Both Garcia and Mullins were sent off and will truely miss
The FA Cup Final. (Photo: AFP)
calls for Garcia red to be rescinded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
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 Liverpoolfc.tv 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."
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
"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
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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