Liverpool 2 - 2 Young Boys: A Cole discussion
Despite playing a magnificent game of football, Liverpool FC once again failed to secure victory at Anfield over BSC Young Boys. With Group A leaders Anzhi having beaten Udinese earlier in the evening, Liverpool knew victory would see them progress with a match to spare.
Joe Cole, who was announced Player of the Match, showed one of his best performances in the red shirt of Liverpool, in 19 months. First he played a good one to one pass with Suso and set up a beautiful cross for Shelvey to give his team a deserved lead.
In the second half, Cole had a better chance from Suso’s through-ball, but Wolfli smothered his shot and Young Boys raced down the other end to equalise.
After the arrival of Suarez, few would have imagined that Suarez’s magic dust would have rubbed on Cole, but the 31-year-old rolled back the years, as well as his marker, to turn on the pass supplied by Gerrard via the Uruguayan and plant a shot past Wolfli.
I would say that luck was definitely on the midfielder’s side, as before the goal, Rodgers had summoned Raheem Sterling to be his final substitute, and Cole ultimately made way for a player 14 years his junior. But he was denied his moment of glory by Zverotic’s swerving 88th-minute strike.
Still, Cole is still a long way from getting anywhere near paying back the money already lavished on a player whose £100,000-a-week wages have continually been used to highlight the errors in the club’s transfer dealings.
However, it was a step in the right direction, and Rodgers will retain hope he can integrate the midfielder into his system at Anfield, although there was a rumour in the air that Liverpool may offload Cole in the upcoming January transfer window.
Make no mistake, Liverpool sides of the past would have seen the game out by dropping deeper, as opposed to this team’s admirable but ultimately foolhardy, ‘attack is the best form of defence’ philosophy tonight.
Yes, Liverpool’s defending could have been better on both occasions, but they were punished to a degree that arguably wouldn’t be the case in most future games.
A victory at Udinese is likely to be the least Liverpool need in their attempts to reach the next round, and rather than Rodgers having a chance to rest some senior players in the knowledge that his side are already through, he will be forced to bring out the big guns in an attempt to secure a vital win in Italy.