What a goal from Peter Crouch... (Photo: Empics)
Benitez praises amazing Crouch
By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website
Rafael Benitez was full of praise for Peter Crouch after
he scored an amazing goal in the 3-2 win over Galatasary and
felt Liverpool just about deserved their victory.
The Liverpool manager felt Crouch's overhead kick was a
fitting way to seal the victory and added his team have now
given themselves a very good chance of qualifying for the
next phase of the Champions League.
"Crouch scored an amazing goal and he showed very good
movement and how good a player he is," reflected Benitez.
"It was the important goal for us but I have to say it was a
strange game. We started off really well with a high tempo
and got good crosses into the box and scored good goals.
Then after 20 minutes we felt the job was done and that's
when the problems began.
"I put Momo Sissoko on in the second half because we needed
him to get us more control in the centre of midfield. At the
end I was worried because we didn't have the control of the
game that we wanted but the important thing was to win. It
wasn't how we expected but we got the points.
"We are now in a very good position in the group and we have
to keep on going and win our home games."
Crouch: My best goal yet
Peter Crouch has admitted his second goal for Liverpool
in their 3-2 win over Galatasaray is his best strike so far
for the club.
The England international produced a sublime scissors kick
from Steve Finnan's cross in the 52nd minute to put the Reds
into a three goal lead.
Crouch told the club website: "It was a special moment for
me to score that goal at the Kop end. I'd have to say it's
the best of my Liverpool career so far.
"It's obviously frustrating to have been on the bench over
recent games because you always want to play. But at a club
this size you know you'll be out of the team every now and
again and you just have to make sure you're ready when
"I thought we played well in the first half tonight and then
when we scored the third maybe we thought the game was over.
Credit to them for coming back into it and it was a bit
worrying at the end.
"The important thing is we've won the game and picked up the
three points. That's what matters at the end of the night."
Turkish delight for Rafa's Reds
By Rob Lancaster - Sky Sports
Liverpool ended a run of five games without a win in the
UEFA Champions League, although they made hard work of a 3-2
success over Galatasaray.
Peter Crouch grabbed two goals, the second a stunning
volley, as Liverpool surged into a three-goal lead by the
But, once again the Reds were involved in an unlikely
European comeback with Turkish roots, much like their final
success of two seasons ago when they came from three down to
This time the boot was on the other foot, though, as Umit
Karan came off the bench to head home a quick-fire double
that left the hosts hanging on.
Such a dramatic finish had not appeared on the cards as,
after going 451 minutes without a goal in Europe, Liverpool
managed two in the opening quarter.
It was Crouch who got them off and running, the forgotten
forward at Anfield giving his manager a timely reminder of
his abilities with a volleyed finish from Fabio Aurelio's
Five minutes later and Luis Garcia doubled the home side's
advantage thanks to the help of some careless defending from
Twice the Turkish side failed to clear their lines from a
cross, allowing Jermaine Pennant to nip in and cross for his
fellow winger to head home.
A two-goal lead was no more than Liverpool deserved for
their fast start which had seen them play a style of
football that Bill Shankly - who died 25 years ago this week
- would've been proud of.
Current boss Rafa Benitez would have been pleased to see his
side race out of the blocks, although the Spaniard may be
less happy with their approach for the rest of the half.
They allowed Galatasaray to get a foothold in the game and,
with Sabri Sarioglu providing a threat down the right, the
signs were there that the game was far from over.
Jose Reina was forced to turn aside a Cihan Haspolatli's
cross-shot after Garcia fell asleep to allow the right back
to drift in on goal.
Sabri's fierce drive that drifted wide was a further warning
for The Reds, who's only other effort of the half came when
Steven Gerrard's long range effort was somewhat fortunately
deflected over by Faryd Mondragon.
Buoyed by his team's impressive finish to the first half,
Galatasaray coach Erik Gerets threw on attackers Hasan Sas
and Karan at the break.
Crouch seemed to end their hopes, though, the England
international producing a stunning bicycle kick in front of
the Kop from Steve Finnan's deep cross to make it 3-0.
That should have been that, but just as they had done in the
opening 45 minutes, Liverpool allowed their opponents to
take control, only this time around they managed to find the
net, and not just once but twice.
Substitute Karan grabbed both goals with his head,
impressively converting a cross from either flank to bring
the game back to life.
It could have all been different had Dirk Kuyt's deflected
effort not hit the post and stayed out just before, although
Gala had also struck the woodwork through Sabri's free kick.
Liverpool were forced to hang on in the closing stages,
Hakan Sukur failing to make the most of two great
opportunities to grab the Turks an unlikely point.
The final whistle was greeted with much relief from the home
fans, who now see their team top Group C with four points
from two matches.