Author Topic: RAWK Advent Calendar #7 - Matches with Meaning. Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid  (Read 12935 times)

Offline Mr Dilkington

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Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid 2008/9


"This is Anfield... so what?" read Madrid's best selling daily newspaper Marca on the morning of Real Madrid's second leg tie with Liverpool in the first knockout round of the Champions League. Marca, as well as a number of other media outlets in Madrid, had predicted boldly, a whitewash to crash over the red sails of Liverpool in the build up to the first leg of the tie; Liverpool had other ideas. In a closely fought tactical battle between two highly regarded Spanish coaches, a Yossi Benayoun header separated the two sides going into the second leg.


Despite having the scoring advantage, as well as an away goal and a legitimate 'famous victory' to take into the second leg, the Madrid press again confidently predicted progress into the quarter final. After all, apart from the 'lucky' defeat to Liverpool, Real Madrid had gone 9 games unbeaten since the arrival of their new manager Juande Ramos. The aim, was to smash through the red bus that the cautious Benitez was inevitably going to park in front of the Madrid goal.


It didn't quite turn out that way.


Liverpool: Reina; Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio; Mascherano, Alonso, Kuyt, Babel, Gerrard; Torres

Real Madrid: Casillas; Ramos, Cannavaro, Pepe, Heinze; Lassana Diarra, Gago, Robben, Sneijder; Raul, Higuain



If one player embodied Liverpool during the opening 'exchanges' of the match, it was the snarling, snapping, infectious Argentine midfielder Mascherano. From kick off, Madrid, all suave and laidback in their white uniform, tried to pass through the heart of the Liverpool midfield. Barely 5 seconds had passed before Mascherano nipped in and robbed Madrid of possession. The tone for the rest of the match was set in that seemingly innocuous moment.


The first memorable moment of what would turn into a memorable match, was provided, unsurprisingly by Liverpool's number 9, Fernando Torres. Supplied, unsurprisingly, by Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard. Rampaging down Madrid's right flank, Gerrard cut inside, spotted his partner in crime, and played a pass into the feet of Torres, who was positioned just outside the heart of the Real Madrid box, facing his own goal. It wasn't a bad for position for Madrid to be in. This was a player who did all his best work running in behind opposition defences; plus Madrid had the Ballon d'OR winner of two years previous Fabio Cannavaro, and the World's best goalkeeper Iker Casillas, as their last line of defence. And yet, this was Real Madrid. The team that Fernando Torres more than any other wanted to systemically take apart. In a flash of typical brilliance, Torres let the ball run onto his back foot, back heeled the ball towards goal, and skipped past the helpless Cannavaro. Only his Spanish International teammate Casillas stood between him and the goal he craved. Torres tried to fool 'Saint Iker' by going towards the near post, but by the skin of the Saint's big toe, the scoreline remained at 0-0.

From the resulting corner, Mascherano sent a beautiful left footed dipping volley towards Casillas' top left hand corner; only a miraculous save kept the match goalless. It was only delaying the inevitable anyway.

On the quarter hour mark, a goal that seemed to be coming for hours, finally arrived. Fabio Cannavaro badly misjudged a long punt up field from Jamie Carragher (no, really), and like two rabid dogs, Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt hurtled towards the ball. Pepe couldn't readjust after his mate's misjudgment, and despite protesting that he'd been fouled, Kuyt squared for Torres to prod in with the outside of his right boot. One nil.

If all of the pre match analysis was to be believed, this was to be the moment when Benitez would instruct his men to take their feet off the pedal and preserve what they had. But that wasn't what this Liverpool team was about. They smelt blood. And blood shows up best on white shirts.

Less than quarter of an hour later, Xabi Alonso whipped a typically menacing ball towards Alvaro Arbeloa in the Real Madrid box. Only Gabi Heinze stood between him and the goal. Arbeloa's wonderful chest control was stopped by Heinze's shoulder, but then, as if Anfield had suckered him into a decision, he raised his flag and waved manically to indicate a Liverpool penalty. Steven Gerrard, in the way that Steven Gerrard does, duly dispatched into the left hand corner, sending Casillas the wrong way.


Half time arrived, giving Madrid a much needed chance to just get the hell off the field for 15 minutes. There was no sense that the tie could be turned round from their perspective. Instanbul seemed impossible, but Liverpool had belief then. Milan were cocky. Milan were careless. On this night, Liverpool were relentless, and Madrid were completely void of any hope. The only question remaining was the extent of the embarrassment for whites.


The start of the second half started in exactly the same fashion that the first did. Only this time it took 2 minutes to score rather than 15. The third goal was the pick of the bunch. Babel found himself one on one with Ramos, and unbelievably managed to skin the European Championship winning full back. His left footed cross seemed to trickle towards the Real Madrid box, and as everyone else seemed rooted to the spot, one man charged onto the ball with unmatched drive. That man was Steven Gerrard. The half volley was as beautiful as it was intense, and without ever breaking stride, Steven Gerrard wheeled towards the Kop, simmering in admiration at the brilliance of the man.

If there was anyone left in the stadium who doubted that the tie was over, Steven Gerrard departing for Jay Spearing with over 20 minutes remaining signaled that Benitez believed it was. And it turned out to be a rather impressive cameo from Spearing. It was a moment that could have been a passing of the guard so to speak. Spearing was very highly rated at the club; how nice it would be to see him replicate the success of Steven Gerrard. Alas it wasn't to be, but at that moment, it seemed possible. Misplaced hope, perhaps? But isn't that the fun in football? Enjoying things for the moment.

The salt in the wounds moment arrived courtesy of Andrea Dossena. A typically incisive Liverpool counter attack involving Kuyt, Babel, and then finally Mascherano, who supplied the driven cross field pass for Dossena to fire below Casillas, who despite getting a touch, couldn't stop the fourth from going in.

At the end of the match, the legendary goalkeeper, having conceded four goals, trod off the pitch in tears. Along with Raul, the humiliation of the defeat would've hurt no one more than Casillas. And yet he was possibly the best player on the pitch. Every single Liverpool player sought him out to simultaneously console and congratulate him. A class act, badly let down by his club and teammates.


Despite that great night, as well as a comprehensive beating of Manchester United some four days later, Liverpool were to end the season with no trophies to show for some great performances. But you know what, football is all about the moment. History will look back on a team that didn't win anything, but for those who were there, for those who experienced it, Liverpool were on top of the World. If football isn't meant for the moment, what the hell is it for?
« Last Edit: December 9, 2013, 03:19:14 PM by The5thDayofXmas »
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Offline Hinesy

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #1 on: December 7, 2013, 01:50:40 AM »
I was there and that's a lovely lovely report of a great night.
Yep.

Offline bigbonedrawky

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #2 on: December 7, 2013, 02:13:18 AM »
"So what"............... Four f*cking Nil, that's what.


 

Offline Nonex

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #3 on: December 7, 2013, 04:28:35 AM »
My, how that team was good, most in their prime or there abouts.

Offline jason67

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #4 on: December 7, 2013, 08:42:39 AM »
Brilliant write up that mate, really enjoying these. 
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Offline Hazell

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #5 on: December 7, 2013, 08:46:31 AM »
Terrific that. Was an awesome night (and few weeks. Post Middlesbrough anyway)
« Last Edit: December 7, 2013, 08:49:09 AM by Let us prayzell »
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Offline 007.lankyguy

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #6 on: December 7, 2013, 09:44:27 AM »
Great write up.

Possibly the best (definitely one of the best) Liverpool performances I've ever seen. The intensity, the organisation, the compactness, the intelligence.

And yeah, Mascherano was brilliant that night
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Offline Hunts Cross

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #7 on: December 7, 2013, 10:48:44 AM »
THIS is why we go through the lows, the bewildering results, terrible luck and collective disappointment. For nights like this one. Great report. Thanks. United a few days later wasn't too shabby either.

Offline Liamski-la

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #8 on: December 7, 2013, 11:11:23 AM »
Was in The Kop for every champions league home game that season.

One of my favourite games - I can remember going to work the next day with no voice.

You just don't tear apart Real Madrid like the way we did that night. Was Gerrard, Torres et al at their very very best.
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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #9 on: December 7, 2013, 06:09:52 PM »
Lovely stuff mate. Don't we have a 100 per cent record v Real Madrid?
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Offline John C

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #10 on: December 8, 2013, 09:37:38 AM »
A really enjoyable re-visit mate. Good times eh.
Thanks.

Offline careca

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #11 on: December 8, 2013, 09:45:01 AM »
Mate gave me a spare ticket for the Kop we did enjoy that night - certainly one to remember.
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Offline Ycuzz

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #12 on: December 8, 2013, 09:47:46 AM »
Someone get me that Orson Welles-applauding-gif.

What a game that was. What a team! What a run of games!

That was brilliant. Brilliant! Made me smile all over. Thanks mate.
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Offline Solomon Grundy

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #13 on: December 8, 2013, 09:47:46 AM »
Brilliant report. Makes me miss Mascherano even more though.

Offline No666

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #14 on: December 8, 2013, 09:57:43 AM »
That was the best that team ever played. Level Three and purring. There was a move when Babel back-heeled a ball to Kuyt who back heeled into the path of the on-rushing Gerrard, whose powerful shot was again saved by Casillas. Iirc some of the Madrid players applauded Gerrard into the tunnel that night. (Of course, this wasn't pure sportsmanship; they were trying to butter him up for a Zidane-driven transfer.) Torres still had a heart and a conscience and an identity in those days - and all of that conspired to make him a man possessed in the mission to take apart Madrid.
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Offline duelcandle

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #15 on: December 8, 2013, 09:58:09 AM »
Just makes me want more of it next season! Good report.
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Offline sinnermichael

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #16 on: December 8, 2013, 10:00:39 AM »
The fact Casillas was MOTM after losing 4-0 says it all. We were sensational.

Offline The G in Gerrard

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #17 on: December 8, 2013, 10:05:27 AM »
Unbelievable night. Miss the likes of Alonso, Mascherano and Torres.

Offline koolkamal

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #18 on: December 8, 2013, 10:17:25 AM »
Was my first ever game at Anfield that one :)
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Offline gallden

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #19 on: December 9, 2013, 12:14:33 AM »
Irresistible Liverpool, I really miss that Torres. 

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #20 on: December 9, 2013, 08:58:02 AM »
the finest performance i have ever seen from a Liverpool team.

Casillas was magnificent despite conceding 4 goals, no way was he at fault for any, Reina on the other hand would have had so little to do i doubt he even needed to wash after the game.

If it weren't for Casillas we could have got double figures, Pepe, Cannavaro and Ramos were absolutely torn to shreds.
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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #21 on: December 9, 2013, 03:09:58 PM »
Was my first ever game at Anfield that one :)

If we all could be so lucky. That's amazing!

What an unforgettable match. And then the United match after!
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Offline The 92A

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Re: Rawk advent calender #7 - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #22 on: December 9, 2013, 03:10:40 PM »
Great write up. fantastic performance. We went the first-leg in Madrid and looking back my abiding memory of that trip, apart from our win, was trying to find out if Rafa had been sacked with news reaching us about reports from Sky that the bookies had stopped taking bets on Rafa being sacked. The off field stopped us having our chance of dominating Europe even Guardiola said Barca only feared us. How short sighted.

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #7 - Matches with Meaning. Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #23 on: December 9, 2013, 03:44:36 PM »
Lovely stuff mate. Don't we have a 100 per cent record v Real Madrid?

We do. They've never even scored against us have they? Useless!
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Offline KERRYKOP

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #7 - Matches with Meaning. Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #24 on: December 9, 2013, 04:19:56 PM »
What a game, what a week, my happiest time to be a Liverpool supporter.

Offline Hazell

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #7 - Matches with Meaning. Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2013, 10:31:12 AM »
Great write up. fantastic performance. We went the first-leg in Madrid and looking back my abiding memory of that trip, apart from our win, was trying to find out if Rafa had been sacked with news reaching us about reports from Sky that the bookies had stopped taking bets on Rafa being sacked. The off field stopped us having our chance of dominating Europe even Guardiola said Barca only feared us. How short sighted.

What could have been eh?

Both matches were brilliant in their own way, we played really well in Madrid as well, it was just overshadowed by the performance at Anfield :)
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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #7 - Matches with Meaning. Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2013, 01:16:07 PM »
Great stuff - so many what ifs and maybes that season. Bloody yanks.

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #7 - Matches with Meaning. Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2013, 12:02:27 AM »
Bump for Christmas
Yep.

Offline sinnermichael

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5 years ago to the day. Bloody hell.

Offline slimbo

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I wanted to share my story regarding this game. I think it highlights the strength of the Liverpool family. I live in Australia and I've supported Liverpool since 1974. In 2009 I planned a trip with my wife to Europe and I made sure we would stop in Liverpool so I could get the chance to see my Reds play live for the first time. Obviously, I had to organise tickets. I contacted LFC and through details which until today are still fuzzy and disputed, I was given a website to go to to get tickets. I'd never heard of it before but thought it was legit because LFC put me on to it. Long story short, I paid big money for my tickets to Sunderland and Real Madrid.

I mentioned on this forum I was going to the Madrid match and was then contacted by John Mackin about how I got my tickets. He was concerned they might be scalpers or season ticket holders selling their tickets at a profit. He asked me if I would let them see the tickets when I got them so they could track the origin and stamp out the onselling of tickets, to which I agreed.

I arrived the day of the Sunderland match relieved to see my tickets for that match had arrived. It was bitterly cold that night and whilst I was thrilled to be at Anfield the match was a bit underwhelming. We won 2-0 but there was very little atmosphere. 3 days before the Madrid game I got a call from the company that sold me the tickets to say they were no longer available and they could offer me some concert tickets in exchange. My reply was obviously not very polite but they said there was nothing they could do. I contacted John who said he would contact the club but there was probably nothing which could be done, which was the case. I asked the people I was staying with if they could recommend a pub where I could watch the game with other Reds where there would be a good atmosphere and resigned myself to missing the game.

This is where my story gets a bit freaky. On the morning of the game the person I was staying with contacted the club again with our story. The woman on the phone said she was sorry but the game was sold out and there was nothing she could do. What I didn't now was that the secretary for LFC at the time Bryce Morrison was in the room and overheard the story. He had been talking to John previously about us and now put two and two together. He contacted John to confirm we were the same people and at 4pm I received a phone call to say there were two tickets for me to pick up. I had no idea all this had occurred in the background. I just got a call hours before the game to say LFC have two tickets for you.

The game was magnificent. The atmosphere everything I had imagined. We were on fire that night and I feel so blessed to have seen this team when we had Rafa, Torres, Stevie, Alonso, Masch at their peak. Even the atmosphere during the day with Madirid and Pool fans in the City Centre. The anticipation was magnificent.

The next day I contacted John and told him I had managed to get tickets. He said "I know", and filled me in on the story. Just after I arrived home I sent him this email:

Hi John,
Mate we'll be home on saturday.  What a great week for Liverpool eh? Just hope we can keep the momentum going until May.
I'd appreciate it if you would pass on my sincere regards to the man at LFC that came through with the tickets. It really was the night of a lifetime and the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for me. I can't thank you guys enough.
Hope you sort the ticket thing out and in some way I help to do that.
Regards

This was John's response:

I have thanked him, mate. Said we 'did a good turn' there. It'll come back to bless us!!!!

Pool!

John


I arrived home on the 19th March. I was deeply shocked only two days later to find out that Bryce Morrison had suddenly passed away. I felt such sadness given that only a couple of weeks earlier he had made it possible for my dream to come true and now he was gone.

I can't help but think there was some sort of providence involved in me going to this game. LFC telling me where to get the tickets, me being a part of this forum, John Mackin contacting me before I left Australia, Bryce Morrison being in the room when my friend called and then contacting John.

The whole experience gave me a greater appreciation for what the Liverpool family is all over the world. John was more than helpful and I hope he doesn't mind me using his name here. I'm indebted to him and Bryce Morrison for giving me something that was the fulfilment of a life long dream. My only regret was that our schedules meant we couldn't meet in person. Maybe one day.

YNWA

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brilliant
yer ma should have called you Paolo Zico Gerry Socrates HELLRAZOR