my liverpool fc

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

Liverpool FC boss Rafa Benitez explains reluctance to play Alberto Aquilani

Alberto Aquilani

HAVE you heard the one about the £20m footballer who never starts for his team and has played only 22 minutes in three months?

Such is the curious case of the lesser-spotted Liverpool FC midfielder Alberto Aquilani.

Despite arriving with high praise from the likes of former Roma team-mates Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi and having earned 11 full caps with Italy, few Liverpool supporters could claim a real intimate knowledge of the 25-year-old when he was brought to Anfield by Rafael Benitez in August.

Not much has changed since, with Aquilani spending almost the first three months of his career in England recovering from a summer ankle operation.

Yet in the month following his 14-minute debut from the bench in the Carling Cup defeat at Arsenal on October 28, the Italian has been afforded just a seven-minute run-out in the 2-2 draw with Birmingham City and then a solitary minute against Debrecen in midweek.

Aquilani can expect to be on the bench again tomorrow with Benitez unprepared to hand out a full debut in what promises to be a frantic 212th Merseyside derby.

And the Liverpool manager accepts his team’s indifferent form has given him a quandary over how best to ease Aquilani into English football.

“The player is fit,” says Benitez. “He is training. Match fitness is something you can improve by playing games, so why have I not been playing him?

“Because the games are so close that if you put a player on the pitch who is not physically ready maybe he cannot settle down in time.

“If it is 1-0 like it was the other day and they are attacking a bit more and you changed Lucas, Gerrard or Mascherano to play him, maybe you are making a mistake because you will lose the control.

“If we were winning 3-0 in the first half of every game he would be playing because it would be easier for him to settle down.

“If we were losing we could play him because maybe he can change the game with his quality. Someone who has played football will understand this situation.

“It’s not easy because when you sign a player with quality you want to play him but you have to make sure it is the right moment for him and the team.”

Benitez admits the three-month wait for Aquilani to become available to play was at least twice that initially expected.

But he adds: “I’d still have signed him if I’d known that. We were bringing in a player with quality for five years. If he had been fully fit maybe he could have cost £25-30m.

“We were thinking of playing him for the reserves the other day against Wigan but the game was postponed so we organised a training game yesterday trying to give him more match fitness.

“We are trying to get him ready but it is a question of having to decide every game because it is not easy.

“The derby game is a physical one and everyone knows that when you are not fully fit they can be difficult to manage so you have to think about what’s best for the player and the best for the team.

“I was talking with Alberto and he understands. He is clever and he knows that he hasn’t played for months so he has to be ready and fully fit if he is to be able to play at the level that he can play in England. He knows that it is a matter of time.”

When Aquilani finally makes his full debut, Benitez is confident the Italian will have been worth the wait.

“He has quality, he is very clever, his touch is very good, he has mobility, he is dynamic and the final pass is very good,” says the manager. “We were looking for someone with these qualities.

“He was playing in a 4-2-3-1 as a second striker for Roma sometimes, on other times he played as a central midfielder, so he can play with any combination of Lucas, Mascherano and Gerrard.

“He is a different kind of player to the ones that we have now because he can pass and move, pass and move, support and he can give the final pass.”

Aquilani has been among many squad members to have suffered injury problems this season.

Steven Gerrard stepped up his quest for full fitness with another 89 minutes against Debrecen in midweek following a full shift in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City last weekend.

And Benitez warned Everton that the skipper is gradually getting back to his best, saying: “I think that the first week Gerrard was trying to do his best, but he was not physically at his level.

“Then for the last game I was really worried because he was working hard before and he was not physically well. The pitch was also very soft against Debrecen, but he did well.

“I’m sure that after these four days before we play Everton that he will be even better. He has no problems and he will get better every week.”

Gerrard was one of several players to sound their defiance in the wake of Liverpool’s Champions League elimination on Tuesday, with Benitez buoyed by the reaction of his players.

“After the game – that we won, don’t forget that – everyone was disappointed but we knew 15 days before that this could happen,” says the Spaniard. “I was talking with some players the day after and the reaction was very good, very positive.

“Against Everton we have an opportunity in an important game. A derby is a derby so the passions will be there and it will be easier for me to motivate the players.

“But I must stress that after a bad start to the season we are five points off third place so in one or two games we could be there again.”


Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

Everton v Liverpool: match preview

Everton match preview: David Moyes
Everton manager David Moyes Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Sunday, 29 November

Everton v Liverpool Goodison Park Kick-off: 13:30 GMT TV: Live Sky & Highlights, BBC Two MotD2.

Tale of the game

Liverpool have a good record at Goodison Park in recent years, winning seven of their last nine visits, including last season when the 2-0 win gave by virtue of a brace from Fernando Torres. Red cards are prevalent too, with three shown, all to Everton players, in the last two meetings at Goodison.

Liverpool test Torres but Riera is still missing. Philipp Degen will be available after suspension. Everton, meanwhile, are still seriously troubled by injuries with James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Phil Neville, Phil Jagielka and Mikel Arteta out. But Marouane Fellaini and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, missing from Wednesday's 3-2 loss at Hull through suspension, are available.

Everton (Probable, 4-4-1-1): Howard; Neill, Yobo, Distin, Baines; Cahill, Rodwell, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinovic; Fellaini; Jo. Liverpool (Probable, 4-2-3-1): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Carragher, Insua; Lucas, Mascherano; Kuyt, Gerrard, Babel; Ngog. Referee: Alan Wiley. Matches: 12. R3 Y34.

Last season: Everton 0 Liverpool 2, Liverpool 1 Everton 1.

Stat of the game: Liverpool have 20 points; after 13 games last season they had 32.

Betting tip: 12-1 is offered for a 2-2 draw.

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

What happens now for Liverpool?

Steven Gerrard
Turning point: Liverpool have failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time Photo: REUTERS

Jamie Carragher has talked up the Europa League, Rafa Benítez is only interested in Sunday's derby, and Christian Purslow, their chief executive, insists the club won't lose out financially, provided they have a decent Europa League run.

So is this really the cataclysm many are proclaiming? Here's a look at five scenarios – likely and unlikely – that could now unfold.

1) Rafa Benítez is sacked Liverpool have had an appalling six months. Their squad was weakened over the summer, and results this season have reflected that. With a third of the games gone, they are only a point above Stoke. Benítez bears the ultimate responsibility for this. Until results turn around, he only has two real defences – blame the owners or blame the injuries. But the injury situation has been overplayed. Fernando Torres has played 13 games this season, just two fewer than Didier Drogba. Steven Gerrard has played 15, just one fewer than Rooney. And the board? No manager has an owner he's fully happy with. So if Benítez can't achieve success under the Americans, then the Americans need to find someone who can. Likelihood 2/10

2) Liverpool win the Premier League Liverpool trail Chelsea by 13 points. But beat them at Anfield and that's already down to 10, there are still 75 points to play for this season. Liverpool proved against Manchester United that they can still beat the best, and their removal from the Champions League has now forced Benítez – for the first time – to focus all his attentions solely on the Premier League. With their three title rivals likely to be involved in the Champions League right up until April, Liverpool will have a significant advantage in the final furlong. Likelihood 1/10

3) Fernando Torres leaves If Liverpool finish the season outside the Champions League they'll be forced to take drastic financial measures. Ask Leeds fans. Selling Torres to Manchester City for £100 million (with Craig Bellamy coming the other way) would not only alleviate their financial problems, it would also allow for the team to be rebuilt around players less injury prone. Likelihood 5/10

4) The club is sold Roman Abramovich has many faults, but at least everyone at Chelsea knows who's in charge. Does anyone really know where the power lies at Liverpool? How can they, when the two owners are barely on speaking terms. More than anything, a change of ownership is what is needed to give Liverpool some real forward momentum. Clubs can succeed with chaotic scenes in the boardroom, but only in the short term. To ensure extended success – in any business – you the kind of stability for which Liverpool were famous in the 1970s and 1980s. Likelihood 4/10

5) Liverpool finish fourth and win the FA Cup. Despite their wretched record this season, Liverpool haven't been left behind. They are only five points off fourth place, and still possess a better squad than any of their rivals for that position. Manchester City, Aston Villa and Tottenham are all capable of big performances but will pay the price for their lack of consistency come spring. An FA Cup win at Wembley and Champions League qualification will give Liverpool fans plenty to smile about next summer, and will keep Benítez in a job. Likelihood 8/10

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

On the Mersey-slide

This is one of the biggest derby matches in world football... and yet this week it's not the game that people are interested in.

Unless you're a Liverpool fan or an Everton fan, this isn't the match you're looking forward to on Sunday. Everybody else is talking about Arsenal v Chelsea because that's a game between two teams that can win the league.

Benitez & Moyes: troubled times

Benitez & Moyes: troubled times

It doesn't matter if you support Halifax, Crewe, Carlisle... everyone's eyes will be on the Emirates Stadium at 4pm, but this game is meaningless if you don't live on Merseyside. People are probably more interested in Barcelona v Real Madrid than this - and that's a real shame.

It's unbelievable what has happened to Liverpool and Everton so far this season. We like messing about with Thommo and having a few laughs at his expense on Soccer Saturday, but it's getting sad now.

It's unbelievable what has happened to Liverpool and Everton so far this season. We like messing about with Thommo and having a few laughs at his expense on Soccer Saturday, but it's getting sad now.

When I was a kid Liverpool were the best of the best and they've always been a massive club, but they're drifting away this season. When Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard don't play they simply don't look like winning football matches.

They've lost five Premier League games so far this season and they're out of the Champions League. That's not a blip, they're just not good enough.

Chelsea made six changes in the Champions League on Wednesday and looked like world beaters; the team was phenomenal. Liverpool just don't have the squad to do that.

The pressure is now even greater on them now than it usually is. Usually they've got the Champions League to fall back on if they underperform between December and February - but that ain't the case this season.

If they lose to Everton, I'm struggling to see them finish in the top four. That would be six defeats and nobody has lost more than six games and finished in the top four in the last two seasons.


Everton have got injuries too but it's different with them. Liverpool are still reliant on Gerrard and Torres, but Everton haven't got as much money to spend.

When three of their best five players - Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta - are out then of course they are going to struggle. We've seen Manchester United struggle when Wayne Rooney is out, we've seen Arsenal lose when Robin van Persie is out... so what hope have Everton got when three of their best players are missing?

I feel for David Moyes because apart from the Big Four, any team would struggle with that sort of injury list. If those players were fit they'd easily finish in the top half, but when you get on a bad run you can easily get caught up in the scrap.

I don't see Everton going down, there's no chance of that happening, but I can't see them getting into Europe from this position. Tottenham, Aston Villa and Man City are all moving forward and with these injury problems, Everton haven't been able to do the same.

A win on Sunday would be huge for both teams. It would soften the blow for Liverpool and it would make a massive difference to Everton's season.

Unfortunately I think this is one of those games where neither can afford to lose.

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

Javier Mascherano wants Liverpool to prove critics wrong

Javier Mascherano
Defiant: Javier Mascherano insists Liverpool can salvage something from their season Photo: PA

Liverpool have failed to reach the knockout stages for the first time since Rafa Benitez's arrival in 2004, and Mascherano said: "It's a strange feeling for everyone at the club. We are all so very disappointed.

"The Champions League is a special competition for us but it's gone and we must keep going. Now we are in another competition and we will do all we can to win it.

"There will be no problem with motivation. The motivation is simply to play for Liverpool. We are representing a top side and we all want to do well for Liverpool.

"We need to show that we are good players. It's got nothing to do with motivation, every year we do our best to qualify for the Champions League

Liverpool cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves with a crucial game against Everton on Sunday.

"We know that in the league we have got to start winning again because we are not in the top four," added Mascherano.

"That is strange for everyone at the club and all the supporters. In the last four years, we have always been in the top four, sometimes fighting for the title but always fighting to get into the Champions League.

"We need to start winning games and we know that we have got a very important game against Everton. We need to win it. We beat Debrecen to get a bit of confidence and now we have to take that forward."

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

Ryan Babel in action against Thailand in a pre-season friendly

ANDRIY VORONIN and Ryan Babel are set become the first casualties of Liverpool’s Champions League elimination.

The pair are likely to be the most notable names to be told their futures lie away from the club as Rafael Benitez ponders a mini-clearout in January.

The Anfield manager is hoping to raise funds to bolster his underperforming squad as he plans his long-term transfer strategy.

And Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is believed to be keen on making a controversial move to Liverpool in the New Year.

Voronin has not been involved in the matchday squad since starting the 1-1 Champions League draw in Lyon three weeks ago.

The Ukraine international missed a gilt-edged chance during the match, with Liverpool’s failure to win contributing to their exit from the competition that was confirmed on Wednesday by Fiorentina’s 1-0 win over Lyon.

Voronin has proven unpopular with large sections of the Anfield support since

his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen on a free transfer more than two years ago, and spent last season on loan at Hertha Berlin.

Eintracht Frankfurt have confirmed an interest in taking the 30-year-old back to the Bundesliga in the forthcoming January transfer window but a lack of finance means any move may only be temporary.

Babel’s Anfield career is seemingly also in doubt after his latest outburst in which he reiterated a desire to leave in the New Year if he does not play more regularly.

The 22-year-old also questioned some of the managerial methods of Benitez, which is unlikely to improve his chances of the first-team football he craves.

But while Voronin and Babel edge nearer the Anfield exit, sources in Spain have suggested van Nistelrooy would jump at the chance of a move to Liverpool.

The former Manchester United striker has intimated to his advisors that he wishes to make the transfer to provide backup to the injury-hampered Fernando Torres.

The Dutch international has found himself on the fringes at the Bernabeu this season following the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Kaka in the summer.

Van Nistelrooy has also fallen behind Gonzalo Higuain and Raul in Real coach Manuel Pellegrini’s plans.

Like Babel, van Nistelrooy is hopeful of retaining his place in Holland’s squad for next summer’s World Cup but is mindful of Dutch national team coach Bert van Marwijk’s comments he will only take players who are appearing regularly for their clubs.

Real, however, are not thought to be keen to part with van Nistelrooy.

Meanwhile, Pepe Reina has revealed Liverpool have already started training their thoughts on Europa League glory.

“Of course we’re disappointed because this is a big competition that we’ve done well in for the last three or four years,” said Reina. “Now we’re out, though. It’s a tough competition and it’s not always possible to get out of the group stage.

“The Europa League is another competition for us and we want to win it. It also has strong teams and it will be nice to play in it.

“It’s already become a target. It’ll be tough because there are so many good teams involved, but we have to look forward and keep trying to win.”

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

Liverpool FC boss Rafa Benitez still believes in zonal marking

Rafael Benitez

RAFAEL BENITEZ maintains his players still believe in zonal marking despite Liverpool’s continued failure to defend set-pieces costing them the chance of a morale-boosting victory at the weekend.

The Anfield outfit required a goal from substitute Yossi Benayoun to salvage a 2-2 home draw with fellow top-four aspirants Manchester City on Saturday.

After Martin Skrtel prodded Liverpool into the lead shortly after the interval, poor defending allowed Emmanuel Adebayor and then Stephen Ireland to put the visitors ahead.

Adebayor’s goal was a free header from a Craig Bellamy corner, the 12th goal Benitez’s side have conceded from a dead-ball situation this season.

It has led to criticism of Liverpool’s continued use of zonal marking, but while admitting there must be an improvement the Anfield manager has no plans to change his approach.

“When you’re using a zonal marking system you have to attack the ball and if there’s a player near you, you have to challenge,” said Benitez.

“We watched some set-pieces beforehand, and Richard Dunne scored against them when they were using man-to-man. In England, 35% of the goals come from set-pieces.

“But it is clear you have to attack the space or the player, it doesn’t mean you have to stand like a post.

“I think the majority of players believe in it, maybe you can find one or two who don’t. But we were one of the best – THE best – before.

“This year has been bad but it is still early in the season. We will see how things are at the end.

“We were improving at set-pieces, but it’s something we have to keep looking at.”

Liverpool have now won just one of their last 10 games and conceded 27 goals in 19 games in all competitions this season, and stand five points off the Champions League qualification places.

Their defence, disrupted by a calf injury to Glen Johnson before kick-off, was further affected by Daniel Agger being forced off after 11 minutes following a sickening clash of heads with Kolo Toure.

“We have had too many problems with defenders from the first game of the season,” said Benitez. “Like on Saturday, in the morning we thought ‘this is the team’, but then Glen Johnson couldn’t play.

“The understanding between the defenders is vital but it is a question of time.

“We had a shocking day with injuries. Glen was not happy with his calf and he had been limping a bit in training. Then we lose Agger.”

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

Liverpool squad arrive in Budapest

Liverpool have arrived in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Debrecen.

Rafa Benitez has taken an 18 man squad, with most notable absentees being Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel, who are struggling with injuries.

The squad that did travel is: Pepe Reina, Diego Cavalieri, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio, Emiliano Insua, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Andrea Dossena, Alberto Aquilani, Steven Gerrard, Yossi Benayoun, Javier Mascherano, Lucas Leiva, Jay Spearing, Dirk Kuyt, David Ngog.

The Reds must beat Debrecen and hope that Fiorentina slip up against Lyon in Florence.

But Benitez has urged his players to forget about what is happening in Fiorentina’s game and concentrate on the job in hand – getting three points against Debrecen.

He said on the Reds’ departure from John Lennon Airport, “The message has to be to just concentrate on our game. We will know, maybe we’ll have some information, but we have to focus on our job.

“A lot depends on Fiorentina and Lyon, but the main thing for us is to concentrate on our game and see what happens.

“We have to prepare our game because we don’t have any influence over the other one. If we can do our job and win, we’ll see.

“I think we can do it. We have some players coming back from injury, so hopefully with a bit of luck we can progress.

“It’s football, so you never know. We’ll see if we can keep going in the Champions League.”

Debrecen vs Liverpool gets underway at 7.45pm tomorrow night.

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

Should we trim the squad in January?

by Billy Green | Monday, November 23rd, 2009

With our financial situation being in the state it is, I’d say it’s pretty certain we won’t be given any money during the January window. So if we need to strengthen, which in all honesty we do, we’re going to have to sell to raise the money.

Although we may have to lose six or seven players in order to fund one major transfer it may be that one player we need. There are plenty of players at the club who could easily be moved on and I don’t suspect too many Liverpool fans would lose sleep over their transfers.

There’s also a pool of youngsters waiting in the wings with a lot of talent, hunger and desire. With that talent at Benitez’ disposal losing a few from the first team shouldn’t be as much of a problem.

In goal we’ve got Reina as number one choice and Cavalieri to come in. Neither should be sold in January although we do have a handful of young keepers in the reserves should a good offer for Cavalieri come in.

Along the back four there’s a few who could be moved on quite easily. With youngsters like Darby and Kelly impressing on a regular basis in the reserves, as well as the few first team outings they’ve had, Degen could easily be shipped out. And if I’m being honest, he’s hardly been solid when he has played. I’m sure some club on the continent would be prepared to give us two maybe three million for his services.

It’s slightly more difficult for the heart of the defence because experience is invaluable for that position. Though with the players we have coming through the ranks in Kelly, Ayala, Mavinga and San Jose, we could possibly afford to lose one of the first team centre halves. It then begs the question of which one. Firstly we can rule out Carragher going anywhere, so one of the other three. Skrtel has had a nightmare start to the season, Agger seems to get injured far too often and Kyrgiakos looks lost at times. Out of the three I think Agger would be the most likely to be sold, and could probably fetch the highest fee. A possible transfer that I wouldn’t like to happen.

Left back is one position which almost every Liverpool fan would like to see a transfer go through on. Andrea Dossena must be sold at some point during 2010 and the quicker the better as far as I’m concerned. In Aurelio and Insua we have two very tidy left backs along with the emergence of the highly rated Chris Buchtmann should we get short. I doubt we’d get anywhere near the eight million we spent on Dossena but anything back would be good enough for me. Just to see him gone would be enough.

In midfield we have a lot of players without the top quality we need, especially out on the flanks. On the right we have Kuyt, Benayoun, El Zhar and Gerrard if injuries hit the other three as well as Johnson who I’m sure could play higher up the pitch. Out of those options I see no reason as to why El Zhar can’t be sold, especially since Amoo looks a better prospect. Unfortunately for El Zhar, he’s never going to be a regular at Anfield and he is one of the few youngsters who could bring in a decent transfer fee.

As for the middle of the park there’s too many players for just two positions. Mascherano, Lucas, Aquilani, Spearing, Plessis and also the possible move of dropping Gerrard back. Six players for two positions, though only four are potential sales as Gerrard will be going nowhere and Aquilani won’t be sold as we’ve only just bought him.

First to go has to be Plessis because, like El Zhar, he will never be a regular here so we might as well as lose him. As he’s just signed a new contract we can demand a higher price for him. Out of the other three, the most likely seems to be Mascherano to Barcelona. Whether that goes through or not in January is yet to be seen. But it would bring in a huge amount of money, which we clearly need even if it’s only to clear some of the debt our owners have given the club.

Left wing is our weakest area and any money we raise and allowed to spend, should go on a left winger. I’d be rather happy to see the back of Riera and Babel, who between them could bring in around ten million or more. Although it’s not ideal to lose two left wingers we still have Benayoun out there along with Aurelio as back up and hopefully a new signing.

Up top there’s one name who most of would be happy to see gone. He’s blonde, has over sixty international caps to his name and arrived in the summer of 2007. No, not Fernando Torres but his fellow forward Andriy Voronin. With Torres as the number one forward, Ngog showing signs of becoming a top class forward himself and the exciting potential of Eccleston and Pacheco as well as Nemeth to return from loan and Kuyt who can play up front, there’s no reason for Voronin to be here. Another chance for us to trim the squad, get another off the wage bill and bring in some more cash for a new player or to repay some of the debt depending on what the club sees as a more important task.

So should we trim the squad down a bit during January? In all honesty I say yes. Degen, Dossena, El Zhar, Plessis, Riera, Babel, Voronin can all be moved on and I doubt we’d miss their input along with a couple of the youngsters who’ll never make the grade here such as Martin, Threlfall, Brouwer and Bruna to name a few. Then there’s always the odd big money sale, unfortunately it looks as if it’s going to be Mascherano to Barcelona.

It is a disgrace for a club of our size to have to sell before we can buy but that’s the situation we’re in. So if we want that top quality player, we’re going to have to sell a number of players. This time though rather than just replace them like for like, we should be putting trust into our talented youth and buying the one player we need most.

We would still have a squad brimming with full internationals and top quality players, coupled with exciting, young prospects. The only difference would be we’d be a few players lighter, mostly players who are only squad players at best because they are not exciting prospects or because they are not the standard of quality we need.

Forex Live Market Analysis 2010

Most Reliable Sport Betting Prediction
Make Huge Affiliate Commission with RSS Content

Liverpool 2-2 Man City

Liverpool were held to a 2-2 home draw for the second consecutive game. Last time out it was Birmingham, this time it was top-four contenders Man City.

Match Report

Rafa Benitez was again without Fernando Torres and full back Glen Johnson failed a pre-match fitness test meaning Jamie Carragher, returning from suspension, was switched to right back with Skrtel joining Agger in the centre. Insua continued at left back, Lucas and Mascherano were the waterboys in the middle, with Gerrard behind Ngog and Babel and Kuyt out wide. Riera and Benayoun made the bench, along with Alberto Aquilani, after suffering hamstring injuries in the Birmingham draw.

After just 5 minutes Liverpool suffered their first blow as Agger suffered a nasty head injury and had to be replaced by Kyrgiakos. Ten minutes later it was Babel who was forced off after a collision between him, Gerrard and City defender Zabaleta. Yossi Benayoun came on, having only trained once in the last 2 weeks.

A dull first half ended goalless with Liverpool failing to build up any momentum following the injuries. Liverpool’s best effort arrived early on with Skrtel having a header well-saved by Shay Given.

The second half started better and Ngog won a free-kick which was whipped in by Gerrard and Skrtel got ahead of Adebayor to poke in with his toe from 6 yards to score his first goal for the club. 1-0.

City though hit back and enjoyed long spells of possession, they got their equaliser in the fashion most sides have against Liverpool this season – from a corner. Adebayor was left in, literally, acres of space and headed down and into the corner for one of the softest goals you’ll see. Absolutely woeful. Why do we not have a man on the back post? 1-1.

The visitors then took the lead as Wright-Phillips turned and played in Stephen Ireland, who was offside – not that that matters thesedays with our luck – to slot past Reina. 1-2.

Within 70 seconds though Liverpool had equalised, Benayoun on the spot to turn in Ngog’s deflected cross. It was a good job we caught them when we did because I sincerely doubt we’d have broken them down otherwise. 2-2.

With Benayoun clearly tiring, Aurelio came on for the last few minutes.

Liverpool were denied a penalty in the final minute with Bellamy tripping Kuyt inside the box. Not a lot was made of it but had it been anywhere else on the pitch a free kick would have been given. That’s our luck though.

Again no Aquilani, can’t be helped we didn’t see him after the two injuries so early on but the fact he didn’t start shows a lack of attacking initiative. If we’re ever going to get back on track we need to break up the Lucas-Mascherano combo. Fair enough Lucas has done little wrong this season but the fact is he does very, very little positive to influence the game. He’s a passenger, a waterboy. Sideways passes don’t win games. I’m not making Lucas a scapegoat, merely the fact is we need creativity in the middle, desperately.

Rafa needs to find some balls and contemplate dropping the likes of Lucas and Kuyt (who has been woeful this season), bring in some creativity. Fair enough we’re extremely limited by our injury problems at the moment but as the Yanks would say “Go big or go home” – we need to be brave and show some balls.

This game was meant to be a battle for who had the best pedigree for finishing in the top four – neither team showed their authority here.

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger (Kyrgiakos), Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Babel (Benayoun (Aurelio)), Ngog

Man City: Given, Zabaleta, Toure (Onuoha), Lescott, Bridge, Barry (Tevez), De Jong, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Bellamy, Adebayor



  • MySolveware
  • I Love Kuala Lumpur
  • Online Exam Tips
  • Shrek 3 Wallpaper
  • Miss Universe 2007 Pic
  • Kuala Lumpur Hotel
  • Funny Picture


Powered by Blogger

make money online blogger templates

© 2006 my liverpool fc | Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Learn how to make money online | First Aid and Health Information at Medical Health