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Liverpool 3, PSV Eindhoven 0

Well, it wasn't much of a match, to tell you the truth. The PSV offensive attack was pretty much non-existent. The Liverpool defense just would not allow them to work with the middle of the field and would abruptly disrupt their forward momentum by tackling, taking the ball away, or knocking the ball out of bounds and resetting their defense. Mascherano, Carra, and Agger were particularly adept at accomplishing these tasks. PSV tried a lot of long ball set ups but were correctly caught offside most of the time. They were never truly a threat to score, and as Bob pointed out in the liveblog, Pepe was looked sleepy.

On the other side of the ball, Liverpool instigated a variety of attacks, most notably Steve Finnan's superb crosses which resulted in two header goals, the first by Gerrard and the second by Crouch. I was sort of disappointed though, when someone, most notably Crouch, got the ball at the top of the box and then would hold it too long allowing the PSV defense to collapse on them. Crouch, following his tremendous hat-trick against Arsenal, was anything but impressive, despite his goal. Xabi also had two chances at the top of the box early in the second half and though they were not easy goals by any means, he managed to botch both of them in very un-Xabi-esque fashion.

The Man of the Match, for me, came down to two people. Not that anyone other than Crouch had a noticeably off-night, but two players stood out for me. First, Riise, not only because he scored a brilliant goal, but he actually played good defense. Riise's by no means a bad defender, but it seems like he usually puts more effort in trying to score goals than he does playing defense. The player I think truly deserves it though is Steve Finnan, who had a tremendous match, getting two assists and completely dominating the right side of the field at times. You could see the frustration he was causing the PSV attackers, especially Farfan.

Well, three away goals is a huge aggregate deficit to overcome, but we can't underestimate them. Next up is Reading, maybe Bellamy will be ready for that one. Ciao.

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