After The Match 


Besiktas-Liverpool 2-1 (1-0)        24.10.07                          CL
Goals: Gerrard (84)           Hyypia (og 13), Bobo (81)
Team: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Pennant, Gerrard, Mascherano, Babel, Voronin, Kuyt
Subs: Benayoun (Pennant 59), Lucas (Mascherano 76),
Crouch (Hyypia 83)
Not used: Itandje, Hobbs, Sissoko
Yellow: None
Red: None
Referee: Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark)
Attendance: 32,500
Shots on target: 3-6
Shots off target: 10-10
Blocked shots: 1-9
Fouls conceded: 3-8
Corners: 4-11
Offsides: 4-3
Possession: 36.2-63.8
Yellow: 0-0
HEADLINES "We back Rafa. He's
the right manager."

         Tom Hicks

2510: Babel: We still have hope
2510: Hicks backing Benitez
2510: Pepe: We were unlucky
2410: Gerrard: Liverpool aren't out of Champions...
2410: Benitez: We will qualify
2410: Rocky Reds face Euro exit 

Babel: We still have hope

By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website

Ryan Babel shrugged off the disappointment of the defeat to Besiktas and insisted there is still a good chance that Liverpool can qualify for the next phase of the Champions League.

The Dutch ace was one of Liverpool's better performers in Istanbul and he said the team has to remain positive that qualification can still be achieved.

"Everyone is disappointed because if you look at this game and the other two games we have played in the Champions League then we have played pretty well," said Babel.

"Against Besiktas we created a lot of chances but we failed to score. We were unfortunate but now we have to look ahead to the next games in the group.

"But we definitely have a chance of going through, especially because the game between Marseille and Porto ended in a draw so we still have hope.

"We now have to play all three teams again so you never know what might happen.

"It is still possible that we can make it through and unless it becomes impossible we won't be giving up.

"Yes, we will have to beat Besiktas when they come to Anfield because of what has happened in the group so far.

"But we are confident that we can do that and then we will look at the next match and see what is possible.

"There is a lot still to play for and although we have only one point that does not mean it is impossible to qualify.

"We have to believe and have confidence in ourselves and if we do that then we will have a chance."

Hicks backing Benitez

By James Pearson - Sky Sports

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has given his support to manager Rafa Benitez following The Reds' disappointing UEFA Champions League campaign.

Wednesday's surprise 2-1 defeat to Besiktas means the Merseysiders are likely to need to win all three of their remaining group games to qualify for the knock-out stage.

Although Liverpool are unbeaten in The Premier League this season, Benitez's rotation policy has also come under renewed criticism - including Steven Gerrard's substitution in the Merseyside derby.

However, Hicks says the Spaniard's record in Europe speaks for itself and that he has no problem with the former Valencia man's policy of chopping and changing his squad.

"We back Rafa. He's the right manager. Rafa's rotation has been his policy for three years," the American businessman told Sky Sports News.

"Rafa's ability to coach and manage in the Champions League should be unquestioned.

"We had a disappointing loss because we got outplayed by the Turks.

"I think we have our work cut out, but yeah we can qualify. We have to win the next three games."

Pepe: We were unlucky

By Jimmy Rice in Istanbul - LFC Official Website

Pepe Reina feels he and his teammates are unlucky not to be flying back to England this morning with three more Champions League points.

The Spanish stopper believes they created enough chances to beat Besiktas but admits the 2-1 defeat means it's going to be tough to qualify from Group A.

"To be honest I think we played a good game. We were unlucky in front of the goal, that's why we lost," Reina told

"We have conceded two goals from four shots on target and scored just one from 10.

"But anyway, it is not a good result, that's clear. Every game in this competition is now a cup final. We have to win all three games.

"At the very least we have to make sure we are third. We now have to beat Besiktas at home and then continue to fight, but it is going to be hard.

"I don't want to think about not qualifying for the next round. We still have three games ahead and we have to be positive."

Gerrard: Liverpool aren't
out of Champions League yet

Liverpool Daily Post

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard refused to write off his side’s Champions League chances despite defeat away to Besiktas tonight.

The Reds went down 2-1 in Istanbul and now have just one point from their opening three games in Group A.

Gerrard, who pulled a goal back for Liverpool late on, told Sky Sports: “We were unlucky, we created chances.

“We are pleased with how we played but disappointed with the result. We need to keep going and win the final three games and see what happens.

“We need to take the positives and learn from our mistakes. We are capable of winning our final three games.”

Gerrard admitted Liverpool contributed to their own downfall but felt they were unlucky.

He added: “They took both chances. We played well for long periods and felt we deserved something.

“It is the worst possible result. We had a mountain to climb but we have got an even bigger one to climb now.

“Mistakes happen as a result of misunderstandings but they put us under pressure.”

Benitez: We will qualify

By Peter Fraser - Sky Sports

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is adamant his side will still qualify from the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

The Reds slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Besiktas in the Inonu Stadium on Wednesday night to sink to the bottom of qualifying Group A.

A first half own goal from Sami Hyypia - his second in five days following the Merseyside derby howler last Saturday - and a Bobo strike were enough to see Besiktas to victory over Liverpool, who could only rally late on with a Steven Gerrard header.

Liverpool, who have recorded only one point in this season's competition, must now win their remaining three games to guarantee themselves a place in the knock-out stages.

Benitez, though, insists his side controlled the game against Besiktas and will find the form to progress in their next game - at home to the Turkish side on 6th November.

"If we play like today we can do it for sure," Benitez told
Sky Sports.

"The first thing is to start thinking about the next and try to win that one.

"We had a lot of options and a lot of shots, so we were controlling almost everything.

"We made a big mistake in the first half and then we needed
a goal.

"In the second half, again, we were controlling almost everything and only at the end they had two more counter attacks and two more chances.

"When you are controlling the game and you are creating chances all you can say is try to keep going and try to do the same."

Rocky Reds face Euro exit

Sporting Life

Liverpool are in serious danger of an embarassing Champions League exit after going down to a 2-1 Group A defeat to Besiktas in Turkey.

Serdar Ozkan and Bobo put the hosts 2-0 up at the Inonu Stadium and Steven Gerrard's late header was not enough to save Rafa Benitez's side from a disappointing defeat that leaves them with just a point from their three games.

Liverpool's determination to win the game was highlighted by Benitez's attacking line-up, with Ryan Babel and Jermaine Pennant out on the wings and Steven Gerrard back in central midfield.

However Besiktas were lucky not to concede an early penalty when the ball struck Steve Finnan's hand in the box and they fell behind in the 13th minute.

Jamie Carragher produced a fine saving tackle to deny Bobo but his attempted clearance deflected straight to Ozkan and the midfielder slammed home from eight yards, via another deflection of Sami Hyypia.

John Arne Riise was denied an instant equaliser by Hakan Arikan before the goalkeeper pulled off another good stop at the feet of Steven Gerrard.

Babel blazed over before half-time but the hosts were largely keeping Liverpool at bay, particularly following the introduction of Koray Avic to stifle Gerrard's runs from midfield.

It was Besiktas looking the more likely to score again following the restart and it took until the 58th minute for the Reds to muster a decent attack, with Gerrard drilling narrowly wide after Andriy Voronin's knock-down.

Yossi Benayoun replaced the ineffective Pennant a minute later and the Israeli had the ball in the net with 20 minutes remaining, only to see the goal rightly ruled out after Voronin strayed offside.

Bobo missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0 when he blazed over from five yards but he seemed to have wrapped up the win in the 81st minute, beating Hyypia to a loose ball before slotting calmly through Jose Reina's legs.

Liverpool gave themselves hope three minutes later when Gerrard superbly headed home from 15 yards after substitute Peter Crouch caused problems in the box.

But Benitez's men could not find an equaliser in the dying moments to leave them rooted to the bottom of their group and staring Champions League elimination in the face.

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Thor Zakariassen ©