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I agree, Rafa got this one wrong. I can understand miss pairings with the strikers since we have new players and new combinations to try, but he should know the attributes of Stevie, Momo, and Alonso by now. Other thought I had, is there a problem with Mascherano?
I can understand why Momo started. He's not played in a while, normally has his best games in Europe, and frankly think Rafa did not rate their midfield, and therefore felt Momo could handle it. But, Javier was on the bench. Why was he not put in. Within half an hour it was clear Momo was not getting it done, and by the hour mark it was turning ugly. I can understand changing out the wings, and spreading the strikers by bringing in Kuyt and Voronin, but why keep Javier sitting there, when that was such a break down for us?
I thought I can answer this for Senoir Benitez. Replacing Sissoko with Mascherano will not get us the goals we are desperately seeking in the 2nd half. And as mentioned by our gaffer, Aurelio was having problems with his leg, so he has to replace him with someone who can fill his leftback position. Leto was really inefficient that night, and so was Crouch, thus the reasons why these were the three players substituted, and not Sissoko who although was terrible, but nevertheless, replacing him with Mascherano would not really have helped to change the game when we were looking for goals and playing for a win.