Custom Search

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We want to stay top

Rafa Benitez feels Liverpool have what it takes to stay top of the Premier League after their 1-0 win against Portsmouth. A late Steven Gerrard penalty proved enough to seal all three points for Rafa's men on a night when they maintained their three point lead at the summit of England's elite division.

In the wake of Sunday's high-octane win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Benitez made four changes to his starting eleven for the Pompey clash, a rotating of personnel that had little effect on Liverpool's stunning start to the season. Not surprisingly, a delighted Benitez was quick to fire a warning to the Anfield club's title rivals.

Often criticised for tinkering with his starting eleven on a far too regular basis, Benitez also admitted that given Liverpool's search for glory on several fronts, he would not be altering his managerial ways.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kuyt Nicks it for Liverpool

Dirk Kuyt scored a late winner as Liverpool fought back from 2-0 down to beat Manchester City 3-2 in an entertaining clash at the City of Manchester Stadium. The Reds needed two second-half golas from Torres to get back on level terms after a goal from Stephen Ireland and a Javier Garrido free-kick had given City a two-goal cushion at the break.

The home side had full-back Zabaleta sent off for a lunging tackle on Xabi Alonso and were hanging on at the death as Liverpool pushed hard for a late winner - with Kuyt firing home from close range in extra-time to maintain Liverpool's impressive start to the season. It was Kuyt's first league goal of the season. The Dutch international had a golden chance to open the scoring for Liverpool when Alberto Reira - Liverpool's chief attacking threat - pulled the ball back to him, only for the Dutchman to balloon his shot on the spin over the bar from eight yards out.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Torres bags brace in derby win

Fernando Torres returned to goalscoring form with 2 goals as Liverpool beat Merseyside rivals Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park. The striker's first goals for over a month were enough to down an Everton side still looking for their first home win of the season, and continue Liverpool's impressive start to the season. Torres and Keane combined well to open the scoring on 59 minutes when the Irishman latched onto Alonso's ball to pull a cross back from the byline that was bound for Torres. Dirk Kuyt's run towards the near post took the defender with him and Torres had more than enough space to fire a low volley under American goalkeeper Tim Howard for his first goal since the winner at Sunderland on August 16.

After waiting 42 days for his second goal of the season, Torres would wait just three minutes for his third. With Everton clearly rattled by the opening goal Nigerian Yobo slid in to tackle Kuyt well but saw the ball roll to Torres, and Howard could only palm the Spaniard's solid shot into the roof of the net.

The introduction of Louis Saha just after that goal sparked a half-hearted comeback for Everton, but their hopes were all but extinguished when Aussie Tim Cahill received a red card - perhaps harshly - for his scissor-tackle on Alonso.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

League Cup Win

Rafael Benitez was satisfied with Liverpool's display after they secured beat Crewe 2-1 to progress. Jermaine Pennant was a constant menace on the right flank while Lucas and Daniel Agger produced assured performances to give Benitez a selection poser for the Merseyside derby at the weekend. Agger gave Liverpool a 15th-minute lead from a free-kick before Michael O'Connor's equaliser 10 minutes later after goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri blocked Calvin Zola's header from Billy Jones' corner.

Pennant supplied the cross for Liverpool's second goal, headed home by Lucas in the 58th minute, but the margin of the victory over the Coca-Cola League One side should have been greater. Benitez explained the decision to introduce Fernando Torres in the second half despite the Merseyside derby at the weekend was because they needed to secure a win with a third goal. The Spain international had an immediate impact and was twice denied by Crewe goalkeeper Steve Collis.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Champions League - Liverpool through but leave it late

Penalties loomed after the tie went into extra-time deadlocked at 0-0 on aggregate after 180 fruitless minutes. But with just three minutes remaining, Kuyt stole in at the back post to knee home Ryan Babel's cross to ensure Liverpool would take their place in the draw for the group stages on Thursday afternoon.

With an estimated £25million jackpot on the line, the winner was met with absolute delirium from the Anfield crowd and a look of enormous relief from manager Rafael Benitez.