Reds urged to keep fighting
Rafa Benitez has urged his Liverpool players to fight until
the very end despite facing a losing battle in their bid to
secure UEFA Champions League football.
"The players were disappointed after Birmingham because it
was a good performance and we had some chances at the end,"
he told the club's
"But I told them, 'There's still five games so we need to
Gerrard: Liverpool are underdogs
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard admits his side are
underdogs in the race to claim a top-four spot following
Sunday's 1-1 draw at Birmingham.
"It will be difficult. We have the experience and we are
hoping that will be vital in the end," said Gerrard. "But I
think it will go down to the wire."
Investors hope Liverpool miss
top four to make bargain buy
Potential investors are holding back on making serious
contact with Liverpool.
One source with insider knowledge of Liverpool's search for
new investors has suggested several are delaying offers
while they wait to see if non-qualification drives down the
Reds confirm new signing
Liverpool Football Club can today confirm the signing of
Swindon Town teenager Jamie Stephens.
The 16-year-old goalkeeper will join the Academy until 2012
and is set to sign a professional contract on his 17th
The move follows a period training with the Reds earlier
this season, after which Stephens said: "The Academy is
unbelievable. They have so many staff, everyone is so
polite, and kind, it's really friendly, like a family club."
(LFC Official Website)
Liverpool miss out on
Rhone Group investment bid
The New York-based fund management company had made a £110
million bid for a controlling stake in Liverpool, but
imposed a three-week deadline on talks that has now expired,
according to a report in the Independent.
Torres treatment a big clue to how
Benitez sees his Liverpool FC future
I wish I could answer the questions as to why Fernando
Torres was taken off at Birmingham on Sunday – but I for one
have given up trying to guess.
Preserving players early in the season is one thing – but
doing it in April just doesn’t make sense.
No wonder Steven Gerrard was scratching his head.
I hate harking back to the old days because that’s exactly
what they are – old. But if Rushie had been subbed after 65
minutes of a game we needed to win back in the 1980s there
would have been a mutiny.
And Torres is the modern day Ian Rush – the one player who
you need on the pitch when you are chasing a winning goal.
Yes, he might have been having an off day but looking at the
way Liverpool pressed late on, he would have only needed to
stand there and swing his leg at the ball to have an impact.
(Mark Lawrenson - Liverpool Daily Post)
his Liverpool revenge
Arsenal boss Wenger knows Denilson key to silencing
Barcelona midfield Birmingham City defender Liam Ridgewell
was pleased with his goal in their 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Ridgewell took particular pleasure from his equaliser as he
was part of the Blues side which surrendered a two-goal lead
in a 2-2 home draw with Liverpool two years ago - a result
which effectively doomed them to relegation.
Ridgewell said: "That result a couple of years ago was a
difficult one to take, being 2-0 up and them coming back at
"It was a big part of us being relegated, dropping those two
points near the end of the season - and we only went down by
"I think that is one of the reasons why we have kicked on
this season because we didn't want that to happen again.
"But we have done the sort of thing Liverpool did that day
so well ourselves this season, coming back from 1-0 down and
even 2-0 down against Everton.
"People know we never say die, and we have done it against
the top sides as well, and that has been the way it has been
this season, especially at home.
"We have always believed in ourselves to come back and we
did that again against Liverpool."
by Reds decline
Yossi Benayoun has revealed the disappointment and
frustration in the Liverpool squad at failing to match last
season's performance levels.
The midfielder admits the Reds hopes of qualifying for the
Champions League are now out of their own hands after being
held to a 1-1 draw at Birmingham on Sunday.
Benayoun accepts Liverpool tossed away a golden opportunity
to keep the pressure on City and Tottenham with the result
at St Andrew's but insists they will keep battling away.
Miracles now needed
for Champions League spot
It's the time of year when miracles happen but Liverpool now
require one of biblical proportions.
What was already an uphill battle to secure the final
Champions League spot, looks almost impossible today.
Yesterday’s desperately frustrating stalemate at St Andrew’s
delivered a hammer blow to hopes of clambering into the top
With Rafael Benitez’s side four points behind fourth-placed
Manchester City having played a game more, only the most
optimistic of Kopites can honestly believe the club will be
dining at Europe’s top table next season.
This was a golden opportunity to turn up the heat on their
top four rivals but Liverpool blew it.
Benitez’s search for a cure to his side’s travel sickness
goes on after their weaknesses at both ends of the pitch
were laid bare in the Midlands.
(James Pearce - Liverpool Daily
Rafa explains Torres call
Rafa Benitez insists his decision to substitute Fernando
Torres at Birmingham in Sunday's draw was simply an attempt
to freshen up his flagging Liverpool side.
Torres has been in fine form since his return from injury
and while Benitez will point to an exerting Europa League
tie on Thursday that saw Liverpool play for an hour with 10
men, his front-man looked perplexed by the decision.
"He was tired, he was really tired," Benitez told Sky
Sports. "We needed fresh legs so I went with Ngog."
Reds hopes hit
by battling Blues
Liverpool's Champions League hopes were hit on Sunday as
Birmingham came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw in the
Premier League at St Andrew's.
Steven Gerrard had put Liverpool ahead a minute into the
second half with a fine curling effort but Liam Ridgewell
levelled matters nine minutes later to leave the Reds four
points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City having played
a game more.
The draw leaves Rafa Benitez still searching for a first
Premier League victory over Birmingham - after eight
attempts spanning his six seasons at Anfield.
Yossi Benayoun, Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Maxi Rodriguez come
in against Birmingham this afternoon.
Daniel Agger, Javier Mascherano and Ryan Babel all make way.
The Liverpool team in full: Reina, Insua, Johnson,
Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Lucas, Gerrard, Rodriguez, Benayoun,
Kuyt, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, Agger, Aquilani, Babel, Ngog,
(LFC Official Website)
Carra harbours fourth fears
Jamie Carragher fears a top-four finish may already be
beyond Liverpool, even if they secure a perfect end to a
Carragher journeys to the West Midlands on Sunday to take on
a Birmingham City side who have not lost to the top three on
home soil, and the Reds stalwart insists it is a game they
can ill afford to draw.
But even if Rafa Benitez's side manage to take the spoils
over Alex McLeish's men, Liverpool are still outsiders
behind Manchester City and Tottenham for a UEFA Champions
League place, according to the 32-year-old defender.
"We need to think about winning every game from now until
the end of the season, but because we're a little bit behind
even that might not be good enough," Carragher said in the
Sunday Mirror after seeing Spurs slump to defeat against
Sunderland while City thrashed Burnley.
"People look at our run-in and think we've got easier games
than City and Spurs.
"But I'd much rather be where they are than where we are and
because of that I think City are probably favourites to
"We can't worry about the others, though, because we've got
to get ourselves in a position where we can put some
pressure on them.
"It's no good what a run-in looks like on paper. You've got
to win your matches. City and Spurs might have tough games
to come. But who's to say they won't
"They are up where they are because they're two very good
teams. For me, City are definitely favourites."
Saviola blow for Benfica
Benfica will be without Javier Saviola for their Europa
League return date with Liverpool on Thursday.
The Argentina international has suffered a broken toe and is
expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks.
Benfica could also be without commanding centre-half Luisao,
with the Brazilian currently nursing a knee problem.
Darby hoping for promotion
Stephen Darby is hoping to help Swindon win promotion.
The reserve team captain is currently on loan with Swindon
Town and has helped them put a run together (including an
excellent 3-0 win over Leeds at Elland Road yesterday) that
has seen them reach the play-offs.
Darby is hoping that if he can help Swindon win promotion to
the Championship, the experience will help him in his bid to
become an Anfield regular.
"This is my first experience being out on loan and I feel
like I'm learning each game which is great," said Darby.
"The lads have been brilliant helping me get settled in and
they've made me feel really welcome which has made it a lot
easier for me.
"This is the right time for me to go out on loan and I need
to play some games and get more experience. I spoke to the
coaching staff at Liverpool who told me this would be good
for my development.
"Swindon play football the right way and they are a good
"We are not putting too much pressure on ourselves and want
to pick up as many points as we can.
"I want to help Swindon try and get promotion and then come
back to Liverpool and hopefully get a chance in pre-season
and show what I can do.
"I know it is tough to make it at Liverpool but it is the
club I love and I want to give my best.
"The night before I came to Swindon Carra phoned me and gave
me some great advice. I also got a text of Stevie Gerrard.
That was really nice of them and it gives you a lot of
Rhone Group press Liverpool for
answer to £110m investment offer
The deadline set by the Rhone Group for Liverpool to accept
a £110 million offer to take a 40 per cent stake in the
Anfield club expires on Monday, with the only concrete
proposal received by current owners Tom Hicks and George
Gillett in their search for fresh investment likely to be
Rhone became the first suitor to show their hand when the
New York-based fund management firm, run by billionaires
Robert Agostinelli and Steven Langman, presented their offer
to Liverpool in the early hours of March 13.
It is believed they informed the club they expected to
discover whether their bid had been successful by April 5.