Inter Milan-Liverpool: Just Like High School

Luis BergaCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2008

Like most high school students, I had one goal during my four year; get into college.

To do this one basically has to do to two things; get a good GPA and do well in the SATs.

However, when I took classes for the SATs my instructor said that the SATs aren’t a measure of how smart a person is, but really of how well they can take the test. 

Applying this to the soccer world, one can say that the goal is to be the best club in the world and in order to do this one has to do two things—win your domestic league and win the Champions League.

Much like high school, the domestic league is the GPA as it measures your performance over a longer range of time. The Champions League is the SATs, viewed as an equal to GPA but really not nearly as good of an indicator of true talent and superiority.  

Last night’s tie between Inter and Liverpool showcased two sides on different ends of the “high school” spectrum. Inter clearly is getting a better GPA, running away with the Italian League and doing it with style. Rafa Benitez and his Reds have figured out a method to beat the dreaded SATs by continually grinding out victories and moving through the ranks of the Champions League.

Inter have simply not fared well in the Champions League and honestly I don’t see how they advance in this campaign. I don’t understand why they didn’t even try to mount an attack during a good majority of that game. Why not attack, make life complicated for Liverpool and see if they can put an away goal or two in and breathe easier at home? I wouldn’t say this for any team, but a team with as much fire power as Inter can go for it at Anfield.

I realize that Inter’s game plan changed when Marco Materazzi was sent off, but to basically move the entire team back to defend was completely unnecessary and in my opinion cost them the game and quite possibly the Champions League. Why not drop Cambiasso back to a defending mid role and push Stancovic up in a diamond formation? Losing one defender should not change the entire game plan when there is still an hour to play, especially when facing a team like Liverpool. Did Inter really think they could escape an hour of Liverpool pounding their goal unharmed? 

Liverpool, per usual, lived up to the hype and grinded out a victory. They had most of the possession, had a lot more shots and in the end, justifiably won the game. I am, however, just not impressed with their play. Instead of stringing together a few passes and creating a clear chance, they rely on long passes in and the hope that Fernando Torres or Steven Gerrard can create something from nothing.

Thankfully for Liverpool, those two giants can amaze but if either of them have an off night, they don’t have a lot to work with. Case in point: the two goals in this game where a result of Dirk Kuyt being at the right place at the right time, and the aforementioned Gerrard putting an unbelievable goal into the back of the night. 

So, would a college admissions officer take a student with a 3.8 GPA (Inter) or a student with 1500 SAT (Liverpool)? Logic says the 3.8 GPA because it’s a more accurate measurement of knowledge—however, the reality is that the officer would probably take both.