LIVERPOOL didn’t play well against Braga on Thursday night but I still fancy us to get through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Losing 1-0 isn’t a great problem and we should have too much for them at Anfield on Thursday night.
I was really disappointed with our first half performance.
We looked apprehensive about committing too many players forward in case we left too much space for them to capitalise on.
The first half was like a game of five-a-side with no real tempo it.
It was clear the team had been set up to contain Braga and we did that pretty well until Sotirios Kyrgiakos gave away a stupid penalty.
It was a challenge he didn’t need to make.
I thought we should have had a penalty ourselves when Joe Cole was brought down in the box.
If Cole hadn’t gone down so dramatically I think the referee might have given it.
Thankfully, there was an improvement in the second half and especially when Andy Carroll came on.
He was excellent in the air and caused Braga a lot of problems.
They looked scared of him and he turned the game Liverpool’s way.
As far as I’m concerned Carroll should have started.
If you are fit enough to be on the bench then you are fit enough to start.
Carroll’s performance at least gave the fans over there something to shout about.
He is going to be a major asset for Liverpool and has to start the second leg.
I’m sure it will be a very different game at Anfield.
For a start they will have to contend with a full house shouting for Liverpool.
We have to get at them from the start of the second leg.
Losing Steven Gerrard for a month is a big blow but I still think we can march on without him.
Carroll is the key as they will struggle to contain him. We’ve got to get plenty of balls into the penalty box.