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No repeat of mistakes against fantastic Liverpool – Gerets

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Sep 2008

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Marseille coach Eric Gerets put feelings of rivalry to one side, at least temporarily, here on Monday as he contemplated how his side can set about demantling the threat of Liverpool.

The French giants begin this year’s Champions League campaign against Rafael Benitez’s side for the second year in a row, in a group D which also includes PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid.

During last year’s competition Mathieu Valbuena scored a scorcher to hand Marseille a famous 1-0 victory at Anfield, only for the 1993 winners to fail to make it out of group A after a humiliating 4-0 drubbing by the Reds at the Velodrome.

A keen watcher of the English Premier League, Belgian Gerets pored over Liverpool’s most recent game – a 2-1 home win over Manchester United – in a bid to see who’s hot and who’s not.

As usual, he was quite impressed by the speed of the English game. But he said Marseille won’t be caught out by the physicality of the Liverpool players.

“Despite the fact I know the English game pretty well I never get bored watching and I love watching how they play at such a fast pace,” said Gerets here a day ahead of Marseille’s hosting of Liverpool at the Velodrome.

“It’s unbelievable! To me, it shows that the players there have a real, authentic passion for their game, and that England remains the example for the world to follow.”

With memories of last December’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool still fresh in the minds of the Marseille faithful, Gerets admits his side – who drew 1-1 with Bordeaux last weekend – must play a tight, disciplined game.

“We’re hosting what is, for me, the favourite to win the group, they’re a fantastic team,” added Gerets.

“But it was a pleasant surprise to see how my team coped against Bordeaux, especially in the first half.

“I think we need to reproduce that kind of performance over 90 minutes against Liverpool. I don’t think Liverpool will surprise us quite the way they did last year, when they basically out-muscled us.

“I don’t think that will happen again. We won’t make the same mistakes.”

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