After The Match 


Liverpool-Havant & Waterlooville 5-2 (2-2)  26.1.08  FA Cup (4)
Goals: Lucas (27), Benayoun (44, 56, 59), Crouch (90)
Pacquette (9), Skrtel (31 og)
Team: Itandje, Finnan, Riise, Hyypia, Skrtel, Mascherano, Lucas, Benayoun, Pennant, Crouch, Babel
Subs: Kuyt (Benayoun 72), Carragher (Hyypia 84), Gerrard (Mascherano 87)
Not used: Martin, Torres
Yellow: Wilkinson (32)
Red: None
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 42,566
Shots on target: 10-2
Shots off target: 10-3
Blocked shots: 10-1
Fouls conceded: 8-15
Corners: 14-5
Offsides: 1-1
Possession: 51.7-48.3
Yellow: 0-1

HEADLINES "Credit to them, they did everything they could..."
Rafael Benitez

2801: Lucas: Benitez blast fired us on
2801: No point in spoiling Havant’s day with Anfield...
2701: Kuyt praise for brave Havant
2601: Heroic Havant
2601: Havant boss pays tribute to team
2601: Benitez keen to look forward
2601: Scare for Reds in Anfield cup clash  

Lucas: Benitez 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
on Saturday.

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 the Reds.

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 behind me.

"It was a special moment for me because I became the first Brazilian to score for Liverpool so I'm really, really happy.

"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 competition.

"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 experienced before.

So the last thing they needed was a visit from Havant & Waterlooville.

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 dressing room.

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 from it.

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 early lead.

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 mid-table.

All valid points they would be too. But what good would it do?

‘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 confidence.

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 Saturday.

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, too.

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 at Anfield.

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 extraordinary effort.

"They were incredible," he told

"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," said Kuyt.

"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 Kuyt.

"But I think the goals will come. I just need to keep working hard and be ready when the ball comes to me."

Heroic Havant

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 Anfield spotlight.

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 route north.

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 game.

"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 was grounded.

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 problems.

"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 forward.

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 Hicks.

"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 be better."

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 added.

"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 is."

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 deflected wide.

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 Taggart.

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 off Scriven.

In the 72nd minute Dirk Kuyt replaced Benayoun and two minutes later Wilkinson went off, with Charlie Oatway taking over.

Carragher eventually came on in place of Hyypia on 84 minutes, with Gerrard following for Mascherano two minutes later.

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.

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Thor Zakariassen ©