After The Match 


Glasgow Rangers-Liverpool 0-4 (0-1)     2.8.08       Pre-season
Goals: Torres (23), Ngog (56), Benayoun (58), Alonso (70)
Team: Cavalieri, Dossena, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Plessis, Gerrard, Benayoun, Kuyt, Keane, Torres
Subs: Ngog, Agger, Hyypia, Alonso, Darby, Insua, Speaing, Nemeth, Reina, Pennant
Not used:
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Craig Thomson
Attendance: 50,223
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Blocked shots:
Fouls conceded:

very clever and he worked hard."
Rafael Benitez

0308: Gerrard must adapt, says Benitez
0308: Gerrard delighted by Keane signing
0208: Rafa salutes strike duo
0208: Ngog and Torres score in 4-0 ibrox win


Gerrard must adapt, says Benitez

By Gill Clark -

Rafael Benitez has reportedly admitted he will continue to play captain Steven Gerrard in a variety of positions ahead of the start of the new season.

The subject of the Liverpool skipper’s best position is one of much debate especially as Benitez played Gerrard in a number of different positions last season, a move which is unlikely to have impressed his skipper.

Yet despite this, the Liverpool manager has admitted that he will continue to play Gerrard where he thinks is best and that his captain must learn to adapt.

According to the Mirror, Benitez said: “I think Steven is clever enough to do that. If he needs to adapt then he will adapt because he is a player of quality who can play in different positions.”

Whilst Gerrard is thought to favour a central midfield role, he spent much of last season playing just behind Fernando Torres. However, that may now change with the arrival of Robbie Keane. Benitez confirmed as much by revealing: “If we play a 4-4-2 formation then Gerrard can play as a midfielder. If we play with Torres on his own up front then Gerrard and Keane can play either side of him.”

Although the continual swapping of positions is unlikely to please Gerrard, his manager suggested it shouldn’t bother the player. He said: “I don't think that Steven will be frustrated by that.”

Benitez also went on to say that he believes Gerrard now understands the importance of flexibility for players and that he appreciates that this is something he needs to add to his game. Benitez revealed: “I was reading an interview recently about Gerrard's role in the England team and he is now very clear about his role in the football world - that you need to adapt, think about the team, and play in different positions when it is required.”

The arrival of Robbie Keane at the club will certainly bring Benitez more attacking options and should he sign Gareth Barry, this may also cause him to rethink his midfield formation.

Yet with the Barry deal yet to be concluded, the Liverpool manager was keen to reveal some of the many reasons why he had signed Robbie Keane and what he thought he could bring to the club.

“He can play in maybe four positions in the team. I see him as a player who understands the game and who will always work hard,” said Benitez before concluding, “Robbie has a good mentality - a winning mentality. As a manager, you look for these qualities in every signing you make, but I am sure that Keane is this type of player.”

Gerrard delighted by Keane signing

By Laura Slatcher - Sporting Life

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has revealed his delight at the signing of Robbie Keane after the striker's first two games for the club.

The former Wolves, Coventry, Leeds and Inter Milan forward joined the Reds from Tottenham in a £20million deal last week.

Keane featured in Liverpool's draw with Villarreal before starting in their friendly win over Rangers on Saturday.

Gerrard believes the club's new strikeforce of Keane and Fernando Torres will be among the best in the Premier League, with the new arrival making an impression on the England international.

"As soon as we heard of the interest in Robbie, those of us who know him wanted the deal to happen," Gerrard told the News of the World.

"We know what he can add to the side and, alongside Fernando Torres, we feel we've a strikeforce to rival any in the Premier League.

"A lot of Liverpool fans see similarities to when we signed Gary McAllister in 2000. You'd hear people say how we should have signed him years ago.

"The same applies with Robbie. He probably should have been here five or six years earlier."

Rafa salutes strike duo

By Toby Davis - Setanta Sports

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez praised fledgling strike partnership Fernando Torres and Robbie Keane after the pair started their first game together in a 4-0 win over Rangers.

The Reds dominated from start to finish with Torres grabbing the first in a four-goal rout of the Glasgow side.

And Kop boss Benitez declared himself satisfied with the movement of his £40 million strikeforce, who he described as key to The Reds retaining possession at Ibrox.

"Both players showed good movement and so did (Steven) Gerrard," he said.

"Dirk Kuyt and Yossi Benayoun were coming inside so I felt we had five offensive players, very clever and with quality so we were a threat all the time.

"Keane is very clever and he worked hard. He is very happy here and hopefully we will see a lot of good movement and also goals from him.

"Gerrard, Torres and Keane playing together was one of the keys to keeping possession.

"But I feel we have some good players in the team, different players with different qualities and a good mentality."

Benitez was keeping tight-lipped about the drawn out transfer of Gareth Barry, but was keen to salute the Reds’ industry in the face of difficult opposition.

He added: "The first half was okay but in the second half they needed to go forward in front of their supporters.

"We had more space and we scored the second goal on the counter-attack.

"But from the start of the game we wanted to impress and we wanted to win.

"We worked hard, had plenty of possession and wanted to keep a high tempo with the ball.

"We scored once and had one or two problems near the end of the first half but we controlled it.

"In the second half, with the game more open, it was easier for us to keep the high tempo."

Ngog and Torres
score in 4-0 ibrox win

LFC Official Website

A first goal for David Ngog helped Liverpool to a 4-0 win over a strong Rangers side at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon.

Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Yossi Benayoun also found the net in a thrilling encounter which saw our pre-season campaign burst into life.

Trips to the Wirral, Switzerland, Germany and Spain yielded just four goals for the travelling Kop to cheer, but a rush of goalmouth action north of the border had the faithful purring.

Their pre-match chat centred on Rafa Benitez's team selection, for in a city famed for its double acts (Rangers and Celtic; Hateley and McCoist; The Krankies) another perfect pairing was this afternoon born as Liverpool's two most expensive acquisitions, Robbie Keane and Fernando Torres, combined for the very first time.

They might have enjoyed just 45 minutes together, but initial glimpses of understanding were there for all to see: the Spaniard finding his partner with a Cruyff turn; Keane returning the favour with an intelligent dummy; then a neat one-two which Torres couldn't turn into a goal.

That said, it was Rangers, whose fans sang as if this were a Champions League semi-final, who had the best of the early exchanges, with former Celtic man Kenny Miller and teammate Lee McCulloch both coming close from the edge of the box.

It took 16 minutes for Liverpool to rouse as Steven Gerrard, Keane and Torres started to stamp their authority on the game. The latter headed narrowly over after a well-placed cross from left-back Andrea Dossena.

Next Benayoun thrilled the English contingent inside Ibrox with one of his mercurial runs. The Israeli skipped past five men before finally being stopped in his tracks in the D.

Never mind, for an opening goal was just around the corner. It was Damien Plessis who can claim the assist after his long-distance hit was spilled by Allan McGregor on 23 minutes, with Torres on hand to tap home his first strike of pre-season.

It was nearly two - and nearly a first Liverpool goal for Keane - when Gerrard surged forward for the umpteenth time before unleashing a fierce drive towards McGregor's goal. Again the 'keeper could only parry, this time towards centre-back Kirk Broadfoot, whose subsequent backpass was inches away from being converted by our new number seven.

Down at the other end, Diego Cavalieri, so impressive against Villarreal in midweek, had to make a fingertip save when Sasa Papac sent a teasing chip towards the top corner.

The Brazilian couldn't do anything, however, to stop Nacho Novo skipping towards an open goal on the stroke of half time. Fortunately, Dossena was on hand to thwart an almost certain equaliser with a marvellous goalline clearance.

Half-time brought five changes for Liverpool, Jamie Carragher giving an early indication that he would depart by throwing his shirt into the away end. Torres, Skrtel, Arbeloa and Plessis also made way, with Hyypia, Ngog, Alonso, Darby and Agger entering the fray.

The latter almost made an immediate impact at the wrong end when his attempt at a headed clearance went a little too close for Cavalieri's comfort. Luckily the ball crept over for a corner.

Minutes later Liverpool's new goalkeeper was again called into action when he palmed away a shot-cum-cross by substitute Jean Claude Darcheville.

Just as it seemed Rangers were closing in on a leveller, the visitors, or rather new boy Ngog, stuck the knife in. The French hotshot picked up the ball midway inside the Rangers half on 56 minutes, turning his man one way and the other before cracking an unstoppable left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

The goal prompted Benitez to make three more changes - Insua, Nemeth, Spearing replacing Gerrard, Kuyt and Keane - which, had the result not already been in the bag, could have been described as inspired.

For just seconds after play resumed, with the clock reading 58 minutes, Insua burst down the left before picking out Nemeth, whose dipping effort was palmed away to be volleyed home by the impressive Benayoun.

It was almost 4-0 five minutes later when the unpredictable Ngog grazed the post after swinging his left foot from 25 yards.

The fourth did arrive on 70 minutes when Alonso found Nemeth in the box before Christian Dailly's rash challenge gave referee Craig Thomson no option but to point to the spot. Alonso duly converted and it was game over.

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