After The Match 


Wrexham-Liverpool 0-2 (0-1)         15.07.06                Friendly
Goals: Anderson (5), Bellamy (52)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Hobbs, Paletta, Roque, Anderson, Guthrie, Zenden, Riise, Idrizaj, Bellamy
Subs: Antwi, Hyypia, Diao, Peltier, Fowler, Pongolle, O'Donnell, Hammill, Threlfall
Not used:
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Mike Jones
Attendance: 11,365
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Fouls conceded:


HEADLINES "It was amazing to be in the same team as Robbie Fowler..."
      Craig Bellamy

1607: Rafa happy with Wrexham win
1607: Hyypia will rise to biggest challenge
1507: Bellamy: I hope that's the first of many
1507: Bellamy on target in debut


Rafa happy with Wrexham win

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Rafael Benitez was pleased with his team's performance in their first pre-season game of the new campaign.

Liverpool comfortably beat Wrexham 2-0 on Saturday with Paul Anderson and Craig Bellamy scoring the goals. Gabriel Paletta also had an impressive debut.

After the game Rafa Benitez declared himself with the Reds' approach in their first game since returning from their Summer break.

"It was good for [Bellamy] to get a goal. He likes to play and he likes to score goals and we hope to see a lot of goals from him. He linked up well with Robbie and they worked well together," said Benitez.

"It was a bit dry and difficult to move the ball with any pace but at this stage of the season it is mostly about improving the condition of the players," added Benitez.

"We have some players to come in like Mark Gonzalez and Fabio Aurelio and we need to wait 10 more days for the World Cup players so they can return with energy.

"There's so many to return to training, Gerrard, Carragher, Crouch, Alonso, Luis Garcia, Kewell, Sissoko, the list of really fine players is almost endless. Everywhere you look here there's class and quality."

Hyypia will rise to biggest challenge

By Andy Kelly - Daily Post Staff

Sami Hyypia has spoken of the dual challenge awaiting him in the coming Premiership season - from his new team-mates and from the opposition.

The Finn is well aware that the arrival of the likes of Gabriel Paletta represents another possible threat to his position in the Liverpool line-up but is looking forward to the battle ahead.

Hyypia is happy to grant manager Rafael Benitez his wish of using the 32-year-old to help the new influx of defenders settle into life at Anfield, but he's determined that this doesn't mean giving up his place in the team without a fight.

After a second half run-out at the Racecourse in Liverpool's 2-0 friendly win over Wrexham on Saturday, Hyypia said: "When Daniel Agger came here, and now Paletta, it makes the team stronger and I'll do everything I can to help the team to win.

"If that means my experience helping the other players actually get a place then so be it. But of course I want to play and I'm not finished yet. I feel fit and there's no reason why I shouldn't play.

"I played 59 games last season and I was a bit surprised at how many games I played.

"This time last year the manager told me there was going to be another centre-back but by the end of the season I had played 59 games. Now there are two more young players and it's a challenge for me

"As you get older you notice that the recovery time after games is longer than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Last season was quite difficult in that way."

Hyypia believes new arrival Paletta will only improve as he adapts to life in the Premiership.

"He has all the qualities of a good centre-back and he can adapt very quickly to the English game. We will see the best of him when he starts to learn better English and adapts to the team better."

Bridging the gap to Chelsea at the top of the Premiership table has not been made any easier for Liverpool by the arrival of Andriy Shevchenko in west London but Hyypia knows what to expect.

"Shevchenko will need no introduction to the English game. I've played against him a few times and seen lots of him on television," he added.

And joking about the Ukrainian's penalty misses in both the Champions League final and the World Cup, he added: "I feel better knowing he has missed two penalties in the last two years!"

Bellamy: I hope that's the first of many

By Paul Eaton - LFC Official Website

Craig Bellamy reflected on his first goal for the Reds against Wrexham on Saturday and declared: "I hope that's the first of many goals for me in a Liverpool shirt."

Bellamy netted early in the second half from Robbie Fowler's pass as the Reds got their pre-season campaign off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory at the Racecourse Ground. Paul Anderson opened the scoring with a first half volley.

"It was nice to get a goal at the end of what has been an amazing couple of weeks for me," said the Welsh striker.

"I knew I was going to play ten minutes more than many other players at the start of the second half and so I was hoping a chance would come along for me.

"It was amazing to be in the same team as Robbie Fowler and it was nice that he set me up for the goal.

"I know the manager has set me a 15 goal target for this season but I don't think I'll be allowed to count this one.

"Overall I thought it was a good work-out and a good day for Wrexham to have Liverpool at their place. We got through it without injuries as well which is the most important thing."

Liverpool face another week of intensive training now ahead of their next outing at Crewe on Saturday.

Bellamy added: "I think we're stepping up training this week and concentrating more on power and speed which is obviously good for me because that's what my game is all about. We've been doing a lot of stamina work so far but we're moving up a gear now.

"Of course we've still got a lot of players to come back who weren't in the squad today. We were missing the international players and one or two with injuries. It's a mouth-watering prospect to think of all the players we have here when everyone is available."

Bellamy on target in debut

By Paul Walker - PA Sport

Craig Bellamy got the goal he desperately wanted on his Liverpool debut.

The striker drove through on the left early in the second half to send a left-footed effort wide of substitute goalkeeper Michael Ingham.

It was a big day for Bellamy but also for Wrexham. Their 19-month battle to save the club is coming to a successful end and they will pick up 100,000 from this match after Liverpool waved their cut of the gate.

Liverpool had Salif Diao and Florent Sinama-Pongolle on show but a host of youngsters were given a run-out with Anfield's World Cup players still on holiday.

The game was delayed for 15 minutes to allow a near-capacity 11,335 crowd into the Racecourse Ground, and they saw Liverpool cruise into the lead after six minutes.

Paul Anderson, star of the FA Youth Cup final victory, met a John Arne Riise cross on the volley to crash the ball past Michael Jones from 12 yards.

New signing Gabriel Paletta played the first half and a side sprinkled with youth were doing their best to impress manager Rafael Benitez.

But Wrexham, who will come out of administration on Tuesday and had four new signings of their own on display, produced a spirited response. Mark Jones and Chris Llewellyn both went close, but keeper Jones was thankful for a benevolent referee - Mike Jones - who gave him a ticking-off for handling outside the box. The offence would have meant a red card in league action.

Bellamy almost punished a Llewellyn error before being one of only three Liverpool players not to be substituted at the break.

The reason was pretty clear - the Welshman wanted to score in front of the Welsh fans - and once that had been achieved eight minutes after the break, Benitez's sentimentality deserted him and off came the 6million striker.

Sinama-Pongolle, who may well figure this season if Benitez fails to sign a right-sided player, looked lively and determined.

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Thor Zakariassen