Stevie proud to beat Shearer
By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website
Steven Gerrard admitted he was a proud man
after eclipsing Alan Shearer’s European scoring record
during Liverpool's 3-1 win in Unirea.
The skipper's second-half strike took him beyond Shearer as
the British player with the most European goals for an
English club (33).
The Reds No.8 told Liverpoolfc.tv: "I wasn't aware before
the game about a record and it's always nice to break them,
especially someone like Shearer's, who I have a lot of
respect for, so I'm really pleased."
Rafael Benitez's side recorded a 4-1 aggregate win in
Bucharest and Gerrard added: "We are very pleased to be
through to the last 16 as it was a very difficult game and
the pitch was shocking, so to win 3-1 and progress is what
it's all about.
"We knew it was going to be difficult before the game and it
was a great response from the team after they scored the
"We want to go all the way to the final and if we keep
showing the fighting mentality and character we showed
against Unirea and stick together then I'm sure we can."
The skipper also admitted there was more to come from him
after netting his seventh goal of the season in Bucharest.
"I am not back to my best yet but I'm getting close," he
"I'm working hard in training and during the games. I am
getting back to where I want to be."
Rafa hails Reds'
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was
pleased with the character shown by his side in their 3-1
victory over Unirea Urziceni in Romania, which sealed a 4-1
aggregate win and a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa
Shaky defending from set-pieces in the first half saw them
fall behind to Bruno Fernandes' header in the 19th minute
and for a while they looked rattled.
However, goals from Javier Mascherano from long range and
Ryan Babel from close in turned things around before the
interval and Steven Gerrard's 33rd European goal after the
break ensured any potential embarrassment was avoided.
"We showed character. It was a difficult game because of the
pitch. We needed to be calm and do the job properly,"
"To play better we needed to score our goal as they were
dangerous at set-pieces. I think once we scored a goal
everything was easier and the second and third goals made
things better. Still we had some problems but the main thing
was to score; we did it and we had more control of the
However, just as he thought his injury worries were easing,
Benitez lost centre-back Martin Skrtel to a suspected broken
foot after a second-half clash with substitute Antonio
"At this moment we don't know how serious it is but it could
be a broken foot," said the Spaniard. "That would be bad
news but we will have to wait and see what happens but it
was a bad tackle."
Gerrard's goal took him past Alan Shearer (with 30 goals for
Newcastle and two for Blackburn) as Britain's leading scorer
in Europe. Benitez felt it was an honour well deserved.
"It is really positive for him and the club - it also means
we are playing a lot of games in Europe so hopefully we can
play a lot more and he can score more goals," said the
"It is very good news for the club. This is a historic club
with a lot of records so to have a new record is massive for
him and very important to the club."
overcome early setback
The Irish Times
Liverpool avoided a potential Europa
League embarrassment in Romania as they came from behind to
book their place in the last 16.
Shaky defending from set-pieces in the first half saw
them fall behind to Bruno Fernandes’ header in the 19th
minute and for a while they looked rattled.
However, a long range Javier Mascherano Strike and a Ryan
Babel goal turned things around before Steven Gerrard’s 33rd
European goal wrapped things up after the break.
It was the first time since the 6-1 win over Hull in
September that Liverpool had scored more than twice in a
game, a run of 29 matches.
A year ago today they beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the Bernabeu
on the way to a 5-0 aggregate win before their eventual
Champions League quarter-final defeat by Chelsea.
But their early struggles in the Steaua Stadium showed just
how far the club’s fortunes have plummeted in 12 months as
Unirea created a number of chances, mainly from free-kicks
and corners, which the visitors almost shambolically failed
to deal with.
Backed by a vociferous crowd, the Romanian champions created
their first opening in only the second minute.
Jamie Carragher’s header from Iulian Apostol’s free-kick
only reached the edge of the penalty area and Sorin Frunza
lashed a dipping volley onto the top of Jose Reina’s net.
Less than 60 seconds later, Lucas Leiva picked out Gerrard
with a through-ball but the Liverpool captain’s fierce low
drive was parried into the air by goalkeeper Giedrius
Liverpool were retaining possession for long periods without
really hurting their opponents but it was to cost them as,
in the 19th minute, Unirea levelled the tie on aggregate.
Daniel Agger’s last-ditch tackle on Marius Onofras gave the
hosts a corner from the left and Razvan Paduretu’s inviting
delivery was perfect for centre-back Fernandes to power home
a header virtually unchallenged.
George Galamaz’s foul on Martin Skrtel resulted in the
Unirea captain coming off worst and, despite trying to run
off his injury, he was replaced by Ersin Mehmedovic in the
Two minutes later Liverpool seized control of the tie from
the most unlikely of sources.
Yossi Benayoun and David Ngog combined to allow Carragher to
cross and, although Babel mis-controlled Gerrard’s far post
header with only the goalkeeper to the beat, the ball broke
to Mascherano outside the penalty area to lash a shot past
But they almost handed the initiative back to Unirea in the
36th minute when Paduretu’s inswinging corner caused chaos
in the six-yard area, hitting Agger but bouncing inches
The Romanian midfielder’s low 25-yard shot then had Reina
diving to his right to tip around the post.
However, Liverpool gave themselves the cushion they so
desperately needed five minutes before half-time.
Gerrard swung in a free-kick from the right and Babel took
one touch before swivelling to fire home from close range.
Early in the second half Gerrard fired wide of Arlauskis’
right-hand post and also forced him into a low save on the
same side, as Liverpool started to play with slightly more
If there was any doubt about Unirea staging an unlikely
comeback it was snuffed out by Gerrard in the 57th minute.
Babel broke down the left, moving the ball to Lucas and he
picked out Benayoun, whose mazy dribble into the area was
only half-stopped to allow the Liverpool captain to run onto
the loose ball and blast a low shot under Arlauskis.
That strike was his 33rd in Europe, taking him past Alan
Shearer, who scored 30 for Newcastle and two for Blackburn.
That prompted the introduction of youngster Martin Kelly for
Carragher at right-back and, almost immediately, Sotirios
Kyrgiakos after Unirea substitute Antonio Semedo caught
Skrtel in a challenge.
With thoughts turning to Blackburn on Sunday in the Barclays
Premier League, manager Rafael Benitez replaced Benayoun
with Fabio Aurelio for the final 15 minutes.
Emiliano Insua’s late intervention poked the ball off the
toe of Paduretu just as he was about to pull the trigger in
the six-yard area but otherwise there were no other scares.
But their first-half defensive lapses will not have gone
unnoticed by Rovers boss Sam Allardyce ahead of his side’s
visit to Anfield.
Much greater challenges lie ahead for Benitez and his