Carra: Time to get tough
By Chris Bascombe In Athens - Liverpool Echo
Jamie Carragher admits Liverpool will only cure their
travel sickness by showing more character away from
The Reds suffered their third consecutive away defeat
last night, performing poorly in the 1-0 loss to
Carragher, one of few players to emerge with any credit
from the match, said the players must be braver and
restore some of the qualities which made the Reds so
tough to beat in Europe.
"Under Gerard Houllier our problem was our form at home.
It's reversed at the moment," said Carragher.
"No-one can really put their finger on why. We couldn't
work out our problems at home over the last few years,
and now it's the same away.
"We need to sort it out quickly because we've two away
games coming up in the Premiership.
"We had a good record away under the last manager
because we were solid.
"Maybe we we're tougher in certain areas but now we're
better on the eye at home.
"It's all about finding the right balance. We haven't
quite got it. We never had it under the last manager at
home. That isn't a problem now, it's away where we've
got to get it right."
Carragher pointed to specific qualities which you need
to show far more on your travels.
He added: "You've got to be more of a team away from
home because you're under the cosh and decisions will go
"They have the crowd with them too, but I don't think
that should matter. I don't see why you should play any
"It's eleven versus eleven, the same sized pitch and the
same ball. We've got to be men. You've just got to show
more character. You've got to have people wanting the
ball and making more challenges.
"You see the real characters in the team when you're
"We didn't perform. Olympiakos were fighting for the
ball a lot better than us, showing more character and
aggression. It's disappointing that's how the game went.
Everyone has to take greater responsibility, including
Despite the loss, the defender believes Liverpool are
still in a good position to reach the last 16.
"It's still early days in the group. I'm still confident
we'll get through," he said.
"It's only one defeat out of the six games so far.
Whatever the result, we're still in it. We play everyone
twice so we've got to look to beat Olympiakos at Anfield
"If we beat every team in the group once, we've still
got a great chance.
"We've three points on the board, so if we can get
another four from our next two games, we'd be delighted.
"But if we play like that against Chelsea or anyone
else, they'll punish us even more. I'm confident in the
manager and the players and we'll put up a much a better
performance than last night on Sunday."
either improve or go out
By Paul Rogers in Athens - LFC Official Website
Salif Diao believes Liverpool must get their act
together quickly if they are to progress any further in
this season's Champions League tournament.
Diao, a second half substitute against Olympiacos on
Tuesday night, admits that the Reds are in danger of
throwing away their early advantage in Group A unless
they buck up their ideas away from home.
"The game against Deportivo La Coruna is a very
important one for us now," he told Liverpoolfc.tv. "If
we want to give ourselves the best possible chance of
qualifying then we need to win our next match.
"With Monaco winning and ourselves losing to Olympiacos,
the group is very open. All four teams can still qualify
and we must improve if we are to reach the knock-out
stages. We can't afford to lose many more matches
because the other teams will take advantage and open up
a lead at the top of the group.
"The game was quite similar to the one against
Manchester United in that we didn't start well and the
first half was not good for us but we improved in the
second-half and could have earnt a draw at least.
"We're working on improving things in training but we
must learn to start matches a lot better than we did at
Old Trafford and against Olympiacos. In both matches, we
only started playing once we'd conceded a goal and that
"Everything is new at Liverpool at the moment. We have a
new manager, new players, new methods on the training
pitch and new tactics. Training is different and it
takes time to adjust to what the new manager is looking
for. I can't explain why we are so much better at home
than we are when we travel away but we are working all
the time to improve our away record and I'm confident
that given time under Rafael Benitez, we'll be as strong
away from home as we are at Anfield."
Home form will decide group
A disappointed Rafael Benitez accepts Liverpool's
home games in the Champions League will decide whether
they qualify from Group A.
The Reds suffered a shattering 1-0 away defeat tonight
against a committed Olympiacos side, who finished with
10 men but still stopped Liverpool creating a single
chance over the 90 minutes.
Manager Benitez said: "When you lose like that it is
always very disappointing.
"We gave away a lot of possession; we had plenty but did
not keep it.
'"In the second half we were a lot better; we were more
aggressive and created more possibilities.'
Even so Liverpool never recovered from conceding an
early headed goal to Ieroklis Stoltidis - and despite
abandoning their 4-4-1-1 system and throwing on
attacking players Djibril Cisse and Harry Kewell, the
Merseysiders could not rescue even a point.
Group A is now very tight following Monaco's 2-0 home
win over Deportivo, whom Liverpool play in crucial
back-to-back matches in October and November.
Deportivo are bottom of the group, and Liverpool must
take a four-point minimum from the two games.
Benitez said: "Until Olympiacos scored they had not
created anything, but after their goal the game changed.
"They were confident and had more opportunities."
The Spaniard felt his team were a little unlucky to go
"The goal was unfortunate," he said.
"The cross clipped a player and changed direction,
making it very difficult for Sami Hyypia to clear.
"As far as the group goes, now every team has a chance
of qualifying - so the home games for everybody will be
"Whoever wins them will have a great chance of
Rivaldo's performance pleases Olympiakos coach
By Barney Spender - Reuters
Olympiakos Piraeus coach Dusan Bajevic praised the
performance of playmaker Rivaldo after his team beat
Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions league on Tuesday.
"I have already said that he is a great personality,"
said Bajevic. "He is still only 32 and he has had a
great career but he is an example to the rest of the
The close season signing of Brazil's World Cup-winner
was met with raised eyebrows across most parts of Greece
but Bajevic warmed to the subject of a man who lit up
the first half.
"In training his behaviour is excellent and I think you
all saw it with your own eyes tonight that he played so
well," added former Yugoslavia international Bajevic.
"He did everything he could to help the team win and I'm
convinced that as he has more games he'll continue to
Rivaldo silenced his critics with an impressive
first-half display that included floating over the cross
that led to Ieroklis Stoltidis' 17th minute headed goal
and almost scoring himself with a fierce strike from
outside the area.
"He has a lot of talent," said Bajevic. "We knew he
hadn't played for a while before coming here but I know
that the more games he plays, the better he will
Olympiakos put Liverpool under pressure in their Group A
match, twice hitting the woodwork and coming within a
whisker of adding to their tally on at least three other
"When you lose, you're normally not very happy," said
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. "In the first half, we
had problems, we didn't keep the ball. In the second
half, we were more aggressive and we made more
The result leaves Olympiakos, perennial non-achievers in
Europe, top of the group after two games.
"My players did exactly what they should have done,"
said Bajevic. "They communicated well with each other
throughout the game, they were confident and they were
"We stopped Liverpool from creating any chances, just a
few corners and we dealt with those. But it wasn't only
the defence that defended well, it was the whole
operation. We didn't allow Liverpool to play their
Hyypia upset with defending
By Paul Higham - Sky Sports
Liverpool's Sami Hyypia says they need to learn from
their defeat at Olympiakos.
The Reds produced a lacklustre display in Athens to go
down to a single goal against the Greek side who also
showed little but still came away with the win.
Rafa Benitez's side again saw his side struggle to
defend from crosses and set-plays, a problem which is
fast becoming their major weak point.
Hyypia was unhappy with the way Liverpool lost the
match, saying that they must learn from their recent
Liverpool have been employing a new zonal defence system
brought in by Benitez, but it has not yet come together,
and Hyypia says they need to start learning fast.
"To concede a goal like that to lose the game was bad,"
said Hyypia. "It shouldn't have happened.
"They made it very difficult for us, but that's how it
"It was a disappointing night but now we have to analyse
this and concentrate on our next match.
"Every day we are learning more under him (Benitez). We
need to analyse this defeat and learn from it."
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool suffered a first ever defeat against Greek
opposition despite an improved display in the second
Yiannis Okkas struck the post with a powerful drive
before Ieroklis Stoltidis headed in from a free-kick.
The visitors were much better after the break and had an
effort from Harry Kewell ruled out for offside.
Stoltidis hit the bar with a header as Olympiakos
finished strongly and, although Anastasios Pantos was
sent off, they held on for a famous win.
Liverpool looked to have the pace in Luis Garcia and
Milan Baros to cause Olympiakos problems on the break -
but they saw so little of the ball in the early stages
that it did not matter.
The Reds had problems implementing the zonal defence
Rafael Benitez prefers and they had a lucky escape when
Jerzy Dudek got a finger to Okkas' shot to ensure it
thudded against the near post rather than the back of
It was no surprise when Stoltidis got in front of Sami
Hyypia and produced a superb header from Rivaldo's
free-kick to make it 1-0.
Liverpool might have hit back immediately when Baros
looked to be impeded in the area but that was it in
terms of first-half highlights for the visitors.
Brazilian maestro Rivaldo showed that he can still
produce moments of magic when he rifled in a 30-yard
half-volley which whistled past Dudek's left-hand post.
A poor Dudek clearance allowed Grigoris Georgatos to
cross and Giovanni headed just wide, although there was
a suspicion that John Arne Riise's hand had got the
decisive touch to deflect it wide.
Pantelis Kafes should have made it 2-0 from a Georgatos
corner but he could not keep his header down and
Liverpool went in at the interval relieved to be just a
Benitez made a predictable change at half time,
withdrawing Stephen Warnock, who had endured a torrid
first 45 minutes, and putting on Kewell.
And there were signs that Liverpool might just keep
their unbeaten record in this part of the world intact.
Defensively they looked more assured and, with Kewell
offering more options going forward, the Greeks were on
Kewell had the ball in the back of the net after a
lay-off from Baros but a debatable offside call denied
the Reds an equaliser.
However, it needed a timely intervention from Riise to
cut out a dangerous cross from Georgiadis.
From the ensuing corner Liverpool had another slice of
luck when Stoltidis again found room but this time his
header crashed against the bar.
Georgiadis was enjoying plenty of time on the ball down
the right and he cut in before firing in a 25-yarder
which went straight at Dudek.
Liverpool made their final change by putting on Salif
Diao for Dietmar Hamann and they soon had a one-man
advantage when Pantos was sent off for a second bookable
offence after bringing down Xabi Alonso.
Georgiadis had a chance to finish them off when he raced
into the box, only to send his effort wide of the far
post - but it mattered little to the home fans who were
joyous at the final whistle.