After The Match 


Roma-Liverpool 1-2 (1-1)        Wed Aug 4.                  Pre-season friendly
Goals: Cisse (30), Owen (83)            Del Vechhio (20)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Gerrard, Biscan, Kewell, Cisse, Baros
Subs: Hamann (Gerrard 37), Owen (Baros 46), Pongolle (Cisse 46), Warnock (Kewell (46), Murphy (Finnan 46),
Josemi (Henchoz 46), Diao (Carragher 46),
Whitbread (Hyypia 60)
Not used: Kirkland
Yellow: Riise (62)                      Montella (66), Mexes (88)
Red: None
Referee: Michael Kennedy

                                                          FIXTURES & RESULTS    
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Fouls conceded:





"We are playing
more offensively..."

                     Milan Baros

0408: Baros happy with Roma win
0408: Reds earn their stars and stripes
0408: Biscan: I'll fight for Anfield place
0408: Benitez salutes lethal Owen
0408: Owen and Cisse show class

Baros happy with Roma win

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Milan Baros was very happy with the Reds' 2-1 win over Roma believing it can take them into their Champions League qualifier on a wave of confidence.

Baros, who played the first half alongside Djibril Cisse for the first time, says Liverpool's second win of their North American tour has set them up nicely for Tuesday's game against AZ Graz.

"It was a good win and one that will do our confidence good going into next weeks Champions League qualifier" says Baros.

"Hopefully we can continue to show this type of form. It was a satisfying performance and result.

"With the hot and humid conditions it was a very difficult game but I think we played well and we won, which obviously is the most important thing.

"We are playing more offensively and that style seems to suit us. We'll have to see what happens when the real business of the Premiership and Champions League starts but I'm enjoying it.

"Now we must concentrate on the game in Austria next week, it's vital we get a good result in that but after this we are confident."

Reds earn their stars and stripes


Liverpool will be invited back to the United States to take part in a future ChampionsWorld Series.

However, they will probably not participate again until they have embarked on another tour of the Far East next summer.

Event organiser Chris Unger has praised the club for bringing all their star names and making their first trip to the States in 40 years a success.

Manchester United were criticised for sending a weakened squad to the event but Liverpool were hailed for the quality and strength of their squad.

Unger said: "When you look at the guys Liverpool have on their team, there are so many stars and they've performed so well.

"They played to win every match. Not only do we, the event organisers, appreciate this, the fans do as well. They want to see the best players and Liverpool have provided this.

"It probably makes more business sense from the club's point of view to go back to Asia next summer and explore other markets but we don't want it to be 40 years before Liverpool come back here. Hopefully they'll consider coming back the year after next. We'd welcome them with open arms."

Biscan: I'll fight for Anfield place


Igor Biscan has vowed to stay at Liverpool and fight for his place under Rafael Benitez after emerging as a key man on the Reds' US tour.

The under-achieving Biscan was a disappointment under previous boss Gerard Houllier who seemed to prefer playing him in defence. However now he is playing in his preferred central midfield role he is back to his best.

Biscan admits the change has done wonders for his game and confidence.

He said: "It is still early days but I feel ok, whether that is down to the new manager or not I don't know. I am playing better though and I hope it can continue.

"Playing in the centre of midfield might be one of the reasons. I do prefer to play there but most of the games I played last season were at the back.

"I would like to continue playing in the centre of midfield but the competition for places is strong and I'll have to play very well to compete for a place there."

Biscan, talking to the club website, admitted his confidence was damaged last season, adding: "That was the case, maybe a little bit but that's no excuse.

"It was important to be playing, that was the main thing. The bad thing was we didn't perform as a team. I did everything I could to help the team play better but it wasn't to be."

Biscan was the subject of constant abuse from fans last term, but he said: "That was not a problem. They were expecting us to challenge for the title and in the end we were only just about good enough to qualify for the Champions League.

"I know we have to do better if we are to make them happy."

He does not feel his problems were down to Houllier's decision to play him in defence however.

"I would not say I was made a scapegoat, even though it maybe looked that way. That was the previous manager's decision [not to play him in midfield] and I had to respect that.

"He gave me my chance at Liverpool and I have a lot to thank him for. It is part of football. I enjoyed playing when I was in the team but sometimes you do lose your place, these things happen.

"Results-wise it was disappointing. Everything I have experienced since I've been here should help me become a better player in the future. It's good for me to have gone through all this and I am now much more experienced.

"I had a good relationship with Gerard Houllier. Now I just have to be as professional as I can and get on with my work under the new manager.

"There is always going to be speculation and in football you never know what is going to happen, especially before a new season. But I have no intention of leaving. I want to fight for my place at Liverpool under the new manager."

Benitez salutes lethal Owen


Rafael Benitez hailed Michael Owen and underlined his obvious respect for the England star after his late strike gave Liverpool victory over Roma in New Jersey.

The recently-installed Spanish coach saw his side win 2-1, with summer signing Djibril Cisse having also hit the target.

And Benitez said: "Michael only had one chance in the match and he put it away. Owen is Owen, one chance and a goal."

The only worry for the new Anfield chief was that Steven Gerrard limped out of the game before the break with an ankle injury.

Gerrard was still limping when he returned to the bench after treatment, and his condition will be carefully monitored when Liverpool return to Merseyside.

With their next match the Champions League qualifier against AK Graz in Austria on Tuesday, Benitez will not want to be without his skipper.

But he was upbeat as he described his general feelings about the three-match tour that has now produced two victories.

Benitez told the club's official website, "For me, the most positive things from the tour was that we have trained well and played well in the matches.

"Our passing and movement has been good and I'm happy with the players. I thought in the first half we did a lot of good things and in the second it was more difficult, but Roma are a very good side.

"The most important thing in pre-season is to play the matches and try different things but it is always good to win."

Owen and Cisse show class

BBC Sport Online

Liverpool's new striking partnership of Michael Owen and Djibril Cisse gave them a 2-1 friendly win over Roma in New Jersey's Giants Stadium.

Roma went ahead on 21 minutes when Marco Delvecchio turned home Christian Panucci's cross.

Nine minutes later John Arne Riise set up to Cisse, who made no mistake sliding the ball into the net.

Philippe Mexes and Panucci hit the woodwork for Roma, but Owen's predatory class sealed the win for Liverpool.

More worryingly, skipper Steven Gerrard was forced off after taking an earlier knock.

Cisse and Baros initially started in attack for Liverpool while Igor Biscan - the surprise success of the tour - was given another chance to impress in his preferred midfield role.

Once again Biscan produced a fine display and he has staked a claim for a starting role against AK Graz next Tuesday in the Champions League third qualifying round first leg in Austria.

Both sides showed a willingness to attack but it was Roma who scored first through Delvecchio after good work by Vincent Candela and Panucci.

Liverpool deserved their equaliser, which provided Cisse with his third goal of the US trip.

Liverpool certainly finished the half strongest and right on the half-time whistle Harry Kewell stung the fingers of Roma keeper Carlo Zotti with a blistering left-footed strike that was superbly turned around the post.

New signing Josemi came on for his debut at the break and slotted in with ease at right back in place of Steve Finnan.

Josemi, who is tipped to win his first international call up in the next few weeks, showed some good touches coming forward and defended solidly.

Roma almost stole the lead against the run of play soon after when Mexes shot against the outside of the upright from a tight angle.

With five minutes remaining substitute Dietmar Hamann made a determined run and the ball fell to second-half substitute Owen who tucked the ball past Zotti.

Roma immediately struck back and hit the post through Panucci but Liverpool held on for a deserved victory.

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Thor Zakariassen