Houllier rounds on Rovers
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier believes Lucas
Neill deserves more than a three-game ban for the tackle
which ruled Jamie Carragher out for at least six months
because of a broken leg.
Carragher suffered the injury following a challenge by
Neill in Saturday's encounter at Ewood Park which
resulted in the Australian being sent off.
Houllier has rounded on Blackburn, revealing his anger
that manager Graeme Souness waited until Monday to offer
his sympathy to Carragher.
He told the Liverpool Echo: "When the game had finished
I wish Graeme Souness had come up to me and said 'Sorry,
it was a bad tackle'. But he did nothing. That really
made me furious.
"I like to think of myself as a nice guy but in this
case I am extremely unhappy with their behaviour during
the incident, during the game and after the game.
"I think Neill's attitude was out of order. The first
thing he should have done was go to the player, see how
he was but he didn't."
The Liverpool boss believes Neill should serve more than
a standard three-match suspension for a tackle he
branded as "cowardly".
Houllier added: "Blackburn have lost a player for three
games and we have lost one for six months. You know as
well as I do how important Carragher is to my team.
"In France there was a case where a player injured
another with a bad tackle, which forced him out of the
game for two months.
"The French FA banned the player responsible for the
same length of time.
"I think Neill deserves more than three games for the
way he behaved.
"I am gutted. To break a leg when a player is wearing
shinpads takes something."
Carragher is trying to remain upbeat despite suffering
"I hope I am walking again before my 10-month-old
son," he said.
"I am sick as I have had such a good record with
injuries throughout my career and touch wood that will
continue when I get over this.
"I know injuries are part and parcel of the game but
this will be a completely new experience for me.
"I don't know what I am going to do with myself for the
six months, to be honest.
"I had a knee operation a few years ago but that was
over the summer and I hardly missed any matches.
"What worries you most when this happens is losing your
place. That's why I have always been prepared to play
even if I've had a niggle."
Souness, who played for and managed Liverpool, said that
while Neill's challenge warranted a red card it was not
malicious and he offered his best wishes to Carragher
and Milan Baros, who broke his ankle in the game.
"There was one bad tackle from 28 players in the whole
of the 90 minutes, even if two players ended up with bad
injuries," he said.
"It wasn't a dirty game, it was a competitive game,
before anyone starts to create a big thing out of it.
"There is no issue between me and Liverpool. I have seen
the tackle again on TV and it looked like a sending off
to me but it wasn't malicious.
"I, along with everyone at the club, is very saddened
to hear the news and we wish Jamie Carragher - and Milan
Baros - the speediest possible recovery."
Neill also offered his sympathies to the stricken
Carragher and denied there was any malicious intent in
Neil told Blackburn's official website,
www.rovers.premiumtv.co.uk: "It is very sad for Jamie
and I feel deeply sorry for him.
"No-one likes to hear of any player being injured,
especially for the long term, but there was absolutely
no intent on my part - I simply went to play the ball.
"I am an aggressive and committed player, that is part
of my game, but I play it fairly. I pass on my best
wishes to Jamie for a speedy recovery and hope at some
stage to be able to go over to see him and shake his
hits out at ex-Red Thommo
LFC Official Website
Gerard Houllier last night hit out at former
Liverpool star David Thompson following an incident with
John Arne Riise during the Reds' 3-1 win at Blackburn.
Thompson was lucky to escape a red card after he
appeared to aim an off the ball blow at Liverpool's
Norwegian star and Houllier, already seething following
injuries to Milan Baros and Jamie Carragher, didn't hold
back in his condemnation of his former player.
The Liverpool boss said: "I was unhappy with what
Thompson did to Riise. When it's a challenge or a tackle
"But when a player tries to hit another when the referee
isn't looking and the ball has gone then I get very
angry and I think Graeme would too.
"Thompson doesn't need to do that. He is a good player
and if he had kept his cool he could have caused more
problems for us.
"He tried to 'do' Riise in front of me and even the
fourth official saw it. We had words. I think he was
inviting me out for dinner but I don't think I will be
available. I am not going to tell you what Thompson said
but it was nothing really abusive.
"I was appalled by the reaction of the crowd to Riise
and if the referees don't protect that type of player
then we have a problem."
did it for Jamie and Milan
LFC Official Website
Gerard Houllier last night dedicated Liverpool's 3-1
victory at Blackburn to Milan Baros and Jamie Carragher.
Both players picked up bad injuries during the win at
Ewood Park, with Baros leaving on a stretcher after
breaking his ankle and Carragher limping off following
an awful tackle by Lucas Neill.
Houllier was delighted with his team's performance - and
with the three points - but he said the victory was
soured by the two injuries.
He said: "I told the boys at half time that we had to
win it for Jamie and Milan. We kept our heads up and
kept going. We didn't want one point, we wanted three.
"I've got mixed feelings. Our victory was soured
because, although we won, we've got two injured players.
"It was a dramatic start to the game and we knew we just
had to pass the ball and be patient. We played very well
and deserved our victory. I'm pleased we kept our heads
up and kept going. I thought Vladimir Smicer was
brilliant. It's the third consecutive game we have
hit by Baros blow
By Chris Maxwell -
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has confirmed that
young Czech striker Milan Baros suffered a broken ankle
in today's 3-1 win at Blackburn.
Baros broke his ankle and will
undergo an operation. (Photo: Empics)
The in-form 21-year-old sustained the injury in only the
second minute of the Ewood Park clash after receiving a
seemingly innocuous challenge from Blackburn's on-loan
defender Markus Babbel.
The news, coupled with an injury to defender Jamie
Carragher, will be of great concern to Houllier but the
Frenchman refused to blame Anfield employee Babbel for
the unfortunate incident.
Houllier said: "Milan has a broken ankle and will
undergo an operation tonight or tomorrow. It is a bad
injury but I do not blame Markus. It was not even a
foul, he tackled properly and won the ball. Milan
injured his ankle when he fell. I saw Markus after the
game and he was distraught."
The Reds boss also revealed that the club do not yet
know the extent of the injury suffered by Jamie
Houllier added: "We're not sure just how serious that is
yet. He'll need a scan before we know anything more. It
was a bad tackle though. It oculd have broken his leg. I
can tell you that Jamie Carragher would not come off the
pitch unless he couldn't walk and when he came off he
was unable to put his foot down.
"It was a two-footed tackle. Neill deserved to be sent
off and I think he'll even admit that himself when he
sees the incident on television."
Souness admits Neill deserved to be dismissed
Graeme Souness admitted Lucas Neill deserved to be
sent off during the 3-1 defat against Liverpool, but
criticised referee Neale Barry.
Neill was sent off for a high two-footed tackle on Jamie
Carragher, while Milan Baros broke his ankle after an
innocuous tackle by Markus Babbel.
Michael Owen scored twice, once from the spot, and Harry
Kewell wrapped up victory in the final minute after Matt
Jansen had struck a wonder goal.
Souness said he spoke to the match official at the final
"The only thing I said to him was 'It was not one of
your best days, was it?'. Just in general he had a poor
day - and I don't think I will get in trouble for saying
that," said Souness.
"I have seen the sending-off on a video replay and it
was not the best challenge, it looked a sending-off.
"It changed the game dramatically. We were on the front
foot and get a goal then within a very short time they
equalise and we are down to 10 men.
"From then on it was backs to the wall and we were still
in it until Harry Kewell got their third goal in the
last minute. They used their spare man very well, they
deserved to win - it was their day."
It was a baptism of fire for Barry Ferguson, Rovers'
£7.5million signing from Rangers, but Souness felt the
Scotland international had coped well.
He added: "He's played two internationals and then has
come and played for most of the match in a three-man
midfield when they had four. It was difficult and I
thought he did well."
Owen brace sinks Blackburn
BBC Sport Online
England striker Michael Owen scored twice and Harry
Kewell added another to hand Liverpool victory over
ten-man Blackburn in a thrilling game at Ewood Park.
Matt Jansen had put Blackburn ahead with a stunning
finish after eight minutes, but Owen levelled three
minutes later from the spot after El-Hadji Diouf had
Shortly after Blackburn were reduced to 10 men after a
horror tackle from Lucas Neill on Jamie Carragher that
forced Carragher off injured.
Owen and Kewell won it for Liverpool in the second half
after a series of stunning saves from Brad Friedel had
threatened to deny them.
Scotland captain Barry Ferguson was making his debut for
Blackburn, and the midfielder had a frenzied
introduction to the Premiership in an action-packed
start to the game.
A harmless-looking tackle from Markus Babbel sent Milan
Baros to the turf clutching his ankle in agony, and the
Czech striker had to be replaced by Emile Heskey.
The home side went ahead on six minutes. Andy Cole
flicked on a long Vratislav Gresko pass and Jansen
brilliantly turned Carragher before firing the ball past
Jerzy Dudek in the Liverpool goal.
But their lead did not last long, as Gresko turned from
hero to villain by bringing down Diouf in the area to
give Liverpool a penalty.
Owen stepped up and confidently stroked the ball past
Friedel into the bottom left-hand corner.
As the half wore on the visitors began to stamp their
class on proceedings, and they should have led going
into the break.
First Owen was brilliantly denied on a one-on-one with
Friedel and then just a minute before the interval,
Steven Gerrard saw a right-foot curler destined for the
top corner sensationally tipped away by the American
Liverpool started the second period as they had ended
the first, but Blackburn had the first opportunity to go
in front when Garry Flitcroft shot just wide from the
edge of the box.
Owen wasted another fine chance when put through by
Diouf as the game swung from end-to-end and then Heskey
blazed wide after another scintillating move.
It was a matter of time before Liverpool went ahead and
Owen duly struck halfway through the period, slotting
low past Friedel after good work from Smicer.
Kewell put the result beyond doubt in the last minute,
his left-foot drive capping a fine display.