After The Match 


Tottenham-Liverpool 4-2 (3-0)      12.11.08                        CC
Goals: Plessis (49), Hyypia (63)
Pavlyuchenko (38, 53), Campbell (42, 45)
Team: Cavalieri, Degen, Agger, Hyypia, Dossena, El Zhar, Lucas, Plessis, Babel, Ngog, Torres
Subs: Insua (Torres, 56), Alonso (Plessis, 66), Darby (Degen, 84)
Not used: Gulacsi, Riera, Benayoun, Carragher
Yellow: Plessis (9), Torres (38), Babel (39), Lucas (66)
Pavlyuchenko (42)
Red: None
Referee: Mike Riley
Attendance:  33.242
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Blocked shots:
Fouls conceded:

too many mistakes in defence..."
Rafael Benitez
1211: Rafa: Mistakes cost us
1211: Reds routed as Spurs cruise through


Rafa: Mistakes cost us

Steve Hunter at White Hart Lane - LFC Official Website

Rafael Benitez has blamed defensive errors for his side's Carling Cup exit at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.

Three goals in eight first-half minutes contributed to the 4-2 defeat when two goals from Fraizer Campbell and an effort from Roman Pavlyuchenko saw Spurs lead 3-0 at the interval.

Damien Plessis gave the travelling Kop hope with a header three minutes into the second half but another goal from Pavlyuchenko effectively sealed the win for Harry Redknapp's side.

Sami Hyypia's header was a mere consolation.

"We didn't play well, that is clear," said Benitez.

"We made too many mistakes in defence and gave the ball away too easily. To concede three goals in the way we did at the end of the first half we must be disappointed.

"We were really poor at the end of the first half. If you make a mistake and concede just one, then okay you can change it and make things better in the second half, but to concede three goals made it very difficult for us.

"The commitment of the players was much better in the second half. We scored two goals and had other opportunities but it was difficult because they were playing well on the counter attack. The second half was better than the first."

Liverpool had a late shout for a penalty turned down when Philipp Degen was sent crashing to the ground, but Benitez didn't make a big issue out of the situation and said: "It could have been a penalty but it wouldn't have made a big difference.

"For me the key is to play well, take your chances and not make mistakes in defence."

The manager also defended his decision to make 10 changes to his line-up and blamed the defending rather than team selection for the defeat.

"We had to use different players in this competition because you can't play the same ones in every game," said Benitez.

"When you are playing two games a week you need to rest players and use your squad. We didn't play well today and that was the reason why we lost.

"I am disappointed because I want to win every game. We came here with a lot of players with quality for winning. We also have to think about the Champions League and the Premier League which are our priorities, then the FA Cup."

One positive to take from the night was the return of Fernando Torres to the starting line-up and the manager is happy to have his number nine back in action.

"Fernando played for 55 minutes which was good for us," he said. "He will train with us and will hopefully be ready for Saturday.

"We now turn our focus to Bolton and we will try to win the game to stay at the top of the league."

Reds routed as
Spurs cruise through


Harry Redknapp's magic touch continued with a 4-2 home victory over Liverpool to secure Tottenham's place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals.

As if to illustrate the manager's impact since taking charge 18 days ago, it was two players on the fringes during Redknapp's revolution who turned the tie with three goals in six minutes just before the break against Rafael Benitez's reserves.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, who netted the late winner when Liverpool were beaten by Spurs in the Premier League, opened the scoring with a crisp finish before Fraizer Campbell added his first two for the club since his loan from Manchester United.

Damien Plessis and Sami Hyypia pulled goals back between Pavlyuchenko's second, stirring memories of their second-half Istanbul comeback in the 2005 Champions League final - but Spurs held on to stay in the competition they won in February under Juande Ramos.

It is now five wins and a draw since the new manager was appointed.

Redknapp clearly wants to keep his whole squad happy and motivated - that was shown by the entire team shaking hands with suspended full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto when they returned from the warm-up.

Fabio Capello was in the stands to cast an eye on Darren Bent - the player most transformed since Redknapp's arrival - but Pavlyuchenko and Campbell were given their opportunities instead.

Capello could still look at Tom Huddlestone, whose range of passing was the bright spots in a dull opening to the match.

There was only a tame penalty shout of note before the match exploded into life seven minutes before the break after Gareth Bale slipped the ball down the left flank for Campbell.

The low cross was met first time by Pavlyuchenko and the powerful finish went through Diego Cavalieri's legs.

Jamie O'Hara should have added a second a minute later, with Campbell again providing but Cavalieri saved, then Ryan Babel and Pavlyuchenko were booked as the intensity rose.

Campbell grabbed his first in the 42nd minute after O'Hara chipped through, Cavalieri and Andrea Dossena got in the way of each other, leaving an open goal for the striker.

His next goal was a header from Aaron Lennon's cross, a neat finish to give Spurs a three-goal lead.

Liverpool have history when it comes to coming back from 3-0 down, and they were given hope when Plessis headed home Babel's corner from the left three minutes after the restart.

Pavlyuchenko replied immediately, restoring the three-goal cushion when he tapped in Didier Zokora's cross.

Fernando Torres was struggling on his return from his hamstring tear. He barely had sight of goal on his comeback and his evening was brought to an end 11 minutes into the second half when he was taken off for Emiliano Insua.

Apart from Torres and Daniel Agger, though, it was a second-string side that Benitez put out and there was no Steven Gerrard to inspire another famous comeback.

But their hopes did not fade entirely with Torres' departure, as Hyypia headed in from another corner, with Benitez then sending on Xabi Alonso.

As Spurs protected their lead, there were worrying scenes for Redknapp as goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes required lengthy treatment after Philipp Degen caught him.

Gomes was carried off on a stretcher in a neck brace, with oxygen required for the Brazilian, who was replaced by Cesar Sanchez.

Pavlyuchenko had a first hat-trick in English football in his sights but fired straight at Cavalieri when he raced through.

Liverpool fans thought they should have had a penalty when Bale tackled Degen.

Kevin-Prince Boateng, another player frozen out by Ramos, was also brought on for an appearance.

backbutton.gif (1697 bytes)

Thor Zakariassen