You could tell from the messy and limp state of Rafa Benitez’ beard that events didn’t go the Spaniards way in Istanbul last night. Liverpool lost 2-1 away to Besiktas, Sami Hyppia notched up his second own goal of the week, and they are now slumped at the bottom of the Group A barrel, but Rafa still refused to contemplate being in the UEFA cup with “small club” Everton. Rafa, looking almost as disheveled as his beard, said:
“I was pleased with the performance, but we just could not take our chances. When you have 28 attempts on goal as the away side and nearly 60% of possession, that should usually be enough to win the match.”
Yes…it’s almost as though the players lacked the sharpness that comes from playing a string of games in a row… very bizarre. Rafa was clearly in a state of denial, obviously wondering what kind of world he lives in when your most clinical finisher is your Finnish central defender and you concede the decisive goal to a player called ‘Bobo’.
The bearded Spaniard seemed determined to remain positive and uttered some more positive mental attitude psychobabble before trotting off for a private phone call with “Clatts”:
“Obviously it is very difficult now for us to get through but I believe we still can. There are three games left and we must win all three, but we can do that.”
So can Liverpool make it out of Group A, will they face the ignominy of playing in the UEFA cup, or will they even not qualify for that? One thing is for sure, if Liverpool are forced to shed their European skin then Rafa wont have any excuses to hide behind in the domestic title race.