Liverpool Faces Mountain to Climb Against Inter Milan

liverpool-crest.jpgLiverpool today will have an opportunity to regain the faith of many disbelievers and to exonerate Rafa Benitez from the incredible amount of pressure and blame that has fallen on his shoulders this season, deservedly so for the Merseyside club’s poor performances in the FA Cup and Premier League.

In the competition where Rafa Benitez continues to perform best, a win or a draw today for Liverpool against Inter Milan at the San Siro (3:30pm ET, ESPN2) will be a momentous achievement against one of, if not the best, sides in Europe. Forget Milan’s lackluster performance against Liverpool in the first leg. Today’s Inter side will be a totally different opponent, hungry for the kill and ready to punish the Reds.

For Liverpool to come out with a win or a draw at the San Siro will erase many of the memories of the poor performances by Liverpool this season. That said, if Liverpool do get knocked out today, the memories of the underachievements in the FA Cup and Premier League will stay fresh in the minds of the critics and most Liverpool fans.

That’s how tight the difference is between success and failure. Win on aggregate today and Benitez’s name will go into the Liverpool folklore once again. This time for defeating the mighty Inter Milan, something that a powerful Liverpool side was unable to do in the 1965 European Cup semi-final. Lose and the talk will be about when Benitez will be sacked by the American owners.

The challenge for Liverpool today will be finding someone other than Fernando Torres to score goals. Inter Milan will undoubtedly be marking Torres extremely tightly and not allowing him much space, which will free up room for another striker or attacking midfielder to penetrate the Inter back four. One goal should be enough to push Liverpool through to the next round.

Today’s match will be a mountain to climb for Liverpool. Inter’s Javier Zanetti has already warned Liverpool that they will be punished if the Reds sit back and try to hold on for a nil-nil draw. However, I don’t see Liverpool coming out and attacking Inter, which will leave too many gaps at the back. I see Benitez playing their defensive-minded football which has worked so well for them in the past. If Inter scores, they can change tactics. So, for Liverpool, it’ll be crucial that Inter doesn’t score an early goal.

Whatever happens, I’m really looking forward to a match that will hopefully go down as a classic European encounter.

17 thoughts on “Liverpool Faces Mountain to Climb Against Inter Milan”

  1. I would like to disagree with your prognostication on the match! I think the mountain to climb is on the shoulders of Inter… who is considered the better team? Who is playing at home? Who needs to score goals or are out of the league?

    Yes, there will be pressure on Liverpool but the defense did well against Inter in the first match and Inter’s defense had troubles with Torres. Liverpool defense did well even before Mat the Mad was booked red.

    I think Liverpool just might score on a counter and then the pressure will be too much for the Italian psyche. Do you think if Liverpool score first that Inter will score 4 goals on Liverpool?

    Forza Liverpool… YNWA

  2. Who writes this rubbish?

    Inter are one of the best teams in Europe? 2 CL finals in 3 years, what does that make Liverpool?

    Mountain to climb? utter crap.

  3. “Today’s match will be a mountain to climb for Liverpool.” Bollocks. Can you refresh my memory and tell me what the score was in the first leg of the draw? Are you familiar with the away goals rule at all?
    Liverpool will come out of the starting blocks like a rocket tonight, looking for the one goal which would mean that Inter need to score FOUR goals in the match to progress.

    And what is the relevance of the result in 1965 (43 years ago, FFS!) which is the last time the teams met?

    “Today’s Inter side will be a totally different opponent, hungry for the kill and ready to punish the Reds.” Evidence? They looked poor in the first leg when they should have been pushing for the vital away goal.

    You, sir, are an idiot.

  4. What an absolute load of tosh.

    The mountain is Inters to climb, being down 0-2 and missing many of their front line players.

    Add to this the present form of Liverpool AND the pool of very different options he has to choose from and the synopsis has to be that ‘pool are favourite to go through.

  5. Rubbish mate! Inter have a mountain to climb, the pressure is on them.

    As to when Liverpool lost to Inter back in the 70’s I suggest you watch both games and keep a close watch on the referee.

    Same can be said of many matches the Italians won way back and the Germans of course – remember against Leeds United, how they were robbed by the ref!

    I think you’ll be trickling down your pants late tonight – when we make it past to meet you once more and once more knock you out!

    Yes you can take the message to Abram and Fergie – by the way Fergie is not at home but whiplashing his kids.

  6. Well said those commenters above, what a totally poor assesment?! If Liverpool score one, Inter need FOUR. Oh yeah but its Liverpool who “have the mountain to climb”. Give me a break.

  7. I have to agree with the above posters. Liverpool are in complete control of the tie. Also, if you think they’re going to sit back in their own half and defend, you may think back to the same round last year vs. Barcelona. They attacked Barca in both legs of the tie. I expect Liverpool to come out trying to get their goal to kill the tie.

  8. A 2-0 lead is pretty healthy; what more did Liverpool need to do in the first leg? It won outright, didn’t give up an away goal and is 90 minutes away from making history with four English teams in the Champions League quarterfinals.

    Granted, you’re going to see Inter attacking from the opening whistle, but undoubtedly, they’re going to be vulnerable to counterattacks, and with Torres’ current form, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it 1-1 at the half, which means Inter would need three in the second half.

    This isn’t a mountain to climb; it’s a molehill.

  9. “Liverpool is the best club in the world rabble…rabble…rabble…”

    But, I have to agree that I don’t see a mountain for them to climb. Rafa has already proven his ability to win in Europe. I think the burden lies with Inter.

    Rafa loves to play for a 0-0. I think Liverpool go through easily.

  10. Torres and Gerrard are in rare form right now.
    Inter will fold like a cheap tent after Liverpool scores first goal.
    Liverpool win 2 – 0…again

  11. Inter may be a “totally different opponent” in attitude, but they’re struggling to find four players to start on defense, what with bans and injuries.

    This article is a mountain of rubbish that Liverpool would find it harder to climb than winning this tie – they can snooze their way to the top of this “mountain”.

  12. I agree that the impetus is on Inter Milan to make something happen tonight. And their lack of fitness on defense makes it easier for Liverpool to get that needed one goal.

    But don’t be surprrised if Inter does get 2-0 and force extra time. Sometimes you just get things rolling in the right direction and it happens. Inter is on life support, but they are not completely out of this one.

  13. In hindsight, it was a poor choice of words on my part. If you ignore the headline, the article still stands. I was trying to paint a picture of the difficult task Liverpool was going to have.

    Little did I know that Inter Milan would yet again underachieve. I expected more from them.

    Congratulations to Liverpool on a deserved two-leg victory.

    The Gaffer

  14. once again gaffer, your anti-liverpool tirade makes you look like a twat. i know you have your health problems and all that, and so i dont want to attack you (i do sincerely hope you get better ASAP, and i do appreciate all the excellent podcasts youve done), but i am so sick of this website’s negative attitude towards liverpool, which ive emailed you before about. you would be naive to think that there are not a lot of liverpool fans out there, and that EPL Talk’s anti-Liverpool bias does not a.) piss them off and b.) cause them not to visit your site.

  15. gaffer, i am a partisan for liverpool. therefore, i am knowingly never going to be objective, and in fact, i dont see how any one, unless they gave f*ck-all about football, could be. but that doesnt mean that i think i am wrong. i am not pollyanna. i only try to respond to what are in my view poor criticisms of rafa and the club. it is not a personal thing. and my view is that this site, and you, are anti-liverpool. and perhaps an anti-dentite, though that i cannot confirm.

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