Friday, March 12, 2010

Mascherano confident of going through in Europa

Javier Mascherano is confident the chances they created in their Europa League defeat to Lille proves Liverpool can turn the tie around.

Confidence in the squad has taken a blow after a woeful performance in losing to Wigan on Monday and although they lost 1-0 in northern France it was a much-improved display.
In many ways conceding in the Stade Lille Metropole - which was almost an inevitability considering Les Dogues had found the net in all-but one of their last 21 matches at home - makes little difference to next week's second leg.
Eden Hazard's 85th-minute free-kick means Liverpool have to score if they want to progress and Mascherano insists that is far from beyond them.
"We have a chance to come back at Anfield so I think I am confident we can do it," said the Argentina captain.
"I think it was totally different game to the one at Wigan. The team was working very hard and we didn't deserve to lose.
"Against Wigan we did not play well and did not create chances.
"But it is Europe. We conceded a foul and he took a good free-kick and it was a good goal for them.
"The pitch was not the best in Lille but it was the same for them so it is not an excuse.
"But I will repeat, it is half-time and we have a chance to change things at Anfield.
"We created a lot of chances but couldn't score. The most important thing was we had the chances.
"Hopefully we can score at Anfield. We have done it before and we can do it again."
The situation has similarities with when Liverpool faced their first French opponents in Europe - St Etienne - back in 1977 when they trailed 1-0 heading after their European Cup quarter-final first leg.
A now legendary night at Anfield saw substitute David Fairclough snatch a goal six minutes from time to beat the French champions 3-1 for a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.
On that occasion they went on to be crowned European champions for the first of what turned out to be five occasions.
The prize is not half as glamorous this time around but how Benitez, his players and the fans would welcome a repeat performance.

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