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