After The Match 


Deportivo-Liverpool 0-1 (0-1)       Wed Nov 3.             Champions League
Goals: Andrade (OG 15)
Team: Kirkland, Hyypia, Baros, Riise, Kewell, Garcia, Hamann, Josemi, Traore, Carragher, Biscan
Subs: Finnan (Kewell 57), Pongolle (Baros 84), Alonso (Garcia 90)
Not used: Dudek, Diao, Warnock, Henchoz
Yellow: Carragher (56), Hyypia (81)    Cesar (37), Andrade (75)
Red: None
Referee: Wolfgang Stark
Attendance: 32.000

                                              MATCH-REPORTS & RESULTS 
Shots on target: 2-3
Shots off target: 7-1
Fouls conceded: 11-24
Corners: 3-4
Yellow: 2-2





"This was
an important step
forward for us..."

                Rafael Benitez

0411: Rafa: We have our destiny back
0411: That was for Cisse
0311: Benitez delighted with Liverpool...
0311: Reds battle past Depor


Rafa: We have our destiny back

Liverpool Echo

Rafael Benitez claimed Liverpool's dramatic victory over Deportivo La Coruna has put their Champions League destiny "back in our own hands".

Liverpool are now level on points with Olympiakos at the top of Group A, and if they win in Monaco later in the month will be certain of progress to the next stage.

Benitez said: "It is all back in our own hands now, it was a great win for us and I was delighted with what I feel was the best Liverpool I have seen.

"As far as my feelings about winning in Spain, that is really not important. It is important for Liverpool to win, it is not important in what country it is."

The Reds lost Xabi Alonso before the game with a calf injury, to add to the loss of Djibril Cisse and Steven Gerrard.

And Benitez said: "It was decided that Xabi could not play more than 45 minutes, but in the end because of the way that Dietmar Hamann and Igor Biscan performed, we did not need to change things until right at the end of the match.

"Depor are a good team and if you allow them to keep possession they can be very dangerous indeed.

"But we knew that if we hit them on the counter-attack it would make them nervous."

Benitez praised the outstanding Biscan, saying: "It is important for other players in the squad to play well when they do come into the side, and that is what Igor did.

"It helps with the confidence of everyone in the squad who is not always in the team when they see something like that happen."

Deportivo coach Javier Irureta said: "Liverpool played very well and we just could not break them down.

"I know we have now gone six games at home in Europe without scoring, but that does not reflect our overall performances. But this time we did not play well."

That was for Cisse

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Djimi Traore says Liverpool were determined to dedicate victory in La Coruna to heartbroken team mate Djibril Cisse.

Traore was one of many outstanding performers in the Riazor Stadium as a Jorge Andrade own goal secured a famous win in Spain.

The French full-back admits the players have been affected by the horrific nature of Cisse's injury.

He hopes last night's win will lift the striker's spirits as he recovers in a Merseyside hospital.

"Everyone has been thinking about Djibril since Saturday," said Traore.

"We all wanted to come here and do well for him. All the players spoke about dedicating this win to him because we all hope he recovers soon.

"Djibril is my friend and I know how sad he feels. He has lost his first year at Liverpool and that's not easy for him but I know how determined he is to come back. I wanted to call him straight after the final whistle and say 'that was for you.'"

Traore has enjoyed a new lease of life since his recall at left-back. Both he and Igor Biscan would have been considered unlikely heroes a few weeks ago, but both are reaping the rewards of a fresh start under Rafa Benitez.

"The fact players such as myself and Igor Biscan can come into a game like this and do well shows we have a strong squad," said Traore.

"It takes a good performance to come here and win so well without Steven Gerrard and Djibril Cisse.

"I wouldn't say I feel I've become a new player under Benitez, but I do feel I have the confidence of the manager.

"I try to do everything he asks me to do on the pitch and so far things have gone okay."

Liverpool can ensure qualification into the last 16 by defeating Monaco in their next European fixture.

Traore added: "We know we haven't been playing the same way away as we have at home, but we came to Spain with a lot of determination and confidence and that showed."

Benitez delighted with Liverpool step forward

By Miguel Vidal - World Soccer

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said his team turned in a near-perfect performance, re-igniting their bid for a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a valuable 1-0 win at Deportivo Coruna.

"This was one of the best Liverpool performances I've seen since I took over," the former Valencia coach said after an own goal by Deportivo defender Jorge Andrade handed them victory.

"We were very solid at the back and looked good on the break. This was an important step forward for us because we needed these three points."

Qualification from Group A now looks to be a three-horse race with Olympiakos leading the way on seven points from four games after their 1-0 win at home to Monaco.

Liverpool are also on seven in second place, while last season's finalists Monaco are a point adrift in third.

Benitez, who led Valencia to triumph in both the Spanish championship and the UEFA Cup last season, said his tactics against his Primera Liga opponents had paid off exactly as he had hoped.

"We knew Depor were a great side who are not having much luck at the moment and we wanted to make them nervous with our quick counter-attacks and that's what happened."

Liverpool were given an early break when Andrade turned a John Arne Riise cross into his own net under pressure from Milan Baros in the 14th minute.

"They played a very serious game," said Depor coach Javier Irureta. "They were physically stronger and better than us both at the back and in midfield.

"We played quite well but lacked spark in the last third of the pitch. The own goal affected us psychologically and players who usually have good control of the ball lost it far too often as we just kept making too many mistakes."

Depor, who reached the semi-finals last season and have qualified from the first group phase in each of their previous four appearances in the competition, remain anchored to the bottom of the table on two points.

Irureta said he had not given up hope, however.

"Of course it's going to be very difficult to qualify now, but while there's a slim chance we have to hang on to it," he said.

Reds battle past Depor

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Liverpool produced a gritty display in Spain to beat Deportivo La Coruna 1-0.

Rafa Benitez's men fought hard for the entire match, and Jorge Andrade's early own goal settled the match in their favour.

Liverpool could have gone into the break 3-0 up after a confident first 45 minutes, but they were on the back foot for most of the second period and had to dig in to grind out the result, although Depor did not create enough chances to warrant an equaliser.

Liverpool could have been ahead inside a minute when Luis Garcia slipped in Milan Baros, who was clean through on goal.

However, the Cezch Republic ace tried to round Jose Molina but the ball bobbled off his shin and enabled the keeper to pounce on the ball.

Sergio flashed a just wide from 25 yards after five minutes to signal Depor's intent to grab a goal in a game they thought they would have to win.

Liverpool had started brightly though and took a 14th minute lead when Jorge Andrade was forced to stab the ball into his own net from close range under pressure from Baros.

Igor Biscan was a late starter in place of Xabi Alonso, but he was instrumental in the goal as he skilfully powered through the middle of the park before finding John Arne Riise on the left and his low cross was put in by Andrade.

The hosts were probing with long balls forward but The Reds always threatened on the break, and Riise nearly doubled the advantage four minutes before the break as his shot was initially saved by Molina, with the rebound hacked off the line by Andrade.

Javier Irureta's men came out with renewed purpose in the second half and almost drew level when substitute Pablo Amo rose at the far post but could not connect with his attempted header.

Biscan was in there desperate to reach the ball but only succeeded to elbow Chris Kirkland in the face - but the Liverpool keeper was able to continue after lengthy treatment.

Depor dominated possession and Liverpool were forced to battle hard to quell the threat, with Djimi Traore in particular coming up with some superb challenges.

Luis Garcia could have settled the tie with five minutes left to play when put through by Baros, but he was inches away from getting the ball under control.

Liverpool had a couple of other chances on the break but could not put the game to bed, ensuring a nervy last few minutes, but they held out comfortably in the end to grab a vital win.

The Reds' hard-fought victory puts them back on track for progression into the next phase, while Depor are on the verge of elimination from the tournament.

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Thor Zakariassen