31 August 2007

I don’t think Rafa Benitez and his players will be too worried by his lowly group rivals

I don't think Rafa Benitez and his players will be too worried as among Porto, Marseille and Besiktas there doesn't appear to be an outstanding team to challenge Liverpool for top spot.
I'm confident they have the strength in depth and experience.
The other three clubs are all of a similar standard and Liverpool will prove too strong for them at Anfield.
Porto are the pick of the bunch but they're not the team they were a few years ago.
Liverpool can expect lively crowds in France and Turkey but nothing the players can't handle.


Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry - whose side will face Porto, Marseille and Besiktas in the Champions League group stages - believes there was no easy options in this year's draw.
He insists the quality is evenly spread across each of the groups and has backed his side to continue their fine recent record in the competition.
After Thursday evening's draw in Monaco he told Sky Sports News: "You wouldn't look at any group and say 'We want that one'. They are all much of a muchness. We're capable of beating anyone on our day.
"We've won the competition and lost in the final so we know on our day we can do it."
Parry also insisted manager Rafael Benitez was unlikely to add any more players to his squad before the transfer window closes on Friday and instead looked forward to facing some former players.
"We've very happy with the squad we've got. I'm pretty certain we've finished our business," he added.
"We've started well this season and there's a buzz about the place, a determination.
"But we look forward to renewing acquaintances with two Liverpool old boys - Djibril Cisse and Bolo Zenden - at Marseille.
"And, of course, we have happy memories of Istanbul too."
seriously.... LFC had their worst pairing in a group. Remember Chelshit? And we outdone them. Now with Porto... (hah...hahaha...), Marseille (hallo... French team and English must fear 'em? hahahah) and Besiktas?.... NO PROBLEM LAAA....

29 August 2007


We have seen his work rate and we know what he can do and now he has prove it again and again. Salute to Kuyt! SALUTE! SALUTE!

LFC 4 - To Lose 0 (Agg 5-0)

Liverpool eased themselves into the Champions League group stages with a 4-0 home win over Toulouse, putting the Reds through 5-0 on aggregate.
On the 800th anniversary of the city the Reds claimed their 50th home European Cup win - plus £12million into the bargain - and it was never easier.
Without Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, they still outplayed an uninspired French side to reach the last 32 of the competition.
Liverpool shuffled their pack again and still produced a side that played fluent, quick-passing football that Toulouse never matched.
Peter Crouch, left out of the last two matches, returned to score after just 19 minutes and captain for the night Sami Hyypia made light of a broken nose to head home the second just after the break.
Dirk Kuyt gained his reward with the third after 87 minutes, drilling a shot in off the far post, and he added a fourth in injury time.
Hyypia captained the side as Javier Mascherano and Mohamed Sissoko were paired in central midfield with Argentinian winger Sebastian Leto making his debut on the left.
Crouch and Yossi Benayoun also both returned to the starting line-up to good effect.
Before the match moving tributes were paid to murdered 11-year-old Rhys Jones, with his parents standing on the touchline as both Everton and Liverpool's theme tunes - Z Cars and You'll Never Walk Alone - were played.
However, last season's beaten finalists had to put all the emotion aside as they went about their job of trying to finish the tie and they set about the French with quick passing and movement.
Benayoun's enthusiasm, pace and skill was at the centre of most of Liverpool's attacks and the opening goal came after when Benayoun worked to get Kuyt into space on the right and his far-post cross was turned in by Crouch's outstretched right leg.
The French started to make chances and Andre Gignac got through on the right when only a fine block from Alvaro Arbeloa halted the surge.
Crouch should have scored again two minutes later when Benayoun popped up on the left and lifted in a cross that the tall striker rose to meet from six yards but planted his header over the crossbar.
Benayoun again was the creator for Kuyt, setting up the Dutchman for a low drive that flashed inches wide of a post. Toulouse responded with a header from Pantxi Sirieix that dropped a yard wide.
Crouch continued his wasteful ways when Arbeloa swung over another cross, again heading over, while Kuyt was next to miss with a header from another Benayoun cross.
Mascherano's powerful run to win a corner on the right set up Liverpool for their second after 49 minutes.
And it came from Hyypia's head as he stood unmarked eight yards out to power home a Benayoun corner.
Toulouse looked disheartened by now but they sent on striker Bryan Bergougnoux for Gignac after 54 minutes but up to that point the French side had barely offered a serious threat and were being thoroughly outplayed.
After 68 minutes Benitez sent on another of his South American imports, youngster Lucas Leiva for his debut, with the £5million Brazilian replacing Sissoko.
Kuyt saw one header bounce wide before almost adding a third after 74 minutes.
He drove in from the right and saw his shot hit Mauro Cetto and deflect onto the crossbar and over. A minute Later Ryan Babel replaced Leto.
Toulouse then took off Achille Emana, sending on Fabio Felix, but Liverpool were all but home by now.
Crouch, with some clever juggling from a John Arne Riise cross, lifted another chance just over the top.
Steve Finnan took over from Daniel Agger for the final minutes, while Moussa Sissoko replaced the injured Jeremy Mathieu.
Kuyt gained his reward for a night of constant running by drilling home the third off the far post after 87 minutes, and then forcing in his second in injury time.

27 August 2007

utusanlfc supporters SALUTE!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "torres.... 1ST VERDICT : CONVINCING AND IMPRESSED!...":

Too much of him lately. But everybody bear witness that its actually Kuyt who delivers.. time and again because of his determination and sheer hard work. Nobody can deny that if its not because of him, the 1st goal won't be there to be seen. So, lets cool down on Torres. Let him settle down. Lets KUYT instead!


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Toulouse (to lose) 0 - 1 LFC":

i love liverpool

MyRAWK ADMIN has left a new comment on your post "WHEN ASTRO FAILED TO AIR LAST NITE'S GAME!":

hello there, i am from MyRAWK (Malaysian RED and WHITE KOPites).
Wer'e from Malaysia too, come and join us at the http://my-rawk.blogspot.com/
Would love to watch the games with you cuz we are also die hard fanatics!!

Posted by MyRAWK ADMIN to Liverpool FC Fanatics at 16 Ogos, 2007 15:55


utusanlfc :
thank you for your comment and sorry for being late to broadcast it... the thing now is that, you guys can send your comment by simply click on the ``comments'' icon below every text. No need to send via e-mail. I just dont remember to do the e-mail checking... since I only use that e-mail as my passport.


Liverpool may have to make an emergency signing to cope with a defensive crisis.
Centre-back Jamie Carragher sufffered a broken rib and a collapsed lung during Saturday's 2-0 Premier League win at Sunderland.
He's now almost certain to miss the Champions League qualifier against Toulouse on Tuesday night.
Anfield boss Rafa Benitez is also sweating on the fitness of Sami Hyypia ahead of the return leg with the French side, after the Finnish defender suffered a broken nose at the Stadium of Light.
To add to that the Reds agreed on Sunday to sell young Argentine defender Gabriel Paletta to Boca Juniors.
Benitez, quoted in The Sun, admitted: "We are thinking about finding more players and maybe we will have to look at this situation again."

Just dont go look for any of M*U players.... sickening to the bone...

Toulouse to lose.... hihihi

Toulouse will be without a number of key players as they attempt to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Liverpool in Tuesday's Champions League third qualifying clash at Anfield.
Dominique Arribage (knee), Daniel Congre (shoulder) and Albin Ebondo (thigh) missed Saturday's Ligue 1 draw at Nice.
And the trio were not in the 18-man squad named by coach Elie Baup for the return leg against the Reds.
Defender Jon Jonsson has been struggling with a calf problem of late but he makes the squad.
Toulouse warmed up for their clash with Liverpool by grabbing a 1-1 draw with the southerners on Saturday, Andre-Pierre Gignac scoring the equaliser for Les Violets in the 86th minute.
Toulouse (from): Douchez, Riou; Ilunga, Jonsson, Cetto, Mathieu, Fofana; Sissoko, Dieuze, Fabinho, Batlles, Emana, Cesar, Sirieix; Mansare, Elmander, Gignac, Bergougnoux.

remember the 1st leg in Toulouse... we didnt get the freaking live telecast! Simply because Astro couldnt pay the fee? So hopefully in Anfield, the game will be shown .... hmmmm....

Carragher sidelined by broken rib

Liverpool have confirmed that Jamie Carragher broke a rib during Saturday's win at Sunderland.The stand-in captain was taken off with 15 minutes remaining at the Stadium of Light, and tests today have confirmed the break, along with a collapsed lung.
Carragher's injuries will not require further treatment, but the diagnosis will almost certainly rule him out of Tuesday's Champions League third qualifying round second leg against Toulouse.
There is better news over fellow centre-back Sami Hyypia, who was also forced off yesterday with what has been confirmed as a broken nose.
He is expected to be able to play against the French club, however, after coming through a training session at Melwood today.
A Liverpool spokesman said: "Sami has a broken nose but will be available for the second leg of our Champions League qualifier.
"Jamie underwent a series of investigations on Sunday morning which confirmed he has a broken rib and has also developed a pneumothorax.
"He will continue to be monitored on Sunday but at this stage no further treatment will be required."

26 August 2007

when SissoGOL scored....

First and foremost, it was really heartening to know that this big club of ours rates Sissoko highly and eventually snatch him from the small club across Stanley Park. The reason is very much for Rafa was his manager during their stint at Valencia. So we wonder what's this guy specialty all about? And after just a few games... Sissoko is established as the combative midfielder... ala Viera... but Sissoko's passes is yet to be deemed as on par with Gerrard or Alonso. And when he scored (wow!....), the surge in us could be spontaniuos... because we admire his tackling and ball winning, of course we want to see him score and when he'd scored... ohhh wow... what a feeling! Suddenly the hype on Torres simmered... hihihi... C'mon Sissoko! You can do it! Score again! hihihi...
Syukran brother! May Allah Blessed You!
From LFC Fanatics here in Malaysia.

Torres is not the new Kenny.. yet!

Rafael Benitez has appealed to Kopites to stop hailing Fernando Torres as the new King Kenny just yet.
Liverpool fans have likened Torres to the legendary Dalglish since his stunning first goal for the Reds against Chelsea.
The Spaniard's strike reminded Reds supporters with longer memories of Dalglish in his pomp and, ironically, it came almost 30 years to the day since the club's most famous No.7 bagged his first Liverpool goal.
Benitez would be thrilled if his £26.5million record signing could emulate Dalglish, but claims fans must not expect too much too soon.
"If Fernando can play at the same level as Kenny Dalglish it would be amazing," said the Liverpool manager.
"Kenny Dalglish was a fantastic player, but Fernando will need time. It's important for a striker to score his first goal and to score such a great goal in front of your own supporters in a big game was even more important.
"He showed the other day that he is good enough, but don't expect him to score a goal every week. Yes, he's capable of doing good things and he's a good prospect, but he needs to keep working and improving. He needs time and our support to do these things."
Benitez claims Torres' strike against Chelsea will buy him time and he remembers how Peter Crouch struggled before he scored his first goal for Liverpool.
Benitez always felt Torres had the right character for Liverpool and feels the 23-year-old has the ability to conjure a goal up out of nothing. "I remember when we signed Crouch and people were saying all the time 'when will he score?'" said Benitez. "He was under pressure all the time and you can't play your own game because you are thinking about scoring.
"I think now Torres can enjoy himself and he won't be under real, real pressure.
"He will have more confidence. People will know he's a good player and give him time.
"When we decided to bring him here we analysed a lot of things and one of those was his mentality. We found that he has a very good mentality and can cope with pressure. He can play with big names and not be afraid.
"It's a big difference for us to have a player like Fernando, a player who can score big goals in big games. He has experience at international level too.
"For the team it's important to have a player who can score and change the game, even when you're not playing well."

Sissoko has the power as Liverpool show depth


Sunderland 0 Liverpool 2

Mohamed Sissoko stepped into Steven Gerrard's boots and proved the role fits him just as snugly as it does the England midfielder.
The Mali midfielder's first goal for the club put Liverpool on the way to a comfortable victory which was rubberstamped by Andriy Voronin's late second.
But manager Rafa Benitez's obvious delight was clouded by injuries to central defensive pair Jamie Carragher — taken to hospital for X-rays on a suspected broken rib — and Sami Hyypia, who suffered a broken nose.
Sunderland manager Roy Keane said: 'They just had too much for us. They have great strength in depth. We showed bits of quality but it just wasn't our day. On days like this you have to take your medicine.'
The Liverpool boss was equally phlegmatic, saying: 'We played well and had a lot of chances, but at this stage of the season it was important just to win. I think we have a stronger squad now than last season.'
Liverpool spent almost as much on Fernando Torres as Sunderland's total summer budget, so it would have been an affront to the logic of football economics had the Premier League newcomers been able to hold their own here.
Liverpool needed little invitation to assume control,having almost grabbed a lead in the opening seconds. Greg Halford's carelessly struck backpass for Craig Gordon was pounced on by the eager Voronin.
His effort almost squeezed through Gordon's legs but the keeper got enough on the ball to stop it crossing the line.
It was the first of a chronicle of saves by the former Hearts man, who ably demonstrated why Keane pursued him doggedly before making him the most expensive goalkeeper in British transfer history at £9 million. Gordon is surely worth every penny.
Sunderland were never short of effort and enthusiasm, typified by the nonstop energy of lone striker Michael Chopra, who chased and harried with little reward against a visitors' defence superbly marshalled by Carragher — before he went off with quarter-of-anhour left.
The former England international lost central defensive partner Hyypia after 15 minutes when the Finn damaged his nose in a clash with Daryl Murphy, indicating as he went off that he thought the striker had used his elbow during the challenge.
The blip was easily accommodated by the Merseysiders, who rarely gave the home supporters hope.
Sunderland had one chance,however, when Liverpool were caught square by Chopra's through-ball for Anthony Stokes.
But the Irishman — a 19th-minute substitute for the injured Kieran Richardson — could not shoot powerfully enough to prevent Jose Reina making a one-handed save.
A Liverpool goal was almost inevitable and the wonder was that it took them until the 37th minute.
Xabi Alonso picked out Jermaine Pennant at the far post and the winger nodded the ball back to Voronin, who rolled it into the path of the advancing Sissoko.
For once Gordon was not equal to the task of preventing the Liverpool player's powerful shot crashing into the left-hand corner from 25 yards.
You sensed the points were as good as won and only the heroics of Gordon kept the game in the balance until Voronin put the issue beyond doubt four minutes from the end.
The Scot denied Torres a second Premier League goal in first-half injurytime, diving to keep out the Spaniard's header.
Five minutes after the break the £26million striker was foiled again by Gordon after he had left Nyron Nosworthy and Paul McShane gasping with his blistering pace.
And somehow the goalkeeper stopped Voronin's point-blank shot in the 79th minute after Torres turned provider to lay on the opportunity to strike.
The newly formed Spanish-Ukrainian forward duo have the potential to be the best in the Premier League and there was no hiding place for Sunderland when they combined again in the 86th minute.
Six Liverpool players were involved in a superb counter-attack which ended with Torres feeding Voronin, who beat Gordon with a fierce cross-shot. 'We left it late to clinch the game,' added Benitez. 'It's not good for my heart.'

Sunderland 0-2 LiverpoolPA

Andriy Voronin struck to end Roy Keane's hopes of another dramatic Sunderland escape and finally gave Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez something to cheer about as the Ukrainian forward secured a 2-0 away victory.
Benitez had railed against what he perceived to be a catalogue of injustices against his side this week, but his mood will have lifted after Liverpool's solid display.
Mohamed Sissoko grabbed his first goal for the club in the 37th minute to put the visitors in control and Voronin sealed victory with four minutes to go.
In truth, Benitez's men were in control throughout and only some superb saves from Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon and the application of the home defence kept them at bay for so long.
If the team sheet was heavily weighted towards Liverpool in terms of quality, that determination Keane has instilled in his side kept them in with a chance up to Voronin's strike.
And one could not help recalling Michael Chopra's stunning injury-time winner on the opening day of the season against Tottenham, or the last-gasp equaliser at Birmingham four days later.
But it might have been very different if Voronin had properly capitalised on a dreadful error by home left-back Greg Halford with just 25 seconds on the clock.
Voronin pounced on Halford's short back pass and struck a low shot which squeezed under the impressive Gordon but wriggled agonisingly wide.
The early loss of Sami Hyypia with a bloody nose seemed set to matter little to Liverpool, who remained camped in the home half, while Sunderland suffered a bigger blow when Kieron Richardson limped off.
Xabi Alonso screwed a rising shot just wide in the 14th minute after Ryan Babel had cleverly laid off a Steve Finnan right-wing cross, but the expected succession of chances did not materialise.
Once again Paul McShane and Nyron Nosworthy held firm in the centre of the home defence, marshalled superbly by captain Dwight Yorke, and frustration slowly grew among the visitors.
That frustration should have increased in the 24th minute when substitute Anthony Stokes, on for Richardson, had a superb chance to give his side a shock lead.
Stokes was played clear by Chopra into the right side of the Liverpool box and hit his shot under the advancing Jose Reina, only for Agger to clear from the edge of the six-yard box.
Despite the visitors still failing to carve out too many clear-cut chances there was a feeling the home side had missed their opportunity and that was underlined in the 37th minute.
The lively Voronin laid the ball back to Sissoko on the edge of the box and the Mali international drilled a low right-foot shot past Gordon into the corner of the net.
With the visitors finishing the second half strongly, McShane needed a big interception to prevent Torres getting in a clear header, before Gordon grasped another effort by the Spaniard on the line.
The second goal seemed a matter of time early in the second half as Liverpool resumed their dominance and Xabi Alonso played in Torres, who was denied by the impressive Gordon.
Gordon saved Sunderland again three minutes later after Torres burst through the home defence and fired a fierce low shot that was brilliantly blocked by the £9million man.
If nothing else, Keane will have been pleased with his side's obvious desire not to accept defeat, and there was a growing suspicion that another late escape act might be on the cards.
Ross Wallace's deep cross into the Reds box in the 68th minute was punched away by Reina under pressure as the Stadium of Light crowd sensed a comeback.
But Liverpool's front line oozed class and Gordon was required again in the 79th minute to produce a point-blank save to deny Voronin in front of goal.
Finally Voronin extinguished those lingering Stadium of Light dreams with four minutes to go with a clinical finish to wrap up a productive afternoon for Benitez.

24 August 2007


24 August 2007

Roy Keane approaches the end of a highly successful first year in football management, with a Sunderland side that have made the best start of the promoted clubs.
This home match with Liverpool comes one week before Keane's eagerly anticipated first return to Manchester United on 1 September.

Unbeaten Liverpool need to score once to total 7,000 league goals in their history.
Sunderland are endeavouring to record their 50th league victory over the Merseysiders.
When these clubs last met in November 2005, Sunderland were rock bottom in the Premier League, and Liverpool the defending European champions.
Liverpool won to register their fifth of what turned out to be 10 straight league victories, Sunderland suffered a seventh of nine straight losses.

1. Already bagged four points after the first three matches. Last time they were in the Premier League it took six matches to garner a first point.
2. Beaten 3-0, away to Wigan last time out, but they've not lost back to back league matches in 33 outings since Cardiff (h) and Norwich (a) defeated them on 31 October and 4 November 2006 respectively.
3. Failed to score in one of the last 19 league matches.
4. Roy Keane has masterminded 27 victories from his 44 league matches in charge, and claimed 89 of the 132 available points.
5. Won only two of the last 19 Premier League matches.
6. Not lost a home league game in 2007.
7. Challenging for a sixth successive home league win.
8. Undefeated in 11 league outings at the Stadium of Light; picked up 29 of 33 points (nine wins, two draws) at home, since losing 0-1 against Preston on 30 December.
9. Not registered three successive home wins in the Premier League since 8 September 2001.

1. One of seven clubs still holding an unbeaten record in the Premier League. The others are Arsenal, Blackburn, Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle and Portsmouth.
2. A victory would give them seven points and make it their best start to a Premier League season since 2002-03, when they finished fifth.
3. One of two clubs to have taken the lead in all their Premier League matches this season. Manchester City is the other.
4. Registered just one win in five league outings.

SUNDERLAND Michael CHOPRA has scored two of Sunderland's three goals so far.
CHOPRA, who's netted 12 goals in his last 18 games, is a hat trick shy of 50 career league goals (Newcastle, Watford, Barnsley, Cardiff and Sunderland).

Last season's top scorer David CONNOLLY needs one goal to total 100 in his league career (Watford, Wolves, Wimbledon, West Ham, Leicester, Wigan and Sunderland).

The club's four goals have been scored by four different players, three of which were Liverpool players; Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres in the Premier League and Andriy Voronin in Europe.

Goals from Gavin McCann and Michael Proctor secured a surprise 2-1 victory for the Wearsiders in this corresponding fixture on 15 December 2002.
It was one bright spot in a relegation season for Sunderland in which they registered just four victories.

Home and away League (inc PL):
Sunderland 49 wins, Liverpool 60, Draws 31
Prem: Sunderland 1 win, Liverpool 6, Draws 5
At Sunderland only League (inc PL): Sunderland 31 wins, Liverpool 26, Draws 13
Prem: Sunderland 1 win, Liverpool 4, Draws 1

Rafa ban call


Kop boss blames Blues for ref's blunder
By David Anderson


Rafael Benitez last night called for John Terry and his Chelsea team-mates to be banned for hounding blunder ref Rob Styles.
The angry Liverpool boss believes the Chelsea players pressurised Styles into wrongly awarding the Blues the penalty for their equaliser at Anfield with their behaviour during the match.
Benitez is annoyed because Premiership managers had agreed at a meeting before the start of the season not to badger officials and claims the Football Association must now step in.
He believes the FA should use video evidence to punish Terry and Co for deliberately putting pressure on Styles to make decisions in their favour.
Benitez, who could be without Steven Gerrard for 10 days because of his broken toe, claims this is the only way to hammer home the message that they can't unfairly influence officials.
Benitez is still furious at being robbed of two points and re-opened his war of words with Chelsea, saying: "People talk about technology and you could watch the video and see which players are pushing and pushing the referee to take a decision.
"The referee is in a very difficult situation and he was under pressure all the time from different players, big-name players, and it's difficult for a person to be calm and do the right thing all the time.
"I think if you used the video for disciplinary issues, it would be much better because all the players would know to be careful otherwise tomorrow they could be on TV and banned for three games.
That's important and it would then be easier for the referees. Every year it has been the same for the last 10 years and every year we talk about technology and refereeing.
"It's difficult to find a solution, but if you used the video evidence, and the players knew they would be suspended, then it would be easier for the referees." Benitez has accepted Styles' apology and claims Chelsea cynically piled the pressure on to him until he cracked.
He says this is in contrast to his approach and he tells his players before every game to respect the officials. "All the meetings we have are to try and help the referees to do the right things during the game and not to put them under pressure - players, managers, everyone," he said.
"But this is football and you have passion and it's not easy, but you must try to do these things.
Normally I say to the players to try to be nice and do the right things.
"So I was surprised the other day because far too many players weren't doing that. I've not seen a lot of our players doing that during the last few years and you saw another team taking profit from the situation.
"That is the reason why for me it is important to support the referee." Benitez has forgiven Styles and insists he does not have a problem with the Hampshire official taking charge of the Reds again.
"I don't have any problems with him," he said. "I can understand that referees can make mistakes. He apologised and it's OK.
"I know I can trust referees here. They are nice people and they are honest. But if they are under pressure, we must try and support them rather than just push and push."

United to probe Liverpool over Heinze transfer

eh Rafa.... kau nak curi Gabby dari aku ye... AKU LEMPANG KAN !

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Manchester United are investigating Liverpool over the Anfield outfit's conduct in the Gabriel Heinze affair.
Heinze has now left Old Trafford for Real Madrid - but only after a protracted attempt to join Liverpool, which saw the Argentina defender take his case to the Premier League this week.
A three-man panel eventually dismissed Heinze's argument that a letter signed by Red Devils chief executive David Gill - citing a fee at which a deal could be done - constituted an agreement to sell.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was flabbergasted at the verdict, claiming he had been '100% certain' Heinze would end up at Anfield.
Ferguson labelled Benitez's remarks 'churlish', then confirmed Gill is leading an inquiry into the way Liverpool have acted.
'We are looking at Liverpool's whole role in this,' he said.
'We are not letting them off with it. That is what we are investigating.'
Asked whether he was alleging Liverpool had `tapped up' Heinze, Ferguson replied: 'We will see how it comes out. David Gill is working on that at the moment. We will get to the bottom of it.'
Ferguson was always confident the Premier League would back United's stance of not selling to Liverpool, or any of their major domestic rivals.
He was quick to hit back at Benitez's jibe that United enjoy favouritism in the drafting of the fixture list.
'It is disappointing stuff,' said Ferguson.
'He talks about the fixtures. He should have seen our fixtures over over the last two or three seasons.
'There was never any chance of Liverpool winning that case, so Rafa clearly did not read the Premier League rules. It is just churlish.'
I have questioned over and over again the sanity behind our persuit of Heinze... Is it worth our trouble really to get him? Is that WORLDLY good? We dont need such silly negative publicity... hey after all, the Americans provides you, Rafa with sufficient money....hey go buy proper player and not a Man U.... We dont want a Man U in our midsts.... hmmmm.... what a distraction. Now another open war with Old Trafford. It's okay but it should on the pitch...

21 August 2007

Heinze loses bid for Anfield move (so...?)

Heinze joined United from Paris St Germain in 2004Manchester United's Gabriel Heinze has lost his attempt to force the club to allow him to move to rivals Liverpool.
United disputed claims from Heinze, 29, who said the Red Devils gave him written permission to pursue a transfer to another club for a fee of £6.8m.
But a Premier League arbitration panel concluded that the permission "was unambiguous in that it envisages only an international transfer".
The defender is set to appeal against the panel's decision.
However, with the transfer window scheduled to shut on 31 August, he is short of time if he wants to leave Old Trafford.
The arbitration panel's verdict read: "The Premier League Board-appointed panel have heard submissions of evidence from both parties and has ruled to dismiss the player's case.
"The hearing concluded that nature and intention of the disputed 13 June 2007 letter, especially when taken in context of verbal discussions and Manchester United FC's transfer policy, was unambiguous in that it envisages only an international transfer.
"Furthermore, the hearing finds the letter constitutes an 'agreement to agree' and did not create an obligation or binding agreement for the club to transfer the player to any particular club."
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and chief executive David Gill travelled to Monday's hearing in London to put their case and will be happy with the verdict.
A Manchester United spokesman said: "We are pleased that the panel has endorsed our case."
The Old Trafford side said they did not want to sell Heinze to a Premier League rival.
They said they made it clear to the defender both orally and in writing that he would not be allowed to join one of their title competitors.
Transfers between the two north-west rivals are rare and the last first-team player to move from United to Liverpool was Phil Chisnall in 1964.
Any appeal will be heard by the Premier League's appeals committee.


me ROB Liverpool three points with a STYLE? a face to remember the whole season.... also involved in building a road for Roman Abramanaduitmari?

What is it actually, STUPID? If double yellow card means Essien must get Red...

My name is Rob Styles. People called me STUPID

20 August 2007

Torres... one of the spirited goal in recent memories for LFC... SALUTE... SALUTE... SALUTE!

It takes three chelshits to stop him...

hey Terry... watch me....

Infront of chelshit fans.... hahahahah!

Rob Styles suspended after Anfield errors

No worries Carra... Styles is just plain stupid.

You Rob us 3 points, stupid!

Aug 20 2007
Liverpool Echo

BLUNDER ref Rob Styles has been suspended from Premier League duties following his woeful handling of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
Styles won’t be officiating in the top flight this weekend.
Referee chief Keith Hackett has revealed Styles has admitted his mistake in awarding Chelsea a controversial penalty.
Hackett has also contacted Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez to apologise for the error.
The referee has been universally condemned for a sequence of mistakes at Anfield. Not only were Chelsea given a penalty, he appeared to book Michael Essien twice and cautioned eight others.
Said referees’ supremo hackett today: "Accountability exists and we expect referees to get big decisions correct.
"On this occasion it was wrong and therefore Rob will not be officiating next weekend."


The stupid one is afraid by those special ones?

When we lost to A.C Milan during the final... I wasnt that upset. It was a good fight. When we stumble during the very last minute to a sucker punch from M**U, it's still okay as the fight was genuine. But last night's game is so sickening because for what reason on earth, on moon or even on universe can anybody justify the silly decision made by the stupid referee? How is it that Finnan who was jumped upon by Malouda got penalised? How ? How? This silly incident eclisped the beautiful goal by Torres. So sorry Torres. The referee is really special for Chelshit. Really.

19 August 2007

Why beating the best is Benítez's biggest challenge

Liverpool's sorry league record against their title rivals must improve - starting with Chelsea's visit.
Kevin McCarra
August 18, 2007 12:24 AM

Some pieces of criticism are a relief. Prior to last Saturday's win at Villa Park there had been a focus on Liverpool's habitually torpid start to a Premier League campaign, but Rafael Benítez would have been happy to discuss that if it spared him a conversation about a more profound weakness. His team's inferiority has been excruciating against the sides with whom he is meant to vie for the title.
In that elite group, Liverpool have been concussed by the head-to-head encounters. Over Benítez's three seasons on Merseyside either Chelsea or Manchester United have emerged as champions. Liverpool's haul is four points out of a possible 36 from the 12 League matches against those opponents. A draconian critic could argue that they are flattered by even that paltry record.
When tomorrow's visitors, Chelsea, were last at Anfield in the Premier League, Ricardo Carvalho was taken ill on the eve of the match, so compounding the crisis caused by John Terry's injury. The visitors, ultimately beaten 2-0, were bamboozled within four minutes by Jamie Carragher's direct ball through the middle of the defence and Paulo Ferreira lay sprawled on the ground as Dirk Kuyt scored.
Liverpool have otherwise been also-rans when competing for points with the true contenders. It is a problem, none the less, that Benítez has inherited rather than caused. Over the span of a six-year tenure Gérard Houllier's results were scarcely any better and the club, for instance, has not defeated United in the Premier League since January 2002.
The glory of Benítez's time has so far lain in the knockout tournaments, where they have, for instance, twice ejected Chelsea from the Champions League and also expelled United from the FA Cup. Liverpool, therefore, have the ambiguous reputation of a club that makes the most of its last chance after failing in the previous tournaments.
It does not take long to come to a diagnosis of the Anfield ailment. Goals are scarce, with Liverpool recording 26 fewer than United last season in a league where they have been the fourth highest scorers in each year of Benítez's tenure. Apart from that there is consensus that the Spaniard has not had enough players of the right calibre to cope with the ordeals of the Champions League and the main domestic competitions.
Liverpool's owners have stumped up to remedy all that, thereby leaving the manager solely responsible for any lapses. While Benítez had been far from frugal in the past, he was in a position this summer to allocate huge sums to the acquisition of one or two individuals. Fernando Morientes flopped, but Fernando Torres is a different sort of striker, at a different stage of his career who belongs, at £26.5m, in a wholly different price bracket.
Mindful of a scoring record that never scrambled all that far above the respectable at Atlético Madrid, Benítez prudently opts to depict the 23-year-old as a member of a group of attackers. With Peter Crouch and Kuyt in place, Andriy Voronin was signed on a Bosman and Ajax had £11.5m pressed into their hands for Ryan Babel.
The fixture tomorrow (Sunday 11 pm Malaysian time) will start to show us exactly what impact Liverpool have bought themselves. The players themselves are conscious of the investment and the improvement that has to be demonstrated. More than ever before, the squad will be expected to cope even if that fractured toe should hobble Steven Gerrard's form against Chelsea. "We have at least two men for every position," said Kuyt with some justice.
In consequence, the Dutchman and many others have to steel themselves to tolerate days on the sidelines and he never got off the bench in the midweek win over Toulouse. While exclusion in France points to selection tomorrow, there is no absolute certainty about it. "It is difficult being left out as a player," Kuyt said, "because you always want to be involved in the big matches but, in the end, we will hopefully be playing more than 60 games in the season. We need a big squad."
Not every footballer who seems to perk up at the prospect of taking on Chelsea is genuinely optimistic, but the mention of these opponents floods Kuyt's mind with thoughts of the way he clinched the shoot-out victory over Jose Mourinho's side in the Champions League semi-final three months ago.
"I am desperate to play," the Dutch forward said. "My last touch of the ball against Chelsea was the winning penalty. We'll go on from there and hopefully beat them again."
Such a result would be taken as a sign that Liverpool will at last be contenders for the Premier League trophy they have never lifted. "If we do that," Kuyt confirmed, "it shows not only Chelsea that we are serious but also United and the rest of our rivals. We showed last season that we were close to them. As well as beating Chelsea we were very unlucky to lose to United at Anfield."
He knows that consistency is essential across all the fixtures that are less highly charged than the match against their visitors from Stamford Bridge tomorrow, but it is success in major games that could truly galvanise Liverpool. Do not ask Kuyt to drone that all Premier League games are of equal significance because they each offer three points. "First," he said, "we need to win against Chelsea."

Gerrard is centre stage in Liverpool's ambitions

Jamie Jackson
Sunday August 19, 2007
The Observer

At around six o'clock this evening, having witnessed only 180 minutes of Premier League action, Liverpool fans should be a little clearer if the 17-year wait for the title is about to end. Even in the manically hyped world of football, eight days into a new season for that kind of call might seem premature. But the opposition at Anfield are Chelsea. Win, and Liverpool will have the same points as Jose Mourinho's team with a game in hand. More important, they will also receive a crucial psychological boost from beating one of the only three clubs to have won the championship since 1995. It will also mean Liverpool have the flying start to a campaign that has proved elusive since Rafael Benitez became manager in the summer of 2004.
Last January Liverpool thumped Chelsea 2-0, scoring both goals inside the first 20 minutes. But while the Spaniard's first league victory against Chelsea cheered the Anfield crowd, it came too late to affect their team's title chances.
Now, having had three seasons to bed in and with £43 million spent this summer, Benitez is conscious he has to deliver. 'For me the priority is to win the Premier League. But you know that will be really difficult. You need to beat Chelsea, United and Arsenal - that's the key. And you must be consistent, we need to improve our performances away, that is clear,' he says of a league record on the road that brought just six victories last year.
'The difference could be one point. One point is just one game. So we must take care of the small details,' he adds. This urgency to win their first title since 1990 is probably a major reason why Benitez is finally allowing Steven Gerrard to play in his favoured central midfield position. 'We knew he wanted to play and was effective there. I was pleased with him in the team playing on the right side but I knew it wasn't his position. I cannot say he is better in the middle. He is good in the middle, but for our team in recent years we have needed him on the right side.'
Benitez still believes the 27-year-old can improve. 'Especially his understanding of the game and tactics. With Gerrard it's not easy because he can do everything really well but there is more.'
How had he dealt with having to operate on the right? 'We had some conversations. He's the captain, and knew it was really important for the side because we didn't have the balance with a specific right winger. He knew he could still score goals from the right, and we were strong in the middle with Xabi Alonso and [Mohamed] Sissoko.

When I said to him, "Listen, I'm trying to sign wingers, don't worry," I knew he would be happier. Now we have wingers and, although it will still be sometimes better to use him on the right, it's not the same situation it was.'
If that seems to confirms a squad role for Jermaine Pennant, who was not deemed good enough to allow Gerrard to play consistently in the middle last season, it also suggests that new buys Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Babel -a striker who can play wide - will be asked to provide the width and delivery. A couple of seasons ago the analogy at Anfield was that the task of taking on today's opponents for the title was like a Mini attempting to beat a Ferrari. Not any more.

Andrei Voronin, another new addition this summer, scored a rocket of a winner against Toulouse in midweek to give Liverpool's attempt to reach a third Champions League final in four years the perfect start.
Add in Fernando Torres, whose job is to score, and Benitez understands he can have no arguments about the depth and quality available. Instead, he accepts that it is his management skills which are now crucial. 'We have a good car now. Formula One is just one type of car and they are all good, so it then depends on the ability of the driver.'
Torres, a £26.5m chunk of devastating pace, is certainly one player who comes with high-octane credentials. Benitez hopes he will be the prolific scorer the club has lacked since he became manager. His record at Atletico Madrid - 84 goals in 215 league appearances - was modest.

The 23-year-old has also yet to claim a first goal for Liverpool. Benitez's assessment of his progress so far apparently damns with faint praise. 'He has done OK. It's not easy for a player who was an icon at Atletico Madrid to come here and be one more player. OK, he's famous, a big name, but there are some other big name players here. Also he needs to improve his English. He can understand but can't speak fluently. It will be difficult but he is very focused and his team-mates have a lot of respect for him.'
Added to the January win, Benitez also has the twin Champions League semi-finals victories and an FA Cup semi-final triumph over Mourinho. Yet it is the Portuguese's record of five from six Premier League matches that tells the story of the clubs' fortunes since both arrived in English football at the same time. Chelsea's manager recently said that Benitez is now under real pressure. The Spaniard prefers to shrug that off as Mourinho's method of deflecting attention from himself. 'That's clear. I don't want to talk about him. I don't need to talk about him. I am focused on my team and I can't focus on what he said.'
Chelsea will probably play 4-3-3 this afternoon with Didier Drogba leading the attack. John Terry should be back for a first outing this season, but missing are Michael Essien and Ricardo Carvalho, with Tal Ben Haim continuing in the back four. The Israel defender believes his new club 'have the players to win every game. That is the mentality here.'
If Liverpool claim victory then, their fans can rightly feel that at last they have a very real chance of the title.

18 August 2007

Torres' dream to face Chelsea


August 18, 2007

FERNANDO TORRES has warned Chelsea: I’m dying to face you!
Liverpool’s £21.5million star insists he has been targeting a showdown with the Blues since the day he signed.
Torres, 23, has barely been able to think about anything else other than his Anfield debut against one of the Kop’s biggest rivals.
The Spanish ace said: “The match against Chelsea at Anfield is the game that I’ve been most excited about playing in since I signed for Liverpool.
“It looks like the Champions League matches at Anfield and the big ones in the league like facing Chelsea will be indescribable.
“I’ve been told I have to be there in person to live and feel the moment when the fans at Anfield sing ‘You’ll never walk alone’.
“I haven’t heard the Liverpool fans singing a song for me yet but I hope to play well enough to convince them to dedicate a song for me.”
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho considered signing Torres from Atletico Madrid last year before deciding the hitman’s services were not required.
But Kop chief Rafa Benitez had no doubts and now Torres knows he must prove his manager was right to make him the most expensive buy in Liverpool’s history.
Torres added: “I’ve noticed that as the club’s record signing people have a lot of desire to see me and they’ve placed a lot of hope in me.
“Their demands on me will come during the games. It’s true that if the first goal is a long time coming it could be added pressure.
“At the moment I don’t feel under pressure to score. It’s important to be integrating into the team and getting used to the style of play.
“I’ll try to make sure the goals come quickly as obviously that’s important but I’m focusing on doing what the coach asks of me. I’m sure of I do, then the goals will come.”
Torres was such a sensation in Spain as Atletico captain that he used to get mobbed wherever he went. But he is planning a walkabout through Liverpool’s city centre as he continues to get to know his new home — and the Scousers that adore him.
He revealed: “The fans are enthusiastic about me and always wish me the best. They’re really passionate about their team but, although they recognise you in the street, they don’t bother you.
“I want to see if I can walk through the town centre calmly. I’ve been here barely a month but everything is going easier than I thought.
“At the moment the most complicated thing is adapting to the style of play in the Premier League, which is more physical. In a month I’ve learned the basics to speak with my team-mates.”
Torres has been inundated with requests from Spain for tickets for the Chelsea cruncher — and he is hunting a mansion so he can accommodate the flood of visitors hoping to fly over.
He said: “Lots of people have asked me about coming to watch and so many of my Spanish friends support Liverpool now. I’m still in an apartment as I’ve seen various houses but I haven’t decided yet. I’m looking for something big so a lot of people can come and visit.”
Torres made his Champions League debut in the 1-0 midweek win in Toulouse and has been with his new team-mates long enough to realise winning the Premiership after 17 barren seasons is what really counts.
He said: “I’m hungry not for just one title but for lots of trophies.
“I’m surrounded by great players here and Steven Gerrard is the best player I have ever trained with.
“It’s strange — I arrived thinking about the Champions League but, in the team, everyone is thinking about the Premier League.
“That’s because a lot of them won in Istanbul but haven’t won a title. Of course, neither have I. The club has gone 17 years without doing it and everyone believes this year could be the one.”

Lagi gambar kita menang lawan Villa

Liverpool's Rafael Benitez closes in on rival

By Jeremy Wilson (Daily Telegraph UK)

Keen to live up to his new 'Mellow Mourinho' nickname, it was perhaps predictable that Chelsea's manager did not talk about Rafael Benitez yesterday.
Few rivals appear capable of heating Jose Mourinho's blood more rapidly than Benitez, a manager who has faced Chelsea often and with success in the past three years.
The pair arrived in English football within a fortnight of each other in 2004, and tomorrow will be the 16th time that they have gone head-to-head in a rivalry which is arguably the most compelling in the Premier League.
The contrast, as well as the apparent antipathy, is obvious. Whereas Mourinho comes with the style and charisma of a Hollywood actor, Benitez has the everyday look of a fan in the stands rather than the manager of British football's most successful club.
Appearances, however, can be deceptive and though the early spoils in their head-to-heads were enjoyed by Mourinho - most memorably with his touchline gesturing in the Carling Cup final of 2005 - a subtle transfer of power can be detected.
Mourinho still holds a 7-5 overall lead, yet significant battles have been won by Benitez, notably one FA Cup and two Champions League semi-finals.
The questionable goatee beard is not the only sign of an emboldened Benitez this year. This was most obvious after the Champions League final against AC Milan when he suggested his future could be affected if significant transfer funds were not made available by the club's new American owners.
Benitez got what he wanted and has spent more than £40 million on the likes of Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun.
Mourinho has been quick to comment on Liverpool's spending, yet Benitez's stature at Anfield has been enhanced by his challenge to the club's hierarchy.
Former Liverpool striker Ian Rush said: "I think there is a greater confidence about him in that he sets the pace of the club, just like Mourinho does at Chelsea. Mourinho is very good in the way that he looks after his players, but Benitez now has the confidence to take the games to him and I think Liverpool have just had the edge in the matches over the last few years."
In contrast to Benitez, the perception of Mourinho is that he has been prepared to compromise in recent months. After tensions earlier this year with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, few expected him to remain manager for a fourth season, his longest period with any club.
Mourinho, though, has been accepting of less expansive spending this summer and, most surprisingly, has gone along with the appointment of the former Israel coach Avram Grant as Chelsea's director of football.
The new-found serenity does not seem to be an act. His popularity with the players has never been in question and they see a different persona behind the scenes to the confrontational Mourinho that can be evident through the eye of a television lens.
His reluctance this week, however, to engage in any "mind games" with Benitez is most likely an acceptance that this strategy has previously backfired.
Portsmouth's Djimi Traore played for Liverpool in four of the six recent Champions League matches between the clubs.
"Mourinho is clever," he said. "He protects his players by putting himself up front, but sometimes he can upset the opposition team and give more motivation."
However, it would be folly to underestimate Mourinho. Only one of Benitez's wins over his counterpart has come in the Premier League and Liverpool have been unable to match Chelsea's relentless consistency.
Rush, however, believes that this year might be different. "Liverpool have the chance not to be playing catch-up," he said.
"The league is the priority for Liverpool supporters and they believe that they can compete for the title. This is a chance to already go level with Chelsea with a game in hand.
"There's not much between the 22 players and so I think it may well come down to the tactics of Mourinho and Benitez."

Head to head
Mourinho 7 Benitez 5 draws 3
Premier League Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0 Liverpool 0 Chelsea 1
League Cup final Chelsea 3 Liverpool 2
Champions League semi-final Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0 Liverpool 1 Chelsea 0
Champions League group Liverpool 0 Chelsea 0
Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0
Premier League Liverpool 1 Chelsea 4
Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0
FA Cup semi-final Chelsea 1 Liverpool 2
Community Shield Liverpool 2 Chelsea 1
Premier League Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0
Liverpool 2 Chelsea 0
Champions League semi-final Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0 Liverpool 1 Chelsea 0
Liverpool v Chelsea (Sunday 16.00) (11pm Malaysian time aaa...)

· The two sides have not drawn a league game since May 2001, a run of 12 matches
· Man Utd are the only side to win at Anfield in the Premier League since Chelsea in October 2005
· Since that 4-1 home defeat to Chelsea, Liverpool have conceded 11 goals in 35 league matches at home
· Liverpool have scored two goals in each of their last three Premier League home games

Rafa can't help but blast Jose back

Rafael Benitez insists he 'does not enjoy' his war of words with Jose Mourinho but the Liverpool boss could not resist responding to his Chelsea counterpart's jibes ahead of the first major showdown of the season.
The pair resume their fierce rivalry on Sunday when Mourinho brings his team to Anfield.
The colourful Portuguese did not even wait for the season to start before declaring the pressure was really on Benitez to deliver following the Spaniards' £40million summer spending spree.
But the Reds' boss retorted: 'I thought Jose had said he wouldn't be talking about other clubs this season. Maybe he's already forgotten that.'
Benitez insists one summer of increased activity has not changed a thing.
He said: 'You only have to look at who are the clubs who have spent most over the last five seasons, and there are two, Chelsea and Manchester United, and they have won most of the trophies.
'If you analyse who finished top of the table last season, who have spent more money in those years, it is clear and simple there are two teams ahead of the others in terms of money, spending and also titles won.
'And I always say that (Chelsea owner Roman) Abramovich has done a really a good job, that is the key!'
Benitez is expected to field skipper Steven Gerrard tomorrow, despite his talismanic captain suffering a hairline fracture of the big toe on his right foot.
And the Liverpool manager feels under no more pressure now than before he spent big this summer.
He said: 'I do not feel more pressure because I have bought players, and I would rather it was not about me and Jose all the time, I would prefer it to be about Gerrard, (Chelsea captain John) Terry and the other players - they are more important than us.
'I do not really enjoy the exchanges that have gone on between me and Jose, I would prefer there to be none. He has a fine squad with great players, and I think we will be okay together this season.
'We are both professionals and we have our responsibilities. But it is better if we do not talk too much about each other.
'I really don't enjoy it and want to concentrate on my team, I do not like talking about other managers every day.'
What Benitez does want is a level of consistency this season, rather than the occasional stunning performance against big opponents.
Last term Liverpool beat Chelsea in the league and the Champions League semi-finals, but were 15 points behind them and 21 behind champions Manchester United.
Benitez said: 'If we show the same quality against every side in the league as I believe we will against Chelsea, at the end of the season we will be up there.
'Chelsea may be an important game now, but next week's game against Sunderland will be just as important.
'Every three points we play for will mean something at the end of the season, so all the players must be ready every week.
'I want each game in the Premier League to be seen in the same way rather than hear people talking about how a game like Chelsea may be more important than others.'
He added: 'We know when you are playing against a top side you must do well if you want to be a contender, but to be ready against all the teams is the only way to compete in the Premier League.
'I know against the top sides how much everyone wants to play and show their quality and I know they can do it.'

17 August 2007

errr.... Gerrard injured... but his service is so much needed in order to kick Chelshit-ass

Rafael Benitez's single-minded attitude to Steven Gerrard's fitness underlines just how important it is to the manager that Liverpool maintain their title challenge from first match to last.
The Anfield boss will "push" his captain to play against Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday, despite scans showing he has a hairline fracture of the big toe on his right foot.
Manager, player and medical staff have conferred - and the upshot is that Gerrard will play against the former champions and then rest during international week.
England manager Steve McClaren's problems for the midweek friendly against Germany are clearly not top of Benitez's list - even if he is about to deny England the player who would have captained the side in John Terry's absence.
Benitez will use Gerrard, who picked up the injury against Toulouse in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League qualifying round first-leg win, and leave McClaren with no choice but to accept the player will not be fit to face the Germans.
McClaren could pick a squad, force Gerrard to travel to the England team HQ for medical tests yet still find that he could not be risked in the international.
Such is Gerrard's importance to Benitez, he is almost certainly now going to face Chelsea after being given a pain-killing injection.
Benitez, who has had to overcome Peter Crouch's problems with team rotation this week, has made it clear Gerrard's presence is worth the "little risk".
"We have confidence he will be available for the weekend; then he must rest. We must manage the risk, and he will play against Chelsea," the Reds boss said.
"But if he trains and plays more games after that it will be a bigger risk. We know you cannot push a player too much; for one game it is okay - for more it is a risk.
"He will want to play every game, every minute. He will want to play against Chelsea.
"It is a really important game; we are at home and we want to continue our good start against them, because they are a really top side.
"If you can beat a top side things get much better. Our away results and those against top sides were not so good last season, and we know we have to improve.
"If we can beat Chelsea it will be a boost for everybody. We have confidence we can win and we hope we will do."
Gerrard is key to those hopes.
Benitez confirmed: "Steven has a hairline fracture in his toe. He will be available for the weekend.
"The injury is not really serious, but is something we need to be careful with.
"He will have an injection so he can play without pain. I have talked to Steven and the doctor - it is not a big risk.
"Afterwards he will have a rest - maybe one or two weeks. It will stop him joining up with England.
"I will talk to Steve McClaren, but I am sure he will understand."
Crouch, meanwhile, went to great lengths to emphasise that he and Benitez have settled their differences.
"Of course, I was disappointed not to play at Villa," said the forward.
"The manager explained to me it will be a long season - and he proved what he meant by replacing the two strikers who started at Villa with me and Andriy Voronin in Toulouse.
"I am sure he will chop and change, but everyone will play their fair share. Everyone knows players want to play - and when you have been geared up all pre-season to playing on the first day, of course you do not want to miss out.
"Anyone in my position would feel the same.
"People would be disappointed with me if I was not disappointed. But whenever I am called upon I will be ready - I am not the kind to go screaming and kicking down doors; I have got to prove to the manager in training that I should be in the team."


Sporting Life 16 August 2007

Liverpool's stars believe they will have recovered from their Champions League ordeal in the hot-house of Toulouse in time to face bitter rivals Chelsea on Sunday.
Liverpool returned from south west France after their 1-0 third qualifying round first-leg success in high spirits after surviving the intense heat of an afternoon kick-off.

Boss Rafael Benitez questioned the start time afterwards - temperatures touched 35 degrees during the match - saying: "It was a very strange time to play a match as important as the Champions League."
TV schedules in the UK and France, plus a full French league programme in the evening, dictated the kick-off time which left Liverpool's players physically drained.
Their recovery time now will be the key ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League showdown with Chelsea at Anfield.
But Benitez, defender Steve Finnan and new-boy Ryan Babel all believe they can overcome the situation. Finnan said: "It was one of the hottest games I have played in. There were some tired legs out there towards the end, it was a good workout for us. "Yes, we will feel it over the next couple of days, but we are not playing until Sunday.
"That's one more day than we usually get, so we will be fine by the time Chelsea comes around. They have played during midweek too, so there will be no excuses."
And Finnan reckons the performance will give the club a further boost as they look to continue their good start to the season.
He said: "That was a really good result for us, especially considering they beat Lyon at home at the weekend. We got an away goal and a clean sheet, and that's what we would have hoped for before the match.
"It puts us in a great position, but we cannot take anything for granted. We have still got to finish the job at Anfield."
New signing Andriy Voronin claimed the only goal of the game with a fierce strike just before the interval at the Municipal Stadium.
Babel made his full debut and lasted the 90 minutes, saying afterwards: "We did well as a team to get a result like that in such conditions. "It is not something I have experienced much in the past, maybe a couple of games in such temperatures, but not often.
"I was pleased with my first start for Liverpool. I have much to learn still but I know I can grow with this team and grow into it.
"It was good to get a full 90 minutes, that is what I need to be able to make an impression and learn how to play with these players.
"It was a good result, a 1-0 win away in Europe is always a boost. But it is not finished, Toulouse are a good side and maybe once we score at Anfield in the second leg, then it will be finished." Benitez was delighted with the victory and said: "The conditions were terrible, very, very hot and the pitch was so bad the ball didn't run.
"It was also a strange time to play a Champions League match. It gives the players difficulties in their recovery time because of the heat.
"The job is not done, in football you must always be careful and we know they are good on the counter-attack.
"I think we will have enough time to recover for the Chelsea match on Sunday.
"But we must control the recuperation of the players. It does not help that it is Chelsea next. If we were playing another team maybe it would be easier for the players to cope."
He added: "But against Chelsea you need everyone giving 100% of their ability all the time, so we must monitor the players.
"We will need a couple of training sessions to see how each one of them has recovered. Only then will I be able to decide who starts the match against Chelsea."

16 August 2007


I had to fend off my kids, even my dad from switching the channels at 10.30 last night. All because it supposed to air live from France the game between LFC and 2-Lose (Toulouse FC). But the tv channel 80 (Supersports) kept on repeating the Eurosports news over and over again and only by 11pm, we could see the notice below saying something like ``the delay was due to the technical problem from the source''. Such a loyal fan, I waited until 11.50pm. In my mind, if I can watch even the 2nd half, it still okay. But then I realised, that could be a futile effort. I turned off the tv and went straight to my books instead.

What happened last night is a seriously sickening thing. I'm sure Astro wouldnt be bothered to apologise nor even acknowledge last night's failure as their fault. I suspect, Astro would put the blame to ``its source'' i.e the French tv. But since my only purpose of subscribing to Astro is to watch soccer (I hardly watch tv, most of the time), Astro must bear full responsibility - regardless of their argument saying, hey... its France's tv... (who knows, Astro didnt pay sufficient royalty to France tv resulting to no-show???)

what a bummer.... what a bollock. Astro... take care of your subscribers la. Dont you guys practice GOOD CUSTOMER CHARTER? If not, read this : ``We, the staffs of Astro, hereby pledge our unheralded promises to keep our subscribers to the utmost satisfaction, as we know that Astro just hiked our subsription rate again thise month''.

Why laaa MiTV failed to give any competition to Astro so that Astro wont be this arrogant???
ohh yaa... Astro had the upper hand by striking a massive agreement i.e ESPN, HBO to be their sole tv presenter here in Malaysia. Pandai la!
So MiTV could be one of the only small fraction of Tan Sri Vincent Tan's lousy investment?

Toulouse (to lose) 0 - 1 LFC

Toulouse 0-1 Liverpool: Voronin away goal

Liverpool have one foot in the Champions League group stages after this highly effective triumph in the heat of south-west France.
It is a long road from here to the final next year in Moscow, and the Anfield club will face much more difficult opponents than Toulouse.
But boss Rafael Benitez will be pleased with the start his expensively reassembled squad have made to their season.
They followed up Saturday's win at Aston Villa with another success on their travels, thanks to a spectacular goal on his full debut by Andriy Voronin.
Liverpool should be expected to complete the job in a fortnight in the second leg of this third qualifying round match - and claim the £12million assured for clubs who reach the final 16 of the competition.
Next up is Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League at Anfield on Sunday, and Liverpool will be more than confident after this success.
Benitez delivered on his promise to rotate his squad, making six changes from the side which beat Villa on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.
Peter Crouch - unhappy at his omission on Saturday - was in the starting line-up, alongside Yossi Benayoun, Sami Hyypia, Ryan Babel, Javier Mascherano and Voronin.
Jermaine Pennant was left at home, while Daniel Agger, John Arne Riise, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Dirk Kuyt all rested to the bench.
A packed municipal stadium, sweltering in temperatures approaching 90 degrees, were present for Toulouse's return to European action for the first time in 20 years.
Steven Gerrard hit a 20-yard free-kick inches wide in the third minute, but Liverpool were having to do a lot of running to keep the hosts - who finished third in their domestic league last season - at bay.
Captain Nicolas Dieuze needed his head heavily bandaged after a clash of heads with Voronin, but that did not stop the flow of Toulouse's football.
A slight error from Hyypia allowed striker Johan Elmander a 20-yard effort, which was held by Jose Reina after a lunging tackle by Jamie Carragher had taken the sting out of the shot.
In the 28th minute, Steve Finnan, Crouch and Benayoun worked the ball down the right and when play was switched to the left by Gerrard, Babel went on a fine run before laying the ball back to the England man - but the shot was too high.
Reina was only called into action to block a Paulo Cesar break down the right in the opening half, which ended in fine fashion for the visitors when Voronin made the breakthrough in the 43rd minute.
Finnan's long ball was nodded down by Crouch, and with Dieuze failing to react, Voronin lashed a rising drive into the top corner of the home net.
Toulouse sent on Fode Mansare for Bryan Bergougnoux at the break to give Elmander some more support up front.
Gerrard took a painful kick on his ankle from Pantxi Sirieix soon after the break and it took him some time to run it off.
Crouch was almost gifted a chance for a second goal when a ball from Benayoun fell into his path, but as he tried to take the ball round Nicolas Douchez, the goalkeeper scooped it off his foot.
Liverpool replaced Benayoun with Riise in the 59th minute, with the Norwegian taking up a left-wing role.
A minute later Elmander was booked for a foul on Mascherano - and four minutes after that the Swedish striker finally managed to evade the clutches of Hyypia and Carragher to send in a flicked shot which was held by Reina.
Gerrard was replaced in the 65th minute by Mohamed Sissoko, while Elmander had another decent chance in the 69th minute when he sent an angled header over the top from Cesar's cross, the midfielder being replaced by Andre Gignac seconds later.
Voronin made way for Torres in the 78th minute - and soon after Cetto was booked for dissent after the Spanish striker had tangled with Sirieix.
Moussa Sissoko took over from Ebondo with six minutes left, with Toulouse now looking frustrated and short of ideas - to the dejection of most of the 30,380 crowd.

12 August 2007


LFC 2 - Villa 1 (Carra bagi free penalty...)

Updated: Aug. 11, 2007, 7:33 PM UK
Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool: Gerrard stunner

Steven Gerrard's superb free-kick ensured a 2-1 victory for Liverpool on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League campaign for the first time during the Rafael Benitez era.
Dirk Kuyt celebrates Liverpool's first goal with new partner Fernando Torres.
Aston Villa looked to have rescued a point when skipper Gareth Barry cancelled out Martin Laursen's firs-half own goal with an 86th-minute penalty.
But then Gerrard curled a 20-yard shot past the dive of Stuart Taylor barely 60 seconds later, after he had been brought down by Stiliyan Petrov. Overall Liverpool were worthy winners, with record signing Fernando Torres making a satisfactory debut despite spurning a golden first-half opportunity.
The £20.2million capture from Atletico Madrid linked up effectively with Dirk Kuyt before being taken off with 11 minutes remaining.
But man of the match for the umpteenth time was England midfielder Gerrard, who exerted so much influence over proceedings even before his goal, while Jamie Carragher excelled at the heart of the Villa defence.

If Benitez could have hand-picked a first-day opponent it would surely have been Villa, given they have not beaten the Reds in front of their own fans for nine years.
Villa huffed and puffed with Barry outstanding in midfield, but they seldom tested Jose Reina until he turned over an injury-time John Carew header.
Villa made a bright start in front of a capacity 43,000 crowd and Reina had to be alert to deal with a stinging 30-yard volley from makeshift Villa right-back Craig Gardner.
Carragher showed his class and awareness to block a shot from John Carew at the expense of a corner after he had been played in by Gardner.
But Liverpool gradually took command and Torres had his first half-chance after 17 minutes when he blazed over the bar from a narrow angle following a long clearance by Reina.
Taylor parried a low Gerrard drive and a superb pass from the England midfielder was seized on by Kuyt, but he hesitated instead of shooting first time.
Villa central defender Olof Mellberg became the first player to be booked after 26 minutes for a clumsy challenge on Torres.
Torres showed his class when he outstripped Mellberg to find himself with only Taylor to beat. But the Spaniard screwed his shot across the face of goal.
Increasing pressure from the visitors paid off in the 36th minute, although it needed an own goal from Martin Laursen to break the deadlock.
Taylor did well to parry a Torres effort, but Kuyt managed to cut the ball back into the danger area from the byline and the unfortunate Laursen only succeeded in lofting the ball into the roof of the net.
Gerrard curled a shot just over the bar after Pennant found him in plenty of space and the visitors were carving gaps in the Villa defence almost at will.
When Villa did venture forward, Barry played in Petrov, but his left-footed drive lacked conviction and flew straight at Reina.
O'Neill made a half-time substitution, replacing Laursen with Gary Cahill, although it was not known whether it was tactical or because he had suffered a knock.
Villa tried to build up some momentum and Nigel Reo-Coker tried his luck from the edge of the Liverpool box but dragged his shot well wide.
Pennant became the first Liverpool player to be yellow-carded after 55 minutes for a challenge on Young.
The out-of-sorts Bouma was then booked for a late tackle on Pennant.
Villa were still struggling to create any openings and it needed a brilliant block from Gardner to prevent Gerrard doubling Liverpool's lead.
Kuyt made good ground down the right and squared the ball across goal to his unmarked skipper, who struck his shot cleanly enough, but Gardner threw his body in the way to stop a certain goal.
Gerrard was denied again when Taylor turned aside his fierce first-time drive.
Villa looked to have rescued a point with four minutes remaining when Barry converted a penalty after Carragher had handled in the box.
But the Villa celebrations had not died down when Gerrard restored Liverpool's lead within 60 seconds.
He was brought down 20 yards out by Petrov and himself curled a superb free-kick past Taylor to cap an excellent individual performance.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard welcomed a winning start to the Premier League season after his late free-kick sealed a 2-1 win at Aston Villa. The Reds grabbed a first-half lead after half an hour through a Martin Laursen own goal when the defender turned in Dirk Kuyt's cut-back, but Villa levelled with a Gareth Barry penalty five minutes from time after Jamie Carragher handled in the box.
However, the visitors were not to be denied when Gerrard was fouled by Stiliyan Petrov 25 yards out and the England star curled in a stunning set-piece.
Gerrard admitted the focus in pre-season has been on making a strong start in order to keep up with expected early pace-setters Manchester United and Chelsea, who both play tomorrow.
He said: 'Over the last few seasons we have been frustrated with the start we've made, we've lost silly points and been playing catch-up, the idea this time is to come out of the blocks quickly and stay in the title race.
'We were pleased with the first 60 minutes, I thought we controlled the game. Villa came back into the game but we managed to pull it out of the bag late doors.'
Asked about his free-kick, Gerrard added: 'It's about time the lads let me take one, I managed to catch one right today, but the most important thing was three points.
'It was a great three points and nice to go into the Chelsea game with three points on the board.'
Villa were unhappy with the free-kick award, but Gerrard said: 'These things happen and some decisions you get, some you don't. I'm sure over season decisions will even themselves out.'



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