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Lyon 1-1 Liverpool: Kyrgiakos Mistake Condemns The Reds

Everyone's doing a brand new dance now. C'mon baby, do the Kyrgiakos.

Everyone's doing a brand new dance now. C'mon baby, do the Kyrgiakos.

It must have been yet another very frustrating night for Liverpool supporters Wednesday night after the Reds failed to win against Lyon in a 1-1 draw. The dreams of advancing in the Champions League are quickly disappearing. And as Rafa Benitez says, Liverpool need a miracle to qualify now.

It was frustrating because Liverpool didn’t play particularly badly. As in Tuesday night’s Manchester United against CSKA Moscow match, the game at Lyon was very open and quite entertaining with plenty of chances for either team to score. And just like at Old Trafford, both teams were well matched against each other and played a brand of passing football that was pleasing to the eye.

While Liverpool were far from spectacular, they played with a lot more imagination than of late. However, they were guilty of missing some clear-cut chances which would have put the game away for them. Particularly guilty was Andriy Voronin who failed to slot the ball past the goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation. Much later in the game Ryan Babel had a chance in front of goal but skewed his shot wide when he should have at least hit it on target.

Babel can be forgiven because his goal that gave Liverpool the lead was absolutely sensational. Just as he was getting ready to fire the shot, I was thinking to myself that Babel — knowing him — would sail the ball over the crossbar. But the Dutchman kept his head down as he struck the ball with venom and it rocketed into the net.

But while the Reds battled as hard as they could with what they had, they came undone by a horrible defensive error near the end of the game when Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos fell down in the box and let Lisandro Lopez knock the ball past Reina and into the goal.

Kyrgiakos’s defending that led to Lyon’s equalizer was absolutely awful. The long haired defender lost his defender and because he didn’t have the pace or energy to catch up with Lisandro Lopez, he fell in a heap inside the penalty area which gave Lisandro Lopez the easiest of chances to score.

If this was Kyrgiakos’s first mistake, he could be forgiven. But earlier in the match he was involved in another comedy of errors as he mistimed a header and let a Lyon player through only for Jose Pepe Reina to save his skin by blocking the shot that was heading toward goal.

Kyrgiakos’s ponytailed partner-in-crime Voronin played like a wild banshee in the first half. He ran every which way but seemed to produce absolutely nothing. He ran into players. He lost the ball. He produced nowt.

Maybe Kyrgiakos and Voronin were made for each other? Both feature horrible long hair, are absolutely appalling players and must have a hex on Benitez because the Spaniard has been starting the duo. Sure, Liverpool have injury problems as well as players out on suspension, but give me David Ngog or Ryan Babel any day of the week over Voronin. And there must be someone available who is better than Kyrgiakos — even on the reserve team?

Regarding the commentator for this match, it was Richard Kaufman who I thought did a very impressive job. Now if only Tim White and Martyn Hindley can learn from this fellow.

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  1. Themistocles Karachristos

    November 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Kyrgiakos should have never been put in that situation, if Carragher makes the play then none of that would have ever happened. Carragher is soooo overated,and bad defending pushed kyrgiakos out of position.

  2. Marc Stenberg

    November 6, 2009 at 4:24 am

    They played well apart from the lazy defending at the end. I had bet on them to win 2-1… I thought we’d turned a corner after Man U and they’d pull it out of the bag for Champs League but obv not. Unfortunate.

    If anyone else put a punt on the game then check this out – it’s from the Right2Bet petition and it shows you how much money you could have lost (even if you won your bet…) because of the messed up EU gambling rules. It’s quite interesting to see and does make you think!

  3. Matthew N

    November 5, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I don’t like to second guess Rafa, but in hindsight the decision to play Kyrgiakos was a poor one. I would much rather see Carra and Agger at centre, Insua on the left, and whatever youngster we can find to play fullback on the right. Why would you take your captain and only reliable defender and put him out on the right wing where he spends most of his energy running up and down the touchline. Either way, Liverpool’s play was unremarkable. The defense played much better than I thought it would and the offense played just the way you think they would without Stevie, Riera, Aquilani, etc. It seemed there was never really a solid midfield game going on. Carra had to play too many speculative balls to Voronin and Torres and it was very rare to manufacture a chance, instead most were the lightning-in-a-bottle breakaway type. I really like Voronin because he has played for LFC since I started following the Prem, but his form lately is subpar. Hopefully he can either get it together or we can sell him. He certainly will garner a decent price. Oh, and about our Greek international.. that is what you get when you only have 2 million pounds left because your cheap owners won’t let you buy the players you need. Cheers, YNWA.

    • Matthew N

      November 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

      re: Kyrgiakos. Some are defending him and some are blaming him. I don’t think he is that great of a player, but I thought he played quite well. He seems to play too aggressive and miss on far too many challenges (he went up for and missed a great many headers that put him out of position were Lyon to try to attack quickly), but it is ridiculous to put the blame solely on his shoulders.

  4. Danny

    November 5, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Kyrgiakos needs to find a rhythm. He made a mistake against Lisandro but he was still coming away from his natural position because Agger lost Cris. So blaming Kyrgiakos for the goal is silly, it was a combination of mistakes. In his previous 4 games he’s been the better defender on show for us. We need to move to a 3-5-2 with a central defensive partnership of Carragher, Kyrgiakos and Agger. That will give us the correct balance. Blaming Kyrgiakos for our failings when Carragher and Skrtel have been MUCH worse this season, is simply short-sighted.

    • Gaz

      November 5, 2009 at 10:55 am


  5. Gaz

    November 5, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Voronin is absolutely shite (I take back everything I said about Lucas earlier in the season). 🙂

    Babel’s shot was one of the best this season.

    That’s it really. I’m too upset to comment much more. 🙂

    • The Gaffer

      November 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

      Nothing to say about Kyrgiakos? 😉

      The Gaffer

      • Gaz

        November 5, 2009 at 10:54 am

        Nothing like salt in the wounds, huh? 🙂

        I wonder if Carragher played in the center he would have made some huge mistake we could blame this on?

        To be honest, I don’t think defense was the problem in this game. I also don’t think Kyrgiakos is as bad as some are saying.

        I think the problem was more on the attacking / creative side of things (defense starts from the front, right).

        For one, that goal wouldn’t have mattered if Voronin had converted an easy 1-on-1 with the keeper. Dare I say, “I (or maybe even my Mum) could have converted that chance”.

        We just didn’t make anything happen – they’re in risk of being out the the CL and the players are jogging around and stopping when a ball is perceived to be played too far from their feet.

        Our attackers put pressure on our defense by not closing the game out or by pressing Lyon. We made it easy for them to calmly make it to the last 10 minutes only a goal down – then push for an equalizer.

  6. kiran

    November 5, 2009 at 7:27 am

    we cannot say Benitez has made a mistake .. by picking up Veronin instead of Babal …. we have seen Babal play in the very fist match … he also sounded as much as … Veronoin … But the young dutch man is really talented for a substitute is confident as he was always been.

    The team could not able to sync itself last night though we have upper hand in ball possession ….

    The importance of …. Glenn on the right back was seen very clearly ……

    Carrigarh running up and down …. with the ball not even knowing what he is doing with it …. his .. Central defending skills cannot be applied on right back …
    almost all the time he has been involved in fouls with the opponent strikers …..

    The only player that played yesterday … the game of liverpool was … Daniel Agger .. he is the only one who knows what he is doin with ball .. the rest are just playing an annoying game … just to survive …

    Nothing much has been heard of the Benayoun … he also played well with kuyt ..

    Insua .. still not having confidence with the ball …

    the combination of the defenders n midfield did not set well ….

    Veronin n Kyrgiakos ….. again stood hopeless ….

    its heartbreak for us fans to loose a match …… but we have got to carry on ..that what life is …..
    Thank u …

  7. brn442

    November 5, 2009 at 2:03 am

    And another thing:

    IS MELWOOD NOW A DISCO? Let me know cause some players certainly did not train for a crucial Champions League Match.

  8. brn442

    November 5, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Benitez destroyed his confidence? You’re having a laugh surely. Babel started the first match of the season and from that match onwards he has done absolutely nothing. Now, for the most part he looks like he couldn’t be bothered. Yes – that wonder strike, and what a strike it was, reminds us of what could have been.

    He’s young yet but it’s time for Benitez to (try) to either convert him to an out and out striker or a dedicated winger, give him a run in some meaningless matches (I suspect they will have a lot of those this season) and call it a day if there is no progression.

    Veronin couldn’t finish a packet of crisps. As for Kyrgiakos, he always looked like a liability in league matches, poor touches, and bad passes. I thought he was gaining some confidence, it probably was more complacency. I hope Liverpool crash out for everyone’s sakes – what a sad sight.

    Again, as I’ve said before, The Souness era of buying players that are simply not good enough to play for Liverpool Football Club is back, not even shoe string West Ham era Harry Redknapp would take some of these players on loan.

  9. Walter o Mogeni

    November 5, 2009 at 1:36 am

    I think it is time Benitez should work on his defence and midfield . We need another Gerald in the team

  10. Tyson

    November 5, 2009 at 1:34 am

    It’s actually pretty sad to be honest things were going their way but then it all comes crashing down in a split second.

    With the way they are playing now they will defintely need a miracle so it seems like their out of the CL.

    Not good news.

  11. hmmm

    November 5, 2009 at 12:10 am

    It’s a bit sad it’s coming to an end this soon because this seasons version of Liverpool is hysterical. Carragher looks less then 1/4 of the player he once was, and Voronin shouldn’t even see the bench. Pinning all their hopes on a quickly aging star and a striker who can’t stay fit is going to really hurt Liverpool.

    At least Babel popped up with a moment to remind fans what could have been if Benitez didn’t destroy his confidence. Liverpool never deserved to win this, they were saved by some horrible finishing by an injury ravaged Lyon side.

  12. Jeff

    November 4, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Was hoping for a Liverpool loss but a draw will do. There is no way they are beating Fiorentina. Bye Bye Liverpool.

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