After The Match 


Wrexham-Liverpool 1-2 (1-1)      Wed July 21.            Pre-season friendly
Goals: Le Tallec (24, 78)            Sam (20)
Team: Kirkland, Finnan, Traore, Hyypia, Medjani, Biscan, Welsh, Murphy, Cisse, Kewell, Le Tallec
Subs: Dudek, Diao, Riise, Whitbread, Otsemobor, Warnock, Foy Potter, Raven, Pongolle (all 45)
Not used:
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Mr M Warren
Attendance: 14,978

                                                          FIXTURES & RESULTS    
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Fouls conceded:





"Maybe Djibril needs
a few more longer
balls to bring out
the best in his game."

                 Rafael Benitez

2207: Le Tallec steals Liverpool's Cissé show


Le Tallec steals Liverpool's Cissé show

By Ian Winrow - The Guardian

A two-year wait creates its own level of hype and expectation but Djibril Cissé provided enough signs during his debut to suggest Liverpool's long pursuit was worthwhile - even if the £14m record signing was overshadowed by a 19-year-old reserve.

Cissé and the new manager Rafael Benítez took their bows in a typically half-paced pre-season affair - but whereas judgment on the Spaniard will be reserved until well into the season, the French striker will be expected to make an impression sooner rather than later.

At least on the evidence of a 45-minute outing against a Football League One defence, Cissé offers flair, pace and improvisation to support Benítez's belief that he will turn out to be a gem. But the former Auxerre man lacked a debut goal and the plaudits fell to Anthony Le Tallec, who scored twice to remind Benítez of the depth of his striking resources.

The manager declared himself satisfied with Cissé's display but warned that his side might have to adapt to get the best from the Frenchman.

"I was happy with Djibril's performance but sometimes he suffered because we tried to play too many long passes," Benítez said. "Maybe Djibril needs a few more longer balls to bring out the best in his game. But I was very happy with him and his transfer fee means nothing. I look at the player not the price tag."

As expected, Benítez rested the seven players recovering from Euro 2004. Instead of partnering Michael Owen or the rejuvenated Milan Baros, Cissé lined up alongside his compatriot Le Tallec. And it was the youngster who fired in a close-range equaliser in the 24th minute after Hector Sam had put Wrexham ahead four minutes earlier.

But Benítez will have been worried by the shaky defending that allowed the Welsh side three clear first-half opportunities. According to reports emerging from Spain, the Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia is a target for Barcelona - though if the Finn's form fails to improve by the start of the season, Catalan interest will surely fade.

Benítez's first line-up, perhaps tellingly, did not include El-Hadji Diouf in a 21-man squad.

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Thor Zakariassen ©