No one though Kolo Toure would play for Liverpool this season. But he couldn’t find a team. Instead, the aging and heavily criticized centre back put in a fantastic performance, doing very well against the vastly superior Cristiano Ronaldo, leaving Lionel Messi the chance to be the one that breaks the Champions League goal scoring record currently held by Raul.
After 12 consecutive matches with a goal, Ronaldo was held. He hardly got shots on target, and most of his attempts didn’t even go past the line – he was blocked by Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel more than once. Toure, someone who has become synonymous with own goals and foolish mistakes in the penalty box was almost unbeatable. He did make the mistake in the coverage of Karim Benzema but overall. he had his best game in Liverpool uniform.
This doesn’t mean he’ll now find himself in the lineup. This was something of a semi-second lineup for Liverpool that played a very cautious match in the Santiago Bernabeu. Maybe that’s the way to go for Brendan Rodgers while Daniel Sturridge is out – something close to a 4-6-0 that allows them to defend very well even against the likes of Real Madrid, and bring on heavier and better guns in the final 30 minutes of the match.
As for Messi? He’s two goals behind Raul, one behind Ronaldo. With Barcelona playing a dangerous yet fragile Ajax team in Amsterdam, he’s obviously within the clear to at least tie that 71-goal mark it took Raul so long to get, about to get blown away by two players in the same season, maybe even in the same month.
Real Madrid “only” won 1-0 and were actually pressed back in the final 20 minutes of the match against a Liverpool team that’s severely lacking in confidence and scoring ability at the minute. But they’ve won all four matches in the group stage and are undoubtedly playing better than anyone else in Europe at the moment. Ronaldo might be frustrated with not scoring, but it’s not stopping the most frightening looking team in the Champions League from carrying on with their winning ways.
“Luckily” for him, Ronaldo won’t be facing Kolo Toure again this season.