Benítez took a tactical risk in putting out a team that was decidedly incapable of playing from behind: a 4-5-1 with a worker bee (Dirk Kuyt) at the top of the formation. When a gasp-inducing Steven Gerrard era gifted Didier Drogba a goal, Benítez had to do adjust early.
It was a set-up that was his best bet: put his best players out, set-up the team to hold Chelsea and find a goal somewhere – almost typical Benítez. That his tactics were undone by his most valuable player may be the bitter, literary irony that underscores Benítez’s exit: his best efforts undone by the club itself, with the onlookers never able to answer the underlying question – is Rafa the right man, right now?
The commentators leaned on it at the match’s onset, and it because a more prominent theme after Frank Lampard made it 2-0: Was this Rafa’s last match at Anfield?