Riise hails Nando and 'best away performance'
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Liverpool matchwinner John Arne Riise today hailed
the outstanding contribution of Fernando Morientes after
the Reds' 'best away performance of the season' secured
victory over Charlton.
Morientes struck his first goal since his £6m move from
Real Madrid as Liverpool registered an impressive 2-1
win at The Valley.
Riise insists there's still more to come from the
The Norwegian's winner was his sixth goal of the season,
but he was quick to acknowledge the role of the Spaniard
in a much improved display by the visitors.
"That's definitely the best we've played away from
home," said Riise.
"We played so well as a team, worked hard for each other
and, for me, it was great to get the winner to help us
to three important points because Charlton have been in
"It was always going to take Morientes time to get
used to the Premiership but he's been playing well in
the last few games and he worked really hard for his
goal, which he deserved.
"There's been a lot of pressure on him because so many
people were talking about him before he joined. His big
reputation is justified.
"He's a great guy and he works very hard in training.
He's proved what a great finisher he is with that left
foot shot last night.
"There's a lot more to come from him. He's come to
Liverpool to win trophies and that's what the players
want too, so we can help each other achieve things."
Riise is now only one short of his best goalscoring
tally for a season.
He said: "I scored seven in my first season in
England and now I'm on six. Scoring goals is always a
great feeling and in the role I'm in I feel confident I
can score more.
"It's even better when it means the team's won. Normally
when we go a goal down we start playing long balls and
panic. This time we stayed patient and played our
football. We felt a goal would come.
"We had a lot of chances and only the saves from the
goalkeeper stopped us.
"When we equalised we knew we'd win. If it had been a
scrappy game, maybe we'd have thought a point was
enough, but the way we were playing we felt we had to go
on to win the game, which is what's happened."
Added Riise: "We've had a few bad results recently
and we knew going to Charlton wouldn't be easy. We also
knew how important it was to get a win. We played really
well and couldn't believe we were 1-0 down at half-time.
"We came out even more determined in the second half and
for the first 15 minutes they couldn't get out of their
"Once we got the first goal we knew the result was in
our hands and the second goal would come.
"This is a massive win for us, especially with Spurs and
determined to keep it simple
Rafael Benitez is determined to take one game at a
time rather than gazing into a "crystal ball" and trying
to predict what the next four months will bring his
The Reds are already in the Carling Cup final and will
soon resume their Champions League campaign with a
two-legged tie against German outfit Bayer Leverkusen
for a place in the last eight.
It is the Barclays Premiership, though, where the
Anfield club are desperate to produce the sustained
success and domination they once enjoyed.
Tuesday night's victory at Charlton saw them come from
behind to record a first league win since January 3, and
answer some of the recent criticism which has been
directed their way following defeats to Manchester
United and Southampton as well as a disappointing exit
from the FA Cup at Burnley in the third round.
After trailing to a first-half header from Shaun
Bartlett, the Reds showed much of the fighting spirit
they will need if they are to overtake Merseyside rivals
Everton in the race for the precious fourth-placed
finish, and with it the chance to play in Europe's
premier club competition next season.
Fernando Morientes got his first goal since joining for
£6.3million from Real Madrid with a fine left-foot
strike just after the hour mark, before John Arne
Riise's smart finish with 11 minutes to go secured
Liverpool's fourth away win in the Premiership.
Despite continued speculation surrounding just where
skipper Steven Gerrard will be playing his football next
season, and whether the England midfielder would leave
his boyhood club should they fail to make the Champions
League again, Benitez is determined to remain solely
focused on matters he can influence over the coming
months, rather than spend time worrying about what may
or may not happen.
"We have said it many times, we want to build a team
around Gerrard. He is a key player for us," insisted the
"If you see how he fights for the team, you know he has
the mentality we want for the future."
The Spaniard added: "I do not have a crystal ball to say
what will be in the future. We want to win the next
game, and then after we will see.
"You cannot all the time be thinking about the future.
You just have to have a plan.
"We know we need to change things in the club, but we
have very good people around us and perhaps the best
supporters in the world. We can do it.
"Our idea is to win the next game and then we will see."
Benitez was glad Morientes finally got on the scoresheet
after three games without a goal.
"Fernando played very well, but with 10 players around
him playing well, it is easy for him," the Liverpool
"We had talked before that he was playing very well
between the lines, winning balls in the air.
"But as a top striker you need to score goals and for
him it is fantastic."
complaints from Curbs
By Peter ORourke - Planet Football/Sky Sports
Charlton boss Alan Curbishley had no complaints with
2-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Despite leading 1-0 nil at half time Liverpool dominated
throughout and deserved all three points to boost their
Champions League hopes.
"I think although we went in front at half time
Liverpool were the better team throughout.
"We got out noses in front had chances and they had
chances, but in the second half they dominated and
looked such a strong side.
"I was hoping they would come and give a performance
like at Southampton, but they come and gave a real
"We did play on Saturday and maybe that counted, but
they looked really sharp.
"We are really disappointed and if we could have held
out for a draw it would have been a real bonus.
"Great credit to them they deserved it and we have no
hails Reds showing
By Peter ORourke - Planet Football/Sky Sports
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was delighted with his
side's performance in the 2-1 win over Charlton.
The Reds came from a goal down to take all three points
and close the gap on fourth-placed Everton to four
"We worked very hard all over the pitch," said Benitez.
"We played a fantastic game and had a lot of confidence.
We said at the break we could do it and all the team
worked very hard and played well.
"We want to close the gap (on Everton) and we have got a
lot of confidence now winning away."
Benitez also words of praise for Fernando Morientes
after he scored his first goal for the club.
"Yes he is a fantastic player," added Benitez. "He plays
for the team and he scored a goal.
"It was made easy for him as Milan Baros did a lot of
running and with two good striker you can score a lot of
Reds rally to sink Addicks
By Peter O`Rourke - Planet Football/Sky Sports
Liverpool boosted their Champions League hopes with a
deserved 2-1 win at Charlton.
Second half goals from Fernando Morientes - his first
for his new club - and John Arne Riise were enough to
give The Reds all three points and cancel out Shaun
Bartlett's first half opener.
Liverpool made the brighter start of the two sides and
almost broke the deadlock on seven minutes when Luis
Garcia saw his shot saved by Dean Kiely and from the
rebound Steven Gerrard was unlucky to see his effort
rebound off the crossbar.
Baros made a chance for himself four minutes later when
he turned neatly on the edge of the box before dragging
his shot well wide.
Steve Finnan got in vital interception on 20 minutes to
deny Danny Murphy's cross reaching Bartlett inside the
box with the defender clearing the danger for a corner.
But from the resulting corner Charlton broke the
deadlock with Bartlett rising unmarked to head Murphy's
cross powerfully into the net.
Liverpool captain Gerrard tried to drag his side back
into the contest and he forced Kiely to tip his
long-range shot round the post on 25 minutes.
Charlton came close to grabbing a second goal a minute
later when Konchesky rifled a dangerous cross right
across the box towards Bryan Hughes, but Sami Hyypia got
in a crucial block to keep his touch out.
Liverpool really should have drawn level on 32 minutes
when Gerrard cut the ball back across the six yard box
for Morientes, but Kiely produced a brilliant save to
keep out the Spaniard's shot and.
Seconds later Baros wasted a good opening when heading
over the crossbar from six yards out after Hyypia had
headed Gerrard's corner back across the face of goal.
Jerzy Dudek denied Charlton a second goal on 34 minutes
when he made a superb diving save to keep out Hermann
Hreidarsson's after another dangerous set-piece from
Gerrard had a sight of goal two minutes before the break
when the ball dropped invitingly to him on the edge of
the box, but he sliced his shot horribly wide. Liverpool
continued to dominate proceedings at the start of the
second half and John Arne Riise came within inches of
drawing them level on 55 minutes with a fierce
left-footed shot thudding off the underside of the
The visitors deserved drew level just past the hour mark
with Morientes cutting inside Talal El Karkouri onto his
left foot on the edge of the box and firing an
unstoppable shot past Kiely.
Charlton came close to restoring their lead just two
minutes later with Dudek pushing out Konchesky's
powerful shot and he was relieved to see Djimi Traore
get back to prevent Murphy tapping the ball into the
Kiely was called into action again on 72 minutes when he
was forced to tip Gerrard's dipping shot over the
A minute later Hyypia fired in a dangerous ball right
across the face of goal and both Garcia and Traore were
inches away from diverting the ball into the net.
Hreidarsson then got in a vital block to keep out
Garcia's goalbound shot from Riise's cross.
Liverpool deservedly went in front on 79 minutes when
Garcia played Riise in on goal and the Norwegian kept
his cool to place his shot beyond Kiely.