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
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
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
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’
"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."
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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