After The Match 


Liverpool-Charlton 0-0                  04.03.06                        PL
Team: Reina, Kromkamp, Traore, Hyypia, Carragher, Hamann, Gerrard, Kewell, Cisse, Fowler, Crouch
Subs: Riise (Hyypia 46), Alonso (Hamann 73),
Morientes (Crouch 81)
Not used: Dudek, Finnan
Yellow: Cisse (66)                  Young (58)
Red: None
Referee: M Atkinson
Attendance: 43,892 
Shots on target: 7-0
Shots off target: 11-2
Possession: 62-38
Fouls conceded: 5-14
Corners: 13-4
Offsides: 6-3
Yellow: 1-1


have faith in my strikers..."

    Rafael Benitez

0603: Cash needed to complete Reds jigsaw
0603: Goals will come says Gerrard
0403: Myhre: I was lucky
0403: Rafa: I have to be positive
0403: Liverpool held by Charlton

Cash needed to complete Reds jigsaw

By David Prentice - Liverpool Echo

There was entertainment at Anfield on Saturday night.

Plenty of it.

But sadly Djimi Traore was switched to centre-back at half-time, depriving the crowd of comedy gold.

For 45 minutes the hapless fullback treated us to a series of dangerous or ill-thought out passes, clumsy challenges which threatened to harm opposition limbs and the kind of left-back's display which made you yearn for Julian Dicks to come out of retirement.

But that wasn't what 43,000 had come to Anfield for.

They came for goals. Just two of them. And were denied even one.

A prematurely raised linesman's flag was the reason for that.

But it would be wrong to point the finger at the officials for another unacceptably impotent evening in front of goal.

Rafa Benitez selected three of his four front-line forwards to face organised but unambitious Charlton.

They all fired blanks . . . again. The Reds boss made a commendable job of backing his misfiring strikers afterwards. He knows the last thing they need is a manager publicly berating their efforts just days before he will need probably two of them to do something they haven't managed all year - help Liverpool score twice in a match.

But privately he will know that his side simply isn't good enough in the final third of the field.

Which is why the Anfield hierarchy will be right to twitch at the departure of Florentino Perez from Real Madrid this week.

The Spanish club has admired Benitez for years - and they can offer any prospective manager untold riches to build the squad he wants.

But while Sir Alex Ferguson can happily leave a world class £20m striker on his substitutes' bench, Benitez has been forced to hope a club legend can turn back the clock - on a free transfer.

The Anfield board has backed its manager in the transfer market. Xabi Alonso, Fernando Morientes, Luis Garcia, Pepe Reina and Daniel Agger didn't come cheap.

But it isn't enough if Liverpool are genuinely going to challenge the top two sides in the country.

Defensively the Reds are outstanding. In midfield they possess two of the most coveted players in Europe, but up front they have forwards who, put together, have scored less Premier-ship goals than Marlon Harewood, Darren Bent, Ayegbeni Yakubu and Frank Lampard. And they are not even the Premiership's top marksmen. Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy hold that honour.

If you can spread the goals around your squad - a la Chelsea - you can afford not to rely on one single goalscorer.

But at Anfield it increasingly seems to be Steven Gerrard or nothing.

Goals will come says Gerrard

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Steven Gerrard says it is only a matter of time before Liverpool start scoring plenty of goals.

The Reds drew a blank against Charlton on Saturday despite having all of the posession. Peter Crouch is the only striker to have scored this year and Liverpool have not scored two goals in a league game since January 2nd. However, Steven Gerrard says the Reds have been unlucky and the goals will soon start flying in.

"I don't think because we haven't scored against Charlton will have an effect on what happens on Wednesday," he said.

"The ground will be a lot noisier come Wednesday, I'm sure the boys will play at a higher tempo.

"We know what the press are going to say because we have been getting a lot of 1-0 results and on Saturday we couldn't find that breakthrough. We've just got to keep creating the chances and hopefully a few breaks will go our way and the goals will come.

"We've definitely got goalscorers in the squad. I'm sure it is only a matter of time before the goals start going in.

"It was a 1-0 game on Saturday - if Robbie's goal had stood, we have seen it and it was onside. The linesman has given offside for Djibril but he wasn't interfering with play. But sometimes decisions don't go your way. We need to be more clinical in front of goal on Wednesday.

"Robbie was close to getting into the Kop. It would have been nice for Robbie to get the goal and it would have given him a lot of confidence. But he is playing well and working hard. He told me that's his first 90 minutes since last May, and he's looking good considering the amount of football he has been playing."

Myhre: I was lucky

Evening Echo

Charlton goalkeeper Thomas Myhre admitted he had been lucky after his clean sheet at Anfield was preserved thanks to an offside flag.

Robbie Fowler looked to have snatched a late winner for Liverpool when he controlled Steven Gerrard’s miscued shot and drove the ball through Myhre’s legs in the 90th minute.

But the goal was ruled out for a debatable offside against Fowler’s team-mate Djibril Cisse.

“I was quite relieved. Robbie’s very good in those situations and it went through my legs. I think we probably had a little bit of luck,” Myhre said on Sky Prem Plus.

The goalless draw pushed Liverpool up to second place in the Premiership, but it was not a result they welcomed, as their one-point lead over Manchester United looks particularly vulnerable, given the Red Devils have two games in hand.

“We knew it was going to be tough against the champions of Europe on their home ground but we’re happy to come away with something,” said Myhre, named man of the match.

“I’m pleased with my own performance but most delighted the team are picking up points.”

Rafa: I have to be positive

Sporting Life

Liverpool endured the frustration of failing to break down Charlton and then discovered they could be without defender Sami Hyypia for Wednesday's Champions League match against Benfica.

The Finn limped out of this evening's goalless Anfield match at half-time with a hamstring injury which boss Rafael Benitez confirmed will need a scan.

Benitez said: "It is very close now to the Benfica game, but we will wait to see the result of the scan."

Liverpool's collection of strikers once again fail to produce the killer blows from a constant string of chances to claim victory.

And although Liverpool are now second in the Premiership, one point ahead of Manchester United, the Old Trafford men have two games in hand and can reclaim second spot if they avoid defeat at Wigan on Monday.

Benitez insists he retains confidence in his strikers and claimed that Robbie Fowler's injury-time strike should have been allowed.

He said: "You can see the video, he was not offside.

"But I will not want to blame officials, we had so many chances we should have won the game, it's as simple as that.

"But I do have faith in my strikers, if we create as many chances as that against Benfica, we will go through in the tie."

Liverpool trail after the first leg in Portugal but showed good form against Charlton and would have won handsomely given a little luck. Charlton goalkeeper Thomas Myhre was also outstanding.

Reflecting on the missed chances, Benitez added: "We created so many, it seemed impossible to create more.

"But their goalkeeper was the man of the match and we did everything to win the game after controlling the play all the time.

"I have to be positive. We managed another clean sheet. If we are still saying these things in a month's time, then it will be dangerous, but I am sure we will start to score the goals soon."

Liverpool held by Charlton

BBC Sport Online

Liverpool's weakness of lacking a cutting edge was again exposed as they were held to a draw by Charlton.

The Reds dominated but were frustrated through a combination of poor finishing and inspired keeper Thomas Myhre.

Myhre was at his acrobatic best as he saved an attempted clearance from team-mate Hermann Hreidarsson before a sprawling save to deny Djibril Cisse.

Liverpool also saw Peter Crouch head tamely at Myhre before Robbie Fowler was ruled offside after scoring.

The match had unravelled into an all too familiar story for Liverpool as they quickly took a stranglehold of the game but failed to turn their dominance into goals.

There was an unerring similarity to Charlton's 2-0 win over the Reds just under a month ago when applied plenty of pressure but paid the price for wasting their chances.

Charlton were given an early scare when defender Hreidarsson almost steered a Steven Gerrard cross into his own net only for Myhre to fingertip the ball wide.

The visitors were frustrating the Anfield side with their discipline and organisation in defence while their attitude was encapsulated when Harry Kewell had a sight of goal only for his shot to be blocked by two lunging defenders.

The Reds picked up the pace as towards the end of the first half and Myhre was again Charlton's saviour as he twice denied Djibril Cisse.

The Norwegian keeper produced a full-length dive to turn Cisse's far post header round the post and then saved a well-struck shot by the striker.

Charlton continued to hold Liverpool at bay after the break in a manner too comfortable for the anxious home crowd.

A chance did materialise when Cisse found Crouch with a cross only for the striker to head tamely at Myhre.

Charlton almost made Liverpool pay the penalty for their profligacy but Jason Euell shot wide late on.

Fowler looked to have grabbed a late winner only to be seemingly wrongly ruled offside.

The point lifted Liverpool to second in the Premiership but they have played two games more than third-placed Manchester United, who have two games in hand.

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