Still no word on Steven Gerrard’s fitness for the Juve game on Wednesday. An interview with him on the Liverpool FC official site sees him look forward to the match in any case.
In the Premier League Liverpool are often seen as favourites to win matches, and this was the case on Saturday. For some reason though it doesn’t always work that way – Liverpool tend to save their best performance for the games they are expected to lose. On Saturday, Liverpool faced Manchester City – a team that have struggled all season. Liverpool struggled for 89 minutes, but looked to be getting away with an ill-deserved point. On 89 minutes, City scored and Liverpool’s push for fourth took another set-back.
Things had been so different just a few days before. It was almost like watching the Liverpool of old – for the first half hour it looked like Liverpool would rack up a cricket score. In the end Juve found their feet and after hitting the post and forcing some saves, managed to pull one back. Gerrard doesn’t think this means it’s all over: "While it was a sickener to concede an away goal, we’ve got to remember that we would have definitely taken a 2-1 victory if someone had offered it to us before the game," he said.
Showing the utmost respect for Juventus, Liverpool’s skipper went on, "Now we have got to stick together and come up with another big, big performance in Italy. It will take the best performance that a Liverpool team has produced since I have been at the club if we are to reach the semi-final. That’s how tough it is going to be in Italy. People will look at the away goal Juventus scored but we have just got to be happy that we have given ourselves a big lift by beating one of the best teams in Europe. Let’s not forget that Juventus were one of the favourites before a ball had even been kicked."
Gerrard pointed out that being written off is an advantage to the reds: "We will be the underdogs again but I think we are at our best when we have something to prove. No one outside the club expected us to get even this far so we are playing with very little pressure on us. The manager told us before the first game that we had nothing to lose and we are well capable of upsetting the odds again."
An away goal for Liverpool in Turin would means Juve needing to score twice, just to force extra time.Does this mean Liverpool will go into the game looking to play positively? Gerrad says: "The key to it could be to score an away goal ourselves. We may be a bit short of strikers at the moment but players like Luis Garcia have come up with some important goals in Europe this season and if we can grab one in the away leg then that would make it very difficult for Juventus."