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