By James Cox
Liverpool will need another memorable European night at Anfield to progress to the final of the Europa League after losing 1-0 in the semi-final first leg away at Atletico Madrid.
Former Manchester United striker, and rumoured Benitez target Diego Forlan scored the only goal of the game early in the first half leaving Rafa Benitez’s team facing an uphill task to make it to the final in Hamburg on May 12th.
Although Liverpool were unfortunate to have Yossi Benayoun’s first half equaliser wrongly ruled out for offside, they never really played well enough to get anything from the game, but at just 1-0 everything is still to play for at Anfield next Thursday.
Liverpool are used to being behind at this stage in two leg ties this season and I can see them beating Madrid comfortably at home if they play well, but Chelsea target Sergio Aguero will return from suspension for the return fixture so Atletico will have plenty of threat going forward.
In the previous two rounds of the competition Lille and Benfica beat Liverpool in the first leg but were eventually beaten comprehensively at Anfield, although it must be said Fernando Torres was key in both those games and he is out for the rest of the season.
With the Spaniard unavailable, David N’Gog is likely to continue upfront, since Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel are both comfortable playing as strikers, I do not understand why Benitez sticks with the young Frenchman, but we will see how it works out on Thursday 29th