After The Match 


Hertha Berlin-Liverpool 0-0           22.7.08            Pre-season
Team: Cavalieri, Darby, Insua, Agger, Carragher, Plessis, Mascherano, Pennant, Leto, Pacheco, Voronin
Subs: Hyypia (45), Degen (45), Dossena (45), Skrtel (45),
Hobbs (65), Martin (65), Benayoun (65), Spearing (75),
Kuyt (75)
Not used:
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Christian Schossling
Attendance: 51,641
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Blocked shots:
Fouls conceded:
HEADLINES "...everyone was trying
to do their best..."
Rafael Benitez

2307: Benitez lines up French striker N’Gog
2207: Voronin misses pen as Reds are held


Benitez lines up
French striker N’Gog

By Chris Beesley - Liverpool Daily Post

On a night when he gave a 17-year-old striker the chance to lead the line for Liverpool, manager Rafael Benitez revealed that he is close to sealing a deal for teenage French forward David N’Gog.

The club return to Melwood today following a three-match tour of Switzerland and Germany which concluded last night with a 0-0 draw at Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.

Although Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in pre-season friendlies to four games with the stalemate, a third victory could have been recorded had Andriy Voronin not seen his 50th-minute penalty saved by the hosts’ substitute goalkeeper Christian Fiedler after the Ukrainian had been fouled by defender Kaka.

Benitez, who gave Spanish starlet Danny Pacheco his compatriot Fernando Torres’s number nine jersey, did not reveal the identity of his latest imminent capture but it is Paris St Germain’s N’Gog.

After the game, he said: “We’re working hard but at this moment we have no news.

“We have a young player and hopefully it will be done tomorrow, I think it will be positive.”

N’Gog, who is expected to command a £1.5million fee, has netted just once in 18 senior appearances for PSG but has scored prolifically in France’s junior national sides.

He will be joined at Anfield by Robbie Keane whose switch from Tottenham Hotspur is just waiting to be rubber-stamped having already been agreed last week.

Despite the lack of excitement in the game, Benitez was pleased with his team’s performance which extended their unbeaten run this summer and he believes that the return of his Spanish stars, fresh from their success at the European Championship finals, will increase the level of Liverpool’s performances as they head for Villarreal in a week’s time.

He said: “We made mistakes but we’ve got several players still on holiday so it’s not easy.

“There were young players and also the new players and everyone was trying to do their best, it was positive.

“We’ve got the Spanish players to come back and Fernando Torres will be one of them.

“We’ll see the difference once we’ve got these players and they’ll show the quality that they had last season.

“In this game you could see a lot of good young players and for me they were doing a good job.

“We were well-organised and had an offensive mentality.”

Voronin misses pen
as Reds are held


Andriy Voronin had a penalty saved but Liverpool maintained their unbeaten record so far in pre-season with a 0-0 draw against Hertha Berlin.

In front of 51,641 fans in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, Liverpool's starting line-up included just three players who could consider themselves first choice come the start of the season.

But they showed enough effort, fitness and strength - particularly at the back - to encourage boss Rafael Benitez.

But this was very much the final dress rehearsal as far as Benitez was concerned.

The Anfield chief has been denied his big-hitters so far this pre-season and that has given the support cast their chance to shine.

He has discovered that in youngsters Stephen Darby, David Martin and Jay Spearing there is plenty of potential for the future, and all three would benefit from a spell now out on loan.

But Benitez will bring his squad back to Melwood on Wednesday and has a week of intense work before they fly to Spain for a friendly with Villarreal next Wednesday, followed by a demanding trip to face Rangers at Ibrox four days later.

Benitez will hope by then to have made headway on the possible deals involving Gareth Barry and Robbie Keane while welcoming back to training Liverpool's Spanish heroes Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Jose Reina and Alvaro Arbeloa - all return to training at the end of the week.

By then decisions may well have been made over the futures of Jermaine Pennant, Andriy Voronin and Sebastian Leto.

They have all had plenty of chances over four friendlies so far, but the pace of preperation will hot up now with a Champions League qualifier three weeks away.

Liverpool will face that without Javier Mascherano, who is bound for the Olympics and played his last game for the club for a month in Berlin.

Along with Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger he showed how strong this central axis will be next term.

Elsewhere Spanish teenager Daniel Pacheco again showed clever flashes of talent and almost got on the end of an Emiliano Insua cross.

Hertha came closest in the first period with two efforts from full-back Sofian Chahed.

Liverpool changed their complete back-line at the break, Martin Skrtel, Sami Hyypia, Philipp Degen and Andrea Dossena taking over.

And the visitors should have scored after 49 minutes after Voronin was pulled down in the box by Kaka, who was tugging his shirt, but the Ukrainian striker saw his spot-kick saved by Christian Fiedler.

Cicero saw a downward header saved well by Diego Cavalieri, who was then replaced by Martin, with Jack Hobbs, Dirk Kuyt, Spearing and Yossi Benayoun all getting second-half run-outs.

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