After The Match 


Liverpool-Chelsea 1-1 (1-0)         19.8.07                           PL
Goals: Torres (16)             Lampard (62 pen)
Team: Reina, Finnan, Agger, Riise, Gerrard, Torres, Alonso, Pennant, Arbeloa, Kuyt, Carragher
Subs: Babel (Pennant 68), Crouch (Riise 83)
Not used: Itandje, Hyypia, Mascherano
Yellow: Kuyt (30), Pennant (40), Gerrard (43), Carragher (61)
Essien (12), Cole (58), Lampard (69), Ben Haim (63),
Terry (73)
Red: None
Referee: Rob Styles
Attendance: 43,924
Shots on target: 8-2
Shots off target: 10-4
Fouls conceded: 11-16
Corners: 5-2
Yellow: 4-5



HEADLINES "How can you take this decision? It is unbelievable."
    Rafael Benitez

2008: Rob Styles suspended after Anfield errors
2008: Finnan: Ref Styles cost us two crucial points
2008: A new star is born as golden boy Fernando...
1908: Benitez slams Styles
1908: Jose backs referee
1908: Gerrard blast for referee Styles
1908: Reds pay the penalty

Rob Styles suspended
after Anfield errors

Liverpool Echo

Blunder ref Rob Styles has been suspended from Premier League duties following his woeful handling of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Styles won’t be officiating in the top flight this weekend.

Referee chief Keith Hackett has revealed Styles has admitted his mistake in awarding Chelsea a controversial penalty.

Hackett has also contacted Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez to apologise for the error.

The referee has been universally condemned for a sequence of mistakes at Anfield. Not only were Chelsea given a penalty, he appeared to book Michael Essien twice and cautioned eight others.

Said referees’ supremo hackett today: "Accountability exists and we expect referees to get big decisions correct.

"On this occasion it was wrong and therefore Rob will not be officiating next weekend."

Finnan: Ref Styles cost
us two crucial points

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Steve Finnan today accused referee Rob Styles of costing Liverpool two crucial points against Chelsea as he spoke of his bewilderment at the controversial penalty decision.

Finnan was penalised after his collision with Florent Malouda, which allowed Frank Lampard to steal a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

A distraught Finnan said he was stunned when he realised Styles was pointing to the spot.

“It was definitely two points lost. We deserved to win the game,” said Finnan. “I’m very disappointed with how they got back into the game. Four points isn’t a bad start for us, but it should have been six.

“Everyone has said it wasn’t a penalty. I couldn’t believe it. At the time when he blew I thought it was for offside. None of their players appealed for it. Their player just ran into me, so it was very surprising.

“They needed something like that to get back into the game. We played a bit better after they scored. We dominated after that, and in the first half. They had no chances except one or two headers, so it’s disappointing what happened.

“But our start has been good and we should take a lot of confidence from that. The way they celebrated a draw at the end shows what it meant to them, and it felt a bit like a loss to us, but hopefully over the course of the season things will be evened out and we’ll be up their challenging.”

Finnan now sees next week’s trip to Sunderland as just as important as yesterday’s clash, as Liverpool strive for the consistency required to maintain a title challenge.

“Sunderland away is a difficult game.

“After international breaks it’s the kind of game we’ve struggled with over the year,” he said. “We’ve a good enough squad to cope, but with all due respect we should have the quality to win those types of game.”

A new star is born as golden boy Fernando Torres turns back clock

By Nick Peet - Liverpool Echo

It's the second week of August and after kicking off the season with an away win, an expectant Kop waits with bated breath for the home debut of Liverpool’s big summer signing.

And they don’t have to wait long before falling in love with their newest hero.

After breaking the club’s transfer record to sign the striker, he repays the club in kind, by turning in an effort at the Anfield Road end – and a new star is born.

The year was 1977 and the player was Kenny Dalglish.

Now, fast forward 30 years and Fernando Torres will be hoping that his maiden strike will set him on the road to a similar career path as that of the club’s brightest star.

Fortunately for Dalglish his big day – when the Reds cruised past Newcastle United 2-0 – was not ruined by an inept match official.

But after the hangover’s clear across the city this morning and Liverpool fans start to think about the positives of yesterday’s Chelsea stalemate, one thing will override everything else.

The Reds have got themselves a goal poacher again.

The club’s long, proud history of world class marksmen has hit something of a dry patch in this decade, ever since Michael Owen left for Madrid.

But in Torres, Liverpool have definitely signed the kind of striker who knows where the back of the net is.

Hard working, full of energy and prepared to defend from the front as willingly as he is to run in behind defenders, it’s already clear to see exactly why Torres was awarded the captain’s armband when still only a teenager at former club Atletico Madrid.

The 23-year-old striker is quite obviously a leader and his performance against Chelsea – and at Villa Park last week – already suggest enough to argue that he is going to be a huge success at Anfield.

His first touch is excellent , turn of pace sublime and finishing clearly top draw.

How many players can you remember that have been rewarded with their own Kop song inside 45 minutes?

And being lauded with a variation of Robbie Fowler’s old clap-chant too. High praise indeed.

Naturally his boss was slightly more cautious in his praise.

After seething over the performance of referee Rob Styles, Rafa Benitez cleared his head enough to say: “It was a good strike from Torres and a very positive start for him.

“He has good pace and showed real quality but it is also good for the supporters.

“It’s too early to judge Fernando just yet, but today he played against one of the best defenders in England and you can see he had no problems adjusting to the style of football.

“There is much more to come from him.”

Of course, he has got a million miles to go before he should even be listed alongside Kop idols Dalglish and Fowler, but Torres has definitely got the tools to become the latest Red Baron.

His goal yesterday, slid perfectly around Petr Cech and inside the far post after he ghosted past Tal Ben Haim, was actually more like Own in his youthful pomp than either of the previous two Reds legends.

Torres’ pace allowed him the opportunity while his finishing skills gave him the time to shift his body over the ball, open up his frame and tempt Cech to go to ground before finally side-footing it across goal.

It was a natural goalscorer at his productive best – and the Anfield crowd lapped it up.

At Atletico his goalscoring record was hardly the stuff of legend.

His 82 strikes in 214 appearances may only have been topped by Samuel Eto’o at Barcelona over the last five seasons, but it hardly compares with pre-Anfield Dalglish’s 167 in 204 starts at Glasgow Celtic.

But in his home city Torres was landed with a much greater role than simply putting the ball in the back of the net.

He was more of a creative support striker than a goal-poacher.

But it is quite clear that Benitez has a much more productive role for his latest Spanish protege, and he’ll be hoping that yesterday’s virgin strike will be the first of many this season and beyond.

The King may be long gone, but has the Spanish Prince just arrived?

Benitez slams Styles

By Peter O'Rourke - Sky Sports

Rafa Benitez was left fuming by referee Rob Styles following Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

The Reds were denied a priceless victory after Styles awarded a controversial second half penalty for Chelsea.

Styles harshly adjudged Steve Finnan to have fouled Florent Malouda inside the box even thought it appeared that the Chelsea winger jumped into the Liverpool defender.

Benitez described Styles' decision as "unbelievable" as Liverpool were forced to settle for a point.

"I think it was a mistake," fumed Benitez.

"It is unbelievable. How can you take this decision? It is unbelievable.

"A team that is working so hard how can you change a game like this?"

Asked if he challenged Styles about the decision after the match, Benitez said: "No. It is clear, he can watch the video. He may understand why we are so disappointed. Unbelievable."

Benitez took positives from his side's performance as Liverpool dominated for the majority of the proceedings.

"I think we had some chances against a very good team," added Benitez. "We know Chelsea is a very good team

"Clearly the game was under control but this kind of decision is something you cannot explain.

"Maybe he was under pressure all the time anyway I prefer not to say too much."

Benitez singled out Fernando Torres for special praise after he scored his first goal for Liverpool to fire them in front in the first half.

"I think Torres showed the qualities he has - pace and great finish it was really good," noted Benitez

"It is important for all the strikers to score but especially for Torres because people will stop him.

"He scored his first goal during pre-season and another goal at home it is very positive for him."

Jose backs referee

By Peter O'Rourke - Sky Sports

Jose Mourinho backed Rob Styles after the referee found himself the centre of controversy during Liverpool's draw with Chelsea.

Styles was blasted by Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez and Reds skipper Steven Gerrard after he awarded Chelsea a controversial penalty.

Chelsea earned a point after Frank Lampard cancelled out Fernando Torres' opener from the penalty spot.

Styles controversially adjudged Steve Finnan to have fouled Florent Malouda inside the box and the decision left a bitter taste in the mouth for Gerrard and Benitez.

Mourinho reserved judgement on the penalty award, but felt Styles had a positive game" at Anfield.

When asked if his side had been fortunate with the penalty award, Mourinho told Sky Sports 1: "I don't know. But so many times you are unfortunate, especially in this stadium with referees' decisions, I don't know.

"I think it is a difficult game for referees.

"Not every player on the pitch was trying to help the referee. A couple of them, maybe because of their different culture, didn't help the referee. But two big teams at Anfield is not easy.

"Overall Mr Styles had a positive game."

Mourinho conceded he was happy to come away from one of his big rivals with a point.

"I think it is difficult to play here because they are a good team and it is a positive result for us, especially because we were losing," added Mourinho.

Gerrard blast for referee Styles


Steven Gerrard accused referee Rob Styles of cracking under pressure after he awarded Chelsea a highly-controversial penalty at Anfield.

Fernando Torres netted with a fine side-footed effort after just 16 minutes, and Liverpool looked to be on course to repeat last season's league victory over the then-champions at Anfield.

But in the second period Frank Lampard belted home a penalty, controversially given for a challenge by Steve Finnan on Florent Malouda.

Asked if his side deserved to win, Reds skipper Gerrard told Sky Sports: "I think so. I think a very, very unfair decision has got Chelsea a point today. But I think we proved today we are capable of challenging.

"I felt the referee didn't play well today. There was a lot of pressure from the Chelsea players and I thought he eventually cracked."

Asked about his slim chances of overcoming a broken toe to play in England's friendly against Germany on Wednesday, Gerrard said: "I looked fit today because I had a painkilling injection to play. I need to rest to be ready for the England qualifiers.

"I've spoken to Steve McClaren a couple of times and I'll speak to him tomorrow I suppose.

"The sensible thing is to make sure you are ready for big games.

"If the x-ray tomorrow shows the crack has healed, I'll be playing for England. But I can't see it because three days ago I had an x-ray and I'd broken a toe."

Reds pay the penalty

By Peter O'Rourke - Sky Sports

Frank Lampard's controversial penalty earned Chelsea a fortunate 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.

Fernando Torres started to repay some of his massive transfer fee as he gave Liverpool the lead in the first half with his first goal for the club.

Chelsea were handed the chance to equalise just past the hour mark when referee Rob Styles controversially adjudged Steve Finnan to have fouled Florent Malouda inside the box, even though it looked as if the Frenchman jumped into the defender.

Lampard scored from the resulting spot-kick to earn Chelsea a point as both sides saw their 100 per cent starts to the season come to an end.

The incident set the tone for the rest of a fractious match in which Styles almost lost control. In the latter stages he appeared to book Michael Essien for a second time without sending off the Ghanaian only for the fourth official reveal the booking had been issued to John Terry.

Chelsea's vulnerability on their right flank saw them a goal behind on 16 minutes.

Gerrard played the ball with the outside of his right foot, finding Torres heading into the area.

The Spain international took on Tal Ben-Haim, leaving the ex-Bolton man in just a couple of yards before squeezing a clever side-foot shot just inside Cech's far post.

Chelsea responded with a Drogba free-kick that was deflected wide and Kalou saw a six-yard box chance disappear as he failed to shoot quickly.

Chelsea brought on Claudio Pizarro for Kalou at the break, to provide better support for Drogba.

And the Peruvian made an instant impact. First he nodded on a Lampard corner for Jon Obi Mikel to head just over, and then he stretched at the far post to head wide himself.

Much of Liverpool's play in the opening half was geared to containment, but they were more adventurous attacking the Kop end and Gerrard and Xabi Alonso both saw chances go wide while a Riise free-kick was charged down.

But on 61 minutes, Chelsea were level from the penalty spot. It was a controversial decision by referee Styles to penalise Steve Finnan for a challenge on Malouda.

It looked as if Malouda had jumped between Finnan and Carragher before tumbling and Carragher was booked for arguing before Lampard drove the spot-kick home.

Lampard was soon booked for dissent, with Terry following, Chelsea fuming at what they perceived as a Torres dive looking for a free-kick.

There was more argument involving Essien before the free-kick went Liverpool's way. The Ghanian appeared to be booked for a second time but Styles later confirmed that only Terry had been yellow-carded.

Cech did well to keep out a close-range Riise effort as Liverpool pressed again.

Dirk Kuyt's flicked header just cleared the bar before Alex came on for his Chelsea debut in place of Malouda.

Chelsea were now intent on the point, which they achieved after Babel skimmed a late effort inches wide.

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