Red News


FEBRUARY            2010
19 20 21



Benitez keeps believing
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez still believes his side will be in the top four of the Premier League at the end of the season.
The Reds played out a dour 0-0 draw against fellow UEFA Champions League hopefuls Manchester City at Eastlands and they remain one point behind
the Blues.
Neither side deserved to win the game but Benitez, who promised to lead the club to fourth spot earlier in the campaign, insists his side will kick on and secure the much-coveted position in the table.
He told Sky Sports: "I have to believe. If the manager doesn't have confidence it is difficult for the players.
"I think we have enough quality, Yossi (Benayoun) is coming back, (Fernando) Torres is coming back, hopefully (Glen) Johnson will come back in the next week.
"So we are now bringing players back and the competition will be better for us and hopefully we can improve."
(Sky Sports)

City and Reds serve up stalemate
The eagerly-awaited Premier League top-four showdown at Eastlands on Sunday turned into a dull 0-0 draw between Manchester City and Liverpool.
Gripped by the fear of losing, the North-West rivals did not manage a shot on target during the first half and only threw off their shackles in a half-hearted search for victory in the final 15 minutes.
But even the introductions of Craig Bellamy and Fernando Torres failed to lift the game from its overall torpor.
Pepe Reina's smart save to deny Emmanuel Adebayor represented the biggest thrill of a pitiful afternoon that convinced no-one of either club's worthiness to sit at Europe's top table, and proved how shrewd Sky and ESPN were not to bother screening it live.

Torres and Yossi on bench

Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun have been named on the substitutes' bench for Liverpool's Barclays Premier League clash at Manchester City this afternoon.
The pair are included in the matchday squad for the first time since the FA Cup third round replay with Reading in January.
Meanwhile, Ryan Babel, Lucas Leiva, Maxi Rodriguez and Emiliano Insua are restored to the starting line-up.
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Insua, Kuyt, Lucas, Mascherano, Maxi, Gerrard, Babel.
Subs: Cavalieri, Torres, Benayoun, Aquilani, Riera, Aurelio, Kelly.
(LFC Official Website)

Carra eyes Anfield exit
Jamie Carragher has admitted he is considering what the future holds when he becomes surplus to requirements with Liverpool.
The defender has been with the Anfield outfit for his entire career, having come through the ranks of the club's youth team to make his mark as a Kop hero.
But the 32-year-old accepts that there will come a time when he is no longer assured of a first-team place and knows that could well be the point when he brings the curtain down on his Merseyside career.
"The idea of being described as a 'squad player' doesn't appeal to me," he told the News of the World.
"I dread to think the time might come to play somewhere other than Liverpool. For as long as I'm good enough to be in the team here, I'm playing and I feel physically I can do myself justice, there's nowhere else I'd want to be.
"But like anyone at this stage of their career, I have no choice but to think about the possibilities beyond that.
"I've only ever known one club, but I'm interested in how other clubs operate. There's more to football than The Liverpool Way and I'd like to hear
different ideas."
(Sky Sports)

Kuyt aims taunt at cash-happy City
Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has aimed a swipe at Manchester City, claiming the big-spending Eastlands outfit cannot buy history.
The Reds lock horns with City on Sunday with the coveted fourth spot in the Premier League up for grabs.
The lavish spending at City has seen Liverpool's spot in the top four put under serious threat, but Kuyt is adamant the history of a club is more important than all the money and he claims players would prefer to join Liverpool because of their heritage rather than City because of their wealth.
"The history of Liverpool is much, much bigger and every now and again you see clubs doing things like Manchester City now and Chelsea a few years ago,"
said Kuyt.
"It happens but it's very difficult to buy the history of Liverpool.
"I don't know whether more players will join City for the money. For every player it's a different situation.
"I think the most important thing for a player is to win trophies and be successful as a football player."
Kuyt acknowledges his side cannot afford to lose to City at Eastlands if they are to reach their goal of finishing in the top four.
"It's just a really big game and if we can win this game we will be back in it and if we lose it we have a big problem," added Kuyt.
"We all look back a couple of months ago and we would have preferred to be in a better position than this position, but at the end of the day it is what it is and we have to try and win this game and try to finish in the top four and we think we have the quality to do that."

Maxi hoping for City start
Maxi Rodriguez is hoping to start today's game.
The winger says important six-pointers like this afternoon's away game at Man City are the sort of matches every player wants to play in.
"It's the sort of big, important game every player wants to play in. They're a direct rival for a top four place along with ourselves, so it's an important game,"
said Rodriguez.
"We'll be looking to go there with a positive attitude and, like always, look to get the three points.
"I don't think the fact they have spent money will influence anything that happens out there on the field. Whatever amount they've spent, it's still 11 against 11 and those 22 players will be doing battle to get the three points on offer.
"It's up to us to prepare, go there with the right mentality and attitude, be bright, intelligent and try to impose ourselves on the game and run it.
"We know it's very important because if we can get three points there it will really be positive for us in terms of confidence levels for the rest of the season."
(LFC Online)

Aurelio expects tight game
Fabio Aurelio is expecting a close game today.
The Brazilian defender doesn't expect there to be much between the Reds and Man City this afternoon and believes one goal could be enough to win the game
at Eastlands.
"I think we can say it's a real six-pointer," said Aurelio.
"They are one of our main rivals fighting for fourth place in the Premier League so we know it will be a really hard game.
"They have a new manager and they have improved a lot defensive wise, so we know they will be tough opponents.
"I think one goal could be the difference on Sunday and hopefully that will be us. I think it will be important to score first and hopefully we can get it.
"It's important to keep a clean sheet and we know that we can score goals. We will go there with confidence."
(LFC Online)
Benitez sees change
of attitude from Babel

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has had cause to doubt the commitment of forward Ryan Babel, but recent performances from the Holland international have been
a revelation.
The 23 year old looked dangerous when he came off the bench in last week's defeat at Arsenal, where he was denied an equaliser only by Manuel Almunia's fingertip save onto the crossbar.
And he was Liverpool's biggest threat by far during a 27-minute Europa League run-out in which he set up the only goal for David Ngog against Unirea Urziceni
on Thursday.
Benitez has seen a change in Babel's attitude and is hopeful
the improvement continues.
"He was doing well in training sessions. He wants to impress now and you could see he was a threat from the beginning," said the Spaniard.
"Babel's fresh legs with pace was a different approach and it was good for us. I was really pleased with him."

Emilsson on target in City win
Liverpool Under-18s produced a brilliant performance to beat Manchester City 2-1 on Saturday morning.
Icelandic starlet Kristjan Gauti Emilsson recently netted the winner against City's rivals United on his debut, and he was on target again as Rodolfo Borrell's side deservedly won.
Stephen Sama netted the other goal as Borrell's side bounced back from their youth cup exit at the hands of Watford.
Back in September City had beaten a young Liverpool side 6-2 in Kirkby, but it was a totally different story on Saturday.
Liverpool team: Chris Oldfield, John Flanagan, Jack Robinson, Andre Wisdom, Stephen Sama, Conor Coady, Michael Ngoo, Michael Roberts, Lauri Dalla Valle, Krisztian Adorjan, Tom Ince.
Subs: Kristjan Gauti Emilsson, Craig Roddan, Alex Cooper, Matty McGiveron.
(LFC Official Website)

Mancini: Pressure on Reds
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says all the pressure is on Liverpool ahead of their Premier League clash on Sunday.
Liverpool are currently one point behind City in the table having played a game more than their opponents, which Mancini says means his side have
the upper hand.
"We want to win and so do they, so it will be difficult but more so for Liverpool," he said.
"We are above them and they have to try to get past us. We have to be positive, if we can win, we will go further ahead of them so that's what we must try to do.
"We are in a good position with 13 games to go and I hope that Sunday is a fantastic game for our supporters."
(Sky Sports)

Mascherano: We need to find balance
Javier Mascherano has warned his Liverpool team-mates against all-out attack in Sunday's crucial Premier League clash at Manchester City.
Roberto Mancini's side have lost four Premier League matches this season but all have been on their travels, with their tally at home being 30 points from
a possible 36.
For that reason Mascherano insists Liverpool cannot under-estimate their opponents at Eastlands on Sunday.
But they should not be drawn into a scenario where they believe they have to beat fourth-placed City, who are one point ahead of the Reds with a match in hand in the race for the final Champions League spot, at all costs.
"We have to win but we cannot lose our heads," he said.
"We have to go there thinking about winning but we have to play a very good game from the beginning.
"Obviously when you want to win you have to go forward but you have to be careful about the counter-attack because they have some very good players - so we have to be clever."

Kennedy: City should fear us
Alan Kennedy believes Liverpool can make a statement of intent when they travel to Eastlands on Sunday.
Rafael Benitez's side take on fourth place Manchester City in a crucial top-four clash at the City of Manchester Stadium with just one point separating
the two sides.
Kop hero Kennedy insists there is no reason to fear Roberto Mancini's side and claims the Reds can take all three points.
"We have a good away record at Manchester City and I am backing Rafa's team to win the game," Kennedy told
"This is a massive game, no doubt about it and it's probably one of the biggest games of the season for Liverpool but we don't need to fear them. We have a good record and we know what you need to do to finish in the top-four.
"Another team competing for the top-four Tottenham came here recently and we played ever so well and deserved the victory, so there is no reason why we can't do the same to City."
(LFC Official Website)
Benitez wary of Man City threat
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez admits he will be happy his team do not have to face striker Carlos Tevez at Eastlands on Sunday, but is still wary of Manchester City's quality.
"Clearly he is a good player who is doing well," said the Spaniard of
the 19-goal striker.
"But they have other good strikers, so I think they have enough quality in the squad and can replace Tevez with another good player.
"If Tevez is not there and they miss him we will be pleased, but I will say again, they have quality."
(Press Association Sport)

City duo to miss Reds clash
Manchester City will be without Carlos Tevez and Patrick Vieira for Sunday's clash with Liverpool at Eastlands.
Roberto Mancini's side go into the game one point ahead of the Reds in the race for fourth - but without two of their most influential stars.
Tevez is still on compassionate leave in Argentina where his wife has just given birth to their daughter, while Vieira will serve the first game of a three match ban after admitting a charge of violent conduct in an incident with Stoke City's Glenn Whelan in midweek.
However, Mancini insisted former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy could be available for selection if he proves his fitness, despite reports of a bust-up between the pair at the City training ground.
"I read that I have a problem with him, that I shouted at him. Craig trained on Wednesday, yesterday and he will train today. I have spoken to him, face to face, but as a manager speaks to a player," he said.
"I have not shouted at him, never. I am happy to resolve things, face to face, in a room but I do not have a problem with him. If his knee is OK today and tomorrow, he will be available for Sunday."
(LFC Official Website)

Date change for Hammers clash
Liverpool's Barclays Premier League meeting with West Ham United at Anfield will now take place on Monday, April 19.
This replaces the original date of Saturday, April 17.
(LFC Official Website)

Reds waiting on Benayoun fitness
Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun faces a late fitness test ahead of their crucial trip to face Manchester City at Eastlands on Sunday.
The Israel international has recovered from a broken rib which has sidelined him since January 13, but did not feature in Thursday night's Europa League victory over Unirea Urziceni because of a back problem.
Maxi Rodriguez returns to the squad having been ineligible for the European tie.
Centre-back Sotirios Kyrgiakos serves the second game of a three-match ban while striker Fernando Torres and full-back Glen Johnson are still not fit
after knee injuries.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Skrtel, Agger, Carragher, Insua, Gerrard, Lucas, Aquilani, Rodriguez, Riera, Benayoun, Ngog, Kuyt, Cavalieri, Pacheco, Spearing, Babel, Aurelio, Degen.

De Jong: Reds game massive
Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong believes Sunday's showdown with Liverpool at Eastlands could be pivotal for their season.
Roberto Mancini's men edged back above their rivals in the race for fourth place in midweek with a scrappy and unconvincing 1-1 draw against 10-man Stoke.
The Blues now hold a one point advantage over Rafa Benitez's men and also have the benefit of a game in hand, while Aston Villa and Tottenham remain firmly in contention as the season enters the home straight.
Holland international De Jong believes victory over the Merseysiders will help them make a major step towards realising their ambition of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
He said: "It's a massive game for us and we know a win will dent one of our main rivals for a Champions League spot."
(Sky Sports)

Pacheco and Babel
praised by Carragher

Jamie Carragher paid tribute to Liverpool super subs Ryan Babel and Daniel Pacheco after they helped secure a 1-0 victory over Unirea Urziceni in the first leg of the Europa League clash at Anfield.
Babel provided the cross from the left which Pacheco headed back across goal for David Ngog to net the only goal of the game nine minutes from time.
“Ryan and Dani did very well when they came on and made a big contribution for the goal,” Carragher said.
“They gave us a bit of a lift and more energy and that’s what we needed. They made the difference.”
(Liverpool Echo)

Fourth place is priority for Reds
It started just days after the Champions League exit. Arsenal were the visitors to Anfield. Not renowned for their sharp terrace humour, the Gunners supporters proceeded to have a laugh at the expense of their hosts, trying out a new ditty that was purpose made for the occasion.
As ‘Thursday night. Channel Five’ rang out from the Anfield Road towards the Kop the ignominy of slipping through the Champions League trap door into the Europa League suddenly hit home.
For anyone watching on TV last night, the temptation to flick over to Channel 4 and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding must have been difficult to resist as Liverpool struggled to break the deadlock against the little known Unirea Urziceni.
(David Randles - Liverpool Echo)

Narrow advantage suits Benitez
Rafael Benitez was satisfied with Liverpool's 1-0 Europa League victory over Unirea Urziceni despite their obvious struggles at Anfield.
Striker David Ngog's goal nine minutes from time eventually ended the Romanians' resistance on Thursday night to give the Reds some breathing space ahead of next week's return leg.
And although Benitez would have liked a bigger cushion, he was happy to take a slender lead to Bucharest.
"I think we could have scored one or two more goals but that is football," he said.
"The team was doing well in defence, 1-0 and a clean sheet is not bad."

Pacheco proud
Dani Pacheco was proud of his contribution last night.
Pacheco came off the subsitute's bench to claim an assist for David Ngog's winner against Unirea Urziceni. Creating the goal and hearing the Kop chant his name was a special moment for the youngster.
"It was very important we won this game and to play a part in the winning goal made it a special night," he told the official website.
"It was a brilliant cross from Ryan and I managed to head the ball back for David to score so everyone was really happy at the end.
"When I came on the boss told me to play between the lines off the striker and then I went to play on the right side which I was happy to do for the team.
"It's a really special feeling when you hear the crowd singing your name and it was a nice moment for my family, but it was important the team won and we got a good result."
(LFC Online)

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