will be great
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Emile Heskey tipped Milan Baros to
plunder 20 goals in his first full season after watching the youngster
produce another sparkling display at Anfield.
Baros struck his fourth goal in three starts for the Reds but Liverpool
endured another frustrating night with a 1-1 draw against Basle.
The Czech's single goal was a scant reward for the Reds' domination, but
the players were purring with praise for the 20-year-old rookie who's had
such a dramatic impact since his introduction.
Having played with most of England's top marksmen, Heskey says Baros is on
course to be one of Europe's most prolific goalscorers.
Heskey said: "It's hard to compare him to other strikers. I've played with
a finisher like Robbie Fowler, for example, and he was a one-off so it
would be unfair to say he's that good yet.
"But I think Milan is definitely capable of scoring 20 goals every season
and I think he will. He's a brilliant forward with a great future. The
fact he's so young makes him even more exciting.
"I'm not surprised by how well Milan has done. I saw it in him when he
first came to the club.
"He was a bit shy when he joined because it's never easy when you come to
a country where you don't speak the language. Once he settled down he
became one of the lads and is now doing really well."
Skipper Sami Hyypia joined the applause for Baros who could have
registered a hat-trick but for the crossbar and some last ditch Swiss
Hyypia said: "I know a lot of people were surprised by how good he's
become, but he hasn't surprised me because I could see he was very quick
and a good goalscorer.
"Not only is he doing it in matches, but Milan has been good in training
as well and he was excellent in pre-season. It's always hard for a young
boy when he first comes to a new country and a different environment.
"It takes time to settle. I think he'd been on holiday for a long time
before he came here so he wasn't fit. But now he is in the right shape he
is doing very well.
"He is still a young lad with a lot to learn, but he's definitely on the
right track to becoming a prolific striker."
Liverpool know they must now win at least three of their four remaining
Group B games to qualify for phase two. That has to include three points
against Spartak Moscow next week.
As far as Hyypia concerned, a draw was an unjust scoreline last night.
"It is frustrating for us when you play like that but the result isn't
there," he said.
"I thought someone would grab the winner in the second half, but it wasn't
"It's a big game next week now. We have one point from two games and we
can't be happy with that.
"You always have a hard period at some point and that's when you have to
be mentally strong and get over it. There was nothing wrong with us apart
from the result.
"They had just two chances and scored one goal. It's been like that for us
all season. It's frustrating but if we keep playing like that the goals
Houllier salutes Reds stars
By Nick Peet - Liverpool Echo
Gerard Houllier praised his "brilliant"
players last night, but confessed to feeling disappointed after coming
away with just one point.
Milan Baros gave the Reds the lead after 34 minutes, but Basle hit back
with a goal just before the break from Argentinian striker Julio Rossi.
And dismayed Houllier said afterwards: "This was the type of game you feel
extremely frustrated and disappointed for the players.
"They gave everything out there, they tried everything and played some
"We created at least eight chances if not more and no one would have
complained if we had won because we deserved to win.
"We should have been 3-1 up at half time. Without taking any credit away
from the opposition, as they are a good side and worked well, but it
should have been 3-1 at the interval."
He added: "It was unfortunate to concede a goal just before half time. We
never deserved that."
The Reds boss also felt Liverpool were denied a blatant penalty in the
second half when Danny Murphy's free-kick was punched away by the Basle
Houllier said: "There was a blatant penalty at the end when the defender
handled from Danny Murphy's free-kick. I've seen it on the replay and it
was an intentional hand ball, a blatant penalty. It was clear.
"This is one of those games where you are disappointed, but I'm proud of
my players' performance. We also hit the bar three times, twice through
Riise and then Baros.
"At half time we should have been 3-1 up and their keeper made some very
"I just said to the boys at the end 'you were brilliant and if you keep
playing like that and the goals and the points will come."
Gerrard: Missed chances
cost us dearly
Steven Gerrard bemoaned Liverpool's
inability to kill off Basle in the first half of their frustrating 1-1
Champions League draw at Anfield.
Czech striker Milan Baros opened the scoring in the first half and also
saw a shot hit the angle of post and crossbar and bounce out.
John Arne Riise also had two strikes crash back off the crossbar and then
just before half-time Julio Rossi snatched an equaliser.
"It was disappointing in the end. I thought we deserved three points,"
"The lads have worked hard. We have hit the bar three times and been close
with a couple of shots and you can't do more than that.
"I think we put a lot into the first half and we should have been three or
four up in the first half.
"We were 1-0 up and cruising but credit to Basle they scored a goal at the
frustrated by woodwork in Basle draw
Liverpool were frustrated by poor luck,
poor finishing and a battling Basle rearguard as they could only draw 1-1
to register their first Champions League point.
The Reds went one up thanks to Milan Baros, hit the woodwork three times
and wasted an array of first-half chances.
But they were mugged before the break when Basle scored from their only
serious effort of the night by Argentinian striker Julio Rossi.
Liverpool seemed to suffer a hangover from the experience and never got to
grips in the second period as the game petered out into a frustrating
stalemate for Gerard Houllier.
His side now have to win three of their final four games to be sure of
qualification for the second stage.
Baros' pace was a constant threat to the Swiss double winners and he
scored for the third game in succession when Emile Heskey robbed former
Sunderland full-back Bernt Haas on the halfway line and stormed down the
left before laying the ball back for Baros to coolly drill home.
Chances rained in on goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbuhler and it was a minor
miracle Liverpool took 33 minutes to break the deadlock.
What had gone on before was akin to a fairground shooting gallery. John
Arne Riise's first effort against the woodwork came after just 70 seconds.
On nine minutes, the Norwegian smashed a 20-yard effort goalward after
being teed up by Baros only to see Zuberbuhler tip the ball on to the
Owen's first sight of goal came on 25 minutes and summed up his luck this
season. Bruno Cheyrou found the striker all on his own with a quick ball
from defence and Owen surged forward, teased Murat Yakin into a stumble
and took a pace to his right before driving a low shot just wide.
Baros, Cheyrou, Gerrard, Heskey and Danny Murphy all went close before
Liverpool's goal finally arrived thanks to the Czech youngster.
But after all that pressure and chances, Basle levelled on 41 minutes.
Yakin's ball down the left was cleverly controlled by Rossi, and he spun
to squeeze his shot inside Jerzy Dudek's near post.
Liverpool responded with another effort against the woodwork. This time
Baros spun, 10 yards out, and saw his shot come out off the inside of the
far post. Owen tried to force in the rebound, but his shot was blocked by
Liverpool's assault continued after the break. Jamie Carragher came close
with a low shot wide and Heskey's effort cannoned clear off Zuberbuhler.
But the danger signs were now obvious as Basle grew in composure and
chances became fewer. So many chances had been missed and Liverpool were
still not in control.
The tension was not helped when Atouba somehow hurled himself in the way
of a Baros drive almost on the goal line.
El Hadji Diouf was thrown into the fray on 71 minutes in place of Heskey
and he forced a superb flying save from Zuberbuhler a minute later.
Patrik Berger was next on, replacing Owen who had run himself ragged for
the cause but with no luck whatsoever.
Liverpool kept hammering away, Sami Hyypia's header from Gerrard's
free-kick sailed over and Diouf was booked for diving, but the Swiss hung