First of all, Porto played excellently. Smart wide play, quick passing, and great crossing, all of which threw a wrench in Liverpool’s attacking flow.
Second of all, I think Hyypia was a wise choice, mostly because while he was at fault for the penalty, he more then made up for it with his positioning throughout the match. Most obviously was Quaresma’s goal opportunity, but he was solid at the back, and didn’t let the Porto strikers do much of anything. Quaresma was amazing all match, did go to ground too easily, but provided good crosses that weren’t utilized at all.
One good thing out of this match for Liverpool was how well Aurélio did. He defended well, and changed the match for Liverpool as soon as he came on. Babel and Pennant didn’t do much at all except spurn possession and it’s clear that while he’s talented, Babel needs more time to settle in and grow at Liverpool. Pennant’s second yellow was harsh, but he was charging around the pitch, giving the Portuguese reasons to go to ground.
Masch tore up the center midfielders, while Gerrard didn’t do much. As Andy Grey kept repeating, playing four matches in two weeks for Liverpool on an injured toe hasn’t helped Gerrard’s cause, however he did show leadership at the end as Liverpool drove forward and created some of our best chances.
We escaped with a draw but could have done worse. At least we didn’t draw to Rosenborg…