Celebrating Riise goal. (Photo: AFP)
I'll thrive on Anfield pressure
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Mark Gonzalez is confident he can justify the hype which
preceded his summer move to Liverpool, after claiming his
first Premiership goal for the club at the weekend.
The Chilean says he finds the high expectations placed upon
him a help rather than a hindrance as he adjusts to life in
A year's delay before securing a work permit made Gonzalez
one of the most anticipated arrivals in recent times.
And although a virus prevented him making as many starts as
he'd like so far, the 21-year-old has still made an
"I like that all the fans knew me and were watching me
before I joined the club, because then they know the kind of
player you are and the qualities you have," said Gonzalez.
"Now it's up to me to show them, because if people know what
to expect, there's no reason why you can't show it.
"I feel I can contribute a lot of goals here, scoring and
creating, just like I did in Spain. I always look for goals,
and I think I'm the type of player who can get them.
"I want to show everything I have in my game. Right now I
don't think I've shown everything for many reasons. I've not
played a lot and I'm not used to English football yet.
Hopefully that won't take long, but it's not easy. As soon
as I adjust I'm sure I will be a different player.
"I'm happy with what I've done for now, with scoring two
goals, but I'm determined to do a lot more."
Gonzalez contributed his second in Liverpool colours in the
3-0 win over Spurs, and senses the Reds are already putting
their early season troubles behind them.
"I'm really happy with my goal because it was really
important for us to keep winning," he said. "Now we've two
wins in two games, so we need to keep this going if we want
to think about the championship.
"It's not been easy for me because I've not played many
games, but the more you play the more you learn and get used
"I wasn't in the squad for a couple of games because I was
ill, but this time it was my turn to play and I felt
comfortable out there and happy with how I played. Now I
need to keep learning.
"English and Spanish football is very different which I've
known from the beginning. The pace and physical side of the
game isn't the same as Spain.
"The physical side is what I'll be working on most. You have
to do a lot of running in England and that takes some
getting used to."
I know I'll be
on my goals
Craig Bellamy has admitted he is getting very anxious to
score his first league goal for Liverpool after another
afternoon where nothing went right for him, despite the
Reds' eventual 3-0 victory over Spurs.
Bellamy hit the post from a simple chance but was let off
the hook when Mark Gonzalez slammed in the rebound.
The Welsh striker underlined how keen he is to get on the
goal trail, admitting: "That's the way it is at the moment,
the ball keeps going the other side of the post or hitting
it. It happens, but I have had times like this in my career
"I am maybe too excited to score. You want to do so well and
you are snatching at chances, and when you do that as a
forward you find the chances slip away.
"In some ways it is different for me. It's the club I
supported and there is an extra determination to do well.
"I'm putting extra pressure on myself, but then I always do
that, it is how I play football. I demand high standards of
myself and I don't worry about missing chances.
"But the one thing I don't like is when anxiety creeps in
and it affects my game a bit. That's something I can't
"Probably that is how it is at the moment. Okay, the people
around me are scoring and I feel the rest of my game is
going all right, making runs, helping create chances for
"But at a club like Liverpool you are judged on goals, and
that is one thing you want to achieve.
"The chances will come at a club like this because there are
such good players around who will create them. I am still
enjoying it all."
Gerrard can take Liverpool far
By Nick Smith - Daily Post Staff
Returning to Anfield brought back many happy memories for
Danny Murphy - but being reunited with Steven Gerrard
The Tottenham midfielder was given a painful reminder of the
influence of his former Liverpool team-mate as Gerrard
gradually took control of the midfield and inspired his
side's 3-0 success.
"There was a 10-minute spell in the second half when I
couldn't get anywhere near him," admitted Murphy, who left
Liverpool for Charlton in 2005 before joining Spurs in last
January's transfer window.
"If Steven Gerrard stays fit Liverpool have always got a
chance of doing anything in any game.
"He can make things happen, he can change games and he
showed that today."
It's keeping all the best players fit that Murphy believes
will be the key to his former team-mate getting his hands on
more silverware this season.
But he has also warned that finding a settled and constant
first 11 might provide the best chance of a first
championship trophy in 17 years.
Murphy added: "Liverpool can achieve anything. With a full
strength team they are a match for anybody.
"They were unlucky not to get something at Chelsea last
week. I suppose it makes things more difficult that the team
is changed a lot.
"Rafael Benitez tends to do it more than most but looking at
what he's done you can't really argue with his decisions.
"The problem is the amount of games stops you from playing
your best players in every game and keeping all the players
Early kick offs annoy Rafa
By Al Campbell - LFC Online
All these early kick offs are hampering Liverpool's
pre-match preperations says Rafael Benitez.
Liverpool have kicked off at 1.30pm against Everton and
Chelsea and at 12.45pm against Sheff Utd, West Ham and Spurs
with next week's game at Bolton also kicking off at 12.45pm.
The Reds won't play at the traditional time of 3pm until
Blackburn come to Anfield on October 14th and Rafa Benitez
admits to being annoyed with all these early starts.
"It's too soon for us to be continuously given early times
to play in a row. This doesn't give you a lot of time to
prepare the players in the way you prefer," says the
"I can't understand the fixtures in general. The person who
arranges them must be a genius. In Spain, you play every
team in the same order in the first half of the league and
the second part.
"Here you can play the last game of the first half against
Charlton, and then play them again two weeks later.
"They could easily change things to be more fair. There can
a big difference in the standard of a team, depending on
what time of year you play them. That's why the order should
be the same in both parts of the season.
"For example, when will a newly promoted team be most
dangerous? Maybe at the beginning of the season when they're
new to the league and we don't know much about them, and
then at the end if they're fighting to stay in the division.
It would be unfair for a side to only play them at these
"And when you play a big club at the start of the season,
you might expect it to be around Christmas time when you
play them again. For some reason, these games are always
pushed back towards the end of the season. I don't know how
this happens, but as I say, the person who arranges it this
way must be very clever."
content with display
By Alex Dunn - Sky Sports
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has declared himself content
with his side after they claimed a 3-0 victory over
After a goalless first period at Anfield, Benitez's charges
raised their game in the second 45 minutes as goals from
Mark Gonzalez, Dirk Kuyt and John Arne Riise secured maximum
When coupled with a midweek victory over Newcastle, Benitez
can be more than satisfied with his week's work, after what
was a previously slow start to the campaign.
"Before we played the two games that we lost, people were
talking about crucial times," said Benitez.
"But everything in this division is crucial, every result.
"They were two difficult away games, and we are in the
middle of a spell of many important games close together.
But we have now won two in succession, things are looking a
"In the first half we were searching for space and the right
pass, but after the break we started with a much higher
tempo. That was the key.
"After they made that mistake with the missed chance, we hit
them on the counter attack and from then on we got better
and took control."
By Alex Dunn - Sky Sports
Martin Jol was left to rue a horrendous miss by Jermaine
Jenas after watching his side go down to a 3-0 defeat at
The England midfielder missed an open goal with the scores
level, before Liverpool swept up the field seconds later and
opened the scoring through Mark Gonzalez.
Spurs' miserable start to the season has been characterised
by such misses and their Dutch tactician admits that they
will not improve until they learn to finish sides off.
"It is the same story. We created a lot of chances, should
have been ahead before they scored, and then lost our
concentration and composure in defence," lamented Jol.
"We just didn't keep our heads at the right time. In that
first half we could have been ahead.
"Ledley King, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane all had
"Then in the second period Jenas misses like that. Yes, he
should have scored and it should have been a goal but it is
a familiar story for us at the moment."
miss was key to victory
Goalscorer Dirk Kuyt admits a glaring miss by Jermaine
Jenas was the turning point in Liverpool's 3-0 victory over
Spurs at Anfield.
The hosts made it two league wins in four days while
Tottenham slumped to yet another defeat.
Rafael Benitez's side have got their season back on track
thanks to second-half goals from Mark Gonzalez, Kuyt and
John Arne Riise, but after spending heavily in the summer,
Spurs have now lost four of their first six league games.
They should have been ahead through Jenas - who somehow
missed from five yards - before Liverpool punished them with
two strikes in 10 minutes and Riise finished the job in the
"We had a difficult day, we had to work really hard for the
3-0," said Kuyt.
"Spurs are a very good team and they played well first half.
In the second we did well, created chances and got the
goals. That's the main thing.
"The game changed when they missed the open goal and we
scored straight after. It was not so funny for them.
"My goal was a great goal but I still have to play better
for the team. I have a lot more confidence now and hope to
move on and make more goals."
Reds sweep aside
Spurs at Anfield
Goals from Mark Gonzalez, Dirk Kuyt and John Arne Riise
ensured Tottenham's poor start to the season continued with
a 3-0 defeat at Liverpool.
Spurs spent heavily in the summer but have lost four of
their first six league games and must wonder just what has
gone wrong for a side who so nearly qualified for the
Champions League last season.
Liverpool will not be bothered by the Londoners' woe,
however. They go into their Champions League clash with
Galatasaray in fine form.
They toiled somewhat in the first period as Benitez
maintained his rotation policy - no doubt with Wednesday in
mind - by leaving out Jamie Carragher, Luis Garcia and Fabio
Aurelio from the side that beat Newcastle in midweek.
Riise returned after an ankle injury. Also recalled were
Sami Hyypia and Mark Gonzalez. The Liverpool manager has now
made 19 changes in six Premiership games this term.
Spurs, with their worst start to a league campaign in 14
years and 13 of those since they last won at Anfield,
fielded an unchanged side from the one that drew with Fulham
last time out in the league.
They found out that Hyypia does not like being left on the
bench much, if his first two tackles were anything to go by.
His first took out fellow Finn, Teemu Tainio and earned him
a warning from referee Howard Webb, while the second was
perfectly legal but pole-axed Jermain Defoe.
Liverpool attempted to take the initiative. Craig Bellamy
with a 20-yard shot over the top, and then a bouncing effort
from Xabi Alonso - who the crowd begged to shoot from any
range after his midweek stunner - also just missing the
Spurs were intent on deep defence, at times all 10 outfield
players were less than 30 yards from Paul Robinson, while
trying to set Defoe free with long balls from the back.
Robbie Keane was almost put through by one pass from Danny
Murphy, Hyypia getting a toe in the way, but the onus was on
Liverpool to open up the Londoners.
Ledley King got a touch on a Murphy free-kick, the ball
bouncing just wide before Liverpool felt they should have
had a penalty when the ball hit King on the arm.
Then Pascal Chimbonda sliced a Gonzalez corner onto the
upright before Mohamed Sissoko saw a shot blocked. The tempo
was quicker but Spurs were getting more possession as well
as extra men forward.
King and Michael Dawson worked to contain Bellamy and Kuyt,
with Steven Gerrard belatedly getting into the game with
surges from the right flank.
There was more urgency about Liverpool after the break but
anxiety crept in when Bellamy got in the way of Kuyt as the
Dutchman sent a header over the bar, with the Welshman also
just failing to get on the end of a low cross from his
Gonzalez, too, was more involved and the supply of crosses
from both flanks increased.
On 55 minutes, a Gonzalez corner found Alonso racing in on
the edge of the box but this time his effort sailed high
into the Kop.
Spurs sent on Edgar Davids for Tainio on the hour as it
seemed the visitors might get something from the game so
frequently were Liverpool conceding possession in midfield,
Alonso frequently at fault.
The turning point came on 61 minutes. Davids got away on the
left and set up Jenas two yards out, the midfielder somehow
missing the far post.
And as he lay in the six-yard box in sheer disbelief,
Liverpool broke away and took the lead.
Gerrard crossed from the right and Bellamy hit the post from
close range, the ball breaking for Gonzalez to fire his
first league goal for the club into the bottom corner.
Hyypia was booked for a foul on Didier Zokora, with Luis
Garcia coming on for Bellamy.
Then Kuyt struck a classic strikers' goal on 73 minutes.
Garcia's pass threaded into the box and Kuyt latched on to
it, cracking a fine shot high into the net.
Gerrard was in an offside position to his right, but as
Spurs momentarily stopped, the Dutchman had eyes only for
the back of the net.
Four minutes later, Liverpool sent on Aurelio for Gonzalez,
with Spurs replacing Murphy with Mido on 79 minutes, but
surely now the extra striker was too late to save the
Liverpool sent on Carragher for Alonso with six minutes
left, Benitez not a man to take even the slightest risk with
points seemingly in the bag.
But that did not stop Riise from rubbing salt in Spurs'
wounds with a stunning drive from 30 yards in the 89th