Braga Stalemate Frees Up Liverpool’s Thursday Nights For This Season And Possibly The Next

Chris Wright

18th, March 2011


By Chris Wright

I was going to rustle up some pictures of last night’s Europa League second leg fixture between Liverpool and Braga but (a) it’s Friday and I frankly can’t be arsed with the rigmarole and (b) I was wary that 15 photos of Dirk Kuyt getting caught offside may get a tad repetitive.

Fair to say that ‘Pool’s best bet of landing European football next season was to win this year’s Europa League and, thanks to a rather dull, Plan B-less (Plan A: sling it in to Carroll, Carroll pulls it down for Kuyt, Kuyt is offside) stalemate at Anfield, it will be the Portuguese side that are entered into the draw for the quarter-finals by virtue of their 1-0 aggregate win – leaving Kenny Dalglish’s side chasing fifth spot in the Premier League if they have any hope of playing Thursday night football next term.

Dalglish blamed a distinct lack of creativity (read: Gerrard) for Liverpool’s Europa demise:

“You need to be really strong creatively if you are going to break down a very organised side, or you need a bit of luck…like every other team in the world we could do with a bit more creativity but we are no different than anyone else.”

Liverpool are currently six points behind Tottenham who reside in fifth spot, with nine games left to play – though Spurs have a game in hand.

Fancy there chances of pipping ‘Arry into next year’s competition? Does it even matter?

Posted in Europa League, Liverpool

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  1. C says:

    TGIF, I’ll need lots of beer to get over that debacle…

  2. westderbyred says:

    If the team that finishes 5th wins the champions league doeas this mean the team finishing sixth gets a place in the Europa league. I’m clutching at straws here!

  3. sukrut says:


  4. Ben says:

    Apart from having the benefit of attracting new players (yes even the Europa does that) I’m not too sure I even want to be in the competition next year. The last 15 minutes at home to Napoli aside I cannot remember enjoying one bit of the games we have played in the competition this year, or even when we entered it last year! It has been painfully dull for very little reward!
    Also the standards of refereeing in the Europa league are shocking, although this always seems to be targeted at British teams. As if they think we play with aggression and spite all of the time so the opposition should be allowed to do so to us, but because they play differently to that then we can’t even breath near them without conceding a foul!!

    The good news is that that game played out in front of John Henry who would have seen with his own eyes that we are still desperately in need of a squad overhaul!

  5. Freddie Mercury's Ghost says:

    Gerrard has been stale all season. He was nowhere against Chelsea and nowhere against Manchester United. It was a combo of playing like Big Sam’s Bolton and the lack of Suarez that lost us this tie. Gerrard being absent has nothing to do with it.

  6. Chris says:

    @Freddie: Have to disagree, though Suarez would definitely have been a better bet to play up top with Carroll rather than the impotent Joe Cole or the partially blind Dirk Kuyt.

    I reckon that if it was Gerrard whipping flat balls into the box for Carroll all night, rather than Jamie Carragher hoofing looping salvos up to him from 60 yards away, then Liverpool would have almost certainly nicked a goal from a set-piece at some stage.

  7. chimpo says:

    I’m pretty sure that you can ‘land European football’ in the Europa League

  8. Luke says:

    Sigh, I wasn’t that cut up because a)That game gently settled me for bed, and b) I know the real pain is to come; ‘Gerrard to Real to seek European football’, ‘Suarez to leave within months of european crash out’, ‘Reina seen eating a curry made in manchester, sure to leave’.

    And on and on it shall go, like in the past no ‘Top team’ has occasionally not qualified for a european tournament.

  9. TravisKOP says:

    To be perfectly honest I’d rather see spurs in CL footy than Pool for a while b/c the KOP is too weak at the moment, need to strengthen the team if we cant even take Braga

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