After The Match 


Middlesbr.-Liverpool 2-0 (1-0)              Sat Nov 20.          Premier League
Goals: Riggott (36), Zenden (63)
Team: Kirkland, Josemi, Hyypia, Carragher, Traore, Finnan, Alonso, Hamann, Riise, Kewell, Garcia
Subs: Gerrard (Hamann 57), Pongolle (Josemi 70),
Biscan (Alonso 84)
Not used: Dudek, Mellor
Yellow: Hyypia, Josemi       Southgate, Boateng, Zenden
Red: None
Referee: S Bennett
Attendance: 34,751

                                              MATCH-REPORTS & RESULTS 
Shots on target: 6-10
Shots off target: 8-7
Fouls conceded: 14-10
Corners: 3-5
Yellow: 3-2





"...the referee said
yes to them
and no to us..."

                Rafael Benitez

2011: McClaren keeping feet on ground
2011: Rafa rues Boro defeat
2011: Gerrard return not enough


McClaren keeping feet on ground

By James Pearson - Planet Football/Sky Sports

Steve McClaren is keeping his feet on the ground after Middlesbrough saw off Liverpool 2-0 at The Riverside.

The win keeps the North East side in fourth place in The Premiership and moves the team to within eight points of leaders Chelsea.

Goals from Chris Riggott and Boudewijn Zenden put the visitors in control, although Liverpool felt aggrieved after Luis Garcia's goal was ruled out for offside.

"We've made a good start over the first 14 games," said McClaren. "We're up there and we're up there on merit.

"But we don't get carried away here. If we're in the same position with 10 games to go, we might start to get excited.

"The way we were playing, we were always going to be capable of scoring goals.

"We said before the game, and we always say it, to win football matches, you need to score two goals and we felt today we would need to score two goals.

"It nearly proved that way, but Mark Schwarzer.... you talk about defining moments in games, and that was one of them because it was a magnificent save.

"If they'd have equalised then, it might have been a different game. We gained from that and went on.

"We beat a very good team today. Despite all their injuries, they're still a very good team."

Rafa rues Boro defeat

By Paul Higham - Planet Football/Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was unhappy with referee Steve Bennett as his side fell to a 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough.

Boro picked up three points with goals in each half from Chris Riggott and Boudewijn Zenden.

Benitez felt his side were harshly disallowed a goal by Luis Garcia in the first half with the score at 1-0 and that Zenden's crucial second was offside.

"We scored and they scored today, but the referee said yes to them and no to us," bemoaned Benitez.

"I feel Garcia's goal should have stood because the ball appeared to come off a Middlesbrough defender before it reached Garcia.

"I'm not sure about Zenden's goal either. Maybe that was offside but it was very close.

"We started well for the first 20 minutes. We had plenty of space and some possibilities but after that spell they controlled the game. We didn't clear the ball properly and that cost us.

"Once you lose goals it makes it more difficult because it means you have to attack quicker and then they are more dangerous on the break."

Gerrard return not enough

BBC Sport Online

Steven Gerrard's long-awaited return to Premiership action was not enough to prevent Middlesbrough earning a deserved victory over Liverpool.

A goal in each half from Chris Riggott and Boudewijn Zenden overshadowed Gerrard's return as a second-half substitute after eight weeks out.

Riggott netted from close range on 27 minutes after Stewart Downing's cross.

And Zenden finished well after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's pass on 61 minutes, with Liverpool claiming he was offside.

Boro took the chance to avenge their Carling Cup defeat to the Reds earlier in November with an assured performance, never allowing Liverpool to settle.

Yet a cagey opening produced little in the way of goalmouth action.

It took 17 minutes for Boro to fashion their first chance, with Ray Parlour surging into the box, but his cross was expertly headed away by Jamie Carragher.

That sparked a Liverpool break which culminated in a Steve Finnan shot which Schwarzer got down well to save.

At the other end, Mark Viduka produced a sublime backheel to Parlour, and the midfielder's low cross just missed Franck Queudrue.

Boro were beginning to establish some supremacy, and were inches away from taking the lead after 27 minutes, when Queudrue headed just over from Downing's free-kick.

Chris Kirkland also had to save well from close range from Hasselbaink and George Boateng shot over as the home team pressed.

And they grabbed the goal their play deserved on 38 minutes when Downing crossed perceptively for Riggott, who was unmarked as he tapped in from five yards.

That was with 35 minutes on the clock, and Liverpool thought they had squared the match two minutes later, although Luis Garcia was judged offside.

The goal prompted a good response from Liverpool, and Kewell will be disappointed to have sent the ball over from close range after Carragher's cross.

But Boro still threatened, and Viduka shot just wide after the ball fortuitously ricocheted to him inside the box.

Liverpool were almost level within three minutes of the restart, but Schwarzer produced a remarkable instinctive save to deflect Kewell's point-blank header over the bar.

Gerrard made his return to Premiership action in the 57th minute as a substitute for Dietmar Hamann.

And his first touch almost led to a goal, as a delicate free-kick into the box eventually fell to Luis Garcia, whose volley whistled past the post.

Yet it was Boro who were celebrating a controversial second on 61 minutes, as Zenden finished smartly after Hasselbaink's through pass - although there was more than a hint of offside about the goal.

Liverpool kept grafting, and substitute striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle sent the ball just wide at the end of a promising move, while Kewell also missed from a tight angle after taking the ball wide of Schwarzer.

Boro remained in control, however, and Hasselbaink shot wide from 20 yards late on, while Luis Garcia shot wide from a great position for Liverpool in the closing moments.

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Thor Zakariassen