After The Match 


Crystal P-Liverpool 2-1 (1-1)    25.10.05                      CC-3.r.
Goals: Gerrard (40)          Freedman (37), Reich (65)
Team: Carson, Raven, Whitbread, Hyypia, Warnock, Potter, Gerrard, Hamann , Kewell, Morientes, Crouch
Subs: Pongolle (Morientes 62), Garcia (Kewell 65),
Traore (Warnock 76)
Not used: Reina, Josemi
Yellow: Raven (41)       Reich (33), Hudson (53)
Red: None
Referee: P Dowd
Shots on target: 6-7
Shots off target: 3-9
Possession: 46-54
Fouls conceded: 10-15
Corners: 6-9
Yellow: 2-1




HEADLINES  "That kind of performance is just not acceptable for Liverpool Football Club."
     Steven Gerrard

2610: Gerrard: Blame us, not Rafa
2610: Dowie backs Reds to bounce back
2610: Benitez stands by strikers
2510: Palace knock Liverpool out of cup


Gerrard: Blame us, not Rafa


Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard insists the players and not the manager have to take the blame after the Reds' dismal Carling Cup exit.

Rafael Benitez's troops crashed out of the competition in ignominious circumstances on Tuesday, losing 2-1 at Crystal Palace.

Benitez's apparent inability to translate Liverpool's impressive European form into domestic victories has seen him come in for a storm of criticism but Gerrard - who scored on his comeback from a shin injury - is in no doubt where the blame lies.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "I don't see why anyone should have a go at the boss. He's been saying the right things to us and doing the right things.

"It's the players who have to accept responsibility in this situation. We have to take the blame."

Gerrard added: "That kind of performance is just not acceptable for Liverpool Football Club

"A lot of our fans have paid a lot of money to see that and what they saw just wasn't good enough. We've got to say sorry to them for that.

"People can go on about the first-half chances all they like, but that's not enough for us. We've got to perform for 90 minutes.

"There's got to be a big reaction to this now. We've all got to play for the shirt and start showing how much it means to be playing for this club."

Dowie backs Reds to bounce back

By Paul Eaton - LFC Official Website

Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie paid tribute to his side for dumping Liverpool out of the Carling Cup - and then backed the Reds to emerge from their disappointing run of form.

Liverpool have lost two games in a row, with last night's shock exit at Palace following on from a 2-0 Premiership defeat at Fulham on Saturday.

Dowie was delighted with his side's display which saw off the challenge of the European champions, but he has no doubts the Reds will soon be back on the winning trail.

He said: "In a few weeks' time when they get everybody back fit I wouldn't be surprised if they go on a run.

"They have Gerrard back now, who is a big player for them. We rode a 20-minute period in the first half where they were on top but in the second half we were much more creative.

"European football is more ponderous and slower and it gives players more time, and that's why Liverpool have done better in that.

"But I would be amazed if they are not in the top four come the end of the season."

He added: "Our display last night was very good overall. It was definitely our best home performance of the season. Some of our football was outstanding.

"I felt we got it down and passed it. Everyone from the full-backs to the wide men looked creative and full of energy.

"Ben Watson and Tom Soares were excellent in midfield, as were Michael Hughes and Marco Reich. "You cannot shut up shop against Liverpool, and they had the maestro back in Gerrard."

Benitez stands by strikers

By Mark Buckingham - Sky Sports

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is refusing to panic, despite his strikers again failing to score in the surprise Carling Cup defeat to Crystal Palace.

Benitez again had to watch in frustration as Peter Crouch and Fernando Morientes were shut out by the Palace defence in the 2-1 loss at Selhurst Park.

Crouch has yet to score in 11 appearances since his move from Southampton, while Morientes' two goals this season came in the UEFA Champions League qualifier against CSKA Sofia.

The drought has left The Reds with the second worst attack in The Premiership, with only Merseyside rivals Everton scoring fewer goals.

But Reds boss Benitez is not unduly concerned and is confident his forwards will eventually deliver goals.

"The strikers will score goals because they have quality and they are working hard," said Benitez.

"Harry Kewell and Fernando Morientes are lacking match fitness, which will come with playing games."

Steven Gerrard's goal was the only real bright spot in the third round humbling but Benitez feels Palace keeper Julian Speroni was the difference between the two teams.

He added: "Again the goalkeeper was the man of the match and he saved Palace. We created good chances and the players worked hard.

"As a manager I am disappointed to lose but I can't criticise my players as they worked hard all game and tried hard.

"Palace worked hard and if we had managed to score more goals it might have been different but we now have to concentrate on the next match."

Palace knock Liverpool out of cup

BBC Sport Online

Crystal Palace claimed a memorable victory over European champions Liverpool to reach the last 16 of the Carling Cup in a riveting encounter.

Dougie Freedman gave Palace the lead after 37 minutes when he headed Michael Hughes' cross against the run of play.

Returning Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard quickly equalised with a goal from 20 yards - his 50th for the club.

But Hughes set up the second-half winner, feeding Marco Reich who drilled the ball home to seal Liverpool's fate.

The chances had come thick and fast for a Liverpool side packed with a crop of fresh talent but harnessed by captain Gerrard - back from a shin injury.

Young midfielder Darren Potter saw two strikes sail over the bar in the first half while Fernando Morientes and Gerrard saw their decent efforts saved.

Palace had plenty of early chances too, Clinton Morrisson had two early chances comfortably dealt with by Sami Hyypia and Scott Carson, replacing Jose Reina in goal.

Referee Phil Dowd appeared to deny the home side their best opportunity.

He pulled Palace back to award them a free-kick instead of playing advantage when Tom Soares was clear through.

But the home side were rewarded 10 minutes before half-time when Freedman knocked in Hughes' cross from the left.

Inevitably, their lead did not last long, Gerrard got on the end of a Liverpool move created out of nothing to exquisitely side-foot in an equaliser after 39 minutes.

The high-tempo continued after the break as Liverpool piled on the pressure.

Morientes again went close and the Spaniard then laid off the ball to Potter, who once again was unfortunate to see his shot skim the bar.

Reds defender David Raven mopped up a period of Palace pressure in which the home side saw their penalty appeals turned down.

Palace's persistence paid off when Reich slid another excellent pass from past Carson to restore their advantage after 66 minutes.

Peter Crouch - still searching for his first Liverpool goal - missed two chances to equalise as Benitez's side pressed for another goal.

But despite last-gasp efforts from Luis Garcia and Raven, Palace survived four minutes of extra-time and Liverpool's poor form continued as they bowed out.

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Thor Zakariassen