After The Match 


Charlton-Liverpool 1-2 (1-0)     Wed Feb 1.                  Premier League
Goals: Morientes (61), Riise (80)       Bartlett (21)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Traore, Riise, Gerrard, Biscan, Garcia, Baros, Morientes.
Subs: Smicer (Morientes 88), Potter (Garcia 90),
Warnock (Riise 90)
Not used: Carson, Pellegrino
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Neale Barry
Attendance: 27,105

                            MATCH-REPORTS & RESULTS 
Shots on target: 3-7
Shots off target: 1-12
Fouls conceded: 11-15
Corners: 3-7
Yellow: 0-0




HEADLINES "We played
a fantastic game..."

          Rafael Benitez
0202: Riise hails Nando...
0202: Benitez determined to keep it simple
0102: No complaints from Curbs
0102: Rafa hails Reds showing
0102: Reds rally to sink Addicks

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 striker.

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 great form.

"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 half.

"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 Middlesbrough losing."

Benitez determined to keep it simple

Sporting Life

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 Liverpool side.

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 Liverpool manager.

"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 manager said.

"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."

No complaints from Curbs

By Peter ORourke - Planet Football/Sky Sports

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley had no complaints with his side's
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 Liverpool performance.

"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 complaints.

Rafa 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 points.

"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 goals.

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 Murphy.

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 crossbar.

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 unguarded net.

Kiely was called into action again on 72 minutes when he was forced to tip Gerrard's dipping shot over the crossbar.

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.

backbutton.gif (1697 bytes)

Thor Zakariassen