After The Match 


PORTSMOUTH-LIVERPOOL 1-0 (1-0)      Sat Oct 18            Premier League
Goals: Berger (4)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Henchoz, Riise, Smicer, Gerrard, Biscan, Diouf, Kewell, Heskey
Subs: Le Tallec (Smicer 60), Pongolle (Diouf 68)
Not used: Kirkland, Traore, Welsh
Yellow: Diouf (61), Biscan (71)            Berger (32), Faye (65)
Red: None
Referee: Steve Dunn (Gloucestershire)
Attendance: 20.123

                                                              FIXTURES & RESULTS
On target: 6-7
Off target: 4-6
Fouls: 22-10
Corne:rs 5-3
Yellow: 2-2
Red: 0-0





"I can't fault
their attitude,
they just didn't
have the legs."

                  Gerard Houllier

2010: Houllier: Too early to give up on title
1810: Houllier: My players were tired
1810: Pompey stun Liverpool


Houllier: Too early to give up on title

By Ian Doyle - Daily Post

Gerard Houllier has refused to concede the championship - despite seeing Liverpool slip to a third successive Premiership defeat of the season at the weekend.

The Reds went down 1-0 at Portsmouth as Patrik Berger returned to haunt his old boss with a fourth-minute winner at Fratton Park.

The latest setback followed losses at Charlton and at home to Arsenal to leave Houllier's side languishing in mid-table and a massive 12 points behind Arsene Wenger's leaders after only nine games of the season.

Houllier admitted his side were missing the injured Michael Owen, who remained sidelined after the leg injury sustained in the 2-1 defeat against the Gunners at Anfield a fortnight ago. But the Reds boss remains convinced his side can still win the championship and should have yielded a greater points reward from their performances this campaign.

"It's still early so I've not thrown the towel in yet," insisted Houllier. "We know our targets.

"The quality of our football has been good and we have deserved more than 11 points. We aren't putting away our chances, and we are lacking in personnel.

"We were without practically half a team.

"Michael Owen, Didi Hamann, Danny Murphy, Jamie Carragher, Milan Baros, Bruno Cheyrou and Salif Diao were all unavailable and many of them would have played at Portsmouth.

"Some of our top players aren't in the side but there's no point in complaining. The team lacked a bit of freshness.

"Maybe we lacked a bit of spark. The players are only human you know.

"But we miss Michael Owen. He is worth 20 goals a season to us.

"I know we have lost three league games in a row but the fans know we could have won each of them. We just have to keep going."

Florent Sinama-Pongolle made his Premiership debut as a second-half substitute and Houllier added: "We had four good chances in the first half and five in the second, three of them for Florent. When you don't play well you have to take your chances."

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp, meanwhile, has cast doubt on Houllier's assertion Liverpool can win the championship this season.

"At the beginning of the season there were five teams in contention for the championship and Liverpool were among them," said Redknapp.

"They are a massive club and they need the Champions League and to be winning the championship.

"They have top class players and you'd expect them to be there. But they have got it all to do.

"I couldn't see them giving 12 points to Manchester United and Arsenal at this stage of the season.

"And in all honesty you couldn't fancy them to do it because Arsenal and Manchester United won't lose many games in a season."

Houllier: My players were tired

LFC Official Website

Gerard Houllier bemoaned the tired legs of his players and blamed missed chances as a key factor which he believes would have earned his side at least a point in the 1-0 defeat by Portsmouth.

A fourth minute goal from Reds old boy Patrik Berger earned the home side all three points and Houllier said Harry Redknapp's side were more fresher.

Houllier said: "The main difference between the two sides was the freshness. We have had players away in Turkey and other internationals plus the European game midweek. I don't think we had enough liveliness about us and they defended well.

"I can't fault their attitude, they just didn't have the legs. I wasn't happy with our performance and we weren't our usual selves from an attacking point of view, but when you have chances and we had enough of them, you have to take them.

"We had four good chances in the first half and five in the second, three of them for Florent Sinama-Pongolle. When you don't play well you have to take your chances."

Pompey stun Liverpool

BBC Sport Online

Former Liverpool player Patrik Berger condemned his old team to a third successive league defeat and provided Portsmouth with a much needed victory.

Released by Liverpool last summer the Czech Republic international scored in the fourth minute moments after Emile Heskey had hit the post.

Like Liverpool, Portsmouth had lost their previous two league games, but Berger's goal means Harry Redknapp's side have stabilised their league position.

The defeat means Liverpool have already lost four league games this season and trail Premiership leaders Manchester United by 11 points.

It was the first time Gerard Houllier had seen his side lose three consecutive league games.

Heskey looked certain to score when he ran onto El Hadji Diouf's through-ball and easily held off Dejan Stefanovic before toeing his shot past Shaka Hislop.

The Liverpool striker's shot bounced back into play off the foot of an upright and Portsmouth swept upfield with Teddy Sheringham opening up Liverpool with a splendid cross-field pass to Sebastian Schemmel.

The Frenchman delivered a low cross from the right and Berger reacted quicker than anyone, going to the near-post to neatly deflect the ball across Jerzy Dudek and into the far corner.

Schemmel proved a constant irritant and after a slick exchange with Steve Stone the Frenchman provided another telling cross for the unmarked Sheringham at the far post until Nigel Quashie's leap deflected it away.

Ayegbini also stretched Liverpool with his power and determination and he hooked a shot just wide from the edge of the area as well as going close late on when his shot hit the draw.

In the thick of the action Berger clearly relished the chance to wreak revenge on his old team.

On 21 minutes the Czech Republic international eyed a second goal but Sami Hyypia blocked his half-volley.

Berger was then booked for protesting after Boris Zivkovic was ruled to have handled on the edge of the area.

Steven Gerrard then curled a low free-kick which squirmed under Shaka Hislop's body and had to be cleared off the line by Dejan Stefanovic.

Houllier threw on Anthony Le Tallec and Florent Sinama Pongolle, but the two young Frenchman were unable to salvage a point for Liverpool.

Portsmouth might have even grabbed a second when Igor Biscan was lucky not to net an own goal when his header crashed against the bar as he defended a free-kick.

backbutton.gif (1697 bytes)

Thor Zakariassen