Red News


MARCH                 2010
16 17 18



Gerrard: Liverpool
reaction has been superb

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has rated the team's reaction to manager Rafael Benitez’s tirade last week as ‘superb’.
The Reds went out on Monday night and hammered Portsmouth 4-1 in the league before turning a one-goal deficit into a 3-1 win on aggregate in the Europa League Round of 16 against Lille.
And the Reds captain was delighted with how the players were able to react from stinging criticism from their boss.
"He (Benitez) is the manager and he's allowed to criticise the team at the right time but I think the reaction over the last two games has been superb and the plan is to maintain it on Sunday against Man United,” Gerrard told Five.
"It was vital this game didn't go to extra-time tonight.
"We know how difficult it (Sunday) is going to be. We'll enjoy tonight and we'll get a warm-down tomorrow and we'll look forward to Sunday."

Deadly duo drive
Liverpool to victory

Liverpool kept alive their hopes of silverware this season with a 3-0 victory over Lille at Anfield to win their Europa League last-16 tie 3-1 on aggregate.
Captain Steven Gerrard’s ninth-minute penalty gave them the ideal start, after Lucas Leiva had been fouled.
Fernando Torres then struck twice in the second half – his first European goals for more than 11 months – to put his side into the quarter-finals.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg an early Liverpool goal was essential to ease the pressure and, watched by Argentina coach Diego Maradona, they
produced just that.
(Evening Echo)

Two changes for Reds
Dirk Kuyt and Lucas Leiva return as Liverpool look to overturn a 1-0 deficit at home to Lille for a place in the Europa League last eight.
Maxi Rodriguez, who is ineligible, and Alberto Aquilani, who has a virus,
make way.
The Liverpool team in full: Reina, Insua, Carragher, Agger, Johnson, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Babel, Gerrard, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, Benayoun, Kyrgiakos, Ngog, Degen, El Zhar, Kelly.
(LFC Official Website)

Giggs: Reds out to get revenge
Ryan Giggs could return for Manchester United against Liverpool - and last season's 4-1 defeat will be running through his mind if he does.
This season Rafa Benitez's troops are well off the pace and are battling just to secure another season of Champions League football, but there is just as much at stake for the two sides.
And Giggs, who could make his comeback from a broken arm wearing a lightweight cast, is keen to make amends for last season's disappointment.
He told Sky Sports News: "We didn't play well here last year against Liverpool and they deserved the victory. Hopefully that won't be the same this week."

Riera banned for Rafa remarks
Liverpool winger Albert Riera has been suspended by the club for his outspoken attack on manager Rafael Benitez and the club.
The Spain international has been disciplined by Benitez and told not to return to the Merseysiders' Melwood training ground until Monday, it is understood.
Riera launched a critical broadside at Benitez, claiming he did not speak to him, and described Liverpool as a "sinking ship".
Benitez is believed to be fuming about the timing of the interview, which was broadcast less than 24 hours before the crucial Europa League last-16 second leg at home to Lille, and has taken swift action to discipline the player.
(PA Sport/Sporting Life)

Hamann hammers Riera for Rafa rant
Dietmar Hamann has hit out at Liverpool winger Albert Riera after he went public with his frustrations with manager Rafael Benitez.
The Spain international said Benitez did not speak to him and claimed he bore a personal grudge.
However Hamann, who made 283 appearances for the Merseysiders and memorably came on for the second half in their Champions League final comeback against AC Milan in 2005, said Riera should look at himself.
"I didn't read too much into the comments because he's a player who has not played too much football over the last six to eight months," said the former Germany international.
"He is clearly frustrated but you have to say since he signed for Liverpool (in September 2008) he has not done enough to really have an opinion
on the manager.
"If Riera is not in the team it is probably because he is not doing enough in training or in games.
"The first question you have to ask when you are not playing is have you done enough to be in the team.
Hamann, who does some part-time coaching for Liverpool's youth teams, admitted Benitez had his own individual style of management but said he did not have an issue with it during his two seasons under the Spaniard.
"Every manager has his different styles and he may not talk, as other managers do, to his players but at the end of the day I always had a professional relationship with him," he added.
"Every player is different and he does speak to players. If he didn't speak to Riera on this particular occasion there must have been a reason."

Torres named as
Chelsea`s number one target

Fernando Torres is being touted as Chelsea's number one transfer target as Fleet Street predicts a comprehensive revamp of the club's first-team squad following their ignominious Champions League exit.
"Ancelotti may thus be able to consider moves for long-standing targets such as Fernando Torres, Franck Ribéry or Sergio Agüero," reports The Guardian.
(Football 365)

Gillett and Hicks given
three weeks to accept £100m deal

Liverpool's American owners are under more financial pressure to settle their debts than has previously been thought, with the New York-based company bidding to take control of the club imposing a three-week deadline to take or leave their offer.
The Rhone Group's proposed £100m investment for a 40pc share would enable the Liverpool chief executive, Christian Purslow, to deliver the entire sum to the Royal Bank of Scotland, the club's bankers, to pay down £100m of debt as the bank has demanded.
However, the time pressures the club currently faces are also compounded by the fact that Liverpool appear to have just 20 days to deliver some of that £100m figure to the bank.
(Irish Independent)
Riera wants to leave Liverpool
after falling out with Benítez

Albert Riera has indicated that he wants to leave Liverpool after revealing that his relationship with Rafael Benítez has deteriorated to the point where he thinks the manager has something against him.
In an outspoken attack on Benítez, Riera said the manager "turns a deaf ear" to his players and described Liverpool as a "sinking ship". He also questioned whether his fellow Spaniard was suited to the Real Madrid job because his style of football is not attractive enough.
Riera said he was not alone in having communication problems with Benítez. "He thinks he is in charge and he just turns a deaf ear to everyone else," he told Radio Marca in Spain. "The dialogue with the players is practically non-existent. There is a lack of tact."
Asked about Benítez's credentials for Madrid, where Manuel Pellegrini is not expected to be in charge next season, Riera said: "At Madrid they ask you to win and play lovely football. We are effective, sure, but we don't play brilliant football."

Lille unfazed by Anfield atmosphere
Lille coach Rudi Garcia is confident his players will not be over-awed when they run out at Anfield for their Europa League last-16 second leg.
Lille take a 1-0 lead into the game against Liverpool courtesy of Eden Hazard's late free-kick in France last week.
And Garcia is confident his players will cope with a big European night on Merseyside, as they did in the previous round when they travelled to Fenerbahce for the second leg.
"We know we are playing against a legendary side in a very atmospheric - almost mythical - stadium of legends but we have experienced this against Fenerbahce away from home.
"It doesn't really matter what Liverpool think it is what is in our mind that counts."

Benitez calls for tactical change
Rafa Benitez has told Liverpool that Lille will provide a stern test when the Frenchmen arrive for their Europa League last-16 second leg tie.
The French club hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg and present a completely different challenge to that of the Premier League's bottom club.
It is unlikely, therefore, Benitez's team selection will be as attacking as it was against Pompey, although one consideration may be the fitness of man of the match Alberto Aquilani who missed training on Wednesday through sickness.
"On Monday we could see the football the side can play and hopefully we can see that against Lille, although it will be difficult," said Benitez.
"We have to make sure we do the right things: score, keep a clean sheet and do good football things."

Aquilani struggling for Lille crunch
Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani is a doubt for Thursday's Europa League last-16 second leg at home to Lille after picking up an illness.
The Italy international, who was man of the match in Monday's 4-1 Premier League win over Portsmouth, missed training on Wednesday and will be assessed on Thursday morning.
Fellow midfielder Maxi Rodriguez drops out of the squad as he is ineligible for European competition but defenders Martin Skrtel (foot) and Fabio Aurelio (thigh) are Rafael Benitez's only other absentees.
Reds (from): Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Krygiakos, Insua, Gerrard, Mascherano, Lucas, Aquilani, Riera, Ngog, Kuyt, Torres, Benayoun, Cavalieri, Pacheco, Spearing, Babel, Kelly, Degen.

Reina close to new deal
Pepe Reina has confirmed he is close to signing a new deal with Liverpool.
The goalkeeper has been in negotiations to extend his Reds stay and revealed he expects a deal to be concluded within the month.
"I am really close," Reina told reporters at Anfield. "You will find out more in the next few weeks or month.
"I am happy here, I think the club is happy with me too and I see no problem at all in signing a new deal. It is a matter of time and I will sort it out in a few weeks. We are close."
(LFC Official Website)

Man remanded over robbery
at Steven Gerrard's home

A 22-year-old man has appeared in court accused of taking part in a robbery at Liverpool and England footballer Steven Gerrard's mansion.
Mr Gerrard's wife Alex Curran, 27, was confronted by four masked raiders at home in Formby, Merseyside, in 2007.
Martin Wilson, of Hollowcroft, Stockbridge Village, is charged with burglary and robbery. He did not enter a plea at Liverpool Crown Court.
Mr Wilson, 22, was remanded in custody until 16 April.
His three-day trial is due to begin in June.
The robbers struck while the midfielder, 29, was playing in Liverpool's Champions League tie away to Marseille.
(BBC Sport Online)

Fletcher: Liverpool not a poor team
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher expects Liverpool to raise their game when they visit Old Trafford on Sunday.
Despite beating Portsmouth at home on Monday, Rafael Benitez's side have endured a frustrating campaign.
After finishing second last season they are now chasing fourth place in the table rather than the title.
Liverpool lie 15 points adrift of league leaders United but will be comforted by the 4-1 victory at Old Trafford a year ago.
And Fletcher, 25, says they will have to be on their guard.
"It would be very dangerous to think this is a poor Liverpool side coming to Old Trafford because they are anything but," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"It would be a huge mistake to think that Liverpool are not a threat. They maybe haven't had the season we expected after last year but they are still
a dangerous side.
"They are still in the main the same team. We know what they are capable of and pushed us all the way and dished out that defeat here and the one at Anfield this season. They are still fresh in our memories.
"Liverpool still have a lot to play for because they are battling for fourth spot. They are capable of beating anyone.
"We have to learn the lessons from last year's game. The warnings are there. If you are not 100% focused and you make mistakes they will punish you.
"It is a real surprise to me they haven't been up with us. But they will still be fired up to win at Old Trafford again."

Going on the attack with
Aquilani paid off for Benitez

Monday night’s impressive demolition of Portsmouth at Anfield was the ideal start to a crucial week for Liverpool.
It was so pleasing to see us play the kind of attacking football that has been lacking in recent months.
It was a special night for Alberto Aquilani, who scored his first goal for the Reds in front of the Kop.
The Italian has had a tough first season with the Reds following his move from Roma, but he will be relieved to be off the mark and he deserved his goal because he performed really well.
Aquilani got his chance in place of Lucas in midfield and it worked well with Javier Mascherano alongside him.
There’s no doubt the balance of the side was right for that game.
His passing was good and he was always looking to move the ball forward when too often in recent matches it’s gone sideways.
(Ian Rush - Liverpool Echo)  
FA take no action against Gerrard
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard will not face action from the FA following his clash with Portsmouth midfielder Michael Brown on Monday night.
It is understood the FA sought clarification from referee Stuart Attwell after Gerrard appeared to catch Brown with his forearm during the 4-1 win for Rafael Benitez's men at Anfield.
Attwell saw the incident at the time and spoke to Gerrard after awarding Pompey a free-kick, with the FA following guidelines not to punish players retrospectively if the match official sees the alleged offence.
Gerrard escaped punishment from the FA last week after apparently making a two-fingered gesture to referee Andre Marriner during Liverpool's 1-0 defeat away to Wigan.

Babel wants Anfield stay
Liverpool winger Ryan Babel is delighted to have earned a run in the side and insists his future belongs at Anfield.
Babel scored in the Reds' 4-1 win over Portsmouth on Monday night in what was his fourth start in six consecutive games in Rafa Benitez's side.
Speculation linking the 23-year-old with a return to his homeland mounts each transfer window, but Babel now has fresh hopes of a bright future at Liverpool.
"I was always happy at Liverpool," Babel told the club's official website.
"Slowly I'm feeling stronger. Hopefully now I can continue to get stronger. With every game you'll start to see the best of me."
(Sky Sports)

Aquilani proud of goal
Alberto Aquilani was pleased with his goal yesterday.
The Italian international scored his first Liverpool goal, at the Kop end, in yesterday's 4-1 hammering of Portsmouth. It was a proud moment
for the midfielder.
"I feel really good because I've scored my first goal after a really long time. I'm also really happy because of the result - we needed that," said Aquilani.
"The goal is even more special because I scored it in front of the Kop. I said when I arrived in Liverpool that I wanted to score in front of the Kop and that moment has arrived.
"I think I played well but I have to take it step by step. Today was a good day and now we look to the next game.
"Above all, the big thing was that we played well and won. We have to take things step by step now. We can only think about Sunday after Thursday.
"Can I do better? Everyone can do better. Fernando made things easy. He is a special player, you easily play with him and Stevie."
(LFC Online)

Lawrenson: Benitez must
be shown the door

Liverpool FC legend Mark Lawrenson believes Rafa Benitez’s six year tenure at Anfield should come to an end after this season even if the club finish inside the Premier League’s top four.
The former Anfield stalwart suggests Liverpool FC have gone backwards under Rafa Benitez, and the Spaniard’s record in the transfer market, particular those in the £10 million bracket, has been poor.
The Liverpool FC hero told “Rafa Benitez must be shown the door at Liverpool at the end of the season.”
“It is time for change and the Spaniard should go, even if Liverpool somehow manage to finish in the top four.”
“Benitez has had six years at Anfield and, if anything, the club has gone backwards during his reign.”
“Just compare the Liverpool side that lost to Wigan and now Lille to Gerard Houllier’s team in his final game in charge, a 1-1 draw with Newcastle
in May 2004.”
“This was the final line-up: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Murphy, Hamann, Gerrard, Kewell, Heskey, Owen. You cannot tell me that team, that squad of players, would not have beaten the Liverpool team which lost at Wigan. So, in six years in charge, Benitez has gone backwards.”

Rafa sure Gerrard will escape rap
Rafael Benitez is confident Steven Gerrard will escape retrospective action for a clash with Michael Brown in Liverpool's win over Portsmouth.
Fernando Torres scored his 14th and 15th goals in the Premier League this season with Ryan Babel and Alberto Aquilani - registering his first goal for the Reds - also on target before Nadir Belhadj's late consolation.
The 4-1 victory at Anfield was overshadowed slightly by Gerrard's apparent forearm to the back of Brown's neck in the second half, after which the Liverpool captain was immediately substituted by Reds boss Benitez.
"I don't think so," said the Spaniard when asked if he was worried about retrospective action against his captain.
"I haven't seen it but I was asking and I think it was nothing."

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