After The Match 


LIVERPOOL-PORTSMOUTH 1-1 (1-0)    Sunday Feb 15.  FA Cup - 5. round
Goals: Owen (2)              Taylor (78)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Henchoz, Carragher, Hamann, Gerrard, Kewell, Cheyrou, Owen, Heskey
Subs: Pongolle (Cheyrou 81), Le Tallec (Kewell 84)
Not used: Kirkland, Biscan, Murphy
Yellow: Pongolle (90)        Smertin (44), Pasanen (67)
Red: None
Referee:  Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
Attendance: 34,669

                                                              FIXTURES & RESULTS
Shots on target: 7-5
Shots off target: 11-5
Fouls conceded: 6-11
Corners: 13-5
Yellow: 1-2





"I think we
thought we had
the game won..."

               Steven Gerrard

1802: Reds players appear lost
1602: Stevie: We probably paid the price...
1502: Houllier complains at Reds' ropey finishing
1502: Relieved Redknapp hails cup battlers
1502: Pompey snatch late draw

Reds players appear lost

By Tommy Smith - Liverpool Echo

It was frustrating watching Liverpool fail to turn their superiority against Portsmouth into victory on Sunday.

But it was even more frustrating trying to figure out the roles of some of the home players.

Bruno Cheyrou was hardly in the game and, for the most part, seemed lost. Harry Kewell, enduring a lean spell of form, often ventured into centre midfield without any success. Emile Heskey, playing in right midfield, was largely ineffective.

And yet, there was Steven Gerrard rampaging all over the pitch, giving the impression he was trying to make up for the failures elsewhere.

It's all down to having players producing their best form where they are most effective.

Take Kewell, for instance. For me, he is best when he is attacking down the left and creating openings for the likes of Michael Owen.

Yet, after being replaced, who was it storming down the left and sending over the cross for Le Tallec that could have won the game? Steven Gerrard! Surely that is what Kewell should be doing.

Even Owen looked lost at times. He puts in a tremendous amount of work and, as the Reds play the ball square and then backwards, he comes foraging for it even deeper.

Owen's predatory nature comes alive in the box, like for his goal against Pompey, and that's where he should spend his time.

It's up to others - and not just Gerrard - who must create things for him in the box.

I cannot understand the performances of some players. Half appear to be doing their job, the other half don't.

The disappointing aspect is that the tie was there for the taking. Liverpool were never really threatened, but became lethargic and should really have dealt with the cross that led to the equaliser.

It will be tough in the replay on Sunday, and even tougher, if the Reds get through to play the Gunners. But let's just concentrate on getting into the last eight first.

NOBBY STILES once told me that he thought Steven Gerrard was the nearest thing to Duncan Edwards.

That is a tremendous compliment for a player compared to a great young star whose career was tragically cut short by the Munich air disaster.

I thought Gerrard was magnificent against Portsmouth. His all-action displays constantly put pressure on the opposition and he must be the best midfielder in the world at present.

Stevie: We probably paid the price for attacking

LFC Official Website

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes that Liverpool probably paid the price for going for more goals yesterday when they were hit on the counter-attack and forced into a replay.

Having gone ahead after 69 seconds through a great Michael Owen strike, Liverpool looked to have victory within their sights until Matthew Taylor popped up with an equaliser with just 12 minutes to spare and Gerrard insists Liverpool paid the price for going for goals.

"I think we thought the game was won," he says. "We were piling pressure on Portsmouth and we got caught on the counter-attack. There were signs in the first-half that they were a bit dangerous on the counter-attack and we've been punished.

"I can't believe the game's gone to a replay. I thought we deserved to win it. On goal chances, possession and effort I feel as if we won it but the advantage goes to them now down at their place. We've got to silence them during the first 20 minutes and try to get a result down at Fratton Park.

"I thought the first penalty incident should have been a penalty. The referee said the linesman said that the defender got a touch on the ball but that doesn't matter if they take me out as well. I think the referee was right with the second one though. I thought it was just outside the area but I think on chances alone we deserved to win this game. I think Harry Redknapp will say he was lucky to get a replay out of this one.

"I thought our fans were brilliant. In cup games the fans always get behind us. They did it against Newcastle and they did again today. You can understand that the fans want more and more goals but sometimes, as it's shown yesterday, sometimes when you're 1-nil or 2-1 up, you've got to defend better."

Houllier complains at Reds' ropey finishing


Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier rued his side's missed chances as Portsmouth earned an FA Cup fifth round replay at Fratton Park next Sunday.

Matthew Taylor smashed home a 78th minute equaliser after Michael Owen had netted his 150th goal for Liverpool in the second minute.

Houllier said afterwards: "I think the game should have been dead and buried before they equalised, but they scored a good goal and now we need a second game.

"We deserved to win. We played some fantastic football at times and created some good chances.

"I think they were disappointed with the result, but they must be extremely proud of that performance.

"They were absolutely fantastic out there at times and should have won today.

"Maybe we were hard done by with some decisions, but hopefully they will go our way next week.

"It happens. They had two chances, one in the first half and one in the second and they go home with a draw and a right to a replay. We have nothing to complain about that."

Relieved Redknapp hails cup battlers


Harry Redknapp admitted his Portsmouth side had benefited from a slice of luck in Sundays 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round.

With the Reds leading 1-0 at Anfield, Pompey's Finnish defender Petri Pasanen was ruled to have fouled home skipper Steven Gerrard on the edge of the area, but replays later suggested the offence had taken place inside the box.

Pompey went on to equalise through substitute Matt Taylor to earn a replay at Fratton Park in a week's time.

Gerrard himself felt the penalty incident was outside the area, but after watching video footage Redknapp admitted his relief.

He said: "I thought it was outside, but it was inside. The line's moved! It looked close, but it's about time we got away with one. We've not had the breaks lately.

"This is a difficult place to come to get a result but we showed so much character to get something out of the game.

"We came under the cosh but I've never been to Anfield and not come under the cosh. Look at the quality they possess - and Steven Gerrard, what a performer he is.

"But we stuck in there and I thought we were dangerous on the break."

Goalscorer Taylor had no doubts Pompey deserved a draw for their efforts.

He said: "The gaffer told me to get in at the back post and the chance arose and I got it in. It's nice to take them back to our place.

"I think our determination has been quite good. We had nothing to lose and we came away with a draw.

"It will be good for us at home. We've been better there than we have away. We were jubilant to be taking them back to our place but we deserve everything we got.''

Pompey snatch late draw

Sky Sports

Matthew Taylor's late strike earned Portsmouth an FA Cup replay with Liverpool after snatching a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

Michael Owen put Liverpool ahead after just two minutes but The Reds missed a host of chances during the match and were made to pay when Taylor popped up after 77 minutes to claim a replay for Harry Redknapp's men.

Liverpool came flying out of the blocks and took the lead inside two minutes as Michael Owen got on the end of a great passing move to slot past Shaka Hislop.

Owen scored early on against Manchester City during the week and repeated the dose after Steven Gerrard and Bruno Cheyrou had played a neat one-two on the edge of the box and Owen dispatched with ease.

The Reds continued to have most of the play but Harry Redknapp's visitors looked lively and dangerous on the break - with skipper Nigel Quashie flashing a shot just over from the edge of the box.

Ivica Mornar broke the offside trap after 20 minutes but just failed to find Yakubu in the box enabling Sami Hyypia to clear.

Emile Heskey turned on the edge of the box just after the half hour, after the ball broke to him from Harry Kewell, but Heskey's shot on the swivel was superbly turned aside by Hislop.

Heskey had an even better chance to get on the scoresheet three minutes after the interval but he sliced his shot badly wide from a great position inside the box.

Gerard Houllier's side were increasing their pressure on the visitors, and Didi Hamann's shot took a vital deflection off Quashie before Steve Finnan wasted a free header when he nodded wide from a corner.

Gerrard was inches away from grabbing his third goal in three games as he drove from the halfway line before cutting inside and curling his effort just past the post.

Jamie Carragher then fired in a fierce shot that Hislop did well again to get down smartly and turn aside.

Liverpool were made to rue their missed chances with just 13 minutes left to play when Alexi Smertin's cross dropped for Matthew Taylor who chested the ball down and rifled past Jerzy Dudek to stun the Kop.

Gerrard typically went searching for a winner for his side, and his drive down the left and cross should have provided a winner five minutes from time, but substitute Anthony Le Tallec stabbed the ball over from close range when he should have done better.

Liverpool piled forward late on but Pompey held firm and hung on for the draw and earn a replay at Fratton Park.

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Thor Zakariassen