Peter Crouch celebrates his hat-trick at Anfield. (Photo:
Aurelio: I’m ready to impress
By David Prentice - Liverpool Echo
Liverpool’s first Brazilian footballer is finally ready
to parade his samba skills – after a frustrating stop-start
opening to his Anfield career.
Fabio Aurelio was an unsung hero in Liverpool’s 4-1
demolition of Arsenal on Saturday.
The summer signing from Valencia created two goals with
devastating crosses and was only denied a goal himself by
Jens Lehmann’s fingertips.
“I thought I’d scored,” the Reds defender smiled afterwards.
“It was my wife’s birthday and she said to me before the
game to try and score a goal as a present for her.
“I think Saturday was probably the most effective match I
have had since I’ve been at Liverpool.
“I managed to get two good crosses in for goals so I’m
pretty happy with the way I’ve done my job.
“I am very happy in Liverpool. The only problem has been the
injuries which have kept me out.
“I hope now I can get a run of games so I can continue
“It is frustrating when you’re ready to play and you pick up
“But now I’m feeling good again and I want to keep going
forward and help the team.
“My fitness will improve the more I play so I hope to
continue playing and I hope to continue doing the things I
Aurelio arrived on a free transfer from Valencia last
summer, but after featuring in each of the first 10 games of
the season he sustained a niggling knee injury which kept
him out until Christmas.
Restored to the team in the 1-0 win at Tottenham, he then
showed his versatility with appearances at left-back, left
midfield and even central midfield in the Carling Cup tie
against Arsenal, before a calf strain sidelined him for
But now he is fully fit and ready to carry on delivering
goal creating crosses.
“It makes things a little easier as a wide player who is
expected to overlap and cross, when you have a target like
Peter Crouch to aim for,” he added.
“I know that my first priority is to defend, because I’m a
full-back. But I like to go forward whenever possible.”
Gerrard fine for PSV
By James Pearson - Sky Sports
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez believes Steven Gerrard will
be fit to face PSV Eindhoven next week.
The England international was withdrawn before the hour mark
in Saturday's 4-1 win over Arsenal.
It had been thought Gerrard was feeling an injury, but
Benitez was simply trying to protect him.
"I don't think that it'll be serious," he told Sky Sports 1.
"We were trying to protect all the players."
Meanwhile, Benitez was delighted to exact revenge on Arsenal
after three previous defeats to The Gunners this season.
"We knew that it was a difficult game, but we knew what to
do," he continued.
"We had confidence. We wanted to beat them. We wanted
revenge on them.
"We were doing the same things, but sometimes you score and
then the game changes.
"We scored two good goals and then we were playing with
Crouch hails Redmen
The Daily Mail
Hat-trick hero Peter Crouch paid tribute to his
team-mates after inspiring Liverpool to a 4-1 victory over
Barclays Premiership rivals Arsenal.
Crouch's goals helped give Liverpool revenge for the three
previous defeats they have suffered at Arsenal's hands this
He scored two before the break, with Daniel Agger heading a
third before Arsenal pulled one back through William Gallas.
But the third, which sent Liverpool above Arsenal into third
place in the Premiership, sealed a fine performance by the
"It's a special moment, obviously against Arsenal it is a
massive game for us. The win was the most important thing
but I'm so pleased with the hat-trick," Crouch told Sky
"You don't care how they come but it was a nice hat-trick,
I'm pleased with it.
"There was fantastic service. Up there on my own I had
Stevie (Gerrard) around me. Sometimes you are a bit isolated
but that wasn't the case today at all, my team-mates got
round me and it makes it easier.
"Today it was pleasing for us to get four goals and beat a
class side. The manager let us know beforehand we've had
some disappointing results against Arsenal this season."
By James Pearson - Sky Sports
Arsene Wenger pulled no punches after slamming Arsenal's
defensive display in their 4-1 loss at Liverpool.
The Gunners were not at the races at Anfield with Peter
Crouch inspiring The Reds to success on Merseyside.
Wenger did not feel Jens Lehmann was protected enough and
that Crouch was too good on the day for his troops.
"Defensively our performance was horrendous," he said. "The
difference was Crouch, we just did not handle him at all.
"He was the big difference. We could not cope with him in
the air and his three goals all came from crosses from wide
"He made fine runs and we never got close enough to him, and
with Steven Gerrard also finding gaps between our defenders,
Liverpool more than deserved to win."
The result lifted Liverpool over Arsenal and Wenger is keen
for his side to avoid slipping any further down the table.
"If we want to finish third now we will have to produce
better performances than that. We are not certain of being
in the top four," he added.
"There is not a big enough gap, even if maybe my players
felt they had done enough. We will have to give our best in
every game now."
exact Gunners revenge
By James Pearson - Sky Sports
Peter Crouch bagged an impressive hat-trick as Liverpool
exacted revenge on Arsenal with a fine 4-1 success over
The Gunners at Anfield.
Rafa Benitez's charges were on the front foot from the off
with Crouch's well-taken double no more than the home side
deserved for their first half endeavours.
Daniel Agger padded The Reds' lead after half time and while
William Gallas pulled one back late on there was still time
for Crouch to complete his hat-trick from close range.
The win, which lifts Liverpool ahead of Arsenal into third
in the Premiership, was sweet revenge for the club's fans
who had seen their side lose three times to The Gunners this
Liverpool started the contest positively although Steven
Gerrard's speculative long-range shot inside the first
minute was well wide of Jens Lehmann's goal.
However, the effort set the tone and The Reds forged ahead
in the fourth minute when Alvaro Arbeloa played a neat
one-two with Jermaine Pennant before crossing for Crouch to
Crouch made a superb run to the near post to guide home a
first-time shot past the helpless Lehmann for a crucial
early lead at Anfield.
Arsenal, to their credit, responded positively, but despite
controlling possession they never gave Jose Reina anything
to worry about in the Liverpool goal.
Emmanuel Adebayor headed over the visitors' first attempt on
goal while Crouch's flick was easy for Lehmann after Arsenal
failed to clear a free-kick.
Gallas nearly fired into his own net after sliding at full
stretch to block Mark Gonzalez's cross with Crouch ready to
pounce behind the French defender.
Arsenal's best chance of the half arrived just after the
half hour mark when Adebayor fed Baptista only for the
on-loan Brazilian to scuff his effort well wide of Reina's
The miss proved costly as minutes later Fabio Aurelio's
cross from the left was superbly headed home by Crouch in
the middle for his eighth league goal of the season.
A quickly-taken free-kick left Aurelio in acres of space and
he played in a pin-point ball for Crouch, who out-jumped
Diaby, to guide home from six-yards to give the home side a
commanding half-time lead.
Gerrard had the first attempt of the second half with a
first-time left-footer from Gonzalez's cross, although his
shot was straight at the scrambling Lehmann.
Arsenal nearly got back into the game seconds later when
Adebayor's neat turn and shot beat Reina, but the low drive
struck the inside of the post and rebound to safety.
The contest was effectively over on the hour mark when
Aurelio's dangerous free-kick was guided into the far post
by Agger to give Liverpool an unassailable lead.
Arsenal would have pulled back within minutes, but for
Reina's superb finger-tip save. Adebayor's header from
Baptista's cross looked destined for the net before the
Spaniard palmed the shot onto the post.
The visitors did eventually find the back of the net on 73
minutes when Gallas was well-placed at the far post to tap
home after Kolo Toure helped on Cesc's corner.
Liverpool then weathered a few nervy moments before Crouch
capped a fine individual display by completing his hat-trick
on 81 minutes.
The England international turned smartly in the area before
smashing home with his left-foot leaving Lehmann no chance
of a save.
Liverpool nearly added a fifth with only an outstretched
hand from Lehmann keeping out Aurelio's driving effort that
looked destined to nestle in the far post.