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"
"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."
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
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
"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
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
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
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
"I know we have to do better if we are to make them
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
"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
"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
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
And Benitez said: "Michael only had one chance in the
match and he put it away. Owen is Owen, one chance and a
The only worry for the new Anfield chief was that Steven
Gerrard limped out of the game before the break with an
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
Benitez told the club's official website,
www.liverpoolfc.tv: "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
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
New signing Josemi came on for his debut at the break
and slotted in with ease at right back in place of Steve
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.