I had come to the conclusion not so long ago that Steven Gerrard couldn't pull us out of so many fires any more. If that is indeed true, the Reds used up one of their lesser available bullets today. But we'll take it.
Unlike some, I didn't think the first half was all that bad. Liverpool didn't create much, but they held the ball for once, which has been a problem. All that was undone when the increasingly more likely murder-victim-by-my-hand Christian Poulsen decided to head to nowhere like David Byrne and let Cavani the space to send Lavezzi through to coolly finish. Kygiakos was also out on Revis Island or wherever he was for the goal. Yes, he may be a threat on set pieces but he's still a liability in defense, and I won't be convinced otherwise.
-Poulsen needn't ever see the field again. I thought last season was an excellent chance to give Jay Spearing some spot starts to start to bring him along. I think he got two, and wasn't very good in either of them. But it's a new year, and if the Pool are serious about bringing some players through they might as well start with ones who have been knocking on the door for years.
-Well, it can only get better for Jonjo Shelvey. But he didn't deserve the hammering he was taking from Ray Hudson in the GOL TV booth. In fact, none of us deserve the torture that is listening to Ray Hudson. I don't care that he has a think Geordie accent that Americans find cute and somehow mistake for football knowledge. Listening to him is like being hit in the face with a piece of heavy mining equipment.
-Raul Meireles must wonder why he was bought. He got all of a half in his favored central role, wasn't terrible. Than move out "wide" for Gerrard, only to clog things up. Then was moved back to the middle when Poulsen was substituted for Eccleston. He's not a winger, and shouldn't be treated as such. Lucas, Gerrard, Meireles, who can all rotate through the three midfield spots. Please leave it that way for Sunday.
-Gerrard's third goal was just pure class.
-Whatever happened to Dani Pacheco? Or we going to take one bad performance against Northampton that seriously? Really?
-Wow, a fullback getting forward and actually creating something. Who would have thought?
-It's just the Europa league, but it's better than losing I guess.
-I thought Cavani was just awful in the World Cup, and said so right before he set up Napoli's opener. I could stop a train bare-handed at this point.
-Napoli might have the most collective ugly of any squad in Europe.
Back tomorrow with a Chelsea preview.