Controversy continues to follow Inter everywhere they travel, however this time they were the victim. It started in the 12th minute, when the Matrix tugged on the jersey of Torres, who had cut in front of him to gain possession of the ball, Torres dropped to the ground like he had been shot. However, referee De Bleeckere felt it deserved a yellow card, even though it was Materazzi's first foul of the game.
Even before the red card, I think the atmosphere of Anfield really got to Inter. (Much more than I expected it to.) The ball was banging around every where, it looked like a damn pinball machine. However, starting at around the 20 minute mark, it seemed as if Inter had started to play. With all the jitters out their system, and the noise at Anfield slightly lower, they began to settle down. Then, in the 30th minute, disaster struck. Torres beat the Matrix, and on his away across Torres's body, Materazzi gave a tug on his shoulder. The douchbag pulled out yet another yellow, sending off the Matrix into oblivion. For two tackles, Materazzi was awarded two yellows.
It also must be said that Inter escaped a possible penalty, when the ball seemingly hit Vieria in the hand. But nothing was called.
Despite all this drama, Inter remarkably kept their composure. (They are the king when it comes to playing with ten men.) They held off numerous assaults from Liverpool, and actually had a few attacking chances. But fatigue got the best of them, and in the 85th minute Kuyt struck. Pennant put a cross back into a packed box and it landed back post onto Kuyt's foot. He settled and shot, the ball deflected off Maicon's foot and sailed into the back of the net. 1-0 could of been tolerated, but the death blow came in the 90th minute. Gerrard gained possession on the far right corner of the box and pulled the trigger. The ball went under 3 Nerazzurri defenders, slammed off the post and into the back of the net.
Dirk Kuyt (85)
Steven Gerrard (90)
Cristian Chivu (4)(Y)
Marco Materazzi (12)(Y) (BULLSHIT) Marco Materazzi (30)(R-2nd Yellow) (MORE BULLSHIT)
Patrick Vieira for Julio Cruz (55)
Nicolas Burdisso for Ivan Cordoba (76)
Peter Crouch for Lucas (64)
Jermaine Pennant for Ryan Babel (72)
JC: 6.5- Both of the goals weren't really his fault. The first one took a deflection, and the second one he might of had a chance at it, but I think he was shielded by the three defenders in front of him. He also made a nice save on a well struck shot by Torres.
Chivu: 5.5- Did a bit of surprise switch with Max, which didn't work out that well. Had a hard time with Babel in the begging of the match, but got settled in after a short while. I still think his strongest position is at CB. With Matrix out for the next leg and Cordoba in doubt, we may just see him in that spot. Overall, nothing spectacular.
Cordoba: 7.5- He was on his way to another terrific performance. Smart tackles, aggressive, won head balls, and basically controlled the entire back. But when he went down in the 75th minute, after falling awkwardly, my heart sank. Looks like he's going to be out, hopefully nothing extensive.
Matrix: 5.5- He only played 30 minutes. Seemed to be a bit outpaced by Torres, but was doing decent defensively. But then, well, you know the rest.
Maicon: 6- Played well, shaky at times, but overall was solid in the back. He got very few chances to go forward, because of the circumstances, but he adjusted and held his own. Did have some bad passes and lost a few balls, but no one's perfect.
Max: 5- He didn't really seem comfortable on the wing. Actually, I can't really say that. He was basically invisible the entire game.
Cambiasso: 5.5- He didn't pack his terrific play from the Livorno match, and that sucks. Good moments and bad moments for El Cuchu, but nothing like what he had in Tuscany.
Stankovic: 4.5- The lowest rating I've given yet. But I feel that all of you will agree that it's well deserved. Without a doubt the weakest link for Inter. Since his injury, he hasn't gained back any form. I think Mancini has rushed him into the starting lineup, and it has really hurt the team.
Il Capitano: 6.5- He always comes out to play, no matter the situation. Had some terrific individual efforts, just not enough team support to propel his play to the next level.
TSB: 5- Non-existent. Period.
Zlatan: 5.5- A step above non-existent. (Did just enough so that you didn't forget about him.) Period. Yes, both TSB and Zlatan sucked, but it's not completely their faults. The lack of support from the midfield really killed them, plus every ball that was given to them was in the air. Nothing was being played to feet. That aside, I don't think these two really came to play. They better get back on track. Quick.
It was a good effort, until the 85th minute. The wheels fell off, and fatigue set in. That late goal by Gerrard really hurt. (A deep, slow hurt. To put it metaphorically, someone slowly burning the back of your knee.) But what do you expect when you play with 10 men for an hour? Yeah, the play was sloppy at the start, but we were playing away.
The call(s) on the Matrix were complete BULLSHIT. Period. I don't want to hear the, "He built his reputation as a dirty player, so blah blah blah," shit. The ref's job is to ref the game at hand. Right? So a game or foul that happened last season should have no effect on the decision. Also, two tackles equal two yellows? I don't fucking think so.
The switch that Mancini made with Max and Chivu didn't really work. Max was out of it the whole game, and Chivu had trouble with Babel. The injury to Cordoba, which looked bad, is another terrible blow. Add that to the fact that the Matrix is out next leg, and I think we'll be seeing a Chivu/Burdisso CB combination. Hopefully Jimmy's back then, because Max will have to move back to the LB spot, and I don't trust Stankovic there.
Let's look on the bright side. In 1965 they lost 3-1 at Anfield, but won 3-0 at the San Siro. If they can do it, why can't we. It's not time for self-destruction mode, we just need to refocus and move on. We will get another shot at these guys.