After The Match 


West Ham-Liverpool 1-2 (0-1)       26.04.06                        PL
Goals: Cisse (19 & 54)                Reo-Coker (46)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Traore, Warnock, Kromkamp, Hamann, Sissoko, Cisse, Fowler, Morientes
Subs: Hyypia (Finnan 63), Garcia (Fowler 80), Riise (Morientes 85)
Not used: Reina, Alonso
Yellow: None
Red: Garcia (82)        Mullins (82)
Referee: H Webb
Attendance: 34,852
Shots on target: 7-7
Shots off target: 4-6
Fouls conceded: 11-7
Corners: 6-3
Yellow: 0-0
Red: 1-1
the idea
to use
the pace
of Cisse..."
   Rafael Benitez

2704: Carra calls for Garcia red to be rescinded
2604: Rafa to appeal Garcia red
2604: Two off as Reds shade Cardiff warm-up  


Both Garcia and Mullins were sent off and will truely miss
The FA Cup Final. (Photo: AFP)

Carra calls for Garcia red to be rescinded

By Mark Platt - LFC Official Website

Jamie Carragher today joined Rafael Benitez and Alan Pardew in calling for Howard Webb to rescind the red cards shown to Luis Garcia and Haydn Mullins in last night's Premiership clash at Upton Park.

Garcia and Mullins are set to miss the FA Cup Final after referee Webb gave them their marching orders eight minutes from the end of Liverpool's 2-1 win over West Ham.

Both managers immediately sprung to the defence of their players and appealed for Webb to view the incident again in a bid to have the automatic three-game suspensions overturned.

Carragher admits he didn't have the best view of the unfortunate incident but hopes common sense will prevail and both players will be cleared to play in the Cardiff showpiece on May 13.

"To be honest a lot of the players ran over and got involved but I was a bit far away from the incident and from what I saw I just assumed the referee would show them a yellow card each. Hopefully, when the referee has another look at it this will be the case," he told this morning.

"If he stands by his decision then the FA could get involved. It's a very strange situation that probably won't happen again, where two teams who are due to meet in the final have a player each sent off. It's not even like one is a reserve player and one is a first team player. Both are expected to be in the first eleven and neither team gain an advantage or suffer a disadvantage.

"Maybe if the FA get involved a compromise can be reached and the ban can be changed so they miss the two remaining league games this season and the first game of the next season. I'm sure everyone would pat the FA on the back if they could sort it out this way.

"It's a shame for both players because if the referee does stick to his decision then they may never get another chance to play in a FA Cup Final. I know the West Ham lad quite well, from playing alongside him in the England under-21s, and he was in tears afterwards. Luis was devastated too and really subdued when going down the tunnel, as you'd expect.

"Hopefully, it will turn out right. Both would probably be in the first eleven for Cardiff and I'm sure both managers want them available for selection.

"From our perspective it would be a big blow to lose Garcia for the final. He's a big game player. Whenever we play a big game he seems to produce the goods. One piece of magic can win you a game and the FA Cup Final is a massive game."

Rafa to appeal Garcia red

By Lewis Rutledge - Sky Sports

Rafa Benitez was hopeful that Luis Garcia's red card would be rescinded after the Spaniard was sent off towards the end of Liverpool's 2-1 victory over West Ham.

Both Garcia and Hayden Mullins were sent off for an ugly late clash, and now face the possibility of missing out on the FA Cup final.

But Benitez believes that the incident was not too bad, and was also impressed by the players' attitude in the aftermath of the dismissal, apologising to each other and the referee.

"It was difficult," he told Sky Sports. "They were fighting for the ball. It's a pity.

"It's difficult but I think that the most important thing is that the players apologized to each other and the referee.

"I think we will try to appeal because it was not a serious incident.

"I think the referee realises that in a few days it is the most important game in the life of these players, and if he sees something different he will say."

Benitez was nonetheless pleased with the victory, which stretched Liverpool's winning run to nine games and took them to within three points of second-placed Manchester United

"Our idea was to go forward and create, but it was a difficult game," he explained.

"They were going forward and going forward, but we were creating chances as well.

"We will try to win every game now and it would be excellent to finish second."

Benitez also paid tribute to two-goal hero Djibril Cisse, who terrorised the West Ham defence throughout with his pace.

"It was the idea to use the pace of Cisse and maybe he could have scored one or two more."

Two off as Reds shade Cardiff warm-up

By Alex Lowe - PA Sport

Hayden Mullins and Luis Garcia could miss the FA Cup final after both players were sent off nine minutes from time in Liverpool's Barclays Premiership victory over West Ham.

Semi-final winner Garcia had only been on the field for two minutes when he tangled with Mullins in a tackle. Mullins pushed the Spaniard to the floor and referee Howard Webb showed both players a straight red card.

It is a more serious blow for West Ham than Liverpool. Mullins has been an unsung hero alongside Nigel Reo-Coker at the heart of the Hammers midfield this season.

Liverpool won the game, a dress rehearsal for next month's Cardiff final, with two expertly-taken goals from Djibril Cisse either side of Reo-Coker's equaliser.

The double sending off brought the evening to a sour end. Before kick-off players, fans and former West Ham stars had paid a rousing tribute to John Lyall, the Hammers' manager for 15 years who died suddenly last week aged 66.

Lyall is the only West Ham manager to have won the FA Cup twice and so it was a fitting evening for the club to pay its tributes.

But after the exertions of the weekend and their respective semi-final victories over Chelsea and Middlesbrough, West Ham and Liverpool sent out shadow sides.

Steven Gerrard was rested for Liverpool as Rafael Benitez made eight changes while Alan Pardew made five, reshuffling both his defence and his strikeforce.

Perhaps as a result, West Ham lacked their usual snap and bite and in the opening exchanges Liverpool were able to force the pace.

The Reds won three early corners and Cisse stung the hands of West Ham keeper Jimmy Walker with a viscous strike from 25 yards.

But there was nothing Walker could do after 17 minutes when Cisse, having been picked out by Momo Sissoko, unleashed a low drive from the angle of the West Ham box that flew in at the near post.

West Ham almost snatched an immediate reply through Yossi Benayoun - Jerzy Dudek did well to block the Israeli's close-range volley - but Liverpool were dominant.

Cisse sparked another attack with a well-timed run to escape the offside trap. West Ham were ponderous at the back and Fernando Morientes thought he had put Liverpool 2-0 ahead, only to see his strike from an acute angle ruled out for offside.

Liverpool were looking to exploit Ferdinand down the right flank and Cisse teed up Robbie Fowler, back in the side after being cup-tied for the semi-final, but his audacious attempt to chip Walker from 30 yards drifted just wide.

Elliot Ward had to react quickly as Fowler tried to turn in the box and, when Ferdinand was caught upfield, Cisse broke clear and tried his luck from distance again. This time Walker was up to the test.

West Ham finished the half strongly. Dudek was equal to Bobby Zamora's angled strike.

A slick move allowed Benayoun space to break down the right but Teddy Sheringham headed his near-post cross into the side-netting.

West Ham came forward again after Reo-Coker caught Steve Finnan in possession but Benayoun's diving header from Zamora's cross flew over the bar.

It took just over a minute of the second half for West Ham to find their breakthrough, and it was created in a manner which would have made Lyall proud.

Zamora exchanged passes with Sheringham to create space in the area before squaring the ball for Reo-Coker to apply the simple finish.

West Ham were denied the chance of a second when Zamora strayed offside after Matthew Etherington's had sliced through the heart of Liverpool's midfield.

Reo-Coker then burst into the Liverpool box and it seemed as if the Hammers would snatch the lead. Instead, Liverpool cleared their lines and exacted the perfect sucker-punch.

Fowler sent a superb 30-yard ball over the top of West Ham's defence, Cisse latched onto it and slotted his shot under the advancing Walker.

Dudek was then forced into two superb stops from Etherington, the first from a curling free-kick and the second from an angled drive.

Zamora and Sheringham combined again on another slick West Ham move and Reo-Coker thought he had levelled the scores with a neat chip only for his strike to be ruled out for offside.

Benayoun was replaced with 13 minutes remaining by Marlon Harewood to a rapturous reception from the West Ham fans for the strike that booked West Ham a first FA Cup final appearance in 26 years.

Harewood almost made an immediate impact after Sheringham had picked him out with a wonderful pass.

Liverpool broke downfield and Fowler, unmarked in the West Ham box and eight yards out, directed his header wide.

He was replaced immediately by Garcia, who lasted only two minutes before both he and Mullins were given their marching orders.

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Thor Zakariassen