Big Game Balotelli
Following the narrow win over Queens Park Rangers at the weekend, Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has come in for even more criticism with the hit-man spurning a number of chances at Loftus Road.
Although he didn’t sound entirely convincing, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers threw some much needed support behind the embattled 24-year old ahead of their meeting with Real Madrid at Anfield later today. “He scores big goals in big games” said the Northern Irishman of the misfiring Italian striker. “I’m sure he will go into tomorrow, if picked, looking forward. It is just a matter of time before he gets his goals.”
Following Sunday’s last gasp win against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard called on his side to pick up the pace and start turning in performances worthy of the red shirt — something he believes applies to him as well.
“The message is not just to them, I’m involved in it myself as well. I’m sure they’ve taken it on board. We have been a bit up and down and it has been a bit of a stuttering season” said the veteran Reds midfielder ahead of the meeting with Real Madrid later today before explaining that the changes in personal and injury problems have hampered their efforts. “I have huge confidence and belief in this group of players that we can get back to the form and level of last season. It won’t be very long.”
Video courtesy of LFC Media
It’s been an exciting week already for Champions League football, but for Kopites everywhere, yesterdays round of fixtures were a mere appetizer for the main course that’ll be served up tomorrow evening when Liverpool host reigning European champions Real Madrid at Anfield.
Looking forward to Anfield return
Despite leaving Liverpool for Real Madrid all those years ago, fullback Alvaro Arbeloa has remained an ardent Red ever since. The Spaniard, who spent three Premier League seasons at Anfield, returns to Merseyside for the first time since departing for the La Liga outfit when the two sides meet in the Champions League tomorrow and he’s told his team-mates that they’re in for something special.
“I’ve told everyone this is an opportunity they shouldn’t miss,” explained the 31-year old World Cup and Champions League winner. “They’re used to a stadium that holds 80,000, sure, but Anfield is la bomba, unique. I’ve told them to enjoy it. I can imagine what Anfield will be like, how they’ll sing You’ll Never Walk Alone and cheer every corner or throw-in close to our area as if it’ll end in a goal – and I know it’ll feel like that to us.”
There was a time…
After labouring to a last gasp win against bottom of the barrel Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, there’s absolutely no question that Liverpool are going to have to do better if they’re going to get anything at all when they host Real Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday.
To be fair, when I say “anything”, that’s very much open to interpretation and really does range from snatching up three points to getting out of the stadium with their pride still in tact. Following the debacle at Loftus Road, it’s one thing for the players to not only acknowledge that their performance as a whole was no where near acceptable, but to promise a better one against the reigning European champions, and it’s another one to actually do it. Let’s be honest — we’ve got everything to do.