Liverpool get easiest QF but they are at a ‘disadvantage’

Editor F365
Liverpool Champions League draw

Liverpool could not have asked for a better quarter-final draw but they are at a Champions League ‘disadvantage’ compared to everyone else.


Years and years
‘Drama is hardly the word for it. Goodison has not seen a night like this for years’ – David Maddock, Daily Mirror.

‘By the end, the stadium was shaking. They were banging on wooden panels, they were singing louder than they had done in years and the celebrations were a throwback to glorious days of old’ – Dominic King, Daily Mail.

Everton beat Arsenal 2-1 in stoppage time 102 days ago and Goodison Park was pretty sodding loud at the time.


Doff of the cap
‘Begovic was one of four changes Lampard made to the team that capitulated against Wolves four days earlier…’ – Dominic King, Daily Mail.

They were pretty rubbish in that game but not sure losing 1-0 to a goal in the 49th minute can ever be described as having ‘capitulated’.


Auba and out
On Thursday evening, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his seventh goal in 10 games since joining Barcelona. They have all had one specific thing in common, at least if the Daily Mirror website is to be believed.

After his hat-trick against Valencia on February 20: ‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sends Mikel Arteta awkward message from Barcelona’

The ‘awkward message’ was literally the hat-trick itself. Aubameyang hadn’t actually said anything.

After his goals against Napoli on February 24 and Athletic Bilbao on February 27: ‘Arsenal sent another painful Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reminder amid Barcelona upturn’

The ‘painful reminder’ was literally the goals themselves. Aubameyang hadn’t actually said anything.

After his goal against Osasuna on March 13, Aubameyang took a backseat: ‘Xavi aims thinly veiled swipe at Arsenal after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang heroics’

The ‘thinly veiled swipe’ was to say the striker “is a present that has fallen out of the sky” and he trains well. Arsenal are thought to be still treating the wound.

And now, after his goal against Galatasaray on Thursday evening: ‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang throws shade at Arsenal when addressing Barcelona form’

Finally, some actual quotes from the man himself. He ‘has fired a subtle dig’ at his former employers and at this stage, viewer discretion is absolutely advised:

“When you are happy, you have excitement for everything, to score goals, to help the team and to kill.”

Good lord. That is brutal. Mediawatch cannot wait to see what the next stage is after ‘awkward message’, ‘painful reminder’, ‘thinly veiled swipe’ and ‘shade’ when Aubameyang inevitably scores again.

Although it probably should be pointed out that Arsenal have won 83.3% of their games since releasing Aubameyang, while Barcelona have won 70% of theirs since signing him. How’s that for ‘shade’?


Pierre pressure
Honestly, though, imagine pretending that Aubameyang has had anything resembling a ‘swipe’ at Arsenal since leaving. Absolutely pathetic. It really is.


Boiled Rice
The obsession with (and misuse of) the word ‘warning’ in football journalism continues apace with this from the Daily Mirror website:

‘Declan Rice sends Barcelona warning after West Ham’s Europa League heroics’

He did not mention Barcelona once until Joe Cole brought them up, and even then all Rice said was that “it would be special to go there”.

The second Barcelona and Aubameyang stop messaging, reminding and swiping at Arsenal, they’d better watch out for Rice and his boys.


Don’t shoot the messenger
On which note, the word ‘message’ can also still do one.

‘Dominic Calvert-Lewin sends message to Mikel Arteta as Arsenal hunt summer transfer’ – Daily Express website.

No, dear reader, you didn’t miss an intriguing post-match interview from the Everton forward. Calvert-Lewin’s ‘message’ was instead a ‘first assist in the top flight since the 2019/20 season’.

Alexandre Lacazette has set up four goals in 2022 alone. Are you listening, Mikel?


Blow your own trumpet
The Liverpool Echo wrote about the ‘Champions League blow’ the club had suffered before drawing the weakest side left in the quarter-finals. A tie with Benfica should ordinarily be navigated comfortably enough by the Reds but this apparent problem could change all that.

The ‘blow’, as it happens, is that Liverpool are in loads of competitions. THE QUADRUPLE is both a blessing and a curse, those poor sods.

‘From the five European sides left in the Champions League, none of them are left in domestic cup competition, while only Bayern Munich and Real Madrid currently looking capable of ending the season as national champions. Yet they both boast healthy leads at the top of the Bundesliga and La Liga, sparing them the repeated high-pressure Liverpool and Man City are about to face in the weeks ahead.

‘With the Champions League the only piece of silverware Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Benfica can end the season with, they will be able to focus solely on the quarter-finals – a liberty the Reds and Pep Guardiola’s side will not be afforded.’

Simple. Just put the kids out in the FA Cup or forfeit their remaining Premier League games. That is the only way to deal with this ‘blow’ and regain the ‘liberty’ to focus on only one competition like all those other lucky clubs.

‘Naturally, all sides would prefer to be in Liverpool and Man City’s shoes as they look to finish the season with a quadruple or treble respectively. Yet it means they are both at a disadvantage compared to their continental counterparts when it comes to the stresses of competing in the Champions League quarter-finals.’

Being good enough to reach the quarter-finals of two different competitions while maintaining a title-contending pace in the Premier League is now a ‘disadvantage’ and it is at this stage that you really do have to wonder what the point of all this trophy-hunting is.


The beginning of the Hend
The following two headlines feature on the Liverpool Echo website:

‘What Jordan Henderson did at 3am after ‘incredible’ Mikel Arteta admission’

‘What Jordan Henderson did to Trent Alexander-Arnold as Arsenal fume against Liverpool explained’

And now Trent Alexander-Arnold is injured. The f**k was it that Jordan Henderson did to him at 3am?


And finally…
‘Stay away you bastards, we don’t need any more competition, jobs are scarce as it is’ – Paul Jiggins, when asked in a Q&A with FWA whether he could offer any advice to budding journalists. Rest in peace.