After The Match 


Vaalerenga-Liverpool 1-4 (0-1)        5.8.08            Pre-season
Goals: Alonso (19), Torres (49), Benayoun (60), Ngog (84)
Zajic (48)
Team: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Keane, Gerrard, Torres, Alonso, Benayoun, Arbeloa, Kuyt, Carragher
Subs: Spearing, Hyypia, Reina, Plessis, Darby, Insua, Pacheco, Nemeth, Ngog, El Zhar
Not used:
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Tom Henning Ovrebo
Attendance: 25.377
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Blocked shots:
Fouls conceded:

HEADLINES "The support for the team here is
really good."
Rafael Benitez

0508: Injured Gerrard in race to face Liege
0508: Reds ease to victory in Oslo


Injured Gerrard
in race to face Liege

By Jimmy Rice in Norway - LFC Official Website

Steven Gerrard faces a race against time to be ready for next week's Champions League qualifier against Standard Liege after limping out of the 4-1 friendly win over Valerenga with a thigh strain.

Boss Rafa Benitez is hopeful his skipper will be fit for the trip to Belgium next midweek, though an early diagnosis of seven days on the sidelines means it is a close call.

"It is a thigh strain. We need to wait but it could be one week," the Spaniard told

Despite the worry over his captain, Benitez revealed his starting XI in next week's third qualifying round is likely to be similar to that which took to the pitch in Norway on Tuesday night.

"It is closer to the team for next week," he said. "We have some players at the Olympic Games, so we used some young players and they showed quality. But maybe we will see the majority of the players we used in the first half."

The 4-1 victory over Valerenga, a side 16 games into their domestic season, was secured thanks to goals from Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, David Ngog and Yossi Benayoun.

The Reds have now plundered eight goals in their past two friendlies though Benitez is confident there is even more to come.

He explained: "Yes, it was another good work-out. It was a good game, with four goals for us and good play.

"But the players aren't 100 per cent yet that would be difficult right now. The other team were fitter than us but you could see we were passing, pressing and the understanding between the players was better. I am really pleased with the result.

"Normally when you have quality, when you are playing well and creating chances, you will score goals."

On Ngog, who now has two goals in three appearances since signing from Paris Saint Germain, the Anfield boss added: "Like I have said before, we are really pleased with our scout department. They are finding players like Ngog, players with quality who are not a high price. There's also Dani Pacheco, Krisztian Nemeth and Nabil El Zhar, who has been injured."

Torres and co now head back to Merseyside ahead of their final pre-season friendly against Lazio on Friday and Benitez claims they will do so carrying fond memories of their Scandinavian jaunt.

"It was amazing and it was a surprise for us to see so many people in a red shirt. The support for the team here is really good," he said.

Reds ease to victory in Oslo

By Gareth Maher - Setanta Sports

Liverpool collected another pre-season triumph after they beat Valerenga 4-1 in Oslo on Tuesday, although an injury to Steven Gerrard took the shine off the win.

Xabi Alonso opened the scoring on 20 minutes, but the hosts did hit back through after the break when Bojan Zagic fired in before Fernando Torres, Yossi Benayoun, and David Ngog sealed the win.

The injury to Gerrard didn't look that serious as he walked off the pitch. However, the Reds medical staff will have to closely monitor the situation with the new season rapidly approaching.

Rafa Benitez named a strong team to start the game and there were impressive performances from Alonso and Robbie Keane in a match that stayed in second gear throughout.

There were plenty of chances in the first period with Torres, Alonso, and Gerrard all trying their luck before the Spanish midfielder broke the deadlock with a curling effort that was set-up by a deft flick from Keane.

Zagic then attempted to rouse the home supporters, who appeared to be out-numbered by Liverpool fans, but his two shots failed to test Diego Cavalieri.

He didn't have to wait long for his goal though as he took full advantage of slack Liverpool defending on 48 minutes to fire in past Pepe Reina, who came on at half-time.

It took The Reds less than a minute to register a response with Torres taking control by charging straight at the Norweigan side's defence and slotting a left-footed effort into the back of the net.

On the hour mark, it was all over when Benayoun used some clever footwork to get away from two opposing players and then pushing the ball wide before lobbing a hapless keeper.

The tempo dropped considerably after that as Benitez brought on numerous youngsters - one of which was recent signing Ngog, who wasted no time in getting his second goal for the club.

The former Paris Saint Germain forward managed to squeeze in behind the Valerenga defence and took his time to fire in a low left-footed shot to finish the game on a high.

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Thor Zakariassen