Crouch celebrates his goal which gave
Liverpool 2-1 vs West Ham. (Photo: Empics)
Rafa full of praise for Agger
By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Webste
Rafael Benitez was full of praise for Daniel Agger after
his fantastic goal in the 2-1 win over West Ham United and
then revealed the Danish international has scored goals like
that in training.
The Liverpool manager admitted Agger is quite capable of
scoring spectacular goals and was impressed with his display
against the Hammers.
"I promise you I was not surprised to see Agger score this
fantastic goal because he has a great shot on him and he
does that in training," enthused Benitez.
"I was talking to him this week and I told him if he gets a
chance to have a shot because he is capable of scoring
"I thought it was a difficult game for us but we are pleased
with the three points. We scored two fantastic goals but we
were a bit nervous in the second half because we didn't take
our chances and kill the game off.
"I thought we started well but then found ourselves a goal
down. We showed good character to go 2-1 up but then we had
some problems because we didn't take our chances.
"I thought Dirk Kuyt did very well and the supporters were
pleased with him. He created three or four chances for
himself and was unlucky not to score. He is a very
intelligent player and I have a lot of confidence in him."
rues Reds loss
By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports
West Ham chief Alan Pardew felt his side were unlucky to
lose to Liverpool.
The Hammers took the lead at Anfield with a fortuitous goal
from Bobby Zamora, but Liverpool hit back to win the game
thanks to quality goals from Daniel Agger and Peter Crouch.
Pardew believes his side did enough in the second half to
get a result and blamed his side for falling asleep late in
the first half
"Certainly in the second half I felt we did enough to get
something out of the game," Pardew told PremPlus.
"We had a tricky period after we scored, we switched off and
their movement was good. That period was the difference
"We changed our shape and perhaps it didn't work for us and
we didn't sort it out quickly enough. You can't fault their
attitude, we pushed on to them a bit more and stayed on the
front foot in the second half."
Marlon Harewood fluffed a great chance to double the lead in
the first half and Pardew conceded it was a costly miss.
"There are always those moments because we attack teams and
it's open," added Pardew.
"There are always opportunities to win the game and perhaps
if Marlon had scored before today he would have taken that
Reds win after
Two goals in the final minutes of the first half gave
Liverpool a 2-1 home win over West Ham on the day the Kop
celebrated its 100th birthday.
Both goals were scored in front of one of the most famous
edifices in football, the first from Daniel Agger - a
cracker from 30 yards - and then Peter Crouch from a close
West Ham led early on through Bobby Zamora's fourth strike
of the season and although they contributed to another
excellent game - maybe not as good as the FA Cup final -
they could not fashion an equaliser, although Lee Bowyer hit
The Hammers came forward after the break, always inviting
the sucker punch, while Lee Bowyer hit a post.
But with new boy Dirk Kuyt buzzing up front, Liverpool just
about hung on to their victory - a 17th game unbeaten.
Steven Gerrard returned to the starting Liverpool line-up to
lead the side in a re-run of last season's memorable FA Cup
final. Gerrard only appeared as a late substitute in the
midweek Champions League game in Kiev, having suffered with
a stomach upset.
Mohamed Sissoko (knee) and Stephen Warnock (ankle) were out
from that side, with Gerrard and Fabio Aurelio coming into
the team. Craig Bellamy also returned with Mark Gonzalez
dropping to the bench.
West Ham, who have not won at Anfield since 1963 and have
not beaten Liverpool anywhere in their last eight meetings,
recalled midfielder Yossi Benayoun as they returned to a
four-man backline with James Collins reverting to the bench,
having figured in a five-strong defence in the midweek draw
The energy and movement of Liverpool's opening had West Ham
on the back foot, Gerrard saw a shot fizz wide from 25 yards
and Crouch's header from Jermaine Pennant's cross bounced
Then Luis Garcia shot wide following a poor Danny Gabbidon
clearance from Aurelio's cross. The Brazilian fullback went
close himself on 10 minutes when his curling free-kick was
headed off the line by Paul Konchesky.
But West Ham stunned the home crowd on 12 minutes with
another freakish goal, the Hammers making a habit of such
things after Konchesky's cross-cum-shot in the cup final.
Then the fullback saw his effort curl over Reina, and it was
the Spanish keeper who was at fault again on Saturday.
He was too far from his near post as Zamora snapped up a
Benayoun pass and fired the ball goalwards from the right.
Reina plunged back but could not stop the ball going in.
A minute later Marlon Harewood was put through by Benayoun,
but pulled a shot wide of the far post as the goal seemed to
open up for him.
Liverpool's pressure was relentless after West Ham's shock
goal, but not particularly co-ordinated. Bellamy and Aurelio
both had angled shots that flashed across goal and West Ham
conceded too much possession to make their life more
One Pennant break down the right produced a cross that Luis
Garcia volleyed straight at Roy Carroll. The Ulsterman was
then in the right place to clutch an Xabi Alonso drive.
West Ham were trying to hit on the break and, on 41 minutes,
Harewood muscled his way past Aurelio to slip the ball home,
only to be penalised for pushing.
But a minute later, Liverpool were level when Agger advanced
from half-way to launch a staggering 35-yard shot into the
top corner. And seconds from the break, Gerrard and Luis
Garcia combined to send Crouch in, the big striker waltzing
around Carroll to slide the ball home.
Six minutes into the second half, Kuyt came on for his
debut, and within minutes had seen an effort from just
outside the box flash wide and a towering header drop wide.
But West Ham were attacking in more numbers than the first
period, and Benayoun twisted in the box on to a Harewood
backheel, but Agger blocked the shot.
Bellamy then surged into the box to chip Carroll from a Kuyt
flick, but was given offside. Replays suggested the decision
West Ham sent on Carlton Cole for Harewood on 73 minutes,
but it was the speed, movement and running of Kuyt that now
grabbed the eye as the Dutchman sought desperately to make
an impression on his first appearance at Anfield.
On 78 minutes, he surged forward to test Carroll from 20
yards. Gonzalez did the same a minute later from similar
Bowyer hit the outside of a post from three yards on 80
minutes when he should have buried the chance.