To say that the English teams in action in last night’s Europa League were a minor disappointment would be a gross understatement. You can always rely on Super Mario to liven up any evening though.
Liverpool was first up and a tricky tie at Braga’s stadium cut out of the side of a mountain. A team that had Dirk Kuyt as the focal point in a one man attack was never going to achieve much and it won’t have surprised many when a poor first half hour was compounded by Sotirios Kyrgiakos giving away a sloppy penalty that Alan converted.
The visitors did look a lot livelier in the second half after bringing on a real-life battering ram in the shape of new signing Andy Carroll. The quirky thing here was that the Geordie is being made to wear the number 29 in the Europa League due to UEFA rules. It really does make you wonder if Michel Platini should see the same therapist as Charlie Sheen.
After causing general Carroll-based mayhem and receiving an elbow in the face for his troubles, Kenny Dalglish’s side came away with nothing and will have to win by two clear goals to stand a chance of prevailing.
Man City is a different kettle of fish.
It was very cold over in Kiev as the game started at 10pm local time and finished around midnight but the ability of the players shouldn’t be that adversely affected that one stays in the changing complaining about a grass allergy.
Mario Balotelli, the controversial £24million summer signing, was seen to vomit on the touchline as he re-entered the fray after having a reaction to the pitch. You now know where every Premier League side will be getting their grass in future…
This distracts the attention away from a poor performance in the Ukrainian capital as they went down by two goals from Andriy Shevchenko and Oleg Husin and have it all to do in the return leg at the City of Manchester.