Liverpool 2 – Villarreal – Champions League Semifinal, 1st Leg

I considered writing a single-word post about this game and leaving it at that because only one word needs truly be said: Thiago.

All the old quips come to mind, especially ones such as games like this are won in the midfield. Indeed they are. It so happens that the Spaniard, finally free of his injury problems and clearly enjoying himself, pretty much owned the midfield today. Control the pace? Check. Be there to disrupt, confuse and annoy the opposition as necessary? Check. Deliver vision and guile? Check, check, check. That’s without mentioning the stupendous passes which we are sort of taking for granted, but we shouldn’t, because they are downright ridiculous in regularity as much as creativity.

Thiago Alcantara
Thiago Alcantara exits to ovation at Anfield

Thiago for MVP…

So yeah, you know who my man-of-the-match is. If Liverpool goes on to win this thing again, Thiago may well be the MVP.

The final scoreline, which required an own goal on top of a cute Salah-Mane combo, is misleading. Liverpool could have easily run away with this game to the tune of five or six. But with such an obvious gap in quality, it’s probably more than enough to see the Reds through to the final. That is a game that promises to be a feast for fans of positive football, no matter which of the other two we meet. Alisson spent the vast majority of his time watching the game, and he must have appreciated the occasional ball passed back his way to keep him from getting chilly, but it must be said that Villarreal did actually try.

This really underlines how remarkable it is that they have gotten so far in the competition.

I could wax poetic about Luis Diaz again, or tell you how imperious our center-backs were, or describe the coolness of Fabinho, or any number of things. Instead, I’ll cut it short and go back to the one word that sums it all up.


What a player he is.

Two Week Notice American Scouser Podcast

Bickler and Timucin discuss the Villa game, take a look at the possible future, and Vegas
  1. Two Week Notice
  2. Having Fun Again
  3. The Turkish Rodeo
  4. Glimpse of Hope
  5. The Drought