blast fired us on
By Tony Barrett - Liverpool Echo
Lucas Leiva has revealed how some harsh
words from Rafa Benitez inspired Liverpool's much improved
second half showing against Havant & Waterlooville
After a shocking first half performance which saw the Reds
go behind to their non-league opponents twice, Benitez read
his players the riot act during the interval.
And Lucas believes it was the kick up the backside they
needed as Liverpool went on to win 5-2 and earn themselves a
place in today's FA Cup fifth round draw.
He said: "In the first half we played not so well but in the
second half we played much better and we won so now we must
prepare for the next game.
"We knew that we had to win the game because we are in the
top division and they are five divisions below us but they
worked really hard.
"We tried to play well but we made two mistakes in the first
half and conceded two goals.
"Rafa said a lot of hard things to us at half-time and told
us that we had to improve because we had conceded goals too
easily and I think we did improve."
Lucas grabbed the first goal of his Liverpool career during
that disappointing first half and the midfielder spoke of
his pride at becoming the first Brazilian ever to score for
And he is hoping his promising performance against Havant
will increase his first team opportunities in the weeks and
months to come.
"I'm really happy because I have been trying to get my first
goal," he said.
"It's funny because on Friday I was having shots in training
and I scored some goals and some of the players were telling
me I would score the next day, and I did.
"It was a beautiful moment for me and I would like to
dedicate the goal to my family because they are always right
"It was a special moment for me because I became the first
Brazilian to score for Liverpool so I'm really, really
"I'm not playing all that much but I am trying and hopefully
I will get more opportunities."
Liverpool were today finding out who their opponents will be
in the next round of the cup and Lucas is already dreaming
of walking out at Wembley and maybe even getting his hands
on the FA Cup – even though he knows full well how difficult
it is to win the competition.
He said: "The FA Cup is really famous in Brazil and we need
to try and win it because it is a very important
"I watched Liverpool play in the FA Cup on TV when I was in
Brazil and it always seemed like a great occasion so if we
could win the cup now it would be really special.
"I've never played at Wembley so hopefully we will get there
this season but we know that every game we play in the FA
Cup will be difficult."
No point in spoiling Havant’s day
with Anfield post-mortem
By Nick Smith - Liverpool Daily Post
They started as no-hopers. Frightened
rabbits caught in the glare of a media spotlight putting
their club under the type of scrutiny they have never
So the last thing they needed was a visit from Havant &
Talk about a no-win situation for Liverpool. An 8-0
scoreline wouldn’t even have been enough to give them their
biggest win of the season.
Thanks to the Blue Square South side’s incredible endeavour
– carrying out their manager’s pre-match instructions to
take it all in and seize the day to the letter – there was
never a chance of that happening.
But therein lay Liverpool’s problem. Resounding victory and
the reaction is ‘so what?’ An unconvincing and often
embarrassing 5-2 win and the reaction is still ‘so what?’
All Liverpool were ever going to take from the game was a
safe passage into round five and little else. They emerge
with barely little more credit than they would if they’d
mercilessly hammered 20 past the non-leaguers.
They were always destined to play second fiddle and their
first-half ineptitude meant they achieved it emphatically.
The red shirts the visiting part-timers collected as
souvenirs probably hung themselves when they got back to the
But on this occasion there’s no point in over-analysing the
failures and getting carried away with criticism.
That didn’t stop Alan Green trying to invite another bout of
Benitez-bashing on to his dreary radio phone-in, a show that
stopped being entertaining the second Danny Baker was sacked
But most supporters were perfectly happy for this to be
Havant & Waterlooville’s day and events, no matter how
surreal they often turned out to be, were never going to be
any barometer to where Liverpool currently are.
It was a day for all supporters holding up their scarves as
one and applauding each other’s contribution to a rousing
rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. At this stage,
chants of ‘we want six’ were conspicuous by their absence.
As were banners deriding American ownership. Emotions did
run high but they were reserved for the 6,000-strong away
end and perfectly illustrated by the shot of a young fan
crying when Richard Pacquette headed his heroes into an
So you could stay up until the start of the men’s Australian
Open tennis final banging on about how many times
Liverpool’s players, without Fernando Torres and Steven
Gerrard to rely on, have struggled to break defences down.
About how, with the exception of Yossi Benayoun, they’re
still not convincing their manager they are worthy of being
trusted with the responsibility that their two top scorers
are all too often lumbered with.
About how humiliating it was to have to wait until the 55th
minute to take the lead against a side so low down the
pyramid they’re in the regionalised branches of it. And in
All valid points they would be too. But what good would it
‘They gave Liverpool a real scare’ was the gist of the
post-match hype. But in reality, at no point did Liverpool’s
casual body language seriously suggest they were in any
danger, despite Martin Skrtel’s nervy debut hardly inspiring
What would have been the point in trying to match Havant
tackle for tackle, blow for blow? Save the ruthlessness for
West Ham on Wednesday night, because Liverpool need a
performance there a damn sight more than they did on
If they go behind at Upton Park you can expect far more
urgency and determination to put things right than the
minnows from Hampshire were met with. If it doesn’t
materialise, then that’s the time to hit Benitez with the
tough questions. Because at Upton Park they badly need three
points, something they have failed to achieve since Boxing
Day in the Premier League as those two five-goal FA Cup
successes remain the only victories of 2008.
Hence, there’s a fight on for fourth place that Liverpool
should never have allowed to happen but that’s the real
battle the troops have to be primed for at the moment.
Havant & Waterlooville were magnificent and inspirational,
to the point where the Liverpool off-field saga could learn
a lot from how they have shrugged off the turmoil of 10
years ago when the clubs merged to form this franchise.
All done without the inconvenience of a Stateside takeover,
But this was a day for them to dwell on, which they
deservedly will do for many years to come. For Liverpool?
It’s already forgotten.
Kuyt praise for brave Havant
By Paul Hassall - LFC Official Website
Dirk Kuyt has saluted the performance of
non-league Havant and Waterlooville after they had
threatened to pull off a major cup shock against Liverpool
The Blue Square South side twice led Rafael Benitez's men in
a rollercoaster David versus Goliath fourth round tie before
finally succumbing to a 5-2 defeat.
It was a display that left the Reds shell-shocked and led
Kuyt to praise the Hawks players for what he felt was an
"They were incredible," he told Liverpoolfc.tv.
"I think when you are in the non-league and you go 1-0 and
then 2-1 up against Liverpool you are doing very well and
all the credit must go to them for their performance."
The Dutchman admitted the Liverpool players were stunned by
Havant's first-half display and revealed boss Rafale Benitez
had a few choice words for his side when they went in level
at 2-2 for the interval.
"It was unbelievable," he said. "We didn't expect to concede
two goals and I think we were lucky that we improved in the
second half because after the first 45 minutes we needed to
give a better effort.
"There were a few words from the boss. But I think everybody
was disappointed with the score at half-time. We knew what
we needed to do to make it better and we did that."
The Reds' blushes were ultimately spared by hat-trick hero
Yossi Benayoun, who picked up another match ball after he
added to his effort on the stroke of half-time with two
further goals at the Kop end.
It was his second treble in a red shirt following his
exploits in the 8-0 win over Besiktas in the Champions
League and Kuyt felt the Israeli's goals prove just how much
of an impression he has made since his move from West Ham
during the summer.
"When you are in your first season with a club and you go
and get two hat-tricks like that it is really impressive,"
"He took his goals very well and I think he deserved to be
named the man of the match."
The Holland international replaced Benyaoun on 72 minutes
and could easily have added to the scoreline but a
combination of good goalkeeping and misfortune means he has
still yet to find the net since the 4-0 Champions League win
in Marseille back in early December.
It is a statistic he is working hard to improve and one he
feels he will put right sooner rather than later.
"I hit the bar and I suppose I was a bit unlucky," said
"But I think the goals will come. I just need to keep
working hard and be ready when the ball comes to me."
By Kieran Fox - BBC Sport Online
Some years ago, there was a television
advert for milk which played on the obscurity of Accrington
Stanley Football Club.
Up until a month ago, the same could have been said about
Havant & Waterlooville.
On Saturday though the south coast club from the Blue Square
South stepped out of the football shadows and into the
Defying the odds, this team of part-timers, known as the
Hawks, found themselves in the lead not once but twice
against their illustrious millionaire rivals.
To the Havant & Waterlooville faithful it was always going
to be a day to remember, but scoring twice at the Kop end
made it extra special.
Ally Jamieson, from the club's supporters committee, summed
up the day in two words: "Absolutely brilliant".
"I couldn't stop crying," said the 32-year-old from Leigh
Park in Hampshire.
"I will never forget it. It's something I'll be able to tell
my children and grandchildren."
Formed over 10 years ago, the Hawks usually attract a crowd
of 600 for their tiny Westleigh Park stadium.
But some 6,000 met before dawn to fill 26 coaches on the
No matter the result, this FA Cup fourth round fixture was
going to live long in the club's history.
Dave Barlow, 67, took three generations of his family to the
"Unbelievable," said Mr Barlow, from Lovedean, Hampshire,
who has been supporting Waterlooville for 35 years.
"I was expecting a cricket score, but to be in the lead
twice was fantastic. You had to pinch yourself.
"The Liverpool fans were very sporting, we couldn't have
asked for a better day."
Richard Self, 34, from Havant, runs the club's website.
"Everything went quiet when we took the lead, we couldn't
believe it. To see your team at Anfield was one thing - but
to be leading! I am really proud of the boys."
As it was, the premiership professionals ran out 5-2 winners
thanks to a Yossi Benayoun hat-trick and the Hawks' cup run
Havant & Waterlooville fans made their weary way home.
They had dared to dream - for 45 minutes that FA Cup fantasy
was a reality.
Havant boss pays
tribute to team
BBC Sport Online
Havant & Waterlooville boss Shaun Gale
paid tribute to his team after they led twice before losing
5-2 to Liverpool in their FA Cup match at Anfield.
"We were magnificent. The standing ovation the Liverpool
fans gave us at the end was fully deserved," he said.
"People laughed when we said we were going to come here and
have a go, but we did just that.
"If you sit back against a team like Liverpool you will be
murdered, and we certainly were not murdered."
Gale added: "We were never disgraced. The fears were that we
could have got battered, but that did not happen and that is
what has made me proud of my team.
"We scored early on and it took Liverpool a long time to get
back at us.
"That should have been the end of it, but we scored almost
straightaway and I am only disappointed that we let in an
equaliser just on half-time.
"But we were playing against world-class players, and things
like that are going to happen."
Gale felt his team's admirable performance justified his
pre-match confidence that they could cause Liverpool
"I'd told them we were not here for a jolly-up - we can have
a party afterwards," he said.
"There was also no point in just defending. We cannot change
the way we play."
Benitez keen to look forward
By Peter Fraser - Sky Sports
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is keen to
concentrate on matters on the pitch after the Reds booked
their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 5-2
victory over Havant & Waterlooville.
The Reds survived what could have been an historic upset as
they were twice forced to come from behind to defeat their
Blue Square South opponents.
And with a place in Monday's fifth round draw secured, and
having recently received the backing of Liverpool co-owners
George Gillett and Tom Hicks, Benitez is keen to look
The Spaniard, who has seen Liverpool's fluctuating form and
a much publicised bust-up with Gillett and Hicks cast doubts
over his future on Merseyside, now wants to focus on
Wednesday's league clash away to West Ham.
"Yeah, for sure," Benitez told Sky Sports News when asked if
he was happy to have received the backing of Gillett and
"Hopefully we can talk about football in the next month and
it will be very positive for the team.
"It is important now to talk about football so that
everything is okay and hopefully it (Liverpool's form) will
Benitez, though, was also happy to heap praise on Havant,
who sit 123 league places below Liverpool.
"Credit to them, they did everything they could and when
they scored early on it gave them a lot of hope," Benitez
"We were very disappointing in the first half, our defending
was not good enough.
"But in the second period we believed they could not keep
their high tempo, and that is how it turned out.
"But the FA Cup is like this, it is a fantastic competition,
when you see a club six divisions below us playing like that
and giving everything it shows what a great competition this
Scare for Reds
in Anfield cup clash
Yossi Benayoun grabbed a hat-trick as
Liverpool beat a plucky Havant & Waterlooville side 5-2 in
their FA Cup fourth-round clash at Anfield.
The Blue Square Conference South side twice led against a
shell-shocked Liverpool who were distinctly second best in
the first half.
Richard Pacquette scored early on and a Martin Skrtel own
goal again sent the Hampshire non-league side ahead.
But Liverpool clawed their way level before the break
through Lucas and the first of Benayoun's treble - and
dominated the second period.
Benayoun scored two more goals and Peter Crouch adding
another at the end - but Havant and Waterlooville stood
proud at the end, joining the list of non-league heroes who
have graced this competition over the years.
Reds boss Rafael Benitez left Steven Gerrard, Fernando
Torres and Jamie Carragher on the bench, while reserve
goalkeeper Charles Itandje started in place of Jose Reina -
and probably wished he hadn't.
Likewise debutant Skrtel, who scored an own goal and looked
lost as the Hampshire side piled in their set-pieces.
Liverpool's fans applauded every single Havant player's name
when they were announced, and the non-league club's fans
sung happily along with 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.
Havant were undaunted early on - captain James Collins
clattered Mascherano, Rocky Baptiste knocked over Sami
Hyypia and Alfie Potter - Harry to his mates - saw a shot
Benayoun headed Pennant's cross wide, but Havant were intent
on making their mark - and in the eighth minute they scored.
Pacquette harassed Skrtel into conceding a corner, and when
Mo Harkin planted it into the six-yard box, former QPR
player Pacquette headed it powerfully past Itandje.
Liverpool were stunned and while the Kop applauded loudly,
the fans of the non-league club erupted.
John Arne Riise had two efforts blocked, Benayoun shot wide,
but the anxiety grew, as did Havant's confidence.
The visitors should have scored again in the 23rd minute
when Itandje twice fumbled as Harkin's free-kick flew wildly
around the box and when the keeper fell over, Shaun
Wilkinson hooked over an open goal from 10 yards.
Havant held their lead for 16 minutes until Ryan Babel laid
the ball back to Lucas, and the Brazilian curled a fine goal
into the top corner from 25 yards.
But the visitors were ahead again on the half hour when
Potter, on loan from Peterborough, capitalised on a blunder
by Steve Finnan and fired in a shot that Skrtel deflected
wide of Itandje.
The non-leaguers, organised at the back, were humiliating
supposed top-class players and Carragher and Torres were
soon warming up.
Havant lost plumber Phil Warner with a leg injury five
minutes before the break - to be replaced by dustman Tony
But a minute before the break Liverpool managed to claw
themselves level when Jermaine Pennant set up Benayoun, who
created a yard of space to fire in a right-footer that gave
goalkeeper Kevin Scriven no chance.
At half-time the question was, did Havant have any more to
give. Sadly for the romantic, the answer was no - tiredness
took its toll and Liverpool escaped.
Havant started the second period on the back foot - and in
the 55th minute they were punished when
Pennant crossed from the right and Benayoun had time to turn
and fire into the roof of the net.
Pacquette was withdrawn by Havant two minutes later, with
former Tottenham youngster Jamie Slabber taking over.
And just before the hour Benayoun completed his hat-trick,
firing in on the rebound after Ryan Babel's shot came back
In the 72nd minute Dirk Kuyt replaced Benayoun and two
minutes later Wilkinson went off, with Charlie Oatway taking
Carragher eventually came on in place of Hyypia on 84
minutes, with Gerrard following for Mascherano two minutes
Although Neil Sharp forced a fine save from Itandje, Gerrard
set up Crouch for a tap in a minute from time.
The dream was over for Havant - but they had given Liverpool
the shock of their lives.