After The Match 


Burnley-Liverpool 0-4 (0-0)             25.4.10                        PL
Goals: Gerrard (52,59), Maxi (74) Babel (90+4)
Team: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Ayala, Agger, Mascherano, Aquilani, Maxi, Babel, Gerrard, Kuyt
Subs: Kuyt (Benayoun 48), Lucas (Agger 78),
Pacheco (Gerrard 82)
Not used: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Degen, El Zhar
Yellow: Gerrard (45)                  Cork (21), Duff (78)
Red: None
Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 21,553
Shots on target: 4-7
Shots off target: 7-5
Blocked shots: 3-3
Fouls conceded: 14-12
Corners: 4-5
Offsides: 1-1
Possession: 45.4-54.6
Yellow: 2-1

that we
have to do keep doing
our job..."

Rafael Benitez
2604: Gerrard: Maxi key to rout
2604: Burnley boss Laws proud of players in Liverpool defeat
2504: Rafa delighted with win
2504: Reds hit four to send Clarets down 


Gerrard: Maxi key to rout

By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website

Steven Gerrard today lavished praise on Maxi Rodriguez after the Argentine scored his first goal for the club in Sunday's 4-0 win at Burnley.

The Reds No.17 netted with a terrific finish after a defence-splitting pass from Alberto Aquilani, and the skipper was more than delighted for him.

"Maxi is a fantastic player," said Gerrard.

"He's got good movement and as a footballer it's a pleasure to play with good players and that's what Maxi is because he's a fantastic player.

"He was really fresh and that showed in his performance and he took his goal really well.

"He has been terrific for us in the last five or six games. It's unfortunate for us he can't play in the Europa League because he is an intelligent player and he can unlock defences."

The victory at Turf Moor was Liverpool's first on their travels in the Barclays Premier League since the 1-0 win at Villa Park in the final game of 2009.

"It's been a while since we won away from home but the fact is we haven't been good enough on the road which is the disappointment from the season," he added.

"Sometimes when you can't score away from home and you lose your top striker it can damage belief a bit and confidence so I think it was important we scored some goals today and won convincingly."

Rafael Benitez's side are now two points off fourth place Tottenham and with two games remaining, the Reds skipper insists the team will still keep fighting to try and take advantage should their rivals slip-up.

"We have a couple of games left and the idea is to take maximum points and try and sneak into fourth place through the back door," he said.

"We know it's going to be difficult but it's important to take maximum points and then who knows?

"The teams above us might slip up. It was important we won against Burnley and kept the pressure on.

"We won't give up on the top-four but it would be stupid of me to say this is going to happen. It's important to be realistic and we are the underdogs to sneak this fourth position.

"I think the Liverpool fans understand that we've also got Everton breathing down our necks so we don't want them to finish above us, and it's important we keep fighting until the end."

Burnley boss Laws proud of
players in Liverpool defeat

Burnley boss Brian Laws says he is proud of his players after their defeat at home to Liverpool.

Two goals from captain Steven Gerrard - the first from a deflection - a maiden Liverpool strike for Maxi Rodriguez and a late effort from Ryan Babel did the damage.

All Liverpool's goals came in the second half and the frustrating thing for Laws was that Steven Fletcher and Jack Cork could have put their side 2-0 by half-time with headers which they wasted.

Laws pointed to the difference in standard for Burnley's problems both in this game and the season as a whole.

"The players gave everything and today probably reflects on the effort that we have put in but also reflects the gulf in quality," said the former Sheffield Wednesday boss.

"We were very unfortunate with the first goal, which knocked the stuffing out of us.

"Having said that we should have scored just before that and the second goal Gerrard showed real quality.

"Teams of this ability will have their opportunities and they have certainly taken theirs and we haven't taken ours - that has been probably the story of the season.

"The scoreline doesn't suggest the performance and we were unlucky not to score first as that would have been the key for us to go on and win the game and give ourselves a fighting chance.

"Unfortunately we didn't take it. They did, and that was it.

"No-one crumbled and gave anything less than their all and I'm very proud of them today."

Rafa delighted with win

Sky Sports

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez was extremely happy with his side following their 4-0 win over Burnley.

Two goals from Steven Gerrard and efforts from Maxi Rodriguez and Ryan Babel secured the emphatic victory at Turf Moor, which sent the Clarets into the Championship.

It leaves Liverpool still in the hunt for fourth spot in the Premier League and a place in next year's UEFA Champions League, and Benitez was positive after the final whistle.

He told Sky Sports: "It was a good game, especially the second half. We scored four goals, a clean sheet.

"So (I'm) really pleased and really positive.

"They (Burnley) had one clear chance, they were pushing. We had one or two that we didn't finish but at the end the first goal was the difference."

Asked what he told his team at half-time when the score was 0-0, Benitez added: "Score goals, simple. I think the first goal was the big difference.

"We were a little bit lucky and after we were playing better and better and it is difficult for a team that has to score and has to win.

"They have to go high, they leave more spaces and it was easy for us."

Gerrard's second strike was an excellent effort from long range that left Burnley reeling.

Benitez praised the midfielder's goal and is now looking forward to Liverpool's Europa League second leg semi-final against Atletico Madrid on Thursday, after an arduous trek to the Spanish capital for the first clash.

He remarked: "It is the kind of goal that he (Gerrard) can score. A really good finish so it was a fantastic goal.

"We know that we have to do keep doing our job, winning our games, and see what happens.

"I think it (the journey to Spain) was difficult because we were on the train but I think that now we are a little bit happier and hopefully we can be happier on Thursday."

Reds hit four
to send Clarets down


Liverpool triumphed 4-0 at Turf Moor to relegate Burnley from the Premier League and also kept alive their distant hopes of finishing fourth.

With two matches to play the Clarets cannot now catch 17th-placed West Ham and return to the Championship after just one season in the top flight.

Steven Gerrard's first goal in the 51st minute was deflected off Burnley centre-back Leon Cort but his 25-yard strike seven minutes later was inch-perfect and Maxi Rodriguez and Ryan Babel wrapped things up.

The win, Liverpool's first in eight away league matches this year, kept Rafael Benitez's side in the hunt for next season's Champions League but only just.

Tottenham are two points ahead on 64, with a match in hand, and Liverpool must win their remaining two games and hope neither Spurs, Manchester City nor Aston Villa amass more than 68 points - and even then it could come down to goal difference.

Burnley, however, must now face up to a return to the second tier of English football, which has been on the cards ever since the departure of former manager Owen Coyle to Bolton in January.

By that time they were already on the slide but the loss of the inspirational Scot was a major blow and the decision to bring in Brian Laws failed to turn things around.

Whether anyone would have been able to save the Clarets on the shoestring budget and limited squad available is questionable.

But opting to employ Laws just a month after he had left Sheffield Wednesday having taken them to the brink of relegation from the Championship now seems, at best, a mis-judgment.

Laws has lost 14 of his 17 games in charge and the Clarets have won just seven games all season and not kept a clean sheet since Halloween.

At least the frugal nature of the sensible financial planning at Turf Moor means Burnley do not have the money worries of Hull, who are also doomed to relegation because of their dreadful goal difference.

The first half summed up exactly why they were heading back to the Championship as, having weathered the early pressure, they missed two gilt-edged headers which should have put them 2-0 up at the break.

Steven Fletcher out-jumped Jamie Carragher in the 27th-minute but planted Martin Paterson's right-wing cross over while on-loan Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork's seven-yard effort from Tyrone Mears' centre was straight at goalkeeper Jose Reina.

Prior to that the closest Liverpool had come to scoring was when Gerrard's deflected volley hit referee Phil Dowd before the Liverpool captain's shot on the turn from 12 yards was easily saved by goalkeeper Brian Jensen.

The break appeared not to have dampened Burnley's enthusiasm and Fletcher almost capitalised on confusion between Reina, Daniel Ayala - the teenaged centre-back a surprise inclusion - and Daniel Agger when Cork swung in a left-wing cross seconds after the restart.

Liverpool's problems up front worsened when Dirk Kuyt was forced off with a calf injury, meaning Babel was pushed into the lone striker role to allow Yossi Benayoun to come on and play on the left.

The Israeli had a hand in the opening goal but luck played a greater part in the 51st minute.

Benayoun and Alberto Aquilani combined in the centre of the pitch to give Gerrard the ball in the inside-left position.

With Graham Alexander backing away he switched the ball on to his right foot before unleashing a 20-yard shot which deflected off Cort and inside Jensen's right post.

Fortune also contributed to Gerrard's second seven minutes later when Glen Johnson and Rodriguez progressed a move down the right to Aquilani who slipped as he tried to turn inside.

However, the ball ran to Gerrard, whose 25-yard strike owed nothing to luck and everything to talent as he curled a shot perfectly through the gap between Jensen's outstretched fingers and the left post.

Fletcher almost pulled one back in the 72nd minute when his left-footed shot cannoned back off the post, although justice was probably done as the striker appeared to control the ball with his hand.

Two minutes later Burnley's fate was sealed as Aquilani played in Rodriguez on the right of the penalty area and he clipped home his long-awaited first goal since signing from Atletico Madrid in January.

In the third minute of added time Babel sprang the offside trap to race clear and fire in a fourth before Turf Moor rose to acclaim their departing heroes.

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Thor Zakariassen