Red News


MARCH                 2010
13 14 15



Reds 5/2 to finish in top four
Liverpool are 5/2 with Sky Bet to finish in the Premier League's top four after crushing Portsmouth 4-1 at Anfield on Monday night.
Midfielder Alberto Aquilani finally found a performance to justify his £17million price tag, capping a masterful display with his first Liverpool goal to help lift the Reds to fifth in the table.
The summer signing, brought in after Xabi Alonso's sale to Real Madrid, has struggled to adapt to life in England but was at the heart of everything in only his fifth league start.
Fernando Torres scored twice, with Ryan Babel and Aquilani adding goals in between his strikes, before Nadir Belhadj hit a late consolation.
Liverpool are now one point behind Tottenham, who are 5/2 to finish in the top four, and one ahead of 13/8 market leaders Man City.
However Rafael Benitez's men have played one game more than Spurs and two more than the Eastlands outfit.

Reds enjoy happy Monday
Liverpool turned a potential blue Monday into a happy Monday as they swept Portsmouth aside 4-1 to ease the woes at Anfield.
The Reds suffered Monday misery at Wigan seven days ago but began a big week well with a comprehensive win over Pompey.
Monday night football has rarely suited Liverpool - they had not opened the week with a win in their last nine attempts - but they were seldom threatened by the Premier League's basement boys.
Three goals in six first-half minutes - one each for Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel to go with Alberto Aquilani's first strike in English football - killed the game as a contest and turned the second period into a virtual training exercise for the home side.
Torres netted his second after 77 minutes as Liverpool peppered Jamie Ashdown's goal before Nadir Belhadj bagged a late consolation the visitors scarcely deserved.
Torres and Steven Gerrard were both substituted late on with matches against Lille and Manchester United to come in the next week, the Liverpool skipper going off just moments after appearing to throw an arm at opposite number Michael Brown.
(Sky Sports)

Aqua starts

Alberto Aquilani starts for Liverpool against Portsmouth this evening.
Maxi Rodriguez also comes in, while Lucas and Dirk Kuyt make way.
The Reds side in full is: Reina, Insua, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Mascherano, Aquilani, Gerrard, Babel, Rodriguez, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Ngog, Benayoun, Kuyt, Lucas, Kelly.
(LFC Official Website)

Kuyt promises goals

Dirk Kuyt wants to forget all about Liverpool's recent defeats and start scoring goals and winning games again.
“Last Monday was an off-day for everyone and we just have to forget about it,” said the Dutchman. “We wanted to change it at Lille and we put a lot of effort in but it just wasn’t enough. We controlled the game and didn’t give much away but we still lost.
“We know we are capable of scoring more goals. We need to show character now. We are playing for Liverpool Football Club and you know that you have got to win games and ultimately win trophies.
“Everyone is so disappointed with what has happened this season but this is the way it is. We have to try and forget what has gone before and look forward to what is left. We’ve got three massive games coming up, in Europe and in the Premier League.
“We know what we have to do. We have got to win them all. The positive we took out of the Lille game is that we were organised and worked hard for each other. We also created a couple of chances and we were unlucky not to score a goal.
“To then concede one five minutes before the end of the game was really unlucky but this is football. We have got a chance to put it right now. We have got another game and we have got a lot of quality in the team.
“It’s true that we have not been scoring a lot of goals at the moment but it all changes from now.”
(LFC Online)

Reds mourn former goalkeeper
Liverpool Football Club were today saddened to learn of the death of former goalkeeper Charlie Ashcroft at the age of 83.
Ashcroft made his debut for the Reds in 1946 and played in the title winning
side of 1946-47.
He made 89 appearances for the Reds and famously saved a penalty from Tom Finney on the opening day of the 1952-53 campaign.
Everybody at Liverpool FC would like to offer their deepest condolences to Charlie's family and friends at this sad time.
(LFC Official Website)

Rafa drops fourth guarantee
Rafael Benitez is no longer guaranteeing fourth place.
A few weeks back Benitez guaranteed that the Reds would end the season in the Champions League qualifying places. With no improvement in the football played since then, and no ground made on fourth spot, he is now only guarenteeing that the squad will try hard to finish fourth.
"I think I will have to guarantee now that we will work as hard as we did against Lille," said the boss.
"At home against bottom team Portsmouth people will not just want a win, but a lot of goals.
"If we play well, 1-0 would be fantastic. You just have to win. It is an important week and Portsmouth have nothing to lose, so they are dangerous.
"We were doing so well in the past, and it is sometimes difficult to keep this level. We were pushing and trying and every year improving in different areas.
"The Champions League, FA Cup, league - it's not easy to keep this level if you do not have the money that maybe other teams have.
"We cannot win the title, so we have to be ready for one game at a time and see if we can finish in the top four. It has been a disappointing season, but we can still fight and improve."
(LFC Online)

Rhone Group bid for Liverpool FC
could lead to more offers

A firm bid to buy a major stake in Liverpool FC could lead to other offers from around the world arriving within weeks.
American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are now deciding whether to dilute their controversial ownership of the Reds after the club received a formal offer of more than £100m in fresh investment.
The offer – a strategic long-term plan put forward by the Rhone Group – is being seen as a £110m plus vote of confidence in Liverpool Football Club and its future.
(Liverpool Echo)
Investment firm Rhone Group make
offer to cut Liverpool FC's debts

Tom Hicks and George Gillett have been offered a way of relieving the financial pressure at Liverpool after global investment firm the Rhone Group made a £100million-plus offer for a 40% stake in the club.
Liverpool’s co-owners have been looking for an injection of cash to help reduce the current level of debt leveraged on the club.
When they successfully renegotiated the terms of their loan with the Royal Bank of Scotland last summer one requirement was that they had to cut £100million off the £237million debt.
Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow set a deadline of Easter to have secured new finance.
After much speculation over the source of potential investors, it is understood the submission from the Rhone Group is the first genuine offer to be received.
If the offer is accepted by Hicks and Gillett it would considerably strengthen the club’s financial position.
The people behind the Rhone Group bid have been keen to stress that the offer comes in the form of fresh money - not borrowed - which would immediately be used to slash Liverpool’s debt by nearly half.
(Liverpool Echo)

Agger: We'll keep believing

Daniel Agger insists points rather than performance will be all that matters when Portsmouth visit Anfield on Monday evening.
Liverpool kick off a crucial week by taking on Barclays Premier League bottom club Pompey before the return leg of the Europa League last 16 tie with Lille, with the Reds needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit.
Rafael Benitez's side then travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Sunday - but Agger has warned Liverpool must simply focus on one game
at a time.
"Against Portsmouth on Monday night the performance doesn't matter as much as getting the three points," said the centre-back. "We need to get some victories quickly and move on to get ourselves up the table.
"Every week we say this is a big week. Last week people said it was a defining week as well.
"We need to focus on the next game first, not the games after that. It's as straightforward as that."
(LFC Official Website)

New US bid for Reds set to fail
Sky Sports News understands that a proposed £100million investment in Liverpool, will not go ahead.
Reports suggest that private US equity firm - Rhone Group - were set to seal a deal to invest in Anfield.
It is claimed that Rhone Group wanted to take a 40 per cent stake in the club - reducing the holdings of current joint owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
But Sky Sports News has been told that the offer is unlikely to go ahead.
The offer has been as a 'non-significant' offer, although talks had taken place.
(Sky Sports)
Benitez: I'm not
feeling the pressure

Two defeats in four days have once again brought Rafael Benitez’s position under scrutiny, but the Liverpool manager insists he is not feeling the pressure.
Losses against Wigan and then Lille in the Europa League heightened the feeling of impending catastrophe at Anfield.
And with Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini’s long-term future in serious doubt after his side’s exit from the Champions League, speculation has already started linking Benitez with the Bernabeu post.
“I don’t feel under pressure. I am disappointed for the season but we can still fight and still improve,” Benitez said.
(Evening Echo)

Torres warns Liverpool over future
Fernando Torres has warned Liverpool he may consider his future at the club if they do not make an assault on the transfer market to turn them into genuine title contenders.
Talking about his future at Anfield, Torres, who has scored 13 league goals in 18 appearances so far this term, told Spanish newspaper AS: "It's too soon to talk, I honestly think that we're going to be fourth, but for me Champions League qualification isn't so important.
"The really important thing is that the club makes a big effort and brings in important players, who will improve the quality of the squad. We need four or five top-class players to compete, better than we have here, who will make us grit our teeth and do everything we can to try and keep our places."

Rafa trusts Torres
to turn things around

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is backing striker Fernando Torres to end his European goal drought and fire his side into the quarter-finals of
the Europa League.
The Spain international drew another blank in the 1-0 defeat in Lille on Thursday night, although that was partly due to the brilliance of goalkeeper
Mickael Landreau.
However, Benitez was pleased with Torres’ performance in Lille and believes could well prove to be the key figure as they attempt to overturn a one-goal deficit when the French club visit Anfield next Thursday.
"It was really important to see Fernando fighting from the beginning because it sent a very good message to the other players," said the Liverpool manager.
(Irish Examiner)

McLeish linked with Reds
Alex McLeish has been linked with Liverpool.
The Birmingham City manager is being linked with the Reds as a replacement for Rafael Benitez should he quit for Juventus or Real Madrid, or end up sacked after a dismal, depressing season according to today's Daily Mirror.
(LFC Online)

Real Madrid president Florentino
targets Liverpool boss Benitez

Real Madrid are ready to test Liverpool's resolve over manager Rafa Benitez.
The Spanish giants will sack Manuel Pellegrini in the summer, after their Champions League defeat by Lyon.
Real president Florentino Perez has under-fire Liverpool chief Benitez as the front-runner on a shortlist that also includes Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.
A top Real source told The Sun: "Rafa is the preferred choice. He is a Madrid man and his agent, Manuel Garcia Quillon, has an excellent relationship
with the club."

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