After The Match 


Liverpool-West Bromwich 1-0 (0-0)     31.12.05                   PL
Goals: Crouch (52)
Team: Reina, Finnan, Riise, Hyypia, Carragher, Gerrard, Alonso, Garcia, Kewell, Crouch, Cisse
Subs: Pongolle (Kewell 67), Sissoko (Crouch 81),
Traore (Cisse 89)
Not used: Carson, Hamann
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: A Wiley
Attendance: 44,192
Shots on target: 13-0
Shots off target: 14-4
Fouls conceded: 8-12
Corners: 10-1
Yellow: 0-0


HEADLINES "For me the West Brom keeper was the man
of the match..."
    Rafael Benitez

3112: Rafa: We could have scored five
3112: Perfect ten for Reds


Rafa: We could have scored five

By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website

Rafael Benitez praised his team's performance during the 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion and felt Liverpool could easily have scored at least five goals but for Baggies keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

"For me the West Brom keeper was the man of the match and that was probably one of the best games of his life, he was amazing," Benitez said.

"We did all the things for winning and at times it was almost impossible to score. Scoring one goal is not enough but we created enough chances to have won by at least five goals."

The Liverpool manager also had words of praise for Peter Crouch who scored his seventh goal in December to give the Reds another vital three points."

"We have confidence and Crouch is playing well and scoring goals which is really good for him as a striker and really good for the team," enthused Benitez.

Perfect ten for Reds

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Liverpool made it ten wins in a row with a deserved 1-0 win over battling West Brom at Anfield.

Peter Crouch's second half goal proved to be enough to give Liverpool the points and maintain their remarkable run of form.

Only an inspired performance from Tomasz Kuszczak prevented West Brom from suffering a mauling as Liverpool moved into the New Year with optimisim high at Anfield.

West Brom signalled their intentions from the off sitting back and defending in numbers as they looked to frustrate Liverpool.

After a quiet start Liverpool came close to scoring on 14 minutes when Harry Kewell saw his fierce shot from 25 yards tipped over the crossbar by Kuszczak.

Kuszczak denied Kewell again a minute later when Steve Finnan broke down the right and crossed for Kewell at the back post who fired in a powerful shot which was brilliantly kept out by the Baggies keeper.

Liverpool were inches away from breaking the deadlock on 22 minutes when Steven Gerrard picked out John Arne Riise on the edge of the box with a quickly taken corner with the Norwegian seeing his shot strike the post and from the rebound Kewell saw his deflected shot pushed out by the overworked Kuszczak.

Richard Chaplow had a rare chance for West Brom on 28 minutes when the ball dropped invitingly to him on the edge of the box, but he dragged his shot horribly wide of the target.

Crouch wasted a good opening soon after when he headed Jamie Carragher's cross wide of the target and on the half hour the giant striker headed another effort straight at Kuszczak.

Reds captain Gerrard tried to find the breakthrough on 36 minutes when he worked a neat one-two with Djibril Cisse on the edge of the box before firing in a swerving shot which Kuszczak just about kept out.

Liverpool continued to push forward as the half time whistle drew close and Xabi Alonso had the final chance of the half when he blazed wildly over from the edge of the box after being set up by Gerrard.

The pattern of the game continued in the second half with Liverpool dominating possession and they finally made the breakthrough they deserved on 52 minutes with Crouch netting his seventh goal in the last eight games.

Kewell was the provider for the goal with a fine cross from the left and Crouch rose to powerfully head the ball past Kuszczak.

Crouch then created a chance for Kewell when he harried Steve Watson into a mistake with the defender giving the ball away to the Australian on the edge of the box, but he dragged his shot wide of the target.

The brilliant Kuszczak denied Liverpool the second goal they were looking far on 62 minutes when he dived full stretch to keep out Riise's well struck free kick.

Six minutes later Alonso tried his luck with a free kick right on the edge of the box, but he could only hit the side-netting.

Liverpool continued to lay siege to the West Brom goal and they have grabbed their second goal on 73 minutes when Cisse did well to get a cross in from the right to Crouch right in front of goal, but again Kuszczak performed heroics by somehow keeping out the giant striker's header.

Luis Garcia wasted a good chance to score late on when he got through on goal from a long ball upfield, but he skewed his shot horribly wide of the target.

Gerrard had the final chance of the game when he ran clear onto Jose Reina's throw and drilled a shot just wide of the target.

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Thor Zakariassen