After The Match 


Thailand-Liverpool 1-1 (0-1)         22.7.09               PS-friendly
Goals: Babel (6)              Sutee (72)
Team: Cavalieri (Gulacsi 45, Reina 78), Degen (Johnson 45), Agger (San Jose 45), Carragher (Skrtel 45, Dossena 54), Insua (El Zhar 45, Arbeloa 56), Kuyt (Pacheco 45, Torres 80), Babel (Riera 80), Lucas (Voronin 45), Plessis (Mascherano 45), Ngog (Kelly 45), Nemeth (Spearing 45)
Not used:
Yellow: Mascherano (88)     Teeratep (90)
Red: None
Attendance: 50.000


Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Blocked shots:
Fouls conceded:

HEADLINES "We have to keep working and try to be contenders..."
Rafael Benitez
2207: Reds sweat on Skrtel injury verdict
2207: Babel on target in Thailand draw


Reds sweat on Skrtel injury verdict


Rafa Benitez is awaiting to hear if Martin Skrtel faces a long spell on the sidelines after he limped off in Liverpool's 1-1 draw in Thailand.

Skrtel limped off 10 minutes after coming on at half-time in Bangkok and while Benitez said it was too early to tell how long the defender could be ruled out for, it was nevertheless an unwanted blow.

"I'm really disappointed because Martin has had a problem with his hamstring and a little bit with the ligaments in his knee, so we have to wait," he said.

Jamie Carragher echoed his manager's disappointment over his centre-back partner's exit.

"That's part and parcel of football. It's disappointing but hopefully he will be ready for the start of the season because he's a top player," he said.

Despite being held by Peter Reid's team and seeing his charges spurn a number of chances, Benitez was nevertheless pleased with Liverpool's performance.

"We had some chances, we were playing against a team that was well organised, and they play quick," the Spaniard said.

"So you come to a new continent and conditions are different, always more difficult, but I was pleased with the performance of some players.

"We knew that physically they are strong, they are quick, and then the pace of the other team is important. So we had to have some really good movement and I was really pleased with them."

Benitez, though, was reluctant to talk up his side's Premier League title chances this term following last season's impressive campaign.

"We have to keep working and try to be contenders," he added.

"I don't think that we need to put any pressure on anyone. So we just keep improving and then we can stay there."

Babel on target in Thailand draw

LFC Official Website

Ryan Babel scored Liverpool's first goal of the pre-season as we were held to a 1-1 draw by Thailand in the Rajamangala National Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The Dutchman looked to have set the Reds on the road to victory with a neat first-half finish until Panupong Sutee stunned Rafael Benitez's men with a late equaliser.

Ahead of the match the players were introduced to Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the delay in kick-off seemed to affect the Reds' concentration, with Diego Cavalieri almost gifting the hosts a dream start on two minutes.

Datsakorn Thonglao looked all set to open the scoring when he seized upon the Brazilian stopper's miskicked clearance, but with the goal at his mercy, the Thai skipper somehow contrived to hit a tame 30-yard effort wide of target to let Liverpool off the hook.

It was an opportunity Peter Reid's men were left ruing just five minutes later as the Reds broke forward to score courtesy of the lively Babel.

Jamie Carragher's long ball down the middlw found the Dutchman through on goal and after taking a touch away from the defender he coolly slotted past Kosin Hathairattanakool.

Rafael Benitez spoke glowingly about the Holland international during the welcome press conference on Monday afternoon and the young forward was a threat throughout, almost doubling his tally on 12 minutes, but this time the Thai stopper made a fine save with his feet.

Having struggled to create openings in their previous two encounters, Liverpool were suddenly making chances at will, with Krisztian Nemeth left frustrated by a poor final touch after he had slalomed his way past two defenders.

On the half hour mark Dirk Kuyt dragged a shot from the edge of the box just wide while the closest the hosts came to levelling was from a Thonglao free-kick that curved well over the top of Cavalieri's goal.

Kuyt then crossed for Babel on 45 minutes but his compatriot could not quite stretch enough to double the Reds' lead at the interval.

In keeping with the preparations for the new season, Benitez made 10 changes during the break with Babel the only first-half performer to return.

Early injuries to substitutes Nabil El Zhar and Martin Skrtel disrupted the pattern of play and after a second period of little goalmouth action the hosts stunned Liverpool with a well taken equaliser from Sutee on 72 minutes.

The Thai forward showed great composure to fire the ball beyond Peter Gulacsi after he had created the opening with a brilliant one-two.

Spain duo, Albert Riera and Fernando Torres both made their first appearances of pre-season as late substitutes but, try as they might, the Reds could not find that elusive winning goal.

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