Liverpool got through to the semi-finals tonight after 180 minutes of the kind of football they’ve struggled to produce consistently.
Jamie Carragher has taken his career up a good few notches this season as he’s made himself into one of the first names on Rafa Benitez’s team-sheets. Meanwhile former captain Sami Hyypia has seen himself fall from grace ever so slightly. After a recent injury he was replaced by Mauricio Pellegrino and has not been able to get his place back for league matches.
In the Champions League it’s a different story though – Hyypia has played in both legs against Juventus because Pellegrino is cup-tied. Tonight he was given back the captain’s arm-band too for the night in place of the injured Steven Gerrard.
Carragher and Hyypia together had an excellent performance, in many ways Carragher acting as though he were the skipper. He was clearly heard shouting instructions to his team-mates as Liverpool kept things tight on their way to the last four. After the game the two were interviewed by Sky Sports. Carragher said: “We’ve had a history of being one of the top teams in Europe and getting to the semi-finals of the Champions League is where the club needs to be every season. We need to get into these type of situations."
Carragher felt that they’d restricted Juve, a team he’s got a lot of respect for: "Juventus are a top team and we were playing against some top players. We knew they would have good chances but I think they had more chances at Anfield, Ibrahimovic missed in the first half and then I don’t know how Cannavaro’s header stayed out, but besides that we kept them out well."
He continued, "You’ve got to keep it tight. It gives you more belief to get to half-time at 0-0, it’s little stages all the time, and in the end we got to final whistle.”
Liverpool have already played Chelsea three times this season, and have lost – just – each time. Carragher is looking forward to the two games they’ll now play against them, starting in a fortnight: “We’ll be desperate to beat them, all the games we’ve played against them have been very tight so hopefully it will go our way.”
Sami Hyypia simply said: “Both games were very good. Sometimes you have to fight and keep the goal clean, and we did it.”