After The Match 


Auxerre-Liverpool 0-2 (0-1)      20.7.07                  Pre-season
Goals: Gerrard (44), Agger (69)
Team: Mihaylov, Finnan, Paletta, Carragher, Arbeloa, Benayoun, Gerrard, Hobbs, Babel, Voronin, Kuyt
Subs: Agger, Darby, El Zahr, Riise, Pennant, Alonso,
Torres, Crouch
Not used:
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Hanni Nikolaj
Attendance: 5,833
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Blocked shots:
Fouls conceded:
a strange game in
many ways..."
    Rafael Benitez

2007: Benitez praises Moroccan starlet
2007: Reds maintain winning run


Benitez praises Moroccan starlet

By Steve Hunter in Fribourg - LFC Official Website

Rafael Benitez was full of praise for Moroccan starlet Nabil El Zhar after his impressive second half outing during the 2-0 win over Auxerre in Fribourg on Friday afternoon.

El Zhar created the second goal for Daniel Agger and was unlucky not to score himself after coming close on several occasions.

"It was a strange game in many ways because we didn't play to our normal level yet we managed to score two good goals, we have no injury problems and we kept a clean sheet, which is always good," commented Benitez.

"I thought El Zhar did a good job when he came on in the second half. Nabil is a player with pace and ability who wants to do well. He gave us fresh legs and I told him to try and change the game for us because everyone was feeling tired. I told him to try different things and try to score.

"It was very hot conditions and we have been training hard so we expected the players to feel a little tired. We have enjoyed our training camp in Switzerland and the players have worked very hard.

"We now have a long trip to Hong Kong and two more matches but we are looking forward to it, because it is important for the club to go there and see the supporters."

Reds maintain winning run

By Peter Fraser - Sky Sports

Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent pre-season record as they secured a 2-0 win over Auxerre.

The Reds' victory is unlikely to live long in the memory, but it made it four wins out of four as they build up to the start of their Premier League campaign away at Aston Villa on August 11th.

Goals either side of the break from Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger earned Liverpool the victory in the final match of their pre-season tour of Switzerland.

The first-half had begun at a tepid tempo and this was to remain for the entire 90 minutes with both sides apparently content to give their opponents time to maintain possession in a drab affair.

It was Auxerre who threatened first when Toifilou Maoulida tested Liverpool's 19-year-old Bulgarian goalkeeper Nikolai Mihailov, who was making his debut, from range on 15 minutes.

The Reds looked disjointed and failed to threaten as a succession of scrappy passes went astray.

As always, Dirk Kuyt was all energy up front with Andrei Voronin, who showed signs of creativity, but the pair failed to stretch the Auxerre defence.

Rafa Benitez attempted to shake things up by switching the ineffective Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun, who were making their first Liverpool starts, on the flanks but this was to no avail.

Inevitably, it was Liverpool's captain Gerrard who woke the Reds from their slumberous performance when on the stroke of half-time he collected a Steve Finnan pass, which had been well dummied by Babel, to give his side the lead from 10 yards.

Benitez made numerous changes for the second-half with Fernando Torres and Peter Crouch coming on as the new strike partnership.

After the interval, though, Auxerre were again the first to threaten as the dangerous Maoulida broke the off-side trap, but Liverpool left-back John Arne Riise showed good awareness to make a well-timed recovery tackle.

The Liverpool defence was again exposed on 56 minutes when Agger was pulled out of position and Gabriel Paletta was out-paced by the swiftness of the Auxerre attack, but Maoulida rushed and wasted the opportunity.

Liverpool then made the game safe 21 minutes before the end when centre-back Agger arrived unmarked to head in from a Nabil El Zhar corner.

backbutton.gif (1697 bytes)

Thor Zakariassen