Sunday, February 17, 2008

Liverpool crash out the FA Cup to Barnsley

Rafa made to look a Yorkshire pudding as Barnsley produce a sucker punch

Liverpool crashed out the FA Cup in spectacular fashion last night as Barnsley pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the FA Cup's history.

An ashen-faced Rafa Benitez is now hanging onto his Liverpool job by a thread, and with the leaders of Italy's Serie A up next, its' not hard to see Benitez being out by the end of the season.

It all looked oh so different at half time for Liverpool. They had struggled to create chances in the first half, but had got the lead through a Dirk Kuyt finish from a Ryan Babel cut-back. Barnsley had created little of note, and the scene seemed to be set for a comfortable Liverpool win.

Liverpool came out in the second half determined to finish Barnsley off, but despite creating some half chances, they just couldn't get the second goal. Crouch and Kuyt were the worst offenders, missing some decent chances. Then in the 56th minute, Foster outjumped Crouch to power home Devaney's cross and Liverpool were rocking. After that it was backs to the wall stuff for Bansley, as they sturggled to hang on as Kuyt, Benayoun and Hyppia (twice) were all denied by Luke Steele in the Barnsley goal.

Then in the last minute came the drama and calamity for Liverpool as the Barnsley captain Howard, held off a challenge on the edge of the penalty area, Carragher and Rissie stood off him for a split second too long, and he lashed a tremendous drive into the bottom corner.

Benitez's position at Liverpool surely now is becoming untenable and his players are beginning to play like they think so too.


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