put through by Harry Kewell's astute (or lucky) pass to put the result beyond doubt before Ryan Babel shrugged off the attentions of the Marseille defence, pushed the ball one side of the keeper, rounded him on the other and poked home into a gaping net.
Liverpool finished off the group stages with 8-0, 4-1 and 4-0 wins to leave us as the highest scoring team in the group stage - unless Manure/Arsenal can find 5 goals in them tonight. Yet we only finished second. A shock defeat against Besiktas and a shocking performance at Anfield against l'OM meant that we could only finish second in our group.
The draw next round will see us pitted against the group winners from outside England - Real Madrid, AC Milan or Barcelona for example - but it won't be the Melwood staff worrying about who we play. The group winners will be quaking in their expensive boots in case they draw the team who has seen two Champions Leagues finals in three years. The team who has, under their current boss, beaten some of the best teams in Europe - AC Milan, Juventus, Chelsea (twice) and Barcelona.
One note - I thought the Marseille fans were absolutely terrible last night. I lost count of the amount of lighters and assorted paraphernalia being thrown onto the pitch and I hope UEFA fines the club for failing to control their supporters.
The Liverpool Offside Man-of-the-Match? Alvaro Arbeloa. He's been fantastic since we signed him and has really, really surprised me this year with his versatility both of position (playing all across the back four) and of style. He can hang back and defend like Carra's younger brother or he can raid forward, overlap the winger and put the opposition under pressure. It's just a shame he looks like an accountant.