HATCHET MAN: Invoking memories of Istanbul cannot help Liverpool chase down Chelsea tonight
All the talk of Istanbul around Liverpool is ridiculous when it comes to tonight's Champions League match against Chelsea and even Rafael Benitez knows it. The manager insists he doesn't raise the subject with his players and only answers questions about their amazing night against AC Milan when he is asked, but if he is growing tired of it, he only has himself to blame. Former glory: Steven Gerrard lifts the 2005 Champions League trophy after Liverpool's thrilling fightback against AC Milan More from Hatchet Man... HATCHET MAN: Sunderland fans can expect more dullness at the Stadium of Light if Curbishley arrives14/04/09 HATCHET MAN: No-nonsense Senna could have been the man to keep Adebayor and co in check14/04/09 HATCHET MAN: Shearer's Toon escape plan depends on 'creative tension' produced by Barton and Viduka returns14/04/09 HATCHET MAN: Redknapp's restructuring hopes now rest on Spurs cutting their losses on flop Boateng14/04/09 HATCHET MAN: Beware Briatore, Dennis is clearly Wise when it comes to money13/04/09 HATCHET MAN: Time for dangerous Fellaini to change his approach before Everton really are sorry13/04/09 HATCHET MAN: Full English or else for lazy Pavlyuchenko if he is to stay at Spurs13/04/09 HATCHET MAN: If Hughes doesn't know what he's doing, blundering City captain must be Dunne for13/04/09 VIEW FULL ARCHIVEAfter all, he is the manager of a club who are still living off former glories. There must be some sympathy for Benitez about the clumsy attempts to draw parallels regardless of how spurious they are. A half-time deficit in a one-off match at a neutral stadium is totally different to a two-leg tie where away goals count double being played at the home of Liverpool's opponents. The players are different too: only four of Liverpool's likely line-up to face Chelsea played on that historic night. Still some people bang on about it though and the only way to move on is to write a new chapter in the club's great history. To do that after conceding a 3-1 deficit in the first leg will depend on the form of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, like most of Liverpool's matches. Benitez is preparing to gamble with his captain's fitness, such is their need for a miracle, and if it backfires tonight their once promising season will be over. If the midfielder aggravates his groin problem and is sidelined it will not only be Liverpool's slim Champions League hopes which are dashed but their Premier League ones too...and Istanbul will still be on the agenda.
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