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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Anfield: Liverpool advance to the semi-Finals

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One of the requisites of being a Liverpool fan is having to endure the agony of watching this team falter when you least want them to.

But not today.

Image hosting by PhotobucketTorres celebrates after putting Liverpool ahead (picture taken from BBC Sports)

Winning convincingly over Arsenal, after drawing 1-1 twice in a span of a week, Liverpool upped their game this morning to ensure them a 9th semi-final appearance in the UEFA Champions League, where they'll meet Chelsea, who beat Fenerbahce at home 2-0 (winning 3-2 on aggregate).
(a convincing win for Liverpool, in the full post)

The goal account for the evening was opened by Arsenal through Abou Diaby in the 13th minute. Sami Hyypia equalized at the half-hour mark with a header, from a Gerrard corner kick, that beat goalkeeper Almunia. The second half saw another superb goal from wonder boy Fernando Torres, putting the Reds 2-1 up in the 69th minute.

But the lead was short-lived - in the 84th minute, Adebayor finished off a great run by Theo Walcott all the way from deep in Arsenal territory. At 2-2, Arsenal would have emerged victors, courtesy of the away goals rule.

That, however, was not to be - captain Steven Gerrard put away a controversial penalty late in the second half, after Ryan Babel was brought down in the box, with 5 minutes to go in the game. Babel, however, provided the fourth and final goal 2 minutes into extra time, putting to rest any controversy, and paving the way for Liverpool to meet league rivals Chelsea in the Semi-Finals.

Waking up at 3am on some mornings is worth every sleepless moment... Watching Liverpool play in key matches is always a guaranteed emotional rollercoaster ride, and this morning's game with Arsenal was no different.

Standing is the way of another Champions League final is, of course, Chelsea, whom Liverpool will meet in the semi-finals.

Time to get some rest until the next rollercoaster ride...