After The Match 


Villarreal-Liverpool 0-0           30.7.08                  Pre-season
Team: Cavalieri, Darby, Skrtel, Hyypia, Dossena, Plessis, Gerrard, Benayoun, Voronin, Keane, Ngog
Subs: Agger, Pennant, Kuyt, Pacheco, Nemeth, Spearing, Insua, Carragher, Finnan, Torres, Reina
Not used:
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Aiza Gámez (Colegio Valenciano)
Attendance: 22.000
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Blocked shots:
Fouls conceded:
HEADLINES "There is massive potential here."
Robbie Keane

3107: Keane excited by partnership
3007: Rafa: Keane showed his quality
3007: Reds held in Spain  


Robbie Keane made his LFC debut at Villerreal.
(Photo: LFC Official Website)

Keane excited by partnership

Sky Sports

Liverpool new boy Robbie Keane admits he cannot wait to get the chance to play alongside
Fernando Torres.

The pair that Reds fans hope will prove their dream strikeforce managed to avoid each other in the 0-0 pre-season friendly draw at Villarreal on Wednesday night.

Keane played only in the first half, and missed the best chance of the match, while Torres came on for the last 20 minutes, his first action since scoring the winner in the Euro 2008 final for Spain.

Reds boss Rafa Benitez has hinted the duo could be paired together for the first time in Saturday's friendly with Rangers in Glasgow.

Keane , who completed his £20million move from Tottenham just 24 hours before the Villarreal game, feels he is settling in quite well at his new club.

"I didn't get the chance to partner Fernando this time, but I am looking forward to it when it does happen," Keane told Sky Sports News.

"I'm settling in just fine and it was good to get 45 minutes under my belt with my new team-mates.

"It has been a busy few days but I feel I am settling in well. I have trained a little with the lads, got in some match action and it is going fine.

"I know I did not get to play alongside Fernando but I am sure any partnership will work well, but only time will tell.

"He's a tremendous player and it will be great to play up front alongside him. But it is up to the pair of us to make it work."

Keane added: "We haven't had much chance yet to work together, but over the next few weeks I am sure I will get to know him better, and the rest of the lads.

"It was useful to get the first game out of the way. I have only had a couple of 45-minute spells in build-up games with Spurs against lower-league opposition, so it was good to play against a good side like Villarreal. It was a good work-out for me.

"There is massive potential here. Just look at the players that were used in the first half, and then another fine bunch after the break.

"There are a lot of quality players here and I am just delighted to be amongst it all."

The game was overshadowed somewhat by the decision earlier in the day by Aston Villa to pull the plug on the Gareth Barry deal because the Anfield club had failed to meet a deadline to match the £18million asking price.

Rafa: Keane showed his quality

By Steve Hunter at the El Madrigal Stadium - LFC Official Website

Rafa Benitez declared himself pleased with the debut of Robbie Keane after the Republic of Ireland star enjoyed a 45 minute run-out during the goalless draw with La Liga runners-up Villarreal at the El Madrigal Stadium.

The new Kop number seven was paired alongside fellow signing David Ngog for the first half, and Keane was unfortunate not to make it a scoring debut when he came close with an effort on 27 minutes.

"To see Robbie with the new lads out there was positive," said Benitez. "Robbie worked hard and he wanted to impress. He played his part in some good movements in attack and showed his quality."

The game also saw the return to action of the Spanish heroes Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa and former Villarreal favourite Pepe Reina, who all enjoyed their first outing of pre-season in the second half.

And the boss gave a strong hint that he could pair Keane and Torres for the first time in attack against Rangers in Saturday's friendly at Ibrox.

"I want to see them together before our first game in the Champions League qualifier," said Benitez.

"They will have enough games now to play together before the start of the season and maybe they will have 45 minutes on Saturday.

"Torres will play some games in a row now. He had some chances tonight but he only played for 20 minutes which was the idea in his first game back."

The boss also praised youngsters Ngog and Krisztian Nemeth who joined Keane in making their Reds bow in Spain.

"Ngog doesn't know his teammates yet but he worked hard and again it was positive for us," said Benitez. "Nemeth deserved his chance and he showed his quality.

"The main idea for us tonight was to improve the fitness level of the team and I think we did that."

Reds held in Spain

This Is Anfield

An experimental Liverpool side were held to a goalless draw by La Liga side Villarreal this evening
at the El Madrigal Stadium.

Robbie Keane made his Liverpool debut alongside fellow new signing David Ngog in an attacking three alongside Andriy Voronin. They played the first 45 minutes before seven changes at half-time saw another forward grab his debut, youngster Krisztian Nemeth joining Kuyt and Dani Pacheco up front.

Goalkeeper Pepe Reina, for whom the match was organised as part of the deal which saw him transfer from Villareal to Liverpool three years ago, played the last 10 minutes - the man he replaced, Diego Cavalieri had put in an impressive performance.

Fernando Torres saw his first action since Euro 2008, replacing Nemeth on 70 minutes, while Xabi Alonso and Steve Finnan also saw their first action of pre-season.

Liverpool were sporting their new grey away kit in the heat of the El Madigral Stadium. Prior to kick off Liverpool’s Spanish quarter of Reina, Alonso, Arbeloa and Torres showed off the Euro 2008 trophy and received a heroes welcome, along with Villareal’s three Spanish internationals.

Robbie Keane and David Ngog both had opportunities to open the scoring on their debuts in the first half.

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Thor Zakariassen ©