rues Reds slip
By Vasek Kadlec - Planet Football/Sky Sports
Milan Baros believes Liverpool have only themselves
to blame for allowing Juventus to score in the first leg
of their UEFA Champions League encounter.
The tie remains in the balance after Fabio Cannavaro
grabbed a crucial away goal for Juventus in the 2-1
defeat at Anfield.
Liverpool raced into a 2-0 lead in the opening 25
minutes thanks to goals from Sami Hyypia and Luis
Garcia, but Baros believes they made a mistake by not
going for more goals in the second half.
"What a pity they scored that needless goal," Baros told
Czech daily Idnes.
"To win 2-0 would have been much better than to win 2-1.
Anyway, it's not so bad result.
"Our chances for advancing to the next round are
fifty-fifty, but it's true that Juventus have won this
season almost all their home matches with a clean sheet.
"In the first half, it was still okay. We matched one
another well, but with every minute it was worse and
"Then we played long balls all the remaining time.
"Juventus started slowly, maybe they underestimated us a
bit. They didn't play at 100% and we exploited it.
"They improved in the second half, but it was our fault.
"We thought we had only to defend the result. We should
have played more offensively and scored the third goal."
Baros admitted he was disappointed to be substituted
midway through the second half of the game, but
understood Rafa Benitez's decision as he had been
struggling with a foot injury prior to the game.
"I was sorry that the coach too me off during the
match," added Baros.
"On the other hand I must say, I had only one training
session last week."
Liverpool star John Arne Riise was delighted with the
victory over Juventus and believes they can finish the
job off in Turin next week. "This was the first step on
the road to the semi-final." Riise told VG.
"It will be very tough on the road, but we know we can
"I feel we played very well in the first half, I almost
forgot how good Juventus are.
"The conceded goal doesn't spoil anything. We have
beaten one of the best teams in the world and know that
we can go through to the semi-final.
"It was a fantastic experience."
Juve confident of recovery
Alessandro Del Piero felt his first-half header
against Liverpool should have counted, but despite the
dubious offside ruling the Juventus camp came away from
Anfield satisfied with the result on Tuesday night.
The Bianconeri were rocked by a 25-minute first-half
spell which saw the Reds surge into a 2-0 lead, and Del
Piero was left smarting after his header sailed over
goalkeeper Scott Carson into the net only to be wrongly
chalked off for offside.
However Fabio Cannavaro's second-half header means that
the tie is finely poised, as Liverpool go into the
second leg with a 2-1 advantage.
"To enter Anfield was emotional, this is a fantastic
place for those who love football," Juve captain Del
Piero told La Stampa.
"It's a pity because my goal should have counted, and
considering what happened on the pitch the result can be
considered a good one."
Head coach Fabio Capello echoed these views and insisted
he is going into the return leg full of confidence
following Cannavaro's crucial away goal.
"We have been unfortunate because Liverpool have scored
two goals having taken just three shots on goal while we
have hit the post with (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, Del Piero
had a good chance and Del Piero's goal was good but was
ruled out," he said.
"I'm quite confident about the return leg. I was not
surprised by Liverpool, I knew how they played.
"Which is the better team? It is hard to say, both teams
are equally strong. Maybe had it finished 2-0 it would
have been very difficult for us and for that reason
Fabio Cannavaro's goal was very important."
Meanwhile Juve legend Michel Platini, who took part in a
presentation before the match to mark the Heysel
tragedy, believes his former club are firm favourites
going into the return leg in Turin next Wednesday.
He said: "Juve were so-so at the start but then they
grew during the game and I believe that in the return
leg they will make it because they are much stronger.
"It's not a fair or just result considering the goal
that was ruled out and the numerous opportunities that
the Bianconeri had."
media praise Anfield fans
Italy's media has praised Liverpool supporters for
their tributes to the victims of the Heysel tragedy
while criticising the behaviour of a section of Juventus
fans at the Champions League quarter-final at Anfield.
Liverpool and Juventus met for the first time since the
Heysel Stadium tragedy 20 years ago in which 39 fans,
mainly Italian, were killed when a wall collapsed
following crowd trouble at the European Cup final in
A pre-game ceremony on Tuesday featured Liverpool fans
taking a banner to the Juve supporters with the message
"in memory and friendship".
Fans from both clubs staged a football match in the city
before kickoff while there was a stirring rendition of
Liverpool's anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone".
However, a section of Juventus fans turned their backs
on the ceremony and whistles and boos were heard. There
were also unpleasant incidents at the airport.
The Turin-based daily La Stampa headlined its report on
the Heysel tributes: "At the festival of friendship,
The efforts of the home club were praised but it was
reported that Juve supporters had insulted the mayor of
Liverpool when he greeted them at the city's airport.
"It was to be the festival of friendship, a giant eraser
to rub out the sins of the English at Heysel. The
tribute of Liverpool to the Juventus fans became a
diplomatic incident, an enormous embarrassment and in
practice, a disgrace," said the paper, adding that
several Juve supporters had been arrested at the
The paper also criticised the response of Juventus fans
in the stadium to the Kop's raising of a card-based
mural carrying the slogan 'Amicizia' (friendship).
"To the applause of the opposing fans they turned their
backs and raised their middle finger. The enormous
difference was there to see," reported the paper.
Gazzetta dello Sport gave lengthy coverage to the
Liverpool Echo's front page apology for Heysel on
Tuesday and reported the efforts of Liverpool fans to
"embrace" the visiting Italians.
"It was an embrace that died against a wall of
indifference, which was unfortunately coloured black and
white," said Gazzetta.
The paper also reported the carrying of a memorial on to
the field by former Liverpool and Juventus striker Ian
Rush and ex-Juve favourite Michel Platini.
"A numerous part of the 2,000 supporters from Italy, in
the sector behind the goal, did not join in the spirit
or the behaviour," added the paper.
Corriere dello Sport welcomed the initiative taken by
Liverpool: "Anfield Road offers a message to the
Juventini - Friendship".
It added the night was "one of thousands of sentiments
and thousands of emotions, contrasting but certainly
intense", saying the city had "done the impossible to
say that Heysel was a mad bestiality".
Under the headline "Italians snub attempt to heal the
wounds", the UK's Daily Mail newspaper reported there
was ill-feeling when Juve fans began chanting during the
minute's silence that followed the rendition of "You'll
Never Walk Alone".
In a Daily Mirror column headlined "Hope for the future
rises from horrors of the past", former Liverpool player
Mark Lawrenson said: "Although the pain of what happened
will never go away, the strength of the bond between the
two clubs enabled the game to be a coming together,
rather than a re-opening of old wounds".
Rafa: We can
reach the semi-final
By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website
Rafael Benitez said he was delighted with the
performance of his side in the first half against
Juventus and believes Liverpool have a great chance of
reaching the Champions League semi-final.
While admitting it was disappointing to concede an away
goal Benitez said the first half performance was the
level at which he wants to see his team play
Benitez said: "I was delighted with our first half
performance. We scored two goals, created good chances
and we did a lot of the things we have talked about.
"It's difficult to do the same and keep up that tempo
all game and while I am disappointed with the goal we
conceded we have confidence for the second leg.
"We now have two options for the second leg. We can win
or draw and that gives us two possibilities to reach the
semi-finals. I think we will score in Italy and we will
go into the game with confidence."
The Liverpool manager refused to single out blame to
goalkeeper Scott Carson for the goal which Juventus
scored and said Jerzy Dudek was honest enough to admit
he wasn't fit to start the game.
Benitez said: "I talked to Jerzy and he said he wasn't
confident because he felt pain in his groin. We then
felt it was much better to use a goalkeeper who was 100
per cent fit."
Capello satisfied with loss
By Graeme Bailey - Planet Football/Sky Sports
Juventus coach Fabio Capello was relatively pleased
with his side's display after going down 2-1 to
Capello was critical of his side's opening as they went
2-0 down, but he was pleased with the way they came back
into the match.
"Let's say for about 30 minutes we didn't play," said
"We awarded Liverpool with two goals. For the first 30
minutes only Liverpool played.
"Then we have had few occasions and we finally started
"We didn't concentrate and we didn't press as we had to.
"I can say I liked the team in the second half, because
playing here isn't easy, because of the 2-0 result it's
difficult. The result is quite good, and I think this
match could be useful for us."
The Italian tactician felt that having the weekend off
did few favours to his side.
"As I have said many times, probably not playing for a
few days causes these troubles," he said.
"This was a difficult match on a difficult pitch and
after a few days of not playing we had a bad approach.
"This isn't an excuse, I take my responsibilities, but
in the second half we showed we can play in a good way.
The physical conditions I saw leaves me with confidence
for the future."
took first-leg honours
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool earned a slender advantage in their
Champions League quarter-final with Juventus after
Anfield had paid its repects to the Hesyel victims.
Sami Hyypia's left-foot shot put Liverpool ahead and
Luis Garcia's superb strike doubled the lead.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit the post, while what looked a
good goal by Alessandro Del Piero was ruled out for
But Juve got a valuable away goal for the second leg
after Scott Carson fumbled Fabio Cannavaro's header.
It was a poor mistake from the 19-year-old keeper
Carson, who was playing only his third game for
Previously he had superbly denied Del Piero with a smart
close-range save, but his later lapse in concentration
may cost Liverpool dear.
That was Liverpool's only real error in a match they
dominated for long spells, particularly in the first
Early on, Milan Baros ran Juventus ragged, ably
supported by Anthony Le Tallec, and he was inches away
from converting Luis Garcia's cross.
The Italians were clearly rattled, with Pavel Nedved
looking as rusty as you would expect from a player
returning after six weeks out.
Hyypia, however, looked anything but a player making his
first appearance for four weeks.
And he certainly did not resemble a defender when he
precisely volleyed into the bottom corner to give
Liverpool a deserved lead.
Tenacios in the tackle - typified by the outstanding
Steven Gerrard - creative and full of pace, Liverpool
drove on at Juventus.
It led to confusion replacing Juve's competence in their
usually impenetrable defence.
And Garcia took full advantage after Liverpool worked
the ball sweetly down the right and smashed the ball
into the top corner.
At that stage it looked as though Liverpool might romp
to victory, but Juve showed why they are considered
favourites for the competition.
Ibrahimovic, anonymous until now, swivelled on the edge
of the area and unleashed a snap shot that cannoned back
off the upright.
The warning signs were there and Liverpool were lucky
when the offside flag greeted Del Piero's headed 'goal'
After the break, Juventus brought on Gianluca Pessotto
for Manuele Blasi, hoping to gain on a grip on the
It added some steel to their formation and it did not
take long for Liverpool's considerable effort in the
opening 45 minutes to tell on their energy reserves.
Perhaps sensing that, Juventus replaced Del Piero with
French striker David Trezeguet.
But the best Juve could manage with their greater share
of possession were long range shots.
Until, on 63 minutes, Gianluca Zambrotta delivered the
cross that could prove crucial to the outcome of the