Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rafa's Last Stand?

Bad karma haunts Rafa Benitez--has to. Teetering on unemployment already, not only has he basically coached Liverpool out of contention in the Premier League, and suffered this weekend's humiliating FA Cup ouster (Barnsley?!?!), but today he gets runaway Serie A leaders Inter Milan in the Champions League.

Don't buy a lottery ticket today Rafa, it's a loser for sure.

Ironically, these teams haven't clashed in Europe since 1965, and it was a classic. 101 Great Goals has an excellent recap of their European Champions Cup semifinal tie, featuring one of the great Liverpool collapses (or Inter comebacks, pick your poison) of all time. More bad karma?

We don't need to recap Liverpool's charmed European life of the past few years, and Rafa has proved himself a better coach in these two-game series' than over the long haul of a 38-game Premiership season.

OhYouBeauty previews today's match. This excerpt sums it up:

"It goes without saying that this has become the most important game of the season so far, with rumors flying that Benitez’s job is now (again?) linked to Champions League progress. I’ve no desire to rehash that debate again, but I still believe it's an unfair ask.

But it shows the disappointment that this season’s been. The squad may be better from top to bottom, but results haven’t been. An exit from Europe would mean that the fight for fourth is the only thing left this season. That’s unimaginable."

Check out the whole post, which includes a pretty good guess at Liverpool's Starting Eleven for today's match against Inter.

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