Reina: We need a Thierry Henry
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Pepe Reina was today purring at the class of Thierry
Henry, and lamenting Liverpool's lack of a striker of
similar quality following defeat at Highbury.
The Reds keeper believes Henry's performance was the
difference between the clubs as Arsene Wenger's snatched a
late but deserved 2-1 win.
"Arsenal are one of the strongest teams we've faced since I
joined Liverpool," admitted Reina.
"Henry and Fabregas are great players. For me, Henry was the
key to the game. Without doubt he was their best player.
"He was involved in every incident, and when you have these
kinds of player in your team, anything can happen. There is
"He decided the game for them. There aren't many players in
the world like him, but I wish we had someone similar. Each
moment he had the ball, there was a threat.
"He caused many problems and in the first half, maybe we
were a little afraid of him. In the second half we were
better and had some chances, but when you're against Henry
you know what can happen."
Liverpool must bounce back against Fulham in midweek. They
still have a cushion above Spurs and Arsenal in the race for
a top four place, but their form has dipped.
"We must look forward and fight for our targets," said
"We must still believe we can catch Manchester United and
finish second. We must be positive to ensure we remain in
the top four.
"It's now very important to win on Wednesday. It is a home
game and we know it will be a different challenge to
"It's not an easy game, but we need three points. The most
important thing is to bounce back and learn from this."
By Alex Livie - Sky Sports
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was hugely disappointed with
Xabi Alonso's controversial dismissal in the 2-1 defeat at
Arsenal on Sunday.
The Reds appeared to be on top when Alonso was sent from the
field of play for a 'foul' on Mathieu Flamini.
The Spanish schemer appeared extremely hard done to, as he
slipped on the Highbury turf and slid into Flamini.
Replays appeared to suggest that referee Steve Bennett had
not witnessed the incident and it was this which upset
Benitez the most.
"It is a big mistake from the referee," Benitez told Sky
"He was not watching the play and he decided too quick to
show the yellow card - it's a big mistake.
"Maybe he should watch the video and we will have another
Liverpool conceded shortly after Alonso's dismissal and
Benitez is in no doubts that the red card changed the game.
"It was clear, we were controlling the game, going forward
and creating chances, then to play with ten players is
difficult against a good team."
Steven Gerrard's mis-placed backpass gifted Arsenal victory,
but Benitez refused to blame his captain.
"It's maybe bad luck because he (Gerrard) could not see the
other player (Henry).
"We are all disappointed but the most important thing is the
team. It is one mistake, it is not a problem of one player
it is the team, we will not talk about individuals."
Liverpool now trail Manchester United by five points and
have played a game more than their rivals, but Benitez says
they will not give up the chase for second place.
"We play again in three days (against Fulham) and we have a
lot more games to play, so we must keep going," added the
'Arsenal can catch Liverpool'
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says his improving young
side can catch Liverpool in the Premier League after they
recorded a 2-1 win over the third-placed Merseysiders on
Arsenal knocked Real Madrid out of the Champions League in
midweek but have not been at their best this season in
Sunday's victory put the north London club in fifth
position, two points behind neighbours Tottenham Hotspur and
eight adrift of Liverpool.
"I think we can catch Liverpool," Wenger told reporters. "I
thought if we could win the game today, we could do it."
Wenger said his team had gained extra confidence from
reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
"We gave a lot (against Real) on Wednesday night but I feel
it was a third great performance from the team in a week,"
Arsenal also crushed Fulham 4-0 at Craven Cottage eight days
"This team is slowly discovering its potential and is
improving its belief and confidence," added Wenger.
Thierry Henry scored both goals against Liverpool, claiming
the winner after latching on to a poor backpass from England
midfielder Steven Gerrard.
Wenger singled out 18-year-old Spanish midfielder Cesc
Fabregas for special praise.
"I've seen many young players and he is one of the best,"
said the Frenchman.
blame for defeat
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard confessed "it's my
fault" after his calamitous backpass presented Thierry Henry
with the winner against Arsenal.
The game was poised at 1-1 before the late error and Gerrard
said: "We could have gone away and nicked a draw but I've
made a stupid mistake.
"I thought I'd knock it back to the keeper, waste a bit of
time, but Henry was hiding behind the centre-backs.
"If there's only one player you don't want to it fall to
But Gerrard felt he wasn't the only one to have made a bad
Just before Henry's winning goal, referee Steve Bennett
showed Xabi Alonso a second yellow card, even though the
Spaniard's challenge on Mathieu Flamini appeared to result
from an accidental slip.
And Gerrard added: "I think the referee has gone off the
"You can see clearly the linesman isn't going to give
anything and the referee hasn't even seen the incident."
Henry double sinks Liverpool
By Alex Livie - Sky Sports
Thierry Henry scored twice as Arsenal claimed victory
over Liverpool in the most fortunate of circumstances.
Henry's first was high class, but his late winner after Luis
Garcia had drawn Liverpool level came as a result of a
misplaced pass from Steven Gerrard.
Arsenal's skipper did produce a display of the highest
order, but the controversial dismissal of Xabi Alonso which
undoubtedly unsettled Liverpool shortly before Henry's
winner took some of the gloss off the performance.
The result does show that Arsenal can grind out results and
fires out a warning to Tottenham, while Liverpool's hopes of
pipping Manchester United to second place took a jolt.
Arsene Wenger's young charges came of age when knocking Real
Madrid out of the UEFA Champions League in midweek and they
came into Sunday's encounter in buoyant mood.
Arsenal fans will say Henry is priceless and he showed his
class inside five minutes when exchanging passes with
Fredrik Ljungberg and breaking into the box, only to shoot
weakly at Jose Reina.
Henry turned creator moments later as he dashed down the
right, leaving Sami Hyypia in his wake, and cut the ball
back for Emanuel Abebayor but he scooped his effort over the
bar when it looked easier to score.
Scoring goals has been a problem for Liverpool of late and
Rafa Benitez turned to Luis Garcia at Highbury, but the
Spaniard was off tune on the quarter-hour as he failed to
make proper contact with Stephen Warnock's dangerous cross
and Jens Lehmann made a smothering save.
It was a rare attack for Liverpool in the early stages and
they found themselves a goal behind on 21 minutes and it
came as no surprise that Henry was the scorer.
Wenger has high hopes for Cesc Fabregas and the Spanish
midfielder showed his class when threading a superb pass
between two Reds defenders for Henry to gallop onto. The
Frenchman is a past-master at opening up his body and
curling the ball beyond the keeper and he added another goal
to his scrapbook when executing the technique to perfection.
The goal buoyed Arsenal and Henry went close shortly
afterwards, while Emmanuel Eboue should have added a second
just after the half-hour but he opted to pass when
one-one-one with Reyna and The Reds were able to scramble
the ball clear.
Creating chances has not been a problem for Liverpool,
rather converting them and it was a familiar story towards
the end of the first half.
Peter Crouch is not as good in the air as his frame should
enable him to be, and he wastefully headed wide from eight
yards after being picked out by Steve Finnan.
Benite's frustration increased before the break as Xabi
Alonso and Steven Gerrard went close with long-range efforts
and Luis Garcia volleyed at the back post.
Arsenal could have killed off the game at the start of the
second half, as The Reds failed to find any sort of rhythm,
but Henry squandered two tremendous openings.
The first he curled just wide of the far post and second he
shot straight at Reina after being found on the edge of the
box by Alenxader Hleb.
So out of sorts were Liverpool that Gerrard and Luis Garcia
tackled each other, but Arsenal's failure to kill off the
contest kept the visitors in the game.
Benitez threw on Robbie Fowler in the hope of finding a way
to goal and they were level within two minutes of his
introduction. The man the fans call 'God' did not have a
hand in the goal, but his introduction sparked Liverpool in
to life as Xabi Alonso ruffled Fabregas' feathers and the
ball fell to Gerrard.
Gerrard advanced before unleashing a swerving drive which
the previously untroubled Jens Lehmann could only fist into
the air and Garcia reacted quickest to head home from six
Liverpool's equaliser led to a change in the mood at
Highbury and the game took a sour turn 10 minutes from time
as Xabi Alonso was dismissed in hugely controversial
circumstances by referee Steve Bennett.
The Spanish schemer slipped on the Highbury turf and fell
into Mathieu Flamini. Despite their being absolutely no
intent, Bennett opted to send Alonso from the field.
The dismissal appeared to rock Liverpool and they gifted
Arsenal the winner five minutes from time.
Gerrard is a talisman for Liverpool, but he proved to be the
villain of the piece as he played a pass back to Reina
without looking and only found Henry who gleefully accepted
the present by rounding the keeper before slotting home.
Pires had a chance to kill off the game but hit a post
following great play from Fabregas and Henry, while the
latter saw Reina make a fine save from his free kick as the
Highbury faithful were forced to breathe deeply before
Bennett brough the game to a close.