After The Match 


Liverpool-Portsmouth 0-0            29.11.06                          PL
Team: Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Agger, Riise, Pennant, Gerrard, Carragher, Garcia, Crouch, Kuyt
Subs: Fowler (Crouch 60), El Zhar (Garcia 71),
Guthrie (Pennant 84)
Not used: Dudek, Paletta
Yellow: Carragher (52), Pennant (70)
Hughes (75), Thompson (76), Pamarot (90)
Red: None
Referee: Alan Wiley
Attendance: 42,467
Shots on target: 4-0
Shots off target: 9-2
Possession: 65.5-34.5
Fouls conceded: 14-13
Corners: 6-1
Offsides: 2-3
Yellow: 2-3


to do
the right things..."
    Rafael Benitez

3011: We've blown big chance
2911: Redknapp praises Pompey
2911: Rafa: It was a frustrating night
2911: Reds fire blank in Anfield bore draw  


We've blown big chance

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Jamie Carragher hopes his spell back in central midfield comes to an instant end, despite shining in last night's otherwise frustrating 0-0 draw with Portsmouth.

Carragher was man-of-the-match, but today reflected on a missed opportunity as Liverpool failed to push themselves into the top four.

"We're disappointed with the result and the performance," he said. "When you look at how the other results went last night, we feel even worse today. Aston Villa, Arsenal, Bolton and Everton all losing gave us a big opportunity which we haven't taken.

"It was a frustrating night and we didn't really create many chances, but you always have to try to take some positives and we're a point closer to the top four than we were before the game. I know that's a small consolation.

"I'd give some credit to Portsmouth for how they defended. With Tony Adams at the club they were always going to improve defensively this season and they did agood job at the back last night.

"But we're well used to teams coming here and playing 4-5-1 now and know what we have to do to break them down.

"Our home record has been fantastic for well over a year, so sometimes you've just got to accept there are going to be games like this.

"Really, we're paying a bit for the points we've dropped away from home. When you don't win enough away games you're putting yourself under far more pressure to keep winning at home.

"We're now at that stage of the season wherewe've got to startwinning away, starting at Wigan this weekend, but I know Paul Jewell will have his side right up for that one and it will be another very difficult game."

Carragher slotted comfortably into amidfield role, but hopes to make an immediate returnto defence this weekend.

"I know I played centre midfield for England last summer, but I can't remember the last time I did it for Liverpool," he said.

"I really think it could have been five years ago, and I definitely haven't played there under Rafa Benitez before.

"I enjoyed it and it's always good to have a bit of a change now and again, but I hope Xabi is fit for the Wigan game and I can go back to centre-half. That's where I'm most comfortable."

Redknapp praises Pompey

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Harry Redknapp was full of praise for his hardworking Portsmouth side who scrapped out a 0-0 draw at Liverpool
on Wednesday.

With a few injury problems to contend with in a run of three games in a week, Redknapp sent his side out to frustrate Liverpool and earn a point.

With one up front and five across midfield, Portsmouth did just that and Liverpool were unable to get through a stubborn rearguard action.

Redknapp's men went up into third place in the Premiership table with the point and the manager was delighted.

"We worked hard - it was difficult and we changed the system today because we had one or two players missing up front with injuries so it was difficult," said Redknapp after the game.

"It was a terrific effort from everybody.

"If you come here and pick up a point you're happy. They don't lose many here but they didn't create a lot tonight."

The point sees Pompey continue to scale the heights of the Premiership table after coming so close to relegation last term.

"They all did there job tonight, it's so difficult when you have three games in six days. It was a bit of a juggling act with an eye on Saturday at home to Villa.

"It's been a fantastic run, when you look at the end of last season when we did so well to stay up, so hopefully we can just keep that going."

Rafa: It was a frustrating night

By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website

Rafael Benitez said he felt a sense of frustration at Liverpool's inability to break down a resolute Portsmouth side and admitted his team didn't quite do enough to win the game.

While admitting he was frustrated with Portsmouth's time wasting tactics the Liverpool manager believes his team were not at their best.

"In the first half we were controlling everything and had a lot of shots and crosses but in the second half they played deeper and some of our players were a little bit tired," reflected Benitez.

"We know we could have gone third in the table but when you cannot win you must be happy if your team works hard and tries to do the right things. We tried to do the right things and it was difficult at times because they wasted a lot of time but if the referee doesn't do anything about it you can't do anything."

Benitez also had words of encouragement for Jermaine Pennant who was substituted towards the end of the game.

"I said to Pennant he must try and beat players and get crosses into the box for us and he must keep trying," added the Reds boss.

"He did try tonight but it didn't come off for him. He must keep working hard and try and beat players."

Reds fire blank in Anfield bore draw


Liverpool blew the chance to overtake Portsmouth and move into the Premiership top four with a disappointing 0-0 stalemate at Anfield.

Pompey's massed ranks survived a near-constant bombardment to claim a precious draw - a tremendous reward for a club who had not won at Anfield for 55 years.

Pompey unashamedly time-wasted and wore Liverpool down. Steven Gerrard tried to be the one-man hero, but not even his Captain Marvel act could rescue anything for Liverpool in this one.

Jamie Carragher got the nod as Steven Gerrard's emergency central midfield partner, a situation caused by injuries to Xabi Alonso, Mohamed Sissoko and now Bolo Zenden.

Such was Liverpool's depleted squad that youngster Danny Guthrie was named on the bench, having previously only played in the Carling Cup, while Moroccan forward Nabil El Zhar was involved as a substitute for the first time.

Craig Bellamy was unavailable due to the late conclusion of his court case in Cardiff where he had been found not guilty on two assault charges earlier in the day.

Portsmouth included Matt Taylor, despite a back problem, while Benjani Mwaruwari was passed fit at the last minute with a knee injury.

Carragher took his new duties to heart by surging forward after just two minutes to lash a 20-yard shot just wide.

Sami Hyypia's long ball then gave Peter Crouch the opportunity to test David James from a similar distance.

Luis Garcia twice, John Arne Riise and then Hyypia - from 25 yards - all produced efforts that went close as Liverpool moved the ball at speed through the Pompey ranks.

But although Liverpool had a vast amount of the possession, they were not getting into dangerous positions through the middle where Sol Campbell and Linvoy Primus looked composed.

Liverpool's long-range barrage continued when Gerrard saw a dipping 25-yard free-kick just clear James' bar. Pompey got in just a first shot of the night - a 25-yard free-kick from Matt Taylor that flew well wide.

Gerrard did his best to break the deadlock with an angled 12-yard effort just wide before Luis Garcia sent in a flicked header into the side-netting.

But it was a frustrating half for Liverpool who never really got close enough to James to have a decent inspection of their former colleague's new haircut.

After the break, Gerrard continued to provide almost all of Liverpool's attacking threat, and an edge-of-the-box piledriver hit Campbell's elbow and deflected into James' arms. Penalty appeals were waved away by referee Alan Wiley.

Carragher was booked for tugging back Pedro Mendes before Jermaine Pennant sent Gerrard away on the right, his low cross causing trouble for James who was forced to make two saves in quick succession from Luis Garcia.

Pompey were getting more adventurous and Taylor saw a 25-yard shot crash into Riise on the edge of the box before Liverpool sent on Robbie Fowler on the hour for Crouch to try to add some variation.

Gerrard by now was attempting to be everywhere - providing the long balls from the back, breaking up attacks in midfield and trying to get into the box as well.

Pennant got himself booked after a series of altercations with referee Wiley before Pompey sent on Manuel Fernandes for the injured Mendes.

Liverpool then gave El Zhar his debut in place of Luis Garcia on 72 minutes.

With eight minutes left Pompey sent on Kanu for Benjani Mwaruwari, Guthrie making his Liverpool league debut in place of Pennant on 84 minutes.

Two minutes from time Gerrard hurled himself at a Dirk Kuyt cross in sheer desperation, the ball flashing into the side netting. Referee Wiley booked Noe Pamarot for time wasting and allowed five minutes added time.

In that spell Campbell had to go off with a split boot and, as Pompey staff searched for a replacement they were on the brink of sending on Andy O'Brien before a spare boot was found for Campbell. That bout of comedy just about summed up Liverpool's night.

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Thor Zakariassen