Agger celebrates his goal with Pennant
and Lucas. (Photo: Empics)
Pennant hungry for action
By Alex Livie - Setanta Sports
Jermaine Pennant is hopeful he gave Rafa
Benitez food for thought during Liverpool’s Carling Cup win
over Crewe on Tuesday.
Benitez made a raft of changes for the meeting with The
Railwaymen and Pennant was one of the fringe players to
He performed with credit and produced the cross for Lucas
Leiva’s winning goal in the 2-1 victory.
Pennant has been frustrated by his lack of playing time this
term, but is hopeful he will get further chances to impress
in the weeks ahead.
"If you get your chance you have to make the most of it and
when teams come to Anfield it's their cup final so it can be
difficult," he told the club’s official website.
"We have got a lot of strength in the squad which is why it
is so hard to get in the team so I'll keep plugging away and
see what happens.
"It was nice to play a game - whether it's the Carling Cup
or any game it's good to get a run out I and enjoyed every
minute of it.
"It gives us another chance to play another game and if the
draw is good we can go further in the competition."
Sami Hyypia was another player on the periphery given a run
out and the Finn has trained his sights on Wembley.
"I haven't played at Wembley so for me personally, to go
there and get a game would be great," said Hyypia.
"It was a good battle and I'm happy because maybe the League
Cup is a competition in which I will play, so I'm very happy
we got through to the next round and hopefully it will mean
another game for me.”
hails goalscoring duo
By Joe Curran - LFC Official Website
Rafa Benitez today praised Daniel Agger
and Lucas Leiva for helping the Reds book their place in the
fourth round of the Carling Cup.
Agger scored with a well-struck free-kick on 15 minutes
before Lucas headed in a second-half winner from close range
to edge the Reds to a 2-1 victory over League One outfit
The visitors twice came close to equalising in the dying
minutes and Benitez admitted he wanted his team to make sure
of victory much earlier in the match.
"As always in these kinds of games, if you don't score the
third goal and finish the game, then things can get a bit
nervous," said Benitez.
"I think we had enough chances to score the third goal, but
we scored two very good goals too. I thought Daniel Agger
was fantastic and Lucas is a player that likes to get into
the box, so he can score more goals like this.
"It was a very positive result and a very positive reaction
from the players when they equalised. The only bad thing was
that we couldn't score the third goal and finish the game."
Meanwhile, the Liverpool manager revealed how important he
sees the League Cup and admitted that it could give the
younger players a chance to shine.
"I think that we had a lot of young players today who played
well," added Benitez. "Their workrate was good and the game
was very quick, but they did OK today."
"Every competition is important, so we will always try to
create more chances.
"We knew that they would be going forward more and leave
space at the back, so we brought Fernando Torres on, who had
chances to finish the game."
Holland on Anfield defeat
Crewe Alexandra FC - The Official Site
After Liverpool narrowly went through to
round four of the Carling Cup, Steve Holland was left
diappointed that his side didn't quite have enough to force
Right infront of the Kop, a late Tom Pope chance went
begging for the Alex, but it was still a night to be proud.
Liverpool win 2-1 thanks to goals from Agger and Lucas with
O'Connor netting for the Railwaymen.
Steve Holland told the club's official web-site: "We pushed
them all the way and I was most proud of the way the players
concentrated and were organised throughout the game. It
wasn't until they brought Torres on that they looked like
slicing us open and we needed Steve Collis to make one or
two good saves to keep us in the tie.
"I think it was an indication of how well our players
performed that they brought on the likes of Torres and
Robbie Keane. That shows how well we pushed them right into
the end and we had that really good chance with Tom Pope
going in right at the death after a good move.
"We gave away an unnecessary free kick for the first goal. I
think it was a foul by Michael O'Connor but credit to Agger
because it was a fantastic strike. I will have to see it
again but from where I was sat it looked an unstoppable
"I thought we rallied pretty well after that and scored a
good goal. We had done some work on set plays and corners,
because Liverpool mark in zones. We tried to get Zola away
from Hyypia because they match up in terms of height and I
think we got him up against Plessis. He got a flick on it
and O'Connor was there to touch it in.
"The goal gave us greater confidence and I thought we had
our best spell of the game afterwards. We finished the first
half strongly and we were delighted with them.
"We didn't have much of the possession in the second half
but there was some good counter attacks from us and we kept
"The supporters seemed pleased with the players efforts at
the end of the game, and so they should be. Our fans were
terrific behind that goal and kept us going. Tonight was
about trying to win one or two of them over and I think we
He added: "Now it us up to us to try and keep them with us."
edge out brave Alex
Liverpool's much-changed line-up eased to
a comfortable 2-1 win over plucky League One outfit Crewe in
the Carling Cup third round at Anfield.
Jermaine Pennant was a constant menace on the right flank
while Lucas and Daniel Agger produced assured performances
to give Rafael Benitez a selection poser for Saturday's game
Agger gave Liverpool a 15th-minute lead from a free-kick
before Michael O'Connor's equaliser 10 minutes later.
Pennant supplied Liverpool's second goal with a dangerous
cross which was headed home by Lucas in the 58th minute but
really the margin of the victory should have been greater.
While strengthening the Reds first team for a Premier League
title challenge has been Benitez's priority he is attempting
to build a squad to challenge on several fronts.
The manager included only one English player - Pennant - in
his starting line-up as he handed debuts to Brazilian
goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri and Swiss defender Philipp Degen.
Sami Hyypia, named as captain, and Agger were recalled in
central defence while there were places for Lucas, Emiliano
Insua and Damien Plessis while Nabil El Zhar, Ryan Babel and
David Ngog carried the attacking threat.
Crewe first-team coach Steve Holland included former
Liverpool youth team defender Danny O'Donnell alongside
captain Julien Baudet at the back.
Degen and Pennant linked up well down the right flank in the
eighth minute to create Liverpool's first chance.
Breaking from a Crewe free-kick, Pennant slipped a clever
ball to Degen on the overlap and he whipped a low cross into
the penalty area but neither Ngog nor Babel were able to get
Pennant continued to provide the home side's best outlet and
Crewe defender Billy Jones was lucky to escape a booking
after a late challenge on the winger in the 12th minute.
Liverpool's pressure eventually paid off three minutes later
after Ngog was fouled on the edge of the penalty area by
Denmark defender Agger took the resulting free-kick and
smashed a powerful low effort past goalkeeper Steve Collis.
Crewe equalised in the 25th minute after Byron Moore's shot
was deflected by Agger for a corner.
Jones crossed and Calvin Zola's header was parried by
Cavalieri but O'Connor made amends for his earlier foul when
he slammed home from close range.
The Railwaymen began to settle but it was Liverpool who
created the next opportunity in the 41st minute.
Hyypia was picked out on the penalty spot by a Pennant
corner but Collis blocked his shot and Plessis could only
fire the loose ball into the crowd.
Babel went close moments after the interval when his shot
from the left edge of the penalty area was deflected and
wrong-footed Collis but looped on to the roof of the net.
Liverpool restored their lead in the 58th minute after good
work down the right flank by the impressive Pennant.
The lively winger delivered a dangerous cross into the
penalty area and Brazil midfielder Lucas timed his run
superbly to direct a header past Collis.
Benitez surprisingly introduced Fernando Torres and the
Spain international was immediately involved.
Pennant delivered another ball into the penalty area in the
82nd minute and Torres' header was tipped past the post by
The Crewe goalkeeper saved again from the Spaniard two
minutes later after Torres had broke clear of the Crewe
Liverpool were given a few late scares as Crewe pressed for
an equaliser but held on to secure their place in the next