After The Match 


Liverpool-Portsmouth 1-1 (0-0)          Tue Dec 14.           Premier League
Goals: Gerrard (70)             Lua Lua (90)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Traore, Nunez, Kewell, Gerrard, Hamann, Alonso, Baros
Subs: Pongolle (Baros 82), Josemi (Nunez 89)
Not used: Harrison, Riise, Mellor
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: M. Clattenburg
Attendance: 35,064

                                               MATCH-REPORTS & RESULTS 
Shots on target: 7-4
Shots off target: 5-3
Fouls conceded: 6-9
Corners: 6-4
Yellow: 0-0





 "It is very difficult
for the goalkeeper."

                 Rafael Benitez

1412: Benitez refuses to point finger
1412: Lua Lua late show stuns Reds


Benitez refuses to point finger

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez refused to blame goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek for the error which led to the loss of two valuable points tonight.

Benitez’s side appeared to have secured victory thanks to a thunderbolt 25-yard effort from captain Steven Gerrard in the 70th minute.

But Portsmouth grabbed a dramatic equaliser in stoppage time when Dudek palmed a cross-cum-shot from Matthew Taylor into the path of Lomana LuaLua.

He headed home to send the small travelling band of supporters wild with delight.

It was Dudek’s first league appearance since September as Chris Kirkland succumbed to injury.

Benitez, however, was more concerned about his team’s missed chances rather than Dudek’s apparent blunder.

“I think in the last minute they tried to cross, and it is unlucky play,” he said.

“The goalkeeper was waiting for a cross. It is very difficult for the goalkeeper.

“We have had many opportunities – but you need to score. Now we lose two points, but we have one more point in the table.”

Liverpool, desperate to bounce back after the derby defeat by Everton, carved out a number of chances with Dietmar Hamann and Harry Kewell both wasteful.

Yet Portsmouth’s equaliser was completely unexpected considering they had hardly been out of their half in the second period.

However, as at Newcastle at the weekend they showed remarkable spirit against the odds to secure a point.

Coach Joe Jordan said: “I am delighted – especially for the way we got the goal at the end.

“That kind of thing usually happens the other way round here, certainly in my day as a player.

“When you came here you always had to play until the final kick, the final whistle or you would get well and truly beaten.

“Liverpool are famous for that. They had got a lot of good results and decisions by playing to the end.”

Jordan conceded that Gerrard’s unstoppable effort had been the turning point in a game watched by just over 35,000 fans.

“We came out a little bit more and managed to get under Liverpool’s skin a bit,” he said.

“I will put it down as a cross that led to the goal, I don’t really know.

“All credit to the players. They have not been ruffled and focused on what has had to be done.

“They have done it in a nice way – against the odds.”

Lua Lua late show stuns Reds

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Tresor Lomano Lua Lua's dramatic late goal earned Portsmouth an unlikely 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

The former Newcastle man popped up in stoppage time to cancel out Steven Gerrard's stunning second half strike and deny Liverpool the chance to close the gap on the leading pack.

After a quiet start Liverpool created their chance on eight minutes when Xabi Alonso picked out Steven Gerrard free on the right and his cross towards Milan Baros had to be cut out by Portsmouth keeper Jamie Ashdown.

A minute later Dietmar Hamann had a great chance to break the deadlock when Antonio Nunez flicked Gerrard's corner into his path, but the German got his shot all wrong hitting it hopelessly wide.

Both sides were failing to create any clear goalscoring chances and possession was frittered away by both sets of players.

Portsmouth came close to scoring on 25 minutes when Patrik Berger sent Tresor Lomano Lua Lua clear on goal with a delightful pass and the striker saw his shot deflected just wide of Jerzy Dudek's goal.

Gerrard tried to rouse his team-mates and sent over a cross from the left for Nunez who could only stab his shot straight at Ashdown.

Lua Lua continued to look dangerous for Portsmouth on the break and he created a half chance for himself four minutes before the break with a fine solo run, but he did not get enough power on his shot to sufficiently trouble Dudek.

Liverpool then allowed Gary O'Neil a shot on goal on 43 minutes when they stood off the midfielder inside the box and he was unlucky to see his shot fly just wide of the target.

The home side came out for the second half in determined fashion and Gerrard created a chance for himself three minutes after the break when he cleverly turned on to Kewell's pass on the edge of the box and sent a curling shot just over the crossbar.

A minute later Kewell flashed a shot just wide of the target after picking up a pass from Alonso.

The Australian had another sight of goal on 55 minutes when Nunez picked him out on the edge of the area, but he only screw his shot on his weaker right foot wide into the Kop.

Liverpool opened up the Portsmouth defence two minutes later with the best move of the match.

Alonso picked out Gerrard on the right and he cushioned a perfect header into the path of Nunez to give him a clear run on goal, but Ashdown was quickly off his line to save the Spaniard's shot with his legs.

Hamann really should have scored seconds later when Djimi Traore's cross picked out the German international unmarked in front of goal, but he directed his header too close to Ashdown allowing the keeper to push out his effort.

Kewell tried his luck twice from long-range in the space of two minutes with his first shot flying over the crossbar and his second forcing Ashdown into a good save down at his near post.

Liverpool finally made the breakthrough on 70 minutes with Gerrard thumping a free kick from the edge of the area past Ashdown after Hamann had laid the ball into his path. Kewell had a chance to grab a second four minutes from time when the ball broke nicely to him on the edge of the area, but his shot was straight at Ashdown.

Portsmouth had a chance to draw level in the dying seconds when the ball fell into the path of substitute Matt Taylor and his shot was saved by Dudek.

The visitors stunned the hosts seconds later when Taylor's intended cross caught out Dudek and when he only palm the ball up into the air Lua Lua was on hand to head into an empty net and earn Portsmouth an unlikely point.

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