Red News


FEBRUARY            2010
25 26 27 28



Rafa frustrated by Rovers
Rafa Benitez was left clearly frustrated at Blackburn's robust style of play as his Liverpool side recorded a narrow 2-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.
"We had to win and we won," he stated.
"We won and that is the most important thing. I don't know but I was really surprised that it was just five (bookings for Blackburn).
"It doesn't matter - we won."
(Sky Sports)

Big Sam: We lack firepower
Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce bemoaned his side's lack of firepower as his side lost 2-1 to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
Rovers enjoyed plenty of possession on Merseyside but failed to capitalise on the numerous chances that they created.
"If we had a goalscorer we would have won, it is that simple," he said.
"Chances came and went and we didn't convert them and unusually we had more chances than Liverpool today."
(Sky Sports)

Torres on target as Reds win

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres marked his first start since January 13 by scoring the winner in an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over Blackburn at Anfield.
The Spain international hit his 13th goal in 17 Barclays Premier League appearances just before half-time, having missed five weeks at the start of the year after a knee operation.
Liverpool had gone ahead midway through the half through Steven Gerrard only for Jamie Carragher's handball to allow Keith Andrews to equalise from the penalty spot five minutes before the interval.
With fellow top-four challengers Tottenham and Manchester City both winning this weekend, it was imperative Rafael Benitez's side maintained the pressure - and they managed to grind out a win against combative opponents.

Torres starts

Fernando Torres starts for Liverpool against Blackburn this afternoon.
The absence of Soto Kyrgiakos and Martin Skrtel means Jamie Carragher returns to centre-back, with Javier Mascherano playing at right-back.
The Reds XI: Reina, Mascherano, Aurelio, Agger, Carragher, Lucas, Gerrard, Benayoun, Kuyt, Rodriguez, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Babel, Insua, Ngog, Kelly, Ayala.
(LFC Official Website)

Gerrard: Capello is Fab coach
Steven Gerrard has hailed Fabio Capello's calming influence and claims that he has restored the players' belief in their own ability.
In recent years, the so-called 'golden generation' of England stars have felt the nation's high expectations weigh heavily on their shoulders, which was compounded by the national side failing to qualify for Euro 2008 under
Steve McClaren.
According to the Liverpool skipper, the introduction of former Real Madrid coach Capello has rejuvenated a squad that was often afraid to express itself at Wembley because of the pressure to perform.
Gerrard admitted that he was one of the players most affected by supporters' expectations, but is ready to lead his side out against Egypt in a friendly
on Wednesday.
"I can certainly say I experienced fear when I went out to perform," Gerrard told the News of the World.
"The pressure from supporters always transmitted itself on to the pitch.
"It's always an honour to wear an England shirt but you only had to see some of the performances, myself included, to see it could also be a burden.
"There was a lot of fear out there, it was difficult to play and we made hard work out of the fixtures we should have won. Fabio Capello has got rid of all that. The shackles are off and we play without fear now."
(Sky Sports)

Gerrard in England squad
Steven Gerrard has been named in the England squad.
Gerrard, England's new vice-captain, has been named in Fabio Capello's squad for this Wednesday's friendly with Egypt.
(LFC Online)
Reds sign starlet Sterling from QPR
Liverpool have signed highly-rated England youth international Raheem Sterling from Championship side QPR for an undisclosed fee
The 15-year-old attacking midfielder, who was also attracting interest from Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Fulham, will join the club's academy in Kirkby.
"The success of our academy is vital to the future progress of the club and we have made clear that we will invest in outstanding young talent," said Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow.
"Raheem is a very exciting young English player whose progress was being closely monitored by many other leading clubs and I'm delighted he's joining us.
"Frank McParland (academy director) and his staff have done a great job in bringing him to Liverpool."

Allardyce: Reds have gone physical

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce thinks Liverpool have adopted the same physical style which Reds boss Rafael Benitez used to criticise his old club Bolton for.
Allardyce claims the Spaniard sent a DVD of what he saw as Bolton's rough play to referees' chief Keith Hackett, but now sees elements of that same physical approach in Liverpool's play as they bid to salvage their season and qualify for next season's Champions League.
Allardyce, whose Rovers side face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, told the Daily Mirror: "(Benitez) has used all that stuff that he says he doesn't like. It's ironic isn't it?
"They have had to go back to basics and the pretty stuff goes out the window until you start winning matches.
"I watched them play at Manchester City and they got six players booked, so it shows he's brought the physical side out in them."
(Sporting Life)

Rafa ready to keep momentum going
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez wants his side to build on Thursday's Europa League away victory domestically.
A 3-1 win against Unirea Urziceni was the first time since late September the Reds had scored more than twice in a game.
Having experienced defeat at Arsenal and a frustrating goalless draw at Manchester City last weekend Benitez is keen not to lose momentum again.
"We see the Europa League as very important and we will try to progress and hopefully it will be good for this weekend's match against Blackburn," said the Spaniard ahead of Rovers' visit to Anfield on Sunday.
"Always it is important that when you win you have more confidence and it is easier for the manager to send messages and easier for the players to try things.
"I think we need to show we want to progress."
Liverpool confirm Skrtel
has broken foot

The Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez has confirmed that his central defender Martin Skrtel has a broken foot.
The Slovakian centre-back was injured last night when Liverpool beat Unirea Urziceni 3-1 to reach the last 16 of the Europa League.
X-rays at the club's Melwood training ground today have confirmed Skrtel has fractured a metatarsal in his right foot.
"We were really disappointed after the game because it was a good result but then we had the bad news about Martin," said the Liverpool manager.
"He's had X-rays today and they confirmed he has a broken metatarsal. We have to check over the next couple of days how long it will take to recover."
Skrtel's absence, however long or short it turns out to be, comes just as Benítez thought he finally had a full-strength squad with which to tackle their remaining 11 matches as they bid to secure Champions League football next season.
(The Guardian)

Skrtel sidelined for Rovers clash
Defender Martin Skrtel will miss Sunday's Premier League visit of Blackburn Rovers after sustaining a broken foot against Unirea Urziceni.
His absence causes problems for manager Rafael Benitez as fellow centre-back Sotirios Kyrgiakos serves the final game of a three-match suspension.
Jamie Carragher is likely to revert to his usual role in the centre, meaning Philipp Degen or youngster Martin Kelly could come in at right-back as, although Glen Johnson is close to full fitness after a knee problem, he is not in contention yet.
Midfielder Maxi Rodriguez returns to the squad having been ineligible for the trip to Romania.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Degen, Agger, Carragher, Insua, Gerrard, Lucas, Aquilani, Benayoun, Riera, Rodriguez, Ngog, Kuyt, Torres, Cavalieri, Pacheco, Spearing, Darby, Babel, Aurelio, Kelly.

Gerrard breaks European record
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard has set a new goal-scoring record in Europe.
The midfielder's goal against Unirea in the Europa League means he's now scored more goals than any other English player in Europe.
Gerrard scored Liverpool's third goal in his side's 3-1 win, taking his goal-scoring tally in European competitions to 33.
Former Newcastle player and Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer previously held the record with 32 goals.
Gerrard's goal moved him one ahead in the scoring charts and also ensured Liverpool moved into the last 16 of the competition.
"It's always nice to break records but the main thing is to get into the next round - and the most pleasing thing is to do that," he said.
(BBC CBBC Newsround)

Diouf: It's not difficult at Anfield
Blackburn forward El-Hadji Diouf claimed it is "not difficult" to go to Anfield and beat Liverpool, while also admitting he loves being booed.
Ahead of Sunday's fixture between the two clubs, the 29-year-old is already far from popular with the Reds after flopping in the wake of a £10million arrival from Lens in 2002.
The Senegalese came nowhere near meeting his price tag on Merseyside and has since angered the locals with a few less-than-complimentary remarks about his three-year stay.
Diouf has now upped the ante after suggesting Rovers could easily record their first win at Liverpool since 1993 and insists he will not buckle under probable abuse from The Kop.

Torres back in Spain squad
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has been included in the Spain squad to face France next week.
Torres is back to fitness after recovering from knee surgery which ruled him out for five weeks.
There were no surprises in Vicente del Bosque's 23-man selection with Torres and Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna returning after injuries.
Sevilla winger Jesus Navas has again been included after making his debut in Spain's 2-1 victory over Argentina in November.
Del Bosque insists there is no problem with Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez over his inclusion of Torres with the striker having previously picked up injuries on international duty.
"Torres played in Liverpool's last (league) match and seems to have recovered and he looks to be in a condition to play," said Del Bosque.
"We have had no differences with (Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez), nor with any other coach."
(Sky Sports)

Reds to face Lille in last 16
Liverpool will meet French side Lille in the last 16 of the Europa League.
They edged out Turkish outfit Fenerbahce 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in Istanbul. Adil Rami's 85th minute strike saw Rudi Garcia's team earn the right to take on Rafael Benitez's men.
The first leg will take place in France on Thursday, March 11 with the return at Anfield scheduled for Thursday, March 18.
Lille are currently third in the French league, four points behind table
toppers Bordeaux.
They finished second in their Europa League group having tallied 10 points from a pool that also consisted of Valencia, Genoa and Slavia Prague.
Lille play their home games at the Stade Nord Lille Metropole. Formed in 1944, they're nicknamed 'Les Dogues', which translates as the Mastiffs.
(LFC Official Website)
Rafa hails Reds' fighting spirit
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was pleased with the character shown by his side in their 3-1 victory over Unirea Urziceni in Romania, which sealed a 4-1 aggregate win and a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League.
"We showed character. It was a difficult game because of the pitch. We needed to be calm and do the job properly," Benitez said.

Injury worry for Skrtel

Martin Skrtel suffered a suspected broken foot as Liverpool beat Unirea Urziceni 3-1 in Romania to reach the last 16 of the Europa League.
The Reds defender was injured in a second-half challenge with Antonio Semedo and was replaced by Sotirios Kyrgiakos.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was unhappy with the tackle and confirmed that the Slovakian could have broken his foot.
"At this moment we don't know how serious it is but it could be a broken foot," said Benitez.
"That would be bad news but we will have to wait and see what happens but it was a bad tackle."
(Football 365)

Liverpool overcome early setback
Liverpool avoided a potential Europa League embarrassment in Romania as they came from behind to book their place in the last 16. Shaky defending from set-pieces in the first half saw them fall behind to Bruno Fernandes’ header in the 19th minute and for a while they looked rattled.
However, a long range Javier Mascherano Strike and a Ryan Babel goal turned things around before Steven Gerrard’s 33rd European goal wrapped things up after the break.
It was the first time since the 6-1 win over Hull in September that Liverpool had scored more than twice in a game, a run of 29 matches.
(The Irish Times)

Unirea v Liverpool: Yossi Returns
Yossi Benayoun makes a welcome return to the Liverpool starting line-up for the first time since January 13th in this evening’s Europa League second leg tie with Unirea Urziceni in Bucharest.
Ryan Babel keeps his place with Dirk Kuyt dropping down to the bench.
Liverpool’s confirmed team: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Insua, Lucas, Mascherano, Babel, Benayoun, Gerrard, Ngog.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Torres, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Kuyt, Kelly.
(This is Anfield)

Dalglish tells Reds to go and win it

Former Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish believes that Liverpool should be able to go on and win the Europa League.
"We are where we are and we have to get on with it and deal with it," Dalglish said, ahead of Thursday's second leg at Unirea. "We're not that far away from the final so if we can get through tonight then we should be excited about the rest of the competition.
"If we get to the final and win it then people will forget about the disappointments from earlier on.
"There are some good teams left in the Europa League so it won't be easy. Benfica are a good side, Fenerbache aren't bad and Juventus are there as well - but we're not bad ourselves!
"We have to be confident without being stupid about it. We have the lead so there's no great pressure on us to score but if we can get one early on then it will make it more difficult for them.
"I think they will play the same as they did last week when they looked to keep things tight. They will want the crowd to stay with them and so the longer it goes at 0-0 the more they will feel they have a chance of sneaking one.
"The pitch won't be great and the conditions won't be the best so we have to be careful, but at the same time we have to believe we can get through it and into the next round."
(LFC Online)

Rafa backing Gerrard role
Rafa Benitez believes captaining England could help Steven Gerrard take his game to a new level.
The Liverpool skipper is set to be handed the armband by national team boss Fabio Capello for the 3rd March friendly against Egypt.
Chelsea defender John Terry was stripped of the responsibility earlier this month following allegations over his private life and replacement Rio Ferdinand is struggling with a back injury.
Vice-captain Gerrard will now assume the responsibility for the Wembley encounter and could be in the frame to lead his country at the World Cup with doubts continuing over Ferdinand's fitness.
Anfield talisman Gerrard has been criticised in the past for not always transferring his club form onto the international stage, and Benitez believes being asked to lead the side could make a difference.
The Reds boss said: "I think captaining England will be good for his confidence and could also have a good effect on him.
"We know he is important for us, and also important for England. I think he has to take the responsibility as a positive sign."
(Sky Sports)

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