After The Match 


Liverpool-Sunderland 3-0 (0-0)       2.2.08                           PL
Goals: Crouch (57), Torres (69), Gerrard (89 pen)
Team: Reina, Carragher, Aurelio, Skrtel, Hyypia, Gerrard, Mascherano, Lucas, Pennant, Torres, Crouch
Subs: Finnan (Aurelio 46), Benayoun (Lucas 61), Kuyt (Crouch 83)
Not used: Itandje, Babel
Yellow: Finnan (84)      Miller (22), Gordon (88)
Red: None
Referee: Rob Styles
Attendance: 43,244
Shots on target: 6-2
Shots off target: 4-3
Blocked shots: 6-2
Fouls conceded: 8-10
Corners: 4-1
Offsides: 0-1
Possession: 60.8-39.2
Yellow: 1-2
HEADLINES "Winning breeds confidence and confidence
is a bit low at the moment..."
Steven Gerrard

0202: Crouch hoping for Reds run
0202: Keane laments penalty denial
0202: Rafa welcomes morale boost
0202: Gerrard looks to build on win
0202: Reds hit three in Anfield win


Crouch hoping for Reds run

By Alex Livie - Setanta Sports

Peter Crouch is hopeful his goal against Sunderland will prompt Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez to hand him a run in the team.

Crouch has cut a frustrated figure this term, as Benitez has generally preferred to pair Dirk Kuyt with Fernando Torres in attack.

The giant striker finally got his chance ahead of the misfiring Kuyt on Saturday and he did not disappoint, scoring the opener in the 3-0 win.

Crouch deflected questions on why he has not featured regularly, but is hopeful he impressed Benitez.

“That’s one to ask the manager,” he told Setanta Sports when asked why he has not played regularly.

“I’ve just got to keep my head down, work hard and try and impress the manager. Hopefully I’ve done that tonight and I may get a few chances over the next couple of games.”

The win over Sunderland was Liverpool’s first in the league since Boxing Day and Crouch is hopeful it will spark them to life.

He added: “Once we scored we saw what a different gamer it was. Everyone was relaxed and confident and wanted the ball and we looked a good side. We have to take heart from that and hopefully we can go on a good run now.

“We’ve let ourselves down of late and haven’t got the results expected of this club, so it was important against Sunderland that we got a result.”

Keane laments penalty denial

By Joseph Caron Dawe - Setanta Sports

Sunderland boss Roy Keane was left questioning a decision by the referee to not award his side a penalty in their 3-0 defeat at Liverpool as he pondered another loss.

The Black Cats held The Reds for 57 minutes when Peter Crouch opened the scoring, and after Fernando Torres had added a second Sunderland appealed for a spot-kick after Jamie Carragher appeared to handle a Daryl Murphy shot.

Referee Rob Styles – who awarded Chelsea a dubious penalty at Anfield last August – went on to award Rafa Benitez’s side a spot-kick from which Steven Gerrard made it three.

Keane referred to the visit of The Blues last summer when commenting on Styles’ decision to ignore his players’ appeals.

"We were never going to get a penalty today, never. Rob was referee here when he gave Chelsea a penalty against Liverpool earlier in the season and he was demoted after that game," Keane told Setanta Sports after the game.

"Carragher lifted his hand above his head and we have been told last week when we had Howard Webb at our training ground that such an incident would be a penalty.

"Rob gave a penalty against us at Blackburn this season against Danny Higginbotham when he did just the same thing. As I said, we were never going to get a penalty here."

Rafa welcomes morale boost

By Peter Fraser - Sky Sports

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez believes his side's 3-0 win over Sunderland has gone some way towards easing the frustrations of the Anfield faithful.

The Reds have endured a torrid season as their form has slumped on the field, while behind the scenes speculation continues to rage.

Benitez's future on Merseyside has been called into doubt and Liverpool's American owner's George Gillett and Tom Hicks are rumoured to be looking to sell the club.

And Liverpool - who had not won a league game in 2008 - made hard work of Saturday's victory against the Black Cats, but second-half goals from Peter Crouch, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard eventually earned the points.

However, under-pressure Benitez feels the victory will bring a welcome boost to the club's confidence.

"It was important to score the first goal, important to win and important to find our confidence," said Benitez.

"The fans were very patient. It was a frustrating first half but they stayed with us and in the end we gave them something to be happy about because they have not been getting the performances they deserve of late."

Gerrard looks to build on win

Evening Echo

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is hoping today’s 3-0 victory over Sunderland can breed some much-needed confidence as the Reds secured their first Premier League win since St Stephen's Day.

The club are having major problems off the field too, with fans staying behind after the game ended to voice their discontent towards American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

But they at least had a win to cheer at last as Liverpool begin their fight to claim the fourth Champions League place, with Premier League title aspirations surely put to bed.

Peter Crouch headed the Reds in front after Sunderland had kept them at bay for the first 56 minutes, and Fernando Torres added a second with a typically electric burst forward and accomplished finish 12 minutes later for his 18th goal of the season.

Gerrard tucked in a third from the penalty spot late on after Jermaine Pennant was tripped in the box by Nyron Nosworthy, with the Wearsiders claiming they should have had a spot-kick earlier in the game when Jamie Carragher appeared to block a shot with his arm.

Gerrard told Setanta Sports: “The win is nice and the clean sheet is nice, but we can still play better. Winning breeds confidence and confidence is a bit low at the moment so that certainly helps.

“We’re happy with the win, we go on international duty now and then we play Chelsea next weekend and we can look forward to that.”

On the penalty controversy, Carragher added: “I threw myself at the shot, it did hit my arm but I didn’t do it deliberately. If we’ve been fortunate, fair enough.

“We haven’t won for five or six games so it was important we got the three points with the Manchester City and Everton results going for us.”

Reds hit three in Anfield win

By Gareth Maher - Setanta Sports

Liverpool beat Sunderland 3-0 at Anfield on Saturday evening, but were far from their best as they climbed into fifth place in the Premier League.

Despite lighting the scoreboard up three times, the home side will know that there is a lot of work to do before they can get back in the race for fourth spot in the league.

Peter Crouch broke the deadlock on 57 minutes with a fine header, before Fernando Torres doubled the lead and Steven Gerrard finished it all off with a late penalty.

After a dreadful first-half that failed to offer up any major incidents, Liverpool started the second period in quite lively fashion.

Jermaine Pennant and Javier Mascherano both tried to open up gaps in the Sunderland midfield, but there was just no end product attached with their determined charges forward.

However, that end product did arrive on 57 minutes when Jamie Carragher burst up the right wing and supplied the perfect cross for Crouch to head in.

That goal lifted the atmosphere around the stadium and the hosts thrived off it as they buzzed forward in search of another goal.

Torres unleashed a wicked left-footed volley before Crouch had two chances in the space of a minute. The first of which was an eye-catching bicycle kick, and the second was a header that needed to be cleared off the line.

The Black Cats tried to erect a comeback and switched to 4-4-2 with Roy O'Donovan going onto the right wing and Michael Chopra moving up front. There was plenty of movement from the forwards, but hardly any passes arrived in their direction.

Liverpool then caught them offguard as Jonny Evans was sucked out of defence and a Crouch knock-on set Torres away to steam past Phil Bardsley before firing into the back of the net to make it 2-0.

Strangely enough Sunderland started to play a lot better after conceding that second goal and should have been awarded a penalty when a handball from Carragher was ignored by referee Rob Styles.

Jonny Evans came close with a header and O'Donovan hooked the rebound wide when he could have scored from three yards out.

Liam Miller had a shot fly over the bar and Darryl Murphy should have done better with a free-kick on the edge of the box. Their slack finishing was to be further punished.

Nyron Nosworthy, who was terrible all game, fouled Pennant inside the box to give away a penalty in the dying minutes that Gerrard tucked away.

It was a deserved win for Liverpool, but one that showed quite a few holes in their play which would be exposed by a better team.

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