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AC Milan 2, Liverpool 1: Final thoughts

What a disappointing match, not just because of the result, but the fact that the match was lost due to referee error. Liverpool dominated the first half, as AC Milan were no where near quick enough to hang with Gerrard and Pennant as they consistently pushed the ball down field. The course of the game changed drastically with Inzaghi's handball. Shoulder my ass. It clearly hits his arm, and any ball that comes off the arm of an offensive player and into the goal is a handball. There is no other way to rule it, accidental or not. That one instance of questionable refereeing gave the game to Milan, despite being the weaker side.

If the handball goal doesn't stand, which it should have not, then Mascherano stays in the game and with ten minutes left in the game, Benitez would have more than likely called off the offside trap and told his backs to sit further back. Those two moves would have negated the second goal. Kaka was Masche's bitch up to then. Greatest player in the world? I think not. There's no way Kaka would have gotten that kind of room to make that pass with Masche on and if he somehow did, Inzaghi would have been front marked by either Agger or Carra.

Once they scored the handball goal, it allowed them to play back. It then became nearly impossible for Liverpool to create chances since there were usually ten men behind the ball. Especially since another of our old haunts from this season, the inability to finish, reared it's ugly head, though Milan's defenders do deserve credit for closing off passing lanes and narrowing shot perspective whenever one of our players broke free with the ball. It left us with very difficult attempts.

Liverpool were the better team. They attacked tenaciously and created more opportunities. What it all comes down to though is a biased ref who came into the match with a chip on his shoulder regarding English clubs. I'm sure that made it a whole lot easier for him not to call the handball. I'm awfully curious why he was appointed the ref, since not only was his record towards English clubs known, but also this match involved a team, AC Milan, that in recent history, had been twice convicted of match fixing scandals that involved paying to have a favorable ref. You would think UEFA would want to avoid any controversy and appoint the most neutral ref they could, but they didn't. Then again Platini isn't a big fan of English clubs either.

Anyhow, the cheats won and the better team goes home knowing that they were screwed. It was a dark day for the sport. At least our boys have the class not to rip off our second place medals, but then again, we are team that is all class and don't get involved in match fixing scandals and handball goals. I guess that's why this one doesn't hurt that much, all you can do is laugh at the clowns of Italy that made this game such a joke. C'est la vie.

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