Aurelio: We should have scored
By Jimmy Rice - LFC Official Website
Fabio Aurelio admits he'll spend New
Year's Eve disappointed that the Reds failed to beat City
despite creating enough chances to win.
Aurelio was one of a host of Liverpool stars to come close
at the City of Manchester Stadium as he and his teammates
carved out 17 chances without hitting the net.
Despite the outcome, however, the Brazilian believes there
are many positives to take into 2008 regardless of the
10-point gap to Arsenal.
"If you look at the work we did, especially in the second
half, I think it's clear that we deserved the three points
and it is really disappointing that we only got a draw," he
"We had five or six chances and we need to take these
chances if we want to get nearer to the top of the table.
"It's a pity that we could not score and at the end it was
only a draw.
"But I think if we carry on playing like this we will win
lots of games because if you look at the game we were much
better than they were.
"In the second half we played almost the entire 45 minutes
in their half of the pitch and created plenty of chances.
The only thing we didn't do was score."
Aurelio was recognised as a prolific scorer, as far as
defenders go, at former club Valencia, netting 10 times in
However, the full-back has yet to score for Liverpool in 37
appearances, a point of growing frustration for the man
"I'm looking for my first goal and I hope it happens soon
because I have been waiting for a long time," said Aurelio.
"But the most important thing is that the team continues to
play well like we did against Man City and if we do that
then I'm sure we will carry on showing that Liverpool are a
Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher admits it was a shame the Reds
could not fully capitalise on festive slips ups from the
He said: "It was a day for defenders. We are a bit
disappointed, especially because of the way results went for
some of the other teams.
"We were looking to capitalise on Man Utd getting beaten.
It's not a bad result but we were hoping for three points."
Eriksson happy with draw
By Steve Pass - Sky Sports
Sven-Goran Eriksson said he was happy
after watching Manchester City hold Liverpool to a goal-less
draw to go into the New Year still unbeaten at home.
City had to hold firm, with captain Richard Dunne
outstanding as Liverpool had the better of the play and the
game's few chances.
Dunne had to clear a parried Dirk Kuyt header off the line
with five minutes to go, while on 47 minutes, Spanish
striker Fernando Torres had two great chances but could not
City's resolute defending helped them claim the draw which
keeps them in fifth place in the league, just a point behind
fourth placed Liverpool, who have a game in hand.
Praising his players, Eriksson said: "I think we defended
very well. (It was) a good game, not a lot of chances for
"We were tired at the end. I think it means a lot -
Liverpool had one more day, we had one day less between this
game and the last game we played.
"But I am happy - one point, which is good. A clean sheet,
which is good against a team like Liverpool.
"We suffered at the end but we did well, very well."
He denied that the way he had set up his team meant that his
priority was not to lose, saying: "We always try to win."
The City boss added the only reason why striker Rolando
Bianchi was left on the bench as they wanted pace up front.
"We hoped to beat them in pace with Stephen Ireland, Vassell
and Petrov. We didn't but we were very close to come through
many times and that was the plan but we defended well, that
Asked if he was disappointed that they hardly made Liverpool
keeper Reina make a save, he said: "Of course - we always
try to do that but (we are) not disappointed.
"When you play like we did and the other team is Liverpool
you can't be disappointed.
"We are not 100 per cent happy because we wanted to win the
game but, anyhow, I think the boys did very well."
Asked if the performance showed they can contend with the
top four and they are now knocking on the door, the Swede
joked: "Good question - middle of January, ask me again!"
Eriksson said "we are going to do something" when asked
about the transfer window.
"I don't know if it is going to happen from the first week
of January but it will happen," he said, although he did not
wish to name his targets.
Rafa 'close' to
adding new recruits
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez says he may
look to bring in "one or two" players in January to try to
rekindle his side's title challenge.
Benitez saw his side fail to break down a resilient
Manchester City side in Sunday's 0-0 draw at Eastlands.
The point leaves them 10 points behind Premier League
leaders Arsenal with a game in hand, and it was an ideal
opportunity missed to close the gap.
When asked about his transfer dealing next month, the
Spaniard - who is rumoured to have limited funds available -
revealed afterwards: "We don't talk about money.
"We have some players, have some targets and we will try to
sign the players we need.
"Maybe one, maybe two, if everyone is fit you never know. We
are working hard and are very close."
Benitez had few complaints over his team's display and was
left to rue some gilt-edged opportunities spurned.
"It was a good game, good effort, the team was playing
really well and creating chances but today we couldn't
(score)," he said.
"We knew they were playing really well at home, but we had
our chances and could have won.
"In the last 15 minutes, we were on top of them. For me, we
deserved to win."
Reds can't break
down City defence
Manchester City thwarted Liverpool's
attempts to make up ground in the Premier League title race
as the hosts held on for a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Richard Dunne stood like an unshakeable tower as Rafael
Benitez's men controlled a one-sided north-west derby
without getting the breakthrough they deserved at the City
of Manchester Stadium.
Fernando Torres was barely in the game such was Dunne's
dominance of the Spaniard, with Harry Kewell, Steven Gerrard
and Yossi Benayoun wasting the Reds' best opportunities
before Joe Hart denied Dirk Kuyt late on.
Even then, the young City keeper needed Dunne to come to his
aid with a goalline clearance from the rebound, ensuring a
result which leaves Liverpool 10 points adrift of new
Indeed, on this evidence, the Blues, just a point adrift of
the fourth-placed Merseysiders, may take some shaking off as
the battle for Champions League spots hots up in the new
When the host broadcaster describes a contest as "a thinking
man's game", the chances are it is a cover for one lacking
goalmouth incident, which, in this instance, for the first
half at least, was certainly the case.
Given the prize for victory was fourth spot in the table
heading into 2008, it would have been nice if Sven-Goran
Eriksson had taken the fight to Liverpool right from the
Yet the pragmatic Swede has not got City into such a lofty
position with free-flowing, attack-at-all-costs tactics.
Eriksson's philosophy has been to keep it tight at the back
and in central midfield, then look to Elano, Martin Petrov,
Stephen Ireland or Michael Johnson to conjure something up.
Given the latter man is nursing an abdominal injury, City's
hopes were reduced by 25% and Benitez is too astute a coach
himself to give the other three free rein to exhibit their
By half-time, Elano in particular must have been sick of
seeing Jamie Carragher in his face.
The Liverpool defender, partnered by Alvaro Arbeloa as Sami
Hyypia was ruled out with an ankle problem, was on hand to
make a tackle or a block every time the South American came
close to threatening.
As a result, City did not manage one single effort on goal
during the opening period, although skipper Dunne should
have done with a glancing header from Petrov's corner which
ended up bouncing out for a throw-in.
But, to Liverpool's frustration, it was the same story at
the other end, where Dunne and Richards were even more
impressive than Carragher in their joint handling Torres.
Fortunate to escape wrestling the 15-goal forward to the
floor in one early skirmish, Richards used his strength and
speed to blunt Liverpool's star striker, with Dunne taking
up the baton when necessary in equally formidable fashion.
In fact, the only offensive player to get the better of his
marker on anything like a regular basis was Harry Kewell,
who skipped past Nedum Onuoha on a couple of occasions.
England Under-21 keeper Hart needed a couple of attempts to
smother the Australian's angled drive midway through the
half while it was Kewell's cross that led to Fabio Aurelio
lashing a speculative effort narrowly wide on the half-hour.
The suspicion remained Liverpool would eventually find a way
through and within five minutes of the restart they had
nearly done so three times.
After prodding one shot straight at Hart, Torres then found
himself charging onto a Gerrard pass.
The young City keeper advanced quickly but was powerless to
prevent Torres nudging the ball past.
For one awful moment, it looked as though Richards and
Richard Dunne would get in each other's way as they raced
back to clear before they both realised the effort was not
going in and ushered it wide.
Then, Gerrard curled a free-kick narrowly beyond Hart's
left-hand post after Richards had fouled Torres.
Hart tipped over from Yossi Benayoun and Gerrard fired wide
as Liverpool maintained their early offensive, with City
barely able to get out of their own half.
The introduction of Rolando Bianchi, still a popular figure
among the City support despite his wide-ranging attack on
the English game, was designed to relieve some of the
It did not really work as Benayoun and Gerrard peppered the
City goal after the £8.8million Italian's arrival.
But the Blues, and Dunne in particular, would not yield.
The Irishman booted clear after Hart had denied Kuyt and
when he slid in to block Benayoun's goalbound effort at the
death, few would deny the defender deserved a share of the