Liverpool's Rafa Benitez won't be scared of Lyon's den
THE DAILY BUNG'S LUNCHTIME HEADLINES Sir Alex Ferguson has seen some shocking penalty decisions in his lifetime, 99 per cent of them going the way of his Manchester United, but he reckons Olegario Benquerenca denying Darren Fletcher a spot-kick at Old Trafford last night tops the lot. "I can't believe it. I can't believe the decision. It's one of the worst I've seen in my lifetime," said the Respect ambassador. Read more here... Steven Gerrard has welcomed Alberto Aquilani into Liverpool's side by discussing his feelings about Xabi Alonso's depature. "I was devastated. Devastated. But there was nothing I could do about it." Screw the 'message' Stevie - say what you think! And Alan Curbishley is due a multi-million payout from West Ham after winning his case for constructive dismissal. The arbitration tribunal ruled that West Ham were wrong to sell Anton Ferdinand for £8 million without Curbishley's approval (the last three words of that sentence being the most important). ---- RAFA CAN RELAX Rafa Benitez won't be sacked if Liverpool lose tonight. For the simple reason that Tom Hicks and George Gillett can't agree on anything. Give the Laurel and Hardy lookalikes the script from Another Fine Mess and they'd argue for hours about who plays who. So to imagine Stan and Ollie sacking The Rafatollah is bonkers. However, that's not to say Benitez shouldn't be sacked. That's a different matter entirely. Defeat tonight would be a seventh in eight attempts. Labour by-elections have a higher success rate. The one shining light that win over Manchester United now looks distinctly less flashy given how easily CSKA Moscow showed up the champions last night. But is it all his fault? Or is Fabio Capello to blame? The England manager has got off remarkably lightly for his role in Steven Gerrard's injury, which is the main reason Liverpool are so screwed. Gerrard twanged his groin in the (meaningless) game against Ukraine, remember. But instead of being sent home, he stayed with the squad and trained ahead of the (even more meaningless) game against Kazakhstan, when he promptly twanged his groin again. The point of that exercise was presumably lost on Benitez, particularly as Wayne Rooney was back at Manchester United and sleeping in cotton wool at the time. It's not just Gerrard who's crocked either. Fernando Torres has an appointment with a scalpel, and Daniel Agger had to stand up all the way to France to protect his bad back. God knows who's going to play right-back tonight. Liverpool will probably win. Their victories, much like their defeats, don't tend to make any sense. But even if they don't, the worst Laurel and Hardy can do to Benitez is drop a piano on his toes...
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