Fowler celebrates a goal for the history books. (Photo:
Classy Alonso is pass master
By Ian Rush - Liverpool Echo
Xabi Alonso is the kind of player I'd have loved to play
in front of during my time at Liverpool.
His ability to see and execute a pass reminds me of Jan
I was lucky to have Jan and Kenny Dalglish supplying me with
regular opportunities, and we saw another glimpse of what
Alonso is capable of against West Brom.
The pass for Djibril Cisse's goal was the best I've seen
The absence of Steven Gerrard put more responsibility on
Alonso and he's risen to the challenge against Everton and
When you have strikers with pace and movement, players like
Alonso and Gerrard will always be capable of playing such
Such are Cisse's assets, he should be benefiting far more
from the kind of service the midfield can provide, but it's
up to the forwards to make the right kinds of run.
It's clear Cisse doesn't enjoy playing on the right, but if
he analyses Saturday's game, he'll see how effective he can
Just because you're on the right of midfield, it doesn't
mean you can't drift into striking positions.
Cisse is at his best when using his pace, and he should be
making the kind of run which led to his goal more often.
When he gets it right, as he did at the weekend, he can be
unplayable for a defender.
When you see such quality, it makes you a little frustrated
it's not been evident more often.
Obviously, I was especially pleased to see Robbie Fowler
grab another goal.
I spoke to Robbie last week, and it's clear he's still not
sure if he's going to get another contract.
I don't think he should be worried. He's done more than
enough and needs to just keep working as hard as he has
You've got to think of the situation from Rafa Benitez's
point of view. He'll want to keep Robbie as motivated as
possible for the remainder of the season and will see no
advantage making any decision public until then.
Like any player, Robbie is desperate to play as much as
possible. He feels the best way to earn a contract is to
score loads of goals.
Privately, Rafa must be delighted with Robbie since he
returned, and his latest strike was a particularly poignant
To score more goals for Liverpool than Kenny Dalglish,
you've got to be a particularly special player.
Robbie is too modest to consider himself a legend, but
that's because he's not big-headed about his ability.
When people talk about 'legends' they tend to be referring
to players who've finished their career. In years to come,
there's no doubt Robbie will take his place among the club's
greatest. For now, he'll still feel there's a lot more for
him to contribute, and more medals to be won.
Proof we're not one-man team
By Ian Doyle - Daily Post
Rafael Benitez believes Liverpool have now proven they
are more than just a one-man team.
The Anfield outfit overcame the early sending-off of
talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard to claim local bragging
rights in last week's home derby win over Everton.
The midfielder's two bookings inside a minute mean he must
sit out Liverpool's Premiership visit to struggling West
Bromwich Albion this evening.
But Benitez claims the victory against the odds last
Saturday demonstrated his play-ers can cope without Gerrard.
"The team proved we can play without Steve," said the
Spaniard. "He is a key player who scores goals, but the team
now has the confidence to play without him.
"We showed people we were working really hard to win and we
have gained confidence because we have shown we can win
without him sometimes.
"We are scoring goals from the strikers and midfielders -
and they are working really hard as a team.
"For me as a manager, if they are playing well and working
really hard it will be enough."
Peter Crouch was on target in December when Liverpool beat
West Brom 1-0 at Anfield. And their last two visits to The
Hawthorns have seen them triumph 6-0 in 2003 and 5-0 last
Benitez appreciates his team will not have it so easy this
time around against a side battling to stave off relegation.
"It will be totally different from last season," he added.
"They are trying to stay in the Premiership and are working
really hard. When you are playing teams in the middle of the
table and you start with a high tempo and score they know it
is not as important. Against teams at the bottom and top is
always more difficult."
Liverpool continue to chase third-placed Manchester United
but are now five points behind having played a game more.
But Benitez is refusing to give up on the chance of securing
an automatic place in the Champions League, although victory
this evening would move Liverpool to within three wins of
securing third spot.
"Our next responsibility is to try to win the next six
games," Benitez said.
"We will try to fight for the second place.
"I know it will be really difficult, but we need to approach
every game thinking we can win.
"Manchester United have a good team and good players - and
they are continuing to win.
"But it is possible (to catch them)."
joy as goal tops his big believer
By Carson Wishart - Daily Post Staff
Robbie Fowler is expecting to receive a congratulatory
call from Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish after surpassing
his all-time Anfield goal record on Saturday.
The veteran striker helped Liverpool cruise to a 2-0 win
over relegationhaunted West Bromwich Albion by firing home
after just six minutes before Djibril Cisse added a second
Fowler's second goal in his second spell at Liverpool was
his 173rd goal for the club, but needs another 56 goals to
by-pass the great Billy Liddell to move up to fourth in the
The Toxteth-born striker, who formed part of a four-prong
attack at The Hawthorns with Cisse and Harry Kewell joining
him and Peter Crouch at will, is now looking forward to
speaking to his former mentor Dalglish.
Fowler says the former player and manager has often rung him
with words of encouragement during the tough times in his
"For me to get anywhere near him is a fantastic achievement
and to surpass him by one - I'm delighted," said Fowler who
turns 31 on Sunday when Liverpool face Bolton at Anfield. "I
grew up an Everton fan but Kenny is a proper Liverpool
legend and to get anywhere near him is fantastic."
He added: "All through my career when things have gone well
he's called me and when things have gone bad he's given me a
ring so I'll probably get a call. I don't think Kenny will
begrudge me getting the goal because he wants what's best
"When I was a schoolboy at Liverpool Kenny was manager. I
met him a few times. When you are growing up you know that
Kenny was a fantastic player and when he comes into the
dressing room he's just got a presence about him. He used to
look after the younger players."
Fowler insists that he's not worried who exactly is next on
the goalscoring list, but instead is relishing his second
chance at Anfield following his surprise move from
Manchester City during the January transfer window.
"I haven't got a clue who is next on the list," he smiled
after making his fifth start for Liverpool this season. "I'm
just happy to be scoring goals for Liverpool.
"To get anywhere near KD is an achievement which I am
greatly proud of. I thought the chance had passed me by and
to get the call in January asking me to come back here was
"I am talking about being happy to surpass Kenny but I'm
just happy about being here.
"I've kept in touch with Kenny all through my career
wherever I've been, along with a few other Liverpool
strikers of the past."
Fowler rebuffed West Brom manager Bryan Robson's complaint
that he was off-side for his goal.
"I don't think I was offside, anyway the ref gave it," he
spying Reds stay
By Alex Livie - Sky Sports
Robbie Fowler is targeting a new deal at Liverpool and
manager Rafa Benitez has offered him some words of
The scouser returned to his roots in January when signing a
six-month deal after being allowed to leave Manchester City.
Fowler has understandably taken some time to find his match
sharpness, but he fired out a warning with the opening goal
in Liverpool's win over West Brom on Saturday.
Having produced an impressive display, Fowler confirmed his
intention to earn an extended stay at Anfield.
"Without a shadow of a doubt I want to stay," said the
30-year-old. "Having waited so long to come back, I'd love
to make my second spell here a long one.
"Nothing has been decided yet. I've just got to wait for the
manager. Nothing has been said and I'll just keep trying to
play my football until something happens.
"I've not scored as many goals as I would have liked but
I've been relatively pleased with my performances. But it's
not for me to say who should get a new contract - that's the
Benitez has been pleased with Fowler's contribution and
admits a couple more goals could see a deal being put in
front of the forward
"His future is not a problem," said the Reds boss. "If he
scores one or two more goals then that is fine, but the
question will be what he can give to us as a club and a
"We do not have to make that decision now. We're in no hurry
to do so because we still have a few weeks left."
Rafa still fancies second spot
By Graeme Bailey - Sky Sports
Rafa Benitez still has one eye on second place following
Liverpool's win at West Brom.
The Reds claimed a comfortable success at The Hawthorns
thanks to first half goals from Robbie Fowler and Djibril
"In the first half we played very well," Benitez said.
"We deserved to score and controlled the game all the time.
"In the second half we were a bit under pressure and we
could not score the third goal and finish the game but it
was a good result for us."
Benitez is still hopeful his side can catch in-form Man
United, but they remain five points adrift of their
"We need to keep going to the end," he added.
"Manchester United continue winning but our idea is to do
that also, and maybe we can finish second."
Fowler bypasses King Kenny
in all-time scorer list
By Adam Bryant - LFC Online
Liverpool have beaten West Brom 2-0 at The Hawthorns, but
it was the first goal by Robbie Fowler that was important
for the record books.
The goal was Fowler's 173rd for the club in only 341 games
and lifts him above Kenny Dalglish to fifth in the all-time
"It's fantastic for me. Kenny Dalglish is a proper Liverpool
legend and to get anywhere near him is an achievement," he
said after the game. "To go one past him makes me very
"We had a good result last weekend and it was important to
come here and do a good job. We got off to a good start and
I think we fully deserved the three points again. The early
goal has been good for us and we've taken it from there.
"We've got to try to win as many games as we can from now
until the end of the season. It's going to be difficult but
if we continue to win games and the teams above us slip up
then obviously we've got to try to account for that."
Liverpool brush Baggies aside
By Graeme Bailey - Sky Sports
Liverpool look to have just about sealed their place in
The Premiership's top three after a comfortable 2-0 success
at West Brom.
The Reds were by far the better side at The Hawthorns and
grabbed the win with goals from Robbie Fowler and Djibril
Cisse in an entertaining first half.
The three points, coupled with Tottenham defeat earlier in
the day at Newcastle, means Rafa Benitez's men are now some
12 points clear of their nearest rivals.
At the same time West Brom are only out of the relegation
zone on goal difference as Portsmouth joined them on 27
Liverpool had dominated the opening period and should have
had more than the two goals they came out with.
Harry Kewell had the games opening effort blocked, but it
was not long before the West Brom defence was unlocked for
the first time.
The majestic Xabi Alonso started the move as he fed Cisse
down the right, the French striker unselfishly squared the
ball for the onrushing Fowler to slam into an empty net.
Peter Crouch was then heavily involved and his run on 17
minutes should have seen another Fowler goal, but the gangly
forward kept the ball instead of playing his strike-partner
through on goal and the chance was gone.
Crouch was then unlucky as he broke into the box, only to
see his goal-bound drive blocked by Paul Robinson.
Up at the other end just moments later and Robinson
registered his side's first shot on goal after good work
from Diomansy Kamara saw him freed on the left - but the
right footed effort was never going to trouble Jose Reina.
Seven minutes before the break and Liverpool doubled their
The goal was route-one, but was a high-class effort as
Alonso picked up the ball just outside his own area - he
spotted the run of Cisse and picked him out with a 60-yard
pass which allowed the Frenchman to just touch the ball past
the advancing Tomasz Kuszczak and into the empty net.
A clearly unhappy Bryan Robson introduced Hungarian ace
Zoltan Gera at the interval and it almost paid dividends
His first contribution was a cross-come shot which only just
sailed wide of Reina's upright and then just moments later
the Liverpool number one had his palms stung by a rasping
left-footed volley which he managed to grab at the second
Liverpool were still in cruise control and could have added
further to their lead, with Cisse breaking clear - but
unlike the first half - Kuszczak was equal to it and saved.
Gera had yet another chance after the hour mark, but again
Reina was equal to it.
A rare piece of sloppy defending from Liverpool almost
allowed West Brom a route back into the game as Kevin
Campbell got the wrong side of Sami Hyypia, he took it past
Reina but his touch was bad and it came to Jonathan Greening
who blazed over.
Benitez was now happy for his side to play the game out at
2-0 and the was highlighted by the introduction of Jan
Kromkamp for Cisse.
Indeed West Brom failed to muster anything and it was
Liverpool who should have added to their lead.
The best chance came for Kewell as he broke into the box and
he had the chance to pick out Fernando Morientes and Luis
Garcia - but instead the Australian could only find the
West Brom did have a late appeal for a penalty waved away by
Uriah Rennie as the ball struck Momo Sissoko's hand - but it
would have been harsh on the Liverpool man and also probably
meant West Brom could have got something their play did not