Riise (l), Crouch and Kuyt celebrating at Eindhoven.
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
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
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
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
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!
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
PSV's Kromkamp concedes defeat
By Derek Brookman - uefa.com
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
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
uefa.com. "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."
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
'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
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."
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
“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
“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
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
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
"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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
Meanwhile, Gerrard insists The Reds will not get carried
away despite their comfortable position in the tie with the
"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."
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
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
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
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
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