After The Match 


Liverpool-Blackburn 3-1 (0-0)           13.4.08                      PL
Goals: Gerrard (60), Torres (82), Voronin (90)      Santa Cruz (90)
Team: Reina, Arbeloa, Aurelio, Skrtel, Carragher, Lucas, Alonso, Gerrard, Babel, Kuyt, Torres
Subs: Benayoun (Babel 59), Voronin (Torres 85), Riise (Alonso 88)
Not used: Itandje, Hyypia
Yellow: Skrtel (72)
Red: None
Referee: Alan Wiley
Attendance: 43,283
Shots on target: 6-3
Shots off target: 9-4
Blocked shots: 3-1
Fouls conceded: 12-10
Corners: 5-1
Offsides: 1-2
Possession: 54.7-45.3
Yellow: 1-0
to enjoy it when everything
is fine..."
Fernando Torres

1604: Rush praises partnership
1404: Phenomenal Torres tells it all
1404: Gerrard pleads: Keep
the ownership spat private

1304: Hughes bemoans errors
1304: Rafa: We are nearly there
1304: Deadly Reds duo defeat Rovers

Rush praises partnership

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Ian Rush has again praised the partnership of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.

Torres and Gerrard were both on the scoresheet again at the weekend having scored 50 goals between them this season. Their partnership has won the amiration of Ian Rush.

"If there is a better partnership in English football at the moment than Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres I certainly haven't seen it," the Liverpool legend told the Echo.

"The fact that they have both been nominated for PFA player of the year speaks volumes about what a wonderful season they have both had and everyone connected with Liverpool should be delighted to have them.

"The PFA awards are the most prestigious in this country as far as the players are concerned because they are voted for by your peers in the game.

"Clearly, there are many players in England who think that Gerrard and Torres are up there with the very best and I would definitely agree with that.

"We saw again at the weekend just how good they are when both of them got their names on the score sheet against Blackburn at Anfield.

"This was always going to be a difficult game for Liverpool because it came hot on the heels of their magnificent performance against Arsenal and there was bound to be a bit of a hangover from that.

"But on days when you're maybe lacking a bit of energy and struggling to lift yourselves it is vital that you have that bit of extra class in the ranks and that is exactly what Liverpool have in Gerrard and Torres.

"I was starting to wonder if Blackburn were going to be able to hold out for a draw because they are such stubborn opponents but just as it seemed as if Liverpool were not going to be able to find a way through their defence, Gerrard popped up with a wonderful goal.

"As soon as that went in you just got the feeling that Liverpool would go on and get another one or two because Blackburn would have to push forward in search of an equaliser and that meant there would be one or two gaps opening up at the back.

"That's where a genuine goalscorer like Torres comes into his own and I wasn't in the least bit surprised to see him get on the end of a great cross from Gerrard to score his 30th goal of the season.

"What a great achievement that is in his first season in English football. No wonder his fellow players have nominated him for the PFA awards.

"Class told in the end on Sunday and it meant Liverpool have all but sealed fourth place in the Premiership and a lot of the credit for that must go to Torres and Gerrard because their contribution this season has been incredible."

Phenomenal Torres tells it all

By Laurent Picard - Setanta Sports

Liverpool star Fernando Torres has declared how happy he is at Anfield and revealed he is determined to keep breaking records in England.

Torres is surprised by his own statistics, but says the warm welcome he has received in the city has helped his transition.

“You have to enjoy it when everything is fine,” he said during an interview with Radio Marca from Liverpool on Monday. “I want people to always remember me here.

“It is what I was dreaming for. I expected it to take more time. Achieving all that in the first season is amazing.

“The team have been working very well and helped me a lot.

“Settling has been very easy and you can see it on the pitch. I have been helped with everything.

“Every player feels important thanks to the fans, from Pepe to the strikers because they sing their names and support them.

“People respect you a lot here. For example I was in a supermarket this morning and the fans were very calm, did not jump on me, they just congratulated me and asked me if they could take pictures with me.

“There are plenty of Everton fans in the streets but there are no problems.

“We have fans around the world and we can see it every time we play away.

“It is a different culture than in Spain, obviously and the rivalry with Manchester United and Liverpool is impressive.”

“El Nino” could beat Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of 23 goals scored in his first Premier League season, as he has netted 22 times so far.

“I am proud and want to beat every record I can,” he said. “I feel important in the team. The game against Chelsea gave me confidence to carry on.

“I have never scored 30 goals in a season in my career and I have made it here. It has been helped by the team’s style of football.”

The Spaniard has expressed his views on the difference between the leagues in Spain and England.

“The top four teams are great in England and in Spain, but I think that the mid-table ones are more competitive in La Liga,” he declared.

“In Spain we are more technical and slower. Here they are very dynamic and never stop.

“As far as The Premier League is concerned, there is a world between the top four and the other teams.

“The coaches are managers, they sign the contracts, control everything, from the team to the Academy to the working hours, they are at training with us, and watch the reserves as well.

“They have given more time than in Spain, for example you can see how Sir Alex Ferguson has been good and how many titles he has won.”

Torres feels sorry for Arsenal, who were eliminated from the Champions League and who lost all hope of taking the title inside a week.

“Football is like that, Arsenal have achieve an amazing season, being at the top all the time and then lost everything in a week, that is cruel,” he said.

“They play very well. It is their policy. But in football you never know.”

Gerrard pleads: Keep
the ownership spat private

Liverpool Daily Post

Steven Gerrard was thrilled to mark his 300th Premier League game for Liverpool with a goal in the 3-1 victory over Blackburn yesterday.

But the Anfield skipper insisted the club should be rising above a public brawl between the owners and management.

It took Liverpool an hour to break the deadlock, but Gerrard’s clever run and finish was followed by further goals from Fernando Torres and Andriy Voronin before Roque Santa Cruz pulled one back in injury time.

Gerrard declared: “It’s a really proud day to clock up that many games. It’s a great day, a good performance, we’re just disappointed with conceding late on. It’s going to be a good chase but we’re confident we can achieve fifth place.”

Gerrard and Torres have now scored more than 50 goals between them this season, and the skipper paid tribute to the Spaniard’s impact since his move from Atletico Madrid last summer.

“He’s a good player, he makes good runs and he’s a pleasure to play with,” Gerrard added. “To get 30 goals in his first season is unbelievable and I’m sure he’s got a few left.”

However, Gerrard admitted to his disappointment at the publicity surrounding the club at the moment.

“We’re Liverpool FC, we’re better than that,” he said. “But the players have got more important things to worry about.”

Hughes bemoans errors

By James Dall - Sky Sports

Blackburn Rovers manager Mark Hughes believes individual errors cost his side as Liverpool claimed a 'deserved' victory at Anfield on Sunday.

Second-half goals from Steve Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Andriy Voronin effectively ended Rovers' faint hopes of claiming European qualification.

And Hughes, whose side netted a late consolation through Roque Santa Cruz, has bemoaned the individual mistakes leading up to the opener.

"There was not a great deal created by either team in the first half if we are honest," Hughes said on the club's official website.

"Liverpool didn't really put us under any concerted pressure during that opening period.

"But in the second half we came out and felt there was something in the game for us, but the first goal is poor from our point of view, we had chances to address the situation and nip it in the bud, but we allowed poor passes and mis-timed challenges to allow Steven Gerrard through, and one-on-one with the keeper you always suspect that he is going to take the chance which he obviously did.

"In fairness to Liverpool today I thought they worked extremely hard and closed down spaces and as a consequence they force errors and they are able to convert the chances as the consequence of those errors, and that is what happened with the last two goals, which I didn't think gave a true reflection on the game.

"But at the end of the day we haven't done enough going the other way to deserve something out of the game.

"But we'll keep going, we've got four games left and we are still trying to achieve something and that is a credit to us, but today we just didn't quite have enough to test Liverpool."

Rafa: We are nearly there

By Jimmy Rice at Anfield - LFC Official Website

Rafa Benitez believes his side are 'nearly there' in the race for Champions League qualification after a 3-1 victory over Blackburn on Sunday.

The Anfield boss was delighted with his side's second-half performance when goals from Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and substitute Andriy Voronin sunk the Lancashire outfit.

The Reds now have a five-point lead over fifth-placed Everton with just four games remaining.

Benitez said: "We must be pleased because we knew it was a difficult game against a good team. We played well in the second half, especially Benayoun and after that Gerrard and Torres.

"We scored good goals so we must be pleased, particularly after the game against Arsenal when we worked really hard, played well and everyone was saying how good we were. It's not easy to keep the players ready for the next game, so that is the most positive thing.

"We now need to go to Fulham to try to win. If we win we'll be nearly there. The Champions League is always a distraction, so it's important we get qualification sorted as quickly as possible.

"We cannot say what will happen with Everton, but we are five points clear and that is important."

Deadly Reds duo defeat Rovers

By James Dall - Sky Sports

Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres were both on target as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners over Blackburn Rovers at Anfield.

The Reds dominated the first half, but much of the attention surrounded referee Alan Wiley as he waved away appeals for a penalty when Gerrard went down after knocking the ball past goalkeeper Brad Friedel, before Christopher Samba was fortunate not to be penalised for a clumsy foul on the England midfielder.

But it mattered little, with Gerrard breaking the deadlock on the hour mark as he played a clever one-two with Lucas before squeezing through the Rovers defence to slot home coolly.

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes brought on Benni McCarthy in an attempt to boost his side's attacking prowess, but Torres' fine header took his tally to 30 goals with substitute Andriy Voronin tapping home to make it 3-0, while Santa Cruz volleyed home an injury-time consolation to restore some pride for the visitors.

The first chance came after nine minutes when Gerrard, playing his 300th league game for the club, saw a whipped in cross flicked narrowly wide by Torres.

A fine challenge by ex-Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock then stopped Torres in full flow.

Soon after, Gerrard went down too easily as Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel came out to meet him on the left of the box, and Wiley waved away appeals for a penalty.

Wiley then ignored far more obvious claims for a free-kick when Samba bundled Gerrard over on the edge of the box.

And when Torres and Dirk Kuyt combined to set-up Gerrard for a 20-yard shot that looked to be deflected wide the official gave a goal-kick, much to the growing anger of the home crowd.

Kuyt then saw a 25-yard shot held by Friedel before the Dutch forward headed just wide from a Gerrard free-kick.

Warnock received a tremendous reception from the Kop at the start of the second half, the young full-back having played 67 games for Liverpool before moving to Ewood Park 15 months ago.

Morten Gamst Pedersen saw two free-kicks saved by Jose Reina before Lucas, at the other end, fired wide.

After 59 minutes, Benitez introduced Yossi Benayoun in place of Babel and his energy was instrumental in the early build-up to a fine Gerrard goal on the hour.

Benayoun won possession and fed Lucas, the Brazilian exchanging passes with Gerrard before the Liverpool skipper cut into the box and side-footed the ball past Friedel.

Roberts appealed for a penalty in the 71st minute after a clash with Martin Skrtel, replays suggesting he was more sinner than sinned against.

But when the same pair clashed again a minute later, Skrtel was booked.

Rovers, who sent on McCarthy for Pedersen a minute later, were far from out of it and David Bentley sent a 25-yard free-kick just wide.

But Liverpool went further ahead after 82 minutes.

Lucas won possession and fed Gerrard on the right. When his cross curled into the box, Torres was there to head past Friedel.

Gerrard was denied another penalty by the official as he fell under a Samba challenge, before Torres was spared any further involvement, allowing Voronin a late run-out.

And in the final minute Voronin slid home the third from substitute John Arne Riise's low cross.

In injury time Santa Cruz volleyed home on the turn after a poor header from Skrtel, but by then the points had been well won by Liverpool.

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