dedicates goal to Michael Shields
By Paul Rogers - LFC Official Website
Jamie Carragher today dedicated his first goal in
over six years to Michael Shields, the Liverpool
supporter jailed for 15 years in Bulgaria for a crime
somebody else has claimed responsibility for.
from Wavertree, has protested his innocence ever since
being charged by Bulgarian police with the attempted
murder of waiter Martin Georgiev in the aftermath of
Liverpool's Champions League final victory and despite
another man delivering a sworn statement admitting he
committed the attack, the 18-year-old was found guilty
and sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday.
Carra scores in Kaunas and dedicates his goal to the
innocent Michael Shield. (Photo: Getty Images)
For Carragher, Liverpool's undisputed Player of the Year
last season, news of the verdict came as a massive shock
to both himself and Steven Gerrard, who had followed the
trial even while away on Champions League duty in
"We got a phone call with the news on Tuesday but we've
been aware of what's being going on throughout the whole
trial," Carragher told liverpoolfc.tv. "There was a
banner about Michael at the TNS game in the last round
and what's happened with the verdict was in our minds on
"If I'd have known I was going to score against Kaunas I
would have worn a t-shirt under my Liverpool shirt with
Michael's name on it. I want to dedicate that goal to
Michael Shields and all his family who are suffering so
badly right now.
"When we got the news that he'd not only be found guilty
for a crime he didn't commit but actually been sentenced
to 15 years, our hearts sank. For myself, Steven
[Gerrard] and the other local lads in the team, it
really hit us. He's one of us; a young lad who went to a
game to watch Liverpool and ended up being thrown in
prison in a foreign country. He must be absolutely
distraught at what's happened just as everyone in
Liverpool is. He should have been here in Lithuania
cheering us on but instead he's locked up. Me and Stevie
are heartbroken for the lad because it's obviously an
"I'm not sure how the justice system works in Bulgaria
but hopefully something can be done about this case. I
think somebody very high up in the government - possibly
even Tony Blair himself - should step in and fight
Michael's corner because what has happened is wrong.
There is a lad in Liverpool who has owned up to the
crime and admitted it was him and not Michael Shields
who is the guilty one.
"I know there is a lot going on around the country right
now with everyone working overtime to prevent any more
terrorist activity but I really do think someone from
very high up in the government needs to get involved in
"I won't pretend to know how Michael must feel right now
but I've got kids of my own and I can imagine how his
parents must feel seeing their son locked up for a crime
they know he didn't commit. If it was my kid, I'd be in
pieces. We're not giving up hope though. We know he's
innocent and we're sure that someone from the government
will step in to make sure justice gets done."
By Alex Dunn - Planet Football/Sky Sports
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was left satisfied with
his side's performance after watching them come from
behind to beat
FBK Kaunas 3-1.
Liverpool fell behind to their hosts in the 20th minute
but goals from Djibril Cisse, Jamie Carragher and a
second half Steven Gerrard penalty secured a comfortable
victory in Lithuania.
Although Liverpool were never at their first, Spanish
taskmaster Benitez is confident they have now done
enough to enjoy a comfortable second leg at Anfield.
"We conceded a goal but we had clear chances after
scoring three - we had many chances,'' said Benitez.
"It's a good result - we only made one mistake during
"All the team worked hard.''
Benitez continued to confirm that he believed debutant
Peter Crouch did an admiral job on his first start -
setting up Liverpool's first goal for strike partner
Djibril Cisse courtesy of an astute header.
"It was difficult for Peter Crouch in his first official
game,'' concluded Benitez.
''But I thought he did a good job - as did all the
Carragher's goal - a header from a corner - was his
first in six years and the popular stopper is now hungry
for more ahead of a new Premiership campaign.
"It's good to get something out of these games but we
had a few scares - credit to Kaunas, they caused a few
problems for us in the first half,'' said Carragher.
"Even before they scored they had everyone behind the
ball - so when they scored we realised it would be
doubly difficult because they had something to hang on
''I can promise you it won't be that long before you get
another one (goal) from me - the manager wants another
three or four more this season."
Liverpool ease past Kaunas
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool came from behind to beat Kaunas in the
Champions League second round qualifier first leg.
Giedrius Barevicius' close range finish put the
Lithuanians ahead on 21 minutes, but soon Liverpool led.
Debutant Peter Crouch's header set up Djibril Cisse for
the equaliser, with Jamie Carragher's header putting
Liverpool 2-1 ahead.
Early in the second half Steven Gerrard won and
converted a penalty to claim his sixth goal in Europe
Soon after his goal Gerrard was withdrawn to be replaced
by Mohamed Sissoko, as the former Valencia midfielder
made his Liverpool debut.
Crouch had a promising debut, with his height causing
Kaunas problems, while the big striker also held up the
ball well, in the process helping to bring other players
into the game.
Liverpool's defence looked altogether more rusty.
On a couple of occasions in the opening stage Kaunas
almost sprung Liverpool's offside trap, but Barevicius'
goal gave the European Champions a real jolt.
The Kaunas midfielder got in front of a clutch of
Liverpool defenders at the near post to prod home
Arturas Rimkevicius' cross.
Kaunas' goal galvanised Liverpool into a more offensive
approach, with Zenden starting to see more of the ball.
On 27 minutes one of the Dutch winger's crosses was
headed down by Crouch, a header pounced on by Cisse,
whose instinctive half volley surprised Eduardas
Liverpool's second came from a more unlikely source
considering Carragher last scored six years ago, in an
7-1 home win over Southampton in January 1999.
The Liverpool defender ran to the near post to meet
Gerrard's corner and his glancing header crossed the
line after taking a slight deflection off Irmantas
Just before the interval the Kaunas defender enjoyed
better fortune when he raced back to his goal to clear a
Cisse shot off the line.
Gerrard, who had scored five goals in the previous
round, made the game safe early in the second half.
After exchanging passes with Crouch, Gerrard strode into
the Kaunas penalty area where he was upended by
The Liverpool captain made no mistake with a fiercely
Late on Cisse should have added a fourth, but he scooped
the ball over the bar, after he had released by Luis
Liverpool might have won the game easily in the end, but
Kaunas provided the match's most skillful moment -
Eimantas Poderis outrageous flick when the ball was
behind him almost sneaking past Reina.
The second leg is next Tuesday at Anfield.