We're all red-faced
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Harry Kewell today delivered a brutally honest assessment
of Liverpool's latest Premiership defeat by admitting: "We
should hang our heads in shame."
The Aussie midfielder refused to use the controversial
penalty decision in the 2-0 defeat at The Valley as an
excuse for the Reds' failure to collect three vital points.
Liverpool have now wasted a crucial game in hand in the
battle for Champions League places, and Kewell recognises
the concerns surrounding the recent lack of goals.
He says the attacking players in the side must accept
responsibility and start delivering the goods.
"The first 40 minutes of the game is nothing if you don't
score a goal. We seem to have been doing that a lot lately,"
"The manager has been telling us enough times to start
finishing. As an attacker I take it upon my shoulders and
accept part of the responsibility for scoring goals.
"The only people who can do it are those the manager selects
to play in the attack. We've all got to take a look at
ourselves and get our act together."
As in recent games against Manchester United, Birmingham and
Chelsea, Liverpool began much the better side last night.
But Kewell says the players have got to look at their own
contribution rather than curse the bad luck or unjust
decisions which have gone against the Reds.
He said: "Yes, the referee made a decision which no-one can
believe. He's gifted them the game as it turned out, but
you've got to get on with it when something like that
"We know what we can do and what we should have done, so we
can only hang our heads in shame for what happened.
"You've got to keep your head. The manager has told us we've
only ourselves to blame and now we've got to get our heads
"We're still playing well in games, but we're not getting
decisions and there are other times when we're sleeping and
the other team scores with one attack. It's a team game, so
we've all got to look at what more we can do to change that.
"When you get in this kind of run, the next game becomes
twice as hard."
Liverpool face Wigan on Saturday. Steven Gerrard is rated
'touch and go' to make the short trip.
Curbs praise for defeated Reds
By Mark Platt - LFC Official Website
Alan Curbishley basked in the glory of Charlton's victory
over Liverpool at The Valley but had words of praise for the
Reds' impressive first half showing.
Addicks boss Curbishley was delighted to take all three
points from the game as goals just before the break from
Darren Bent (penalty) and Luke Young secured a 2-0 success.
But he admitted his side were a touch fortunate to have been
leading at half-time and insisted Liverpool are still a
class side despite this defeat.
He said: "Liverpool showed why they're Champions of Europe
in the first half. They were fantastic and they didn't just
pass the ball well - when we won it back they forced us into
errors but we ended up coming off at half time 2-0 up.
That's football sometimes, but we'll take it.
"Here at The Valley in recent weeks we've had a defensive
mentality. Tonight they defended magnificently. I think we
denied Liverpool any real opportunities.
"The penalty was probably a bit fortunate but we've hardly
had a penalty in the five years we've been back in The
"The goal galvanised us - galvanised the crowd - and gave us
all a bit of a lift because we had been under the kosh and
it was a great goal from Luke.
"Second half I felt quite comfortable, to be fair. I knew
we'd have a chance on the break. It fizzled out a bit for
them and we kept going."
puzzled by Reds slump
Rafael Benitez was left perplexed after watching
Liverpool dominate large spells of the clash against
Charlton, only to lose 2-0 at The Valley.
The Reds were looking to bounce straight back from their
defeat at Chelsea and were in need of victory to keep the
pressure on Manchester United in the race for second place.
Even without the drive of captain Steven Gerrard, missing
through injury, Liverpool created the better chances during
the opening exchanges, and the Addicks rarely threatened.
However the match turned in the final five minutes of the
first half, with Darren Bent netting a controversial penalty
and then skipper Luke Young doubling his side's lead in
"I cannot explain after 40 minutes of one-way traffic that
we can lose a game like that in five minutes - it is
unbelievable," said Benitez, whose side have now lost three
straight away games in the Premiership.
"We need to learn from our mistakes. In five minutes, you
lose all of the work you have done in 40 minutes, it is
"We created chances and controlled - we need to score. It is
On the spot-kick decision after 41 minutes, when Bent went
down under the challenge of stand-in keeper Jerzy Dudek, the
Liverpool manager declared: "It was not a penalty, that was
"You can see the video, and will have your own opinion."
Benitez added: "We cannot change the mistakes of other
people, we need to learn from ours.
"If you want to win trophies, you need to control these
"I am disappointed because we were talking about these
things, in the last game, and we have today made two
By Stephen Bateman - Sky Sports
Charlton Athletic registered a deserved 2-0 win over
Liverpool at The Valley on Wednesday evening.
Although the visitors dominated large chunks of the game
territorially, they struggled to create many clear-cut
openings, while Charlton battled hard to stay with The Reds
before going on to assert themselves as the superior side.
Darren Bent won a 42nd minute penalty which he converted
himself, before defender Luke Young fired home an
unstoppable thunderbolt deep into first half stoppage time.
The opening skirmishes were lively enough and although Alan
Curbishley's men were always in the thick of it, Liverpool
dominated in terms of possession whilst also creating a
couple of decent early chances.
Djibril Cisse dragged his shot wide after the lively
Fernando Morientes had dispossessed Bryan Hughes just
outside the area, and a minute later the Spaniard got on the
end of a Steve Finnan cross, but he only managed to
side-foot his volley straight down the throat of Norwegian
keeper Thomas Myhre.
Peter Crouch posed a constant aerial threat as he looked to
isolate himself against Chris Perry in a bid to capitalise
on his considerable height advantage, while at the other end
Darren Bent repeatedly threatened to spring Liverpool's
offside trap with some cleverly timed runs.
On 16 minutes Crouch should have opened the scoring after he
was picked out inside the area with a rangy cross-field pass
from Xabi Alonso. But the towering striker brought the ball
under control with his chest before pushing his shot
The visitors had a decent claim for a penalty turned down on
the half-hour mark when Jonathan Spector, who was not having
the most comfortable of nights, looked to have pushed Crouch
inside the area as the pair contested a header.
After 41 minutes of Liverpool domination, the travelling
fans must have spent the half-time break wondering how on
earth their team had gone into the dressing-room on the
wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline.
The opener came when Darren Bent finally did manage to
breach the visitors' high back line. Radostin Kishishev
clipped a ball behind the defence, allowing the former
Ipswich man to race into the penalty area. But as he
attempted to bring the ball under control Jerzy Dudek slid
into him, sending the Charlton man to the ground under the
slightest of contacts.
The Liverpool keeper, making his first start since last
season's UEFA Champions League triumph, was unable to repeat
his Istanbul heroics however, as Bent converted the
spot-kick he had just won by sending a right-footed shot
just inside his right-hand upright.
Three minutes into first half injury time and The Addicks
were two up. Alexei Smertin's cross-shot bounced off the
back of Darren Bent's legs before falling into the path of
the on-rushing Young, who took the ball in his stride before
smashing an unstoppable shot into the centre of Dudek's
Liverpool again looked the more assured side when the teams
re-emerged, but it was Charlton who almost extended their
lead when Marcus Bent angled a cross just inches in front of
Darren Bent's head with a gaping goalmouth at his mercy.
On the hour mark Darren Bent fashioned another great
opportunity, this time hitting a right-footed volley just
wide of a beaten Dudek. Minutes later he was denied by the
woodwork, hitting a side-footed shot against the post after
he was found in the area by a Marcus Bent cross.
On 71 minutes Myhre pulled off a first class save to deny
Morientes. Alonso found Cisse on the edge of the area, who
then laid the ball off with the outside of his right foot to
the former Real Madrid man. But his powerhouse drive was
beaten away by Myhre, who got down in superb style to make
Liverpool threw men forward in a bid to get back into the
game but, despite manager Rafa Benitez plumping for a
heavily attack-minded side, they still struggled to carve
open a well organised Charlton defence.
Harry Kewell came close to grabbing a late consolation,
firing a shot wide after working a close corner with Steve
Finnan, but ultimately the three points were nothing less
than the home side deserved.