After The Match 


Charlton-Liverpool 2-0 (2-0)               08.02.06                  PL
Goals: Bent pen (42), Young (45)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Alonso, Sissoko, Kewell, Cisse, Crouch, Morientes
Subs: Fowler (Crouch 60), Riise (Hyypia 69), Kromkamp (Cisse 78)
Not used: Carson, Hamann
Yellow: Dudek (42), Carragher (43)     Thomas (43), Perry (47)
Red: None
Referee: Andrew Mariner
Attendance: 27,111 
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Fouls conceded:


HEADLINES  "We should hang our heads
in shame."

Harry Kewell

0902: Kewell We're all red-faced
0902: Curbs praise for defeated Reds
0902: Rafa puzzled by Reds slump
0802: Addicks stun lacklustre Liverpool


Kewell 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," said Kewell.

"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 happens.

"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 right.

"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 Premiership.

"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."

Rafa 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 stoppage time.

"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 crazy.

"We created chances and controlled - we need to score. It is simple."

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 clear.

"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 situations.

"I am disappointed because we were talking about these things, in the last game, and we have today made two mistakes."

Addicks stun lacklustre Liverpool

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 disappointingly wide.

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 goal.

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 the stop.

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.

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Thor Zakariassen