After The Match 


PSV-Liverpool 0-3 (0-1)              3.4. 07                            CL
Goals: Gerrard (27), Riise (49), Crouch (62)
Team: Reina, Finnan, Agger, Carragher, Aurelio, Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano, Riise, Crouch, Kuyt
Subs: Zenden (Riise 65), Gonzalez (Aurelio 75),
Pennant (Crouch 84)
Not used: Dudek, Hyypia, Arbeloa, Bellamy
Yellow: Mascherano (39), Kuyt (90)     Kluivert (64), Feher (72)
Red: None
Referee: Bertrand Layec (France)
Attendance: 36,500
Shots on target: 1-5
Shots off target: 6-6
Blocked shots: 2-1
Possession: 53-47
Fouls conceded: 15-14
Corners: 2-2
Offsides: 5-2
Yellow: 2-2
HEADLINES "There must be no room for complacency now."
      Rafael Benitez

0404: Reds can rule Europe again
0404: Reds favourites to win it six times
0404: PSV's Kromkamp concedes defeat
0404: Taking Rush record embarrasses Gerrard
0404: Benitez urges Reds focus
0404: Koeman: We're as good as out
0304: Reds goalscorers revel in win
0304: Rampant Liverpool hammer poor PSV

Riise (l), Crouch and Kuyt celebrating at Eindhoven.
(Photo: Empics)

Reds can rule Europe again

By Tommy Smith - Liverpool Echo

Make no mistake. This Liverpool side can lift the Champions League again if they continue to maintain this form.

When you are playing away from home in Europe, the emphasis is usually on defence - keep out your opponents and then hope to nick a goal.

But once the Reds took a grip on their tie with PSV early on, they never looked in danger, and with the goals flowing again their 3-0 victory effectively puts them in the semi-finals.

It was another terrific team effort following on from Arsenal, but it wasn't just a case of being and looking solid. Rafa Benitez's team were inventive, passing the ball well, and they created problems all night for the home defence.

Steven Gerrard, as usual, led by example, providing telling passes to stretch PSV. Inevitably, he was in the perfect place to head home Steve Finnan's pinpoint cross and the breakthrough had a telling effect.

Liverpool bossed the game completely after that and, the more the tie went on, the more demoralised the Dutch became. They were never allowed to get any sort of grip in midfield, so dominant were the Reds, and Javier Mascherano looked so comfortable it looked as if he had been playing in that role for the Reds all season.

There was little threat to the Reds and they wrapped up the game straight after the break with a typical effort from John Arne Riise.

His lethal left foot has struck some fine goals down the years and when he fastened on to a misplaced pass from defence you knew he only had one thing in mind. His fierce shot, with the outside of the foot, curled well away from the keeper.

After Peter Crouch's excellent show against the Gunners it would have been difficult to leave him out and he again produced a classic headed finish for the third.

The only downside was the nasty injury to Fabio Aurelio but, 3-0 up at half time, and you could say it's game over. Teams have pulled that sort of deficit back before in Europe (!) - but I don't think the Dutch have anywhere near the character and true grit of the Reds.

Watchout the rest!

Reds favourites to win it six times

By Paddy Power - LFC Official Website

After last night's emphatic win Liverpool have been slashed in to 3/1 favourites with Paddy Power to win the Champions League for 6th time.

It's all smiles at Anfield at the moment, what with the American takeover, a new stadium in the pipeline and the new owners promising they'll back Rafa Benitez.

But there is one thing Liverpool have that all the money in the world can't buy and that's a European heritage! The team always rises to the occasion when they play in the Champions League and when opposing teams come to Anfield, the Liverpool fans play the role of the 12th man.

If you're wanting to back The Reds at 3/1 make sure you do before kick-off of tonight's games, when Chelsea and Manchester United will be looking to emulate Liverpool's victory in Eindhoven.

For some outside value on another team steeped in European history there could be some backers for AC Milan at 10/1. They do carry the burden of two away goals but the Italians will be thinking they can overturn this in Munich in two weeks time.

PSV's Kromkamp concedes defeat

By Derek Brookman -

Jan Kromkamp conceded that PSV Eindhoven "can't rescue the tie now" after losing the home leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final 3-0 to Liverpool FC last night.

'Severely punished'
The PSV players were naturally shellshocked after their heaviest UEFA Champions League home loss since a 4-0 reverse against another English side, Arsenal FC, in September 2002. "The first half was a fairly even contest but the second was a different story," Dutch international Kromkamp told "We tried to force our way back into the game but were severely punished twice, first for a loose ball out of defence and then on a counterattack."

Lacking self-confidence
The former Liverpool defender admitted that the performance was symptomatic of his side's recent malaise, saying: "I think you could see that at the moment we are lacking self-confidence. We gave the ball away too cheaply, too often, and had difficulty getting it back. We have to be realistic. Our priority is now the remaining league games and not the return in Liverpool. We can't rescue the tie now."

'A wonderful goal'
Timmy Simons' evening as a makeshift centre-back will unfortunately be remembered for his contribution to the visitors' second goal. He said: "I was debating whether to head it or kick it, and I didn't know if there was anyone behind me. I didn't clear it far enough. And there was no chance to remedy the situation, because [John Arne] Riise hit it so quickly and so sweetly. I have to admit it was a wonderful goal"

The Belgian international was well aware that his side had clearly met their match at the PSV Stadium. "Liverpool are extremely disciplined," Simons said. "I can only remember them having about four or five clear chances, and they converted three. I think they have enough quality to go all the way. They are extremely tough to break down and it's difficult to create something against them."

Taking Rush record
embarrasses Gerrard

By Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post

Steven Gerrard admitted he was “embarrassed” at becoming Liverpool’sall-time leading goalscorer in the European Cup after a night of records in Eindhoven.

Gerrard netted his 15th goal in the competition to eclipse the tally of Ian Rush and send Rafael Benitez’s side on their way to an emphatic Champions League quarter-final first leg win over PSV.

A rocket from John Arne Riise and a Peter Crouch header completed a 3-0 win that puts Liverpool within touching distance of a second semi-final appearance in three years.

And of his achievement in surpassing Anfield legend Rush, Gerrard said: “I’m a bit embarrassed to be honest. He is someone I’ve watched as a kid and I never dreamt I’d break one of his records. I don’t think I’ll be breaking any of his other ones.

“I’m flattered, but it’s not really important to me though. What’s more impor-tant is how well the team is doing. It was a really good performance and hopefully we can go all the way.

“After we got the first, it was a case of just carrying on. We are hard to break down and we made them pay on the counter attack.

“When the manager puts me on the right he knows I like to go forward, and as long as I get back that’s okay.”

Asked about who he would prefer in a likely semi-final, Gerrard added: “We are not worried about that. We’re just looking to finish it off.

“We want to be professional in our job and worry about the next 90 minutes.”

Benitez urges Reds focus

Football UK

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez preached caution after his side enjoyed an almost perfect night as they romped to a 3-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg win at PSV Eindhoven.

Goals from Steven Gerrard, John Arne Riise and Peter Crouch put the Reds well on course for the semi-finals, with a serious injury to Fabio Aurelio the only cloud on a tremendous display by the Merseysiders.

Benitez said afterwards: "We know we are close but in football you have to stay focused for every match. There must be no room for complacency now.

"We must take the second leg seriously and play a proper match.

"We knew they had some problems and we had to do the job. We had to profit from their mistakes.

"The three goals were really good and it is important to see different players scoring goals.

"If we can keep them quiet for the first 45 minutes, then maybe we can start thinking of reaching the semi-finals.

"For me, this is a different feeling from the season when we won the trophy. This team is better than that one was, but this is another year, another competition. However, we are getting closer."

Koeman: We're as good as out

By Lewis Rutledge - Sky Sports

Ronald Koeman has admitted PSV Eindhoven have 'no opportunity' to advance to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League following the 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday.

Goals from Steven Gerrard, John Arne Riise and Peter Crouch sealed a comprehensive victory for The Reds and left PSV in need of something special in the second leg next Wednesday.

But Koeman, whose side knocked out Arsenal in the last round, believes all hope is gone.

"If I told my squad to believe they can still advance, then I don't belong on this planet," he said.

"This result hurts and gives us no opportunity to do anything next week in Liverpool."

There was little to choose between the sides until Gerrard's opener after 27 minutes, but Koeman accepts that PSV were completely outplayed for the last hour of the contest.

He explained: "Till the first goal we did well, we were organised and gave nothing away, but then we failed to close the space for Steve Finnan to cross for Gerrard to score.

"From then on it was clear that Liverpool were too strong for us. It is not realistic to think that we can win the tie now.

"We played with the same tactics against Arsenal to beat them in the last round.

"But we have injuries now, we are missing a few important players, and you could see that we did not have the quality to match Liverpool.

"We have had a great season reaching the Champions League quarter-finals but the absence of some quality players on our side made the difference too big - and we were not good enough."

Reds goalscorers revel in win

By Andrew Scurr - Sky Sports

Liverpool goalscorers Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard admitted the 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven was much better than anticipated going into the game.

Gerrard opened the scoring on 27 minutes before second-half goals from John Arne Riise and Crouch put The Reds on the verge of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

"We came to not concede and try to get an away goal and obviously three is better than planned," Crouch told ITV1.

"Winning by three goals away from home in Europe anywhere it's a great result and all the boys are obviously really pleased."

Gerrard added: "Once we got the first goal I think it was just a case of carrying on doing what we were doing.

"We were very hard to break down and they had to push when we were 1-0 up and we made them pay on the counter attack."

The Liverpool captain started the game on the right side, although his goal came from a late burst into the box from the centre.

Gerrard claims he has been given a free role by Rafa Benitez, as long has he completes his defensive duties.

"The manager when he does put me on the right knows that I like to go into the middle, I like to get forward," he said.

"He gives me that licence to do that as long as I get back and defend."

Meanwhile, Gerrard insists The Reds will not get carried away despite their comfortable position in the tie with the Dutch side.

"What we need to do now is finish it off, there's still 90 minutes to play," he added.

"We need to be professional, do our jobs and then we can worry about the semi-final once we've done that."

Rampant Liverpool hammer poor PSV

By Mandeep Sanghera - BBC Sport Online

A ruthless Liverpool powered to a resounding win over PSV Eindhoven to all-but book their place in the semi finals of
the Champions League.

Steven Gerrard thumped in a header from Steve Finnan's cross to put the Reds ahead and become Liverpool's leading scorer in European Cup competition.

PSV were ripe for the taking and the Reds showed no mercy as John Arne Riise thundered in a long-range strike.

Peter Crouch put the gloss on the win when he nodded in another Finnan cross.

Liverpool had to be patient at the start of the first leg of the quarter-final and probe for an opening as PSV adopted a conservative approach despite being at home.

The Dutch side's approach seemed to stem from losing 5-1 in their last league fixture at the Philips Stadion during a poor run which has seen them fail to win in their last four outings.

The Reds were allowed to dominate possession and almost took advantage from a corner.

Jamie Carragher made good contact with a header and PSV keeper Heurelho Gomes had to dive at full stretch to palm the ball round the post.

PSV sprang a rare attack to shock Liverpool and an unmarked Mika Varynen at the far post had his angled volley deflected over.

Liverpool heeded the warning and Finnan made a bursting run on the right before crossing for Gerrard to power a header low into the corner of the net.

The goal was Gerrard's 15th in the European Cup and he overtook Ian Rush as the club's record goalscorer in the competition.

Gerrard's landmark effort also forced PSV into a change of plan and attempt a more attacking game.

But Liverpool comfortably kept their rivals at arm's length and were nearly gifted a second straight after the break.

A misunderstanding between keeper Gomes and his defender gave Xabi Alonso a sight of goal from 18 yards only for the Spaniard to slice his shot off target.

PSV were uncertain and nervous in defence and a stray backpass let Riise unleash a trademark left-foot thunderbolt into the top corner.

Striker Patrick Kluivert came on for PSV as they tried to salvage something from the game but Crouch headed in from eight yards.

Liverpool controlled the rest of the game after building up an apparently unassailable lead and the only setback for the visitors was a serious-looking injury to left midfielder Fabio Aurelio.

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