Friday, December 26, 2008

Liverpool 3-0 Bolton

Liverpool defeated Bolton to end a sequence of three home draws and reclaim top spot in the Premier League.
The Reds took the lead through Albert Riera, who volleyed home beyond the near post direct from a corner.
Robbie Keane collected a Steven Gerrard pass and finished with his left foot to extend the home team's lead.
Keane then slotted home from eight yards to finish a sharp break that involved Xabi Alonso and Yossi Benayoun to take his team back above Chelsea.
Bolton had won three of their last four away fixtures but were very much second best against a team who had seen Luiz Felipe Scolari's outfit move above them with victory over West Brom earlier on Boxing Day.
However, with manager Rafa Benitez watching from the stands as he recovers from surgery on his kidney stones, Liverpool took the game to a Bolton side that arrived with the aim of stifling their opponents and fully deserved their victory.
In the opening minute Bolton had delivered a stark warning that despite playing five across midfield they would look to break forward and support lone striker Johan Elmander when in possession.
Kevin Nolan, a lifelong Liverpool supporter, ran on to Matthew Taylor's pass and tried to lift the ball over Pepe Reina towards the unmarked Ricardo Gardner at the far post.
But the Bolton skipper did not get enough purchase on the ball and Reina took a comfortable catch.
And from that moment Liverpool dominated possession, searching for a way through the congested Bolton defensive structure.
Keane and Riera shot wide, while Emiliano Insua volleyed at goal directly from a corner but was thwarted by Jussi Jaaskelainen, who also saved a Dirk Kuyt header.
Bolton boss Gary Megson resisted the urge to change his formation after the Reds broke the deadlock through Riera with what looked like a set move.
Liverpool continued to press, with Daniel Agger and Jamie Carragher both going close with long-range efforts before the break.
Bolton brought on Kevin Davies for Jlloyd Samuel at the start of the second-half but before the away team had the opportunity to impose themselves Keane had extended Liverpool's advantage.
Gerrard's superb slide-rule pass was controlled by the Republic of Ireland striker with his first touch and smashed home with his second.
Reina started the move that led to Liverpool's third, rolling the ball out to Alonso, who broke through the empty space in midfield.
The Spaniard picked out the run of Benayoun, who squared the ball for Keane to slot home his fifth Premier League goal of the season.
With Bolton forced to show more ambition, Liverpool found more space to exploit and teased and toyed their opponents.
In fact, Liverpool were so comfortable that skipper Gerrard was withdrawn after 73 minutes.
But Bolton did almost score a consolation when Ebi Smolarek collected a pass from Fabrice Muamba and shot past Reina but inches wide of the Liverpool goal.
Bolton keeper Jasskelainen made a great double save from Benayoun and David Ngog with the final action of the match.
The final whistle brought blessed relief to central defender Gary Cahill, who had picked up an injury but had to stay on the field as his team had already used all three substitutes.
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Agger, Insua, Benayoun, Gerrard (Leiva Lucas 73), Alonso, Riera (El Zhar 69), Keane, Kuyt (Ngog 76). Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Babel, Mascherano, Darby.
Booked: Agger.
Goals: Riera 26, Keane 53, 58.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel (Davies 46), Muamba, Nolan, McCann, Taylor (Riga 66), Gardner, Elmander (Smolarek 66). Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Shittu, Basham, Obadeyi.
Booked: Nolan, Steinsson, McCann.
Att: 43,548
Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

Robbie Keane struck a stunning equaliser as Liverpool remained top of the Premier League and maintained an eight-point advantage over Arsenal.
Robin van Persie put Arsenal ahead after collecting a long pass from Samir Nasri that he brilliantly controlled before smashing home.
Keane's equaliser was equally spectacular, drilling home a long punt upfield on the half-volley.
Emmanuel Adebayor saw red in the second half after picking up a second yellow.
Liverpool had been on top at the time of Adebayor's 62nd-minute dismissal but the home team competed manfully after losing their Togo striker and were good value for their point.
The visitors could now lose top spot in the league if Chelsea defeat Everton on Monday, while Arsenal remain fifth in the table.
Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas said in the week before the game that defeat for his team would have effectively spelled the end of their title challenge.
Having drawn the fixture the Gunners remain in the hunt but an injury to Fabregas on the stroke of half-time does little to improve their prospects.
Rafael Benitez, whose team have already beaten Chelsea and Manchester United this season, missed the game as he recovers from surgery to remove kidney stones but the Liverpool boss did pick the team.
Keane, an unused substitute against Hull last weekend, returned as one of four changes from the team that drew with the Tigers.
Steven Gerrard played just behind the Irishman and the two combined after 10 minutes for the opening opportunity of the game. Keane looked to be yards offside as he collected a long ball but Gael Clichy had played him on and the striker laid the ball off to Gerrard, whose shot from 20 yards was saved by Manuel Almunia.
Arsenal took time to settle, struggling to play their fluent passing game. However, Adebayor forced a save from Pepe Reina with a header after he met Bacary Sagna's cross from the right.
And Van Persie put Arsenal ahead with a goal of individual brilliance.
Nasri, returning after injury, picked out the Dutch forward with a raking pass but Van Persie was closely marked by Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger as he brought the ball down on his chest.
Van Persie created a yard of space with his second touch and smashed the ball into the corner of the net with his third.
Clear-cut chances remained at a premium but it was another moment of brilliance that saw Keane equalise with his third Premier League goal of the season.
Arsenal had been troubled previously by long balls upfield and failed to deal with an optimistic punt over the top from Agger that Keane smashed home spectacularly on the half-volley.
Liverpool might have led at the break but Gerrard could not quite find the target after sliding in to meet a low cross from Kuyt, who then went close himself with a low shot across goal that Almunia did well to save.
And the half ended on a sour note for Arsenal when skipper Fabregas sustained a knee injury challenging Xabi Alonso for the ball and was replaced by Vassiriki Diaby.
Keane enjoys Liverpool strikeLeiva Lucas tested stand-in captain Almunia with a strike shortly after the resumption and the home team's travails worsened when Adebayor was dismissed.
The striker had his foot raised as he competed with Alvaro Arbeloa and caught the defender with his elbow as he spun, prompting referee Howard Webb to issue a second yellow card.
But Arsenal, who had struggled since the resumption, rallied after losing Adebayor and enjoyed a spell of pressure in and around the Liverpool box.
However, it was Liverpool who came close to a late winner, with a long-range strike from Agger narrowly missing the target and Nabil El Zhar heading wide.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas (Diaby 46), Song Billong, Nasri (Eboue 90), Adebayor, Van Persie. Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Wilshere.
Sent Off: Adebayor (62).
Booked: Adebayor, Van Persie, Sagna.
Goals: Van Persie 24.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Kuyt, Leiva Lucas (Ngog 88), Alonso, Riera (Babel 71), Gerrard, Keane (El Zhar 81). Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Benayoun, Plessis.
Booked: Keane, Carragher, Leiva Lucas.
Goals: Keane 42.

Att: 60,094
Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Liverpool 2-2 Hull City

My hero, Steven Gerrard scored twice as league leaders Liverpool came back from two goals down against Hull in a match the Reds should have won after dominating.
Hull took a surprise lead when defender Paul McShane headed Marlon King's cross into the roof of the net.
A Jamie Carragher own goal then doubled Hull's lead before Gerrard's goals, both from six yards, levelled matters.
The Reds had the better of the second half, with a Sami Hyypia header hitting the post and Nabil El Zhar going close.
In the build-up to the match, Rafael Benitez predicted that Liverpool would have "an 80% possibility" of ending the season as champions if they were still leading the Premier League in three weeks.
That percentage will surely now have lowered after this draw, their third on the trot at Anfield following stalemates against West Ham and Stoke.
And Benitez's men could find themselves usurped by Chelsea at the top of the league should Luiz Felipe Scolari's men beat West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Three goals in the opening 25 minutes made for a pulsating start after Liverpool had started brightly, with Yossi Benayoun and Alvaro Arbeloa causing Hull problems on the right flank.
But, for all of the home side's slick passing, it was Hull who broke the deadlock when McShane rose above the hapless Andrea Dossena to head home.
Sam Ricketts was called into action to clear Dossena's left-wing cross away from Benayoun, who was waiting for a simple tap-in, before Anfield was stunned into silence as the visitors doubled their advantage.
Bernard Mendy got the better of Dossena on the right with a surging run into the box, and his subsequent cross across the face of the goal caused a disorientated Carragher to divert the ball into his own net.
As is so often the case, Gerrard came to Liverpool's rescue with two goals in 10 minutes.
Dirk Kuyt's cross from the right fell kindly to his captain who drilled the ball in with the outside of his boot.
And, in the 33rd minute, the impressive Benayoun hooked Kuyt's downward header towards Gerrard, who equalised with a rasping shot into the right corner.
Xabi Alonso, Kuyt and Albert Riera all had chances to give Liverpool the lead before the break, but Hull remained typically resolute.
Liverpool dominated the second half but lacked a cutting-edge in the final third as £20m summer signing Robbie Keane was left languishing on the bench.
Hyypia's header did beat Boaz Myhill only for the post to come to the goalkeeper's rescue.
Brown aggrieved at Anfield draw
In the 63rd minute, a fine last-gasp Michael Turner tackle prevented Benayoun from troubling Myhill before the Welshman was called into action to palm away Riera's menacing 25-yard drive. Liverpool brought on El Zhar and Ryan Babel as they searched for the winning goal, with the former forcing Myhill into great save low to his right.
And Hull, who had already won at Newcastle, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Brom this season, held on for the draw.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:"We started really well and we conceded two goals, two mistakes, but afterwards we showed character.
"We were too open. We know we've lost two points but you have to keep going. You cannot change things now."
Asked why he left Robbie Keane on the substitutes' bench as Liverpool went in search of the winner, Benitez added: "Using more people in the box is not a guarantee."
Hull manager Phil Brown: "Having gone 2-0 up to then concede two goals against them, I'm aggrieved to be honest.
"You need to get the rub of the green when you come to Anfield, possibly we didn't have that.
"I've nothing but admiration for the way we got something from the game in the face of a lot of pressure. We're hard to beat."
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Dossena, Mascherano (Leiva Lucas 87), Alonso, Benayoun (El Zhar 74), Gerrard, Riera (Babel 82), Kuyt. Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Agger, Keane, Ngog.
Booked: El Zhar, Hyypia, Alonso.
Goals: Gerrard 24, 32.

Hull: Myhill, McShane (Marney 27), Zayatte, Turner, Ricketts, Mendy, Ashbee, Boateng (Halmosi 66), Geovanni, Barmby (Windass 77), King. Subs Not Used: Warner, Garcia, Cousin, Giannakopoulos.
Booked: McShane, Boateng, Marney.
Goals: McShane 12, Carragher 22 og.
Att: 43,835
Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

PSV 1-3 Liverpool

Liverpool came from behind to beat PSV Eindhoven and qualify for the Champions League last 16 as winners of Group D.
PSV took the lead when Danko Lazovic poked in from close range after Javier Mascherano failed to clear a corner.
Ryan Babel equalised with a glancing header from Lucas Leiva's cross and Albert Riera put them ahead with a 25-yard drive that found the top corner.
PSV's Dirk Marcellis hit a post, before David Ngog latched on to Robbie Keane's
pass and slotted in to seal the win.
Liverpool's victory was reward for a much-improved performance after the interval.
It also gave manager Rafael Benitez his wish to claim top spot in the group, which means Liverpool will play the second leg of their last 16 match at Anfield.
Benitez had made clear before the match that it was important to achieve that, but he still sent out a team with seven changes from Saturday's win against Blackburn.
And unsurprisingly, there was little fluency about Liverpool's play early on, with only Riera looking bright and alert.
There was little to admire in PSV's work, either, as the Dutch side could do no more than match Liverpool's lethargic tempo.
Timmy Simons' drive was comfortably beaten away by Diego Cavalieri as the hosts finally got a shot in on goal.
With an absence of creativity and urgency it was hard to see where a goal might come from.
Yet PSV got themselves in front when Mascherano missed his header as he tried to clear a corner and the ball fell for Lazovic, who stroked the ball past Cavalieri.
Liverpool finally found some rhythm and David Ngog had a chance to equalise but headed straight at Andreas Isaksson.
There was no such profligacy from Babel in first-half injury time when his downward header bounced into the top corner to put Liverpool on level terms.
After the break, Liverpool pressed for another goal and they might have had one had Babel released Keane rather than opted to shoot.
But when the goal came, it arrived in emphatic style with the impressive Riera striking a magnificent shot from distance that flew into the top corner.
PSV responded and Marcellis struck the outside of the post from a tight angle.
But any hopes the Dutch side had of a comeback were dashed when Keane played an inch-perfect pass through to Ngog and he produced a composed low finish to score his first goal for Liverpool.
Liverpool might have won by an even greater margin but Lucas missed a good chance after Keane had again fashioned the opportunity.
PSV: Isaksson, Culina, Marcellis, Brechet, Salcido, Mendez (Manco 80), Simons, Dzsudzsak, Bakkal (Nijland 83), Lazovic, Amrabat (Koevermans 72).Subs Not Used: Cassio, Rodriguez, Pieters, Wuytens.
Booked: Simons, Mendez.
Goals: Lazovic 36.
Liverpool: Cavalieri, Arbeloa (Darby 69), Carragher (Kelly 81), Agger, Dossena, Mascherano, Leiva Lucas, Babel, Ngog, Riera (Spearing 76), Keane.Subs Not Used: Reina, Gerrard, Alonso, Benayoun.
Booked: Riera, Arbeloa, Dossena.
Goals: Babel 45, Riera 69, Ngog 77.

Att: 35,000
Ref: Nikolai Ivanov (Russia).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blackburn 1-3 Liverpool

Goals from Xabi Alonso, Yossi Benayoun and Steven Gerrard were enough to keep Liverpool top of the table and leave Blackburn without a league win in 10.
Stephen Warnock stopped Benayoun giving Liverpool the lead before Morten Gamst Pedersen fired against the crossbar.
After half-time Alonso sidefooted past Paul Robinson to open the scoring and Benayoun shot low to double the lead.
Roque Santa Cruz's header gave Rovers hope but Gerrard found an empty net after poor defending from the hosts.
Blackburn manager Paul Ince is likely to come under increased pressure after his side slumped to their fifth successive league defeat.
They sit second from bottom, just two points above West Brom, who have a game in hand.
Liverpool remain a point clear of Chelsea at the Premier League summit and boss Rafael Benitez will be delighted to return to winning ways following back-to-back goalless draws.
The Merseyside outfit dominated the opening exchanges as Blackburn portrayed all the hallmarks of a team desperately lacking in confidence.
The hosts' ball-retention was poor and they seemed bereft of ideas in the attacking third.
Liverpool looked to release wingers Benayoun and Ryan Babel at every opportunity and on 18 minutes Steven Gerrard sent Benayoun racing through on goal, only for Warnock to intervene with an outstanding challenge.
But Liverpool, lining up in a 4-5-1 formation with Robbie Keane dropped to the bench and Dirk Kuyt the lone striker, did not create another clear-cut chance in a half notable for the visitors' shortage of inspiration and cutting edge.
Blackburn grew in belief and were unfortunate not to take the lead when Pedersen's long-range strike on 27 minutes was expertly tipped onto the woodwork by Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Reina was again called upon to save from Pedersen before half-time, this time palming a free-kick to safety, but the game became scrappy after the break.
The passing was, at times, woeful but Liverpool showed marginally more quality going forward and Robinson was forced to react well to repel Alonso's drive after 57 minutes.
Moments later Liverpool should have broken the deadlock but when Robinson spilled Gerrard's fierce strike, Benayoun could not follow up and Ryan Nelson scrambled the ball clear.
Blackburn were rocking and it came as no surprise when Alonso sidefooted past Robinson from just inside the penalty area.
The Spaniard pounced with a calm finish after Andre Ooijer, under pressure from Kuyt, had failed to deal with Gerrard's cross from the right and his fellow centre-half Christopher Samba was nowhere to be seen.
The Merseysiders could well have lost their lead on 75 minutes as Roque Santa Cruz rose to meet Ooijer's precise centre from the right but could not find the target with his header.
That miss proved coast because at the other end Benayoun collected Kuyt's pass on the right, skipped past Warnock's terrible attempted-tackle and lashed a low drive across goal and into Robinson's bottom right-hand corner.
In stoppage time Robinson, faced with Nabil El Zhar, was forced to rush his clearance and it fell to Albert Riera, who squared to Gerrard and the captain rounded off Liverpool's win.
Blackburn manager Paul Ince:"It was an exceptional performance. We have not got the three points but we have to take some positives from the game.
"It is always difficult against Liverpool but we matched them for long spells and that was pleasing.
"The scoreline was harsh and this might be the step we need to push on and get up the table."
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:"We have shown we can manage the pressure. When you have a game like this, you know you might have problems.
"But we were more clinical than other days and that is important with the Christmas programme coming up.
"We are in a very good position so it is vital we play with confidence and that the players pass the ball well."
Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Emerton, Andrews, Kerimoglu (Vogel 84), Pedersen (McCarthy 81), Roque Santa Cruz, Derbyshire (Treacy 90).Subs Not Used: Brown, Villanueva, Simpson, Fowler.
Booked: Andrews, Warnock.
Goals: Roque Santa Cruz 86.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hyypia, Insua, Benayoun (Riera 87), Mascherano (Leiva Lucas 83), Alonso, Babel (El Zhar 64), Gerrard, Kuyt.Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Keane.
Booked: Babel, Arbeloa.
Goals: Alonso 69, Benayoun 79, Gerrard 90.

Att: 26,920
Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Torres not back until New Year

Fernando Torres will not play for Liverpool again this year as he struggles to recover from a recurring injury.
The 24-year-old is currently out of action having suffered his third hamstring injury of the season during Liverpool's 1-0 win over Marseille in the Champions League.
Initially, it was hoped Torres would be fit to return within two weeks, but after the player flew to Barcelona for a consultation with one of Spain's top muscle specialists, Rafael Benitez is now refusing to commit to a return date for the Spaniard.
The Liverpool manager has vowed that the club will do everything in their power to get to the root of Torres' ongoing problem.
Torres twice suffered hamstring problems while playing for Spain last year and he pulled up injured in just the third league game of the current Premier League campaign at Aston Villa.
Although he returned to form, scoring twice in each of the away wins at Everton and Manchester City, he again broke down while on international duty for Spain.
He has now missed five league games as well as the two Champions League ties against his former club, Atletico Madrid.
Liverpool have investigated the cause of Torres' injury problems extensively by looking at the player's training regime, with the minutiae of his lifestyle, his choice of footwear and the way he walks also being scrutinised.
Torres was joined on the trip to Spain by Liverpool's Brazilian left-back Fabio Aurelio who was also examined in a bid to clear up a recurring calf problem.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Liverpool 0-0 West Ham

Liverpool moved to the Premier League summit after a draw with West Ham - but they failed to produce a glittering advert for their title credentials on a night of frustration at Anfield.
Rafael Benitez's side needed only a point to edge ahead of Chelsea at the top of the table after the Londoners' home defeat against Arsenal.
It was duly achieved, but in unimpressive fashion in the face of a resilient defensive display from Gianfranco Zola's side.
Liverpool applied all the early pressure, with James Collins clearing off the line from Albert Riera early on and Carlton Cole doing the same from Sami Hyypia.
Craig Bellamy almost shocked Liverpool when he struck the post from long-range before the interval, but it needed Robert Green's magnificent save from Yossi Benayoun to keep West Ham on level terms after the break.
West Ham have still not won at Anfield for 45 years, but boss Zola will take great heart from a point built on sound defensive organisation.
Liverpool have the consolation of heading the Premier League pace-setters after another below-par performance, but they know they must produce better to maintain their position.
They predictably exerted all the early pressure and twice had penalty claims turned down as they appealed for handball against Herita Ilunga.
James Collins came to West Ham's rescue in the 13th minute, clearing off the line from Riera after keeper Green punched away a cross from Steven Gerrard.
And Hyypia should have given Liverpool the lead three minutes later, heading Gerrard's corner wastefully over the top when unmarked.
Carlton Cole then repeated Collins' defensive heroics when he cleared off the line from another Hyypia header after Durk Kuyt had turned on another Gerrard corner.
Liverpool continued to exert total control, and Gerrard shot into the side-netting after evading the attentions of Cole and Scott Parker.
West Ham had shown little ambition, but they broke the shackles to almost stun Liverpool nine minutes before the break when Anfield old boy Bellamy unleashed a 25-yard shot that hit the inside of the post with keeper Pepe Reina well beaten.
Liverpool had run out of steam as the half went on, with Matthew Upson prominent as West Ham's rearguard action gathered confidence.
But they created one more chance just before the interval when Green was forced to dive to clutch Kuyt's low header, although Upson appeared to be pushed as they challenged for Xabi Alonso's corner.
Green produced a stunning save to deny former West Ham star Benayoun after 55 minutes, diving high to his right to turn over a powerful rising drive after Collins diverted Gerrard's cross into the Israel international's path.
Robbie Keane had endured another night of frustration, and he once again suffered the indignity of being substituted when he was replaced by youngster David Ngog with 25 minutes left.
West Ham almost broke the deadlock seconds later when Bellamy's corner was met at the near post by Cole, who could only direct his header wide.
Liverpool mounted a typical late surge, but Green was once again defiant as he saved from Kuyt, while subsitute Ryan Babel was just off target from long range.
The final whistle was met with a chorus of jeers, evidence that while Liverpool may have gone top of the league, the mood at Anfield is one of disappointment.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Liverpool's Torres injured again just after comeback

Liverpool's Premier League title push suffered a setback on Thursday when their Spanish international striker Fernando Torres was ruled out for up to three weeks with a hamstring strain.
Torres, who had only just returned to the side after five weeks out with a similar problem, picked up the injury in the 1-0 Champions League win over Marseille at Anfield on Wednesday.Defender Fabio Aurelio will be out for a fortnight after picking up a calf problem in the same game.

A club spokesman told "Fernando has a strain in his right hamstring and will be out of action for between two and three weeks. Fabio has a calf strain in his left leg and will be out for two weeks."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gerrard salutes Torres after victory over Marseille

STEVEN GERRARD saluted strike partner Fernando Torres after Liverpool guaranteed their passage to the last 16 of the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Marseille at Anfield.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez chose to play Gerrard in an advanced position just behind Torres and the move paid off as the England midfielder scored the Reds’ winner after 23 minutes.
After the game, Gerrard said he had enjoyed playing alongside Torres and hoped Benitez would continue with the tactic in the future.
"He (Torres) is the key. Playing behind him is great for me," Gerrard said. "His runs are great. Tonight I scored the goal but I’m sure if the manager keeps playing us together I will provide him with a few."
Despite dominating the first half, Liverpool had to endure a nervy second period before they sealed the win.
Gerrard said he was disappointed with the second-half performance, but was glad the Reds had ensured their passage to the knockout stages of the competition.
"It was a nervy match but still a job well done. We wanted all three points and a clean sheet and we got both of those," he said.
"It was a frustrating second half for us. We lost control a bit and there are a few things that need looking at.
"They are organised and fighting to stay in the competition. We knew that it would be a difficult tie but we stuck together and hopefully in a few days the second-half performance will be forgotten."
Benitez admitted he was relieved to see his side come away with the victory.
"The second half was a bit scary and it was definitely not the best game of football but the most important thing is that the job is done," the Spaniard said.
"We were a bit scared but we knew we had the quality to win and go through.
"We were giving the ball away too easy in the second half and we were failing with the final ball."
The Reds now travel to Eindhoven for their final group match against PSV in the knowledge a win would see them top the group.
Benitez refused to say whether he would field his first-choice side for the match.
"We know we have the quality to win the match," said Benitez.
"It’s just about finishing the job now. I’m not sure what side I will play. We have won the group before and lost in the second round to Benfica so you never know."

Liverpool 1-0 Marseille

Steven Gerrard's first-half goal sent Liverpool into the Champions League knockout stage with an unconvincing win against Marseille at Anfield.
Gerrard headed in at the far post from Xabi Alonso's cross after 23 minutes.
It was the highlight of a poor Liverpool display, with Marseille dominating possession for long periods.
Taye Taiwo had a long-range shot turned on to the post by Pepe Reina before the break, and Liverpool's keeper also saved superbly from Hatem Ben Arfa.
Liverpool now enter their final game of this section, away to PSV Eindhoven, battling with Atletico Madrid to finish top of Group D.
Benitez's side have made patchy progress to the last 16, but they have followed a similar path in the past and still navigated their way through to the final stages of the tournament.
Gerrard was restored to Liverpool's line-up after missing England's win in Germany and a goalless draw with Fulham at Anfield with a groin injury.
Dirk Kuyt had an opportunity to give Liverpool the lead after 21 minutes when Fernando Torres provided a perfect cross, but his header was saved at the second attempt by keeper Steve Mandanda.
It was only a temporary reprieve for Marseille, with Gerrard putting Liverpool in front two minutes later. He stole in unmarked on the end of Alonso's ball to the far post to head powerfully beyond the helpless Mandanda.
Marseille were stringing some impressive passing moves together without delivering an end product, but they gave Liverpool a scare after 35 minutes when Reina touched Taiwo's long-range shot on to the post.
Ronaldo Zubar then headed the resulting corner wastefully wide when he was left unchallenged at the far post.
Marseille more than matched Liverpool in the second half, with the gifted Ben Arfa a real threat.
He fired a dangerous cross just beyond Benoit Cheyrou then forced Reina into a stunning finger-tip save from an angled free-kick.
Liverpool were desperately out of sorts and Mamadou Niang wasted an opportunity with 10 minutes left, heading off target when well placed.
But Liverpool's defence, superbly marshalled once more by Jamie Carragher, held out and can now concentrate on topping the group and avoiding some potentially hazardous opposition in the last 16.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio (Dossena 46), Mascherano, Alonso, Kuyt (Leiva Lucas 85), Gerrard, Riera (Benayoun 63), Torres.Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Keane, Babel, Kelly.
Booked: Mascherano.
Goals: Gerrard 23.

Marseille: Mandanda, Bonnart (Samassa 89), Zubar, Hilton, Taiwo, Ziani, Cana, Cheyrou, Ben Arfa, Niang, Kone (Valbuena 78).Subs Not Used: Riou, Rodriguez, Zenden, Kabore, Grandin.
Booked: Niang.
Att: 40,024
Ref: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Liverpool 0-0 Fulham

Liverpool endured a frustrating afternoon as they were held to a goalless draw by Fulham at Anfield.
The best chance of an even first-half fell to Robbie Keane, but the Republic of Ireland striker shot straight at keeper Mark Schwarzer from eight yards.
Fulham were not just content to soak up pressure and Andrew Johnson and Jimmy Bullard both tested Pepe Reina.
Liverpool dominated the second half but failed to capitalise and remain second behind Chelsea in the table.
If Rafael Benitez's side harbour serious ambitions of challenging for the Premier League title this season, however, then they will need to perform better than they did against the Cottagers.
Before Saturday's encounter the visitors had collected just one point on their travels but they turned in a disciplined and confident performance and for the first half at least, looked capable of adding three more to that total.
Liverpool were boosted by the return of striker Fernando Torres, but Steven Gerrard was ruled out because of the the injury that also saw him miss England's win in Germany on Wednesday.
With his inspirational captain absent it was a surprise to see Benitez bring in Lucas Leiva in to sit alongside Javier Mascherano in midfield, with Xabi Alonso left on the bench.
Alonso has enjoyed a good start to the season and after a lacklustre opening 35 minutes, with Liverpool looking sluggish and devoid of creativity, the home supporters were calling for the Spaniard's introduction.
They had started brightly enough as Dirk Kuyt shot wide when well placed, but it was another 15 minutes before Keane forced Schwarzer into his first save.
Fulham were rarely troubled and enjoyed plenty of the ball themselves as Bullard and former Anfield favourite Danny Murphy pulled the strings in midfield.
Reina had to be alert to save Johnson's effort after Bullard's hooked through ball and Schwarzer was out bravely to block Keane's shot at the other end.
The action swung back and forth and once again it was Reina's turn to prevent his side from going behind, brilliantly tipping Bullard's fine 20-yard effort wide after Bobby Zamora had cut the ball back.
Liverpool were much brighter after the interval and looked to pin Fulham back in their own half.
Torres was always a threat and after beating John Pantsil on the left, he cut inside before unleashing a shot at Schwarzer's goal that the Australian parried away.
Fulham dug in to frustrate the home side and the biggest cheer of the day came as Alonso replaced Mascherano with 25 minutes to go.
It was Alonso's Spanish team-mate Albert Riera who set Kuyt up for Liverpool's next chance, but Schwarzer was on hand to turn his dipping effort over the bar.
Kuyt then blazed wide after a good ball from Jamie Carragher as Liverpool laid siege to Fulham's goal.
Lucas saw a shot deflected wide in the final minute, and the game ended after Daniel Agger's header from the resulting corner drifted harmlessly over.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:"It was a bad day, we did not have enough energy and we did not pass the ball well enough.
"And then when we got back into the dressing room we discovered that Chelsea had drawn and Arsenal had lost.
"Those results would have been good for us had we won this one. I would assume Chelsea feel the same way about our result and Arsenal's defeat."
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: "The game was even particularly in the first 45 minutes.
"The longer the game went on the more they started to throw the kitchen sink at us.
"A 0-0 score is a good result at Anfield and I am really happy with it. We are getting stronger and are starting to gel with every passing week."
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Kuyt (El Zhar 81), Leiva Lucas, Mascherano (Alonso 64), Riera (Babel 78), Keane, Torres.Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Benayoun.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey (Gera 84), Bullard (Baird 90), Murphy, Davies, Johnson, Zamora.Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Gray, Stoor, Kallio.
Att: 43,589
Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bolton 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool's Premier League title challenge gathered further momentum with an impressive victory at Bolton.
Dirk Kuyt brilliantly headed the visitors in front from Fabio Aurelio's cross after 28 minutes.
Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard both missed open goals before captain Gerrard headed in substitute Fernando Torres' cross with 18 minutes left.
Bolton's Gary Cahill had a header ruled out for a foul and Ricardo Gardner missed two good opportunities.
The win ensured Liverpool maintained the pressure on their rivals as they seek their first title since 1990.
Bolton were outplayed for long stretches, but mounted a spirited effort after the break, only for any hope of a comeback to be snuffed out by Gerrard's close range header.
Liverpool kept Torres on the bench as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury but he emerged for the last 30 minutes to great effect.
All the other big guns were restored after a weakened side lost in the Carling Cup at Spurs in midweek.
The opening half was a tale of almost unbroken Liverpool domination, with Bolton restricted to isolated attacks.
Kuyt almost gave Rafael Benitez's side the lead after 21 minutes when his powerful rising drive from Gerrard's pass struck the bar with Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen helpless.
He had better luck seven minutes later when he crowned a lengthy period of Liverpool possession by directing a superb header past Jaaskelainen from Aurelio's cross.
Keane should have doubled Liverpool's advantage almost instantly when he somehow failed to make contact with Kuyt's inviting cross from only four yards with the goal gaping in front of him.
The lingering fear for Liverpool was that their failure to score a second goal would leave the door open for a Bolton side that had been distinctly second best.
And they were almost punished on the stroke of half-time when Cahill headed in from a corner, only for referee Rob Styles to rule that goalkeeper Pepe Reina had been fouled.
It was a decision that infuriated the home crowd, who had clearly not forgiven Styles for the infamous penalty he gave against Bolton at Manchester United earlier this season.
Bolton boss Gary Megson made a change at half-time, introducing Gardner in place of Fabrice Muamba - who had been detailed to do a man-marking job on Liverpool captain Gerrard.
Gardner made an immediate impact and almost levelled after 51 minutes when he ran on to Kevin Davies' pass, but slipped after rounding Reina and the chance was lost.
There was a much more passion and purpose from Bolton after the break, but it was Liverpool who wasted another gilt-edged chance to score just after the hour.
Torres was the creator, seconds after being introduced, with a perfect cross that Gerrard somehow slid wide.
But there was no mistake after 73 minutes, when the Spanish international produced a perfect delivery with the outside of his right foot for Gerrard to steal in and head past Jaaskelainen.
Liverpool were suddenly restored to the dominant force of the first half and Jaaskelainen had to be at his acrobatic best to save a 25-yard effort from Xabi Alonso with 10 minutes left.
Gardner had been a lively presence since his introduction, but he wasted another chance by lofting a finish over the onrushing Reina but off target.
Liverpool had further opportunities to finish with a flourish, but Torres hit the outside of an upright and substitute Lucas headed wide when it seemed easier to score.
Their generosity in front of goal did not prove costly, as Liverpool cruised to a deserved three points.
Bolton boss Gary Megson: "We didn't get in their faces in the first half.
"In the second-half we did much better but we made a couple of elementary mistakes and you have huge problems at 2-0 down against a team like that.
"We gave everything we got, missed two fantastic chances, had a goal disallowed that shouldn't have been but we were culpable for both their goals."
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez: "We knew it would be difficult but we tried to keep the ball.
"We were under pressure so that goal was very crucial for us. After that, the game was over.
"We had two or three clear chances in the first half and at the end we could have had a couple more, but the second goal was the key."
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Taylor (Smolarek 84), Nolan, Muamba (Gardner 46), McCann, Elmander, Davies.
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Helguson, Shittu, Basham, Obadeyi.
Booked: Nolan.
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Agger, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt (Leiva Lucas 84), Gerrard, Riera (Benayoun 89), Keane (Torres 59).
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Babel, Darby.
Booked: Carragher.
Goals: Kuyt 28, Gerrard 73.
Att: 24,893
Ref: Rob Styles (Hampshire).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tottenham 4-2 Liverpool

Carling Cup holders Tottenham strode into the quarter-finals with a clinical win over Liverpool in a thrilling tie.
Three goals in six first-half minutes put the hosts in control, Roman Pavlyuchenko drilling in the opener.
Fraizer Campbell then got his first goals in a Spurs shirt when he clipped home before heading in from 12 yards.
Damien Plessis and Sami Hyypia headed in replies for Liverpool after Heurelho Gomes errors, but Pavlyuchenko tapped in his second in between to wrap it up.
It was an excellent performance from a home side that have been rejuvenated almost beyond recognition under Harry Redknapp, and only three matches now stand between the north Londoners and a return to Wembley where they won the trophy last season.
Liverpool, with some justification, may point to the fact that their side featured 10 changes to the side that beat West Brom at the weekend - but then Spurs themselves had made seven changes to the team that overcame Manchester City on Sunday.
Still, from the off only one side appeared to be in it.
Spurs were effervescent, closing Liverpool down at every opportunity and stringing passes together with a confidence that was so absent under Juande Ramos's reign this season.
Ryan Babel was a bright spark for Liverpool, epitomised by an excellent run into the home box, dribbling past three players, before the attack petered out.
But that was it, with Fernando Torres ineffective on his return from injury, and Spurs took full advantage in a stunning six-minute spell to end the half.
Lennon had come closest to rewarding Tottenham's dominance in the first half hour when he cut inside and saw his shot blocked well by Daniel Agger - but few expected what was to come.
Pavlyuchenko and Campbell had also gone close early in the match and it was that combination that broke the deadlock, the latter latching onto Gareth Bale's pass, out-muscling Sami Hyypia and laying the ball back for the Russian to hammer home.
Three minutes later and it was 2-0 as Campbell made the most of a collision between Reds keeper Diego Cavalieri and Andrea Dossena to collect Jamie O'Hara's pass and roll home.
Gomes is stretchered off the field, but the injury is not as bad as first fearedWhen Campbell headed in Lennon's far-post cross on the stroke of half time, Spurs fans were in dreamland, but Liverpool were thrown a lifeline at the start of the second 45 when Plessis caught Spurs keeper Gomes in no man's land and headed in Babel's corner.
Liverpool's renaissance lasted precisely four minutes, though, as Pavlyuchenko tapped into after Didier Zokora's shot had been deflected.
If Tottenham thought they could relax, they reckoned without another woeful spot of keeping from Gomes, Hyypia the one to benefit this time as the defender nodded in Babel's corner with the Brazilian flapping.
And the mood at White Hart Lane was further dampened minutes later when Gomes went down heavily under Phillipp Degen's challenge and had to be stretchered off after over seven minutes of treatment.
Liverpool sensed an opportunity to get back into the match but, despite Nabil El Zhar causing problems, the visitors' best hope appeared to be when Degen went down under Bale's challenge in the box late on - but replays showed the defender clearly got the ball.
As it was, Spurs saw out a deserved win - their second over Rafael Benitez's side in a fortnight - to make it five victories and a draw for the hosts under Redknapp so far.
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp:"It was a good win and a good performance - even if we could have done better on corners!
"That's 18 goals we've scored in my five matches in charge - we're bringing in Les Ferdinand as a striking coach and I've told him if we stop scoring it's his fault!
"In all seriousness, though, I've been so pleased with the players. They have tremendous quality and want to win every game - the desire is brilliant.
"Winning's a great habit and we have three strikers who are firing on all cylinders. I'm happy."
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:"We did not play well, we did not defend well, and we did not deserve anything from the game.
"In the second half we were a little better, in commitment and in our quality, but after the first half it was impossible.
"I'm happy with my selection - the side was good, we just didn't perform. The only bonus from the match is that Fernando Torres played some minutes, which is good."
Tottenham: Gomes (Cesar 74), Hutton, Dawson, Corluka, Bale, Lennon, Zokora, Huddlestone, O'Hara, Pavlyuchenko (Boateng 90), Campbell (Bent 90).Subs Not Used: Bentley, Modric, Gunter, Rocha.
Booked: Pavlyuchenko, Campbell.
Goals: Pavlyuchenko 38, Campbell 42, 45, Pavlyuchenko 52.
Liverpool: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Agger, Degen (Darby 84), Babel, Leiva Lucas, Ngog, Plessis (Alonso 66), Torres (Insua 56), El Zhar.Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Riera, Benayoun, Carragher.
Booked: Plessis, Torres, Babel, Leiva Lucas.
Goals: Plessis 49, Hyypia 63.

Att: 33,242
Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Liverpool 3-0 West Brom

Robbie Keane scored his first Premier League goals for Liverpool as they beat West Brom to go three points clear of Chelsea at the top of the table.
A combination of Scott Carson's body and Jonas Olsson's arm prevented Yossi Benayoun's shot opening the scoring.
But there was no stopping Keane when he latched on to Steven Gerrard's pass before clipping the ball over Carson.
Keane scored his second goal when he rounded Carson and slotted home before Alvaro Arbeloa curled in a late third.
Keane will be delighted to get off the mark in the league, following his £20m summer move from Tottenham.
And the Republic of Ireland international took his goals well as Liverpool made sure there would be no repeat of the collapse that saw them lose a lead and fall to defeat at Spurs a week ago.
It helped that this time they were up against a team in West Brom who have not won at Anfield for 41 years.
Once Liverpool went ahead, it never looked as though the visitors would bring an end to that poor run.
The Baggies did make a decent start to the match, enjoying more of the possession, but as soon as Liverpool kicked into gear, they took control of the match.
Keane had the first opening, but shot tamely after Javier Mascherano had prodded the ball through to him.
As Liverpool pressed, the lively Benayoun, starting in place of Xabi Alonso, went close to a goal when he saw his shot hit Carson and then Olsson's arm.
A goal for Liverpool looked inevitable and when Gerrard rolled the ball into the path of Keane, he finished off the move with a deft strike.
Nine minutes later, Keane latched on to Fabio Aurelio's pass, took one touch to go past the onrushing Carson and passed the ball into an empty net with his second touch.
From the sidelines, Fernando Torres - back on the bench after a six-game absence because of injury - would have been impressed with his strike partner's clinical finishing.
There was a sense that Liverpool took their foot off the gas after the interval, while West Brom toiled as they attempted to get themselves back in the game.
Had Ishmael Miller shown a better touch, he might have given the Baggies a lifeline but his poor control when clean through meant a rare chance went begging.
On 72 minutes, Liverpool replaced goalscorer Keane with Torres, with both players receiving rapturous applause from the home fans.
Torres had little chance to make an impact, as Liverpool coasted, but the Spaniard will be relieved to have made his comeback.
In the final seconds, Arbeloa scored with a curling left-foot shot to seal the win, which sees Liverpool leapfrog Chelsea at the top of the table, with the Blues playing at Blackburn on Sunday. Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez:"I have had no doubts that he would start to score regularly for us. "Robbie has told me he has got a monkey off his back, not an expression I had heard before but I understand it.
"It was only a matter of time before he scored in the league. He is quick and can punish any mistakes that defenders make, and that is what he did."
West Brom manager Tony Mowbray:"We intended to be positive, to ask Liverpool some questions and go for it."We intended to be attack-minded and for long spells we held our own.
"We had a sloppy 10 minutes and we were punished for that.
"But we had some young strikers out there against top-class defenders. They were a little naive at times."
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Agger, Carragher, Aurelio, Benayoun, Mascherano, Gerrard (Alonso 80), Riera (Babel 65), Keane (Torres 72), Kuyt.Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Insua, El Zhar.
Booked: Arbeloa, Mascherano.
Goals: Keane 34, 43, Arbeloa 90.

West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Olsson, Donk, Robinson, Koren, Borja Valero, Greening, Kim (Filipe Teixeira 56), Bednar (Moore 56), Miller (Brunt 71).Subs Not Used: Kiely, Hoefkens, Dorrans, Pele.
Booked: Olsson.
Att: 43,451
Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

Liverpool 1-1 Atletico Madrid

Steven Gerrard rescued Liverpool with a 95th-minute penalty after Maxi Rodriguez's opener had looked set to secure victory for Atletico Madrid.
Liverpool were denied a penalty early on despite Luis Perea appearing to foul Daniel Agger, and instead they went behind when Rodriguez volleyed in.
The Reds felt they were again denied a spot-kick when Perea seemed to handle.
They got their chance at the third time of asking and Gerrard smashed home after he was fouled by Mariano Pernia.
A victory for Liverpool or Atletico would have secured them a place in the knockout stages as PSV Eindhoven were beaten by Marseille in Group G's other match.
And it looked as though the Spaniards were going to seal their progress, until Gerrard's late, late intervention.
Rafael Benitez's men will feel that they should have been awarded a penalty long before that and they had strong cases for two spot-kicks.
As it turned out, the one they were given looked very soft indeed, not that Liverpool will feel an injustice was done given the earlier decisions.
And it rescued a point for Liverpool who are now second in the group, behind Atletico on goal difference.
Atletico enjoyed some good fortune early on when Perea seemed to pull down Agger as he was about to shoot but was not penalised.
But there was nothing fortunate about the move from which they scored their goal.
Johnny Heitinga's driven pass was taken down superbly by Guerrero Antonio Lopez, who then picked out Maxi for an emphatic finish after his first touch took him past Jamie Carragher.
Previously, Liverpool had been warned when Sabrosa Simao volleyed over from 10 yards from Pernia's low cross.
They had responded to that by carving out two quick chances of their own.
Perea took the ball off Steven Gerrard's toes to prevent him getting a shot in and a minute later Robbie Keane latched on to a through ball and tried to round the keeper but was pushed wide.
But then they were stunned by Atletico's strike.
Liverpool stepped up the tempo as they searched for an equaliser, and shortly after the break Keane screamed, unsuccessfully, for a penalty as the ball appeared to hit Perea's hand.
Yet from open play, Liverpool lacked a sense of urgency and penetration, while Atletico maintained their discipline and their counter-attacking threat.
From a set-piece, Agger was unlucky to head just over and later the Dane again nodded off target.
As Liverpool pressed even more, Gerrard went close with a drive, while Dirk Kuyt - not at his best throughout the evening - shot tamely.
With time running out, Carragher saw his shot palmed over by keeper Leo Franco and it looked like being a frustrating night for the hosts.
But then Gerrard went down under a challenge from Pernia and the Liverpol skipper stepped up himself to dispatch the resultant penalty and salvage a draw.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano (Leiva Lucas 77), Alonso, Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera (Babel 61), Keane (Ngog 71).Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Benayoun, Degen.
Goals: Gerrard 90 pen.

Atletico Madrid: Franco, Antonio Lopez, Perea, Heitinga, Pernia, Raul Garcia, Paulo Assuncao, Maniche, Maxi, Forlan (Aguero 71), Simao (Luis Garcia 90).Subs Not Used: Coupet, Sinama Pongolle, Banega, Pablo, Camacho.
Booked: Maniche, Perea, Heitinga, Pernia, Aguero.
Goals: Maxi 37.
Att: 42,010
Ref: Martin Hansson (Sweden).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool

Roman Pavlyuchenko scored a late winner as Tottenham came from behind to beat Liverpool and haul themselves off the foot off the Premier League table.
Dirk Kuyt put Liverpool ahead when he smashed in a shot on three minutes.
Darren Bent sliced a clearance against his own post before Steven Gerrard hit the post with a deflected shot and then saw his lob cannon back off the bar.
Jamie Carragher headed into his own net to give Spurs hope and Pavlyuchenko tapped in from Bent's cross to win it.
It was a remarkable turnaround for Tottenham, whose fortunes have been completely revived under the stewardship of new boss Harry Redknapp.
And just as they had against Arsenal in midweek, Spurs seemed to be staring defeat in the face against Liverpool only to come back from the dead.
The visitors, who have now been overtaken by Chelsea at the top of the table, will feel they should have won the game as they largely dominated on a rain-sodden pitch in torrential conditions.
But they were made to pay for missed chances, while Spurs deserve credit for hanging in at times before finishing the game with spirit and belief.
The way Liverpool started the match, it seemed the floodgates were set to open and Spurs were about to be swept away.
Former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane wasted no time in reminding the home fans what they have been missing since his summer switch to Liverpool.
Within three minutes of his return to White Hart Lane, the striker turned sharply away from Ledley King and laid the ball off to Kuyt, who smashed the ball into the top corner from a tight angle.
It was very nearly worse for Spurs when Bent attempted to clear Gerrard's corner but he sliced the ball on to his own post.
With Liverpool enjoying most of the possession, and passing the ball around confidently, there was little for Spurs fans to enjoy.
Their only pleasure may have been to boo Keane every time he touched the ball.
But for all Liverpool's greater fluency, they created few real opportunities.
That said, Tottenham's only effort of note in the first half was a Luka Modric volley from the edge of the box that Pepe Reina dived full length to save.
After the interval, Liverpool stepped up through the gears and created a succession of chances.
First Gerrard struck a volley that Heurelho Gomes did well to on to the post after the ball had been diverted by King's arm.
If that was Gomes at his best, the Brazilian soon showed his worst side when he sold King short with a pass and Gerrard almost scored with a shot that hit the bar.
As Liverpool poured forward, Kuyt sent a shot just over the bar as he slid into the box to connect with a low cross.
Another goal looked a certainty, but it was a total shock when it came as it was Tottenham who got it - and from an unlikely source.
Carragher rose highest to meet a Spurs corner but succeeded only in directing his header into his own goal.
Although the Tottenham players barely celebrated, the goal did have the effect of galvanising their spirits.
And they almost went ahead when Reina spilled the ball to substitute Pavlyuchenko, but the striker blazed over the bar.
However, he was given a chance to redeem himself when Bent saw his shot saved by Reina but reacted to deliver a cross for the Russian to make a hero of himself by notching the winner.
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, King, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto (Hutton 46), Bentley, Zokora, Huddlestone, O'Hara (Pavlyuchenko 46), Modric (Lennon 75), Bent.Subs Not Used: Cesar, Bale, Gunter, Campbell.
Booked: King.
Goals: Carragher 70 og, Pavlyuchenko 90.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Dossena, Kuyt, Mascherano, Alonso, Riera (Benayoun 78), Gerrard, Keane (Babel 66). Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Aurelio, Leiva Lucas, El Zhar.
Booked: Gerrard, Carragher.
Goals: Kuyt 3.
Att: 36,183
Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Liverpool 1-0 Portsmouth

Steven Gerrard's 76th-minute penalty kept Liverpool clear at the top of the table with victory over Portsmouth.
Gerrard scored after Papa Bouba Diop undid his side's resolute performance by handling a corner in Pompey boss Tony Adams's first game in charge.
Until then, Dirk Kuyt's shot against the post was the closest Liverpool had come to a goal.
Yossi Benayoun was also denied for the home side after a last-ditch Sylvain Distin tackle before Gerrard's winner.
Pompey belatedly pushed forward in search of an equaliser after the goal but Liverpool held on for a win to stay three points clear at the top of the table.
However, it was a close call for the Reds after manager Rafael Benitez had made four changes from the side that beat Chelsea on Sunday.
Portsmouth were clearly intent on stifling Liverpool as Adams employed Peter Crouch as a lone striker, dropping striker Jermain Defoe to the bench and playing with a five-man midfield.
The tactic appeared vulnerable as Liverpool's early passing and movement showed an intent which suggested the home side would earn a breakthrough.
A diagonal Kuyt shot was palmed against the post by former Reds keeper David James, while an unmarked Lucas Leiva headed over from a Fabio Aurelio corner which was just too high for him.
But Pompey survived the early scares and had a chance to stun the Anfield side against the run of play.
Bouba Diop had stolen in between Liverpool's two centre-backs and had a free header from a Sean Davis cross but struck his effort tamely and straight at keeper Jose Reina from six yards.
Liverpool heeded the warning and again began to assert their authority as they probed patiently for an opening.
Kuyt put a shot into the side-netting, a Gerrard strike was parried by James before being cleared and Alvaro Arbeloa sent a curling strike just wide - but a goal continued to elude the home side.
The longer the game progressed the more Pompey justified Adams's tactics as the visitors continued to hold the Reds at bay.
But there was also more urgency in the Reds' play and Kuyt should have done better but mistimed a header from a promising position 12 yards out.
Benayoun was later put clean through but Kaboul's sliding tackle diverted the Israeli midfielder's effort wide.
It appeared Liverpool would have to settle for a draw but they were rewarded for their perseverance.
Bouba Diop needlessly handballed a corner and allowed Gerrard to secure a hard-fought win, despite a late John Utaka header going wide.
Portsmouth manager Tony Adams:"I made sure we were tough to beat but unfortunately one moment of madness cost us.
"I'm certainly not going to have a go at Bouba Diop as he has worked his socks off."
He added: "I'm very pleased (with our play) but it we come away with nothing. I thought we deserved something."
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez:"We knew it would be difficult.
"Always when there is a new manager players want to impress. We had our chances but you have to score."
The Reds are top of the Premier League and he added: "Confidence is high but there's long way to go."
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Aurelio, Pennant (Benayoun 63), Alonso, Leiva Lucas, Babel (Riera 71), Gerrard (Keane 90), Kuyt.Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Mascherano.
Goals: Gerrard 76 pen.

Portsmouth: James, Pamarot, Kaboul, Distin, Belhadj, Utaka (Defoe 85), Davis, Diop, Diarra (Hughes 80), Armand Traore (Kranjcar 64), Crouch.Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Kanu, Mvuemba, Hreidarsson.
Booked: Diarra, Diop.
Att: 43,378
Ref: Steve Tanner (Somerset).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool demonstrated their growing title credentials by ending Chelsea's 86-game unbeaten run in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge and moving three points clear at the top of the table.
Xabi Alonso's deflected 10th-minute goal gave Liverpool victory and shattered a Chelsea sequence stretching back to February 2004 on home turf.
It was a deserved triumph for Rafael Benitez's side achieved without Fernando Torres and the first setback for the reign of Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea.
Chelsea enjoyed long periods of possession, but Liverpool never flinched and could have doubled their victory margin had Alonso's second-half free-kick not hit an upright.
Ashley Cole missed Chelsea's best chance after the break, allowing Liverpool to record a victory which is of huge significance in terms of their confidence and self-belief.
If this game was a measure of Liverpool's ability to finally mount a serious title challenge, then they will have left west London in the knowledge that they now appear to have the ability to finally challenge Chelsea and Manchester United in domestic battle.
Chelsea simply ran out of ideas in the face of a red wall of defensive resistance, with Liverpool's defence led magnificently by Jamie Carragher impenetrable.
Scolari's side opened with a surge of confidence, but took a real knock when Alonso gave Liverpool the lead.
He latched on to a half-clearance, and while his effort carried little power, a deflection off Jose Bosingwa was enough to wrong-foot Petr Cech.
The rest of the opening period was a tale of Chelsea dominating possession but Liverpool were superbly organised and carried an ever-present threat of a second goal on the break.
Steven Gerrard almost provided it after 23 minutes with a dipping effort from 25 yards that required the fingertips of Cech to turn it to safety.
Javier Mascherano was offering Liverpool's defence fierce protection, and an atmosphere of frustration was growing around Stamford Bridge.
But Deco almost provided the equaliser nine minutes before the interval when Gerrard lost possession, and the Portugal midfielder advanced before sending a left-foot shot inches wide.
Chelsea may have enjoyed territorial superiority in the first 45 minutes, but the resilience Liverpool have demonstrated throughout this season ensured keeper Pepe Reina had not had any serious work to do.
Liverpool's increasing confidence was demonstrated at the start of the second half, with Gerrard pushed into a more advanced role in support of Robbie Keane.
There was a moment of anxiety for Reina after 54 minutes when he brought down Florent Malouda as he raced into the area, but the linesman's flag had already been raised.
It was Malouda's final contribution as Scolari made a double change, sending on substitutes Franco di Santo and Juliano Belletti, with Salomon Kalou also taken off.
Liverpool sent on Ryan Babel for Keane and they came within inches of doubling their advantage after 61 minutes.
Alonso's low free-kick left Cech motionless, but for Liverpool it agonisingly struck the base of the post and stayed out.
Cole, having already been booked, ran the risk of a red card with a needless foul on Babel, but the foolish intervention of Mascherano in an attempt to ensure he was sent off ended with a yellow card for the Argentine.
Liverpool had applied pressure points to Chelsea all over the pitch, and as the clock ticked down on their formidable home record, some of the calm and order that had characterised their play had disappeared.
But they fashioned their best chance of the game after 72 minutes, only for Cole to slice hopelessly wide when Di Santo knocked Frank Lampard's cross into his path.
Carragher defended heroically to block Deco, but Babel then showed his threat with a rising drive that was just inches away.
Chelsea pressed in the closing stages, but never in any convincing fashion on another day when Liverpool confirmed their growing stature.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa (Sinclair 84), Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Kalou (Di Santo 58), Deco, Lampard, Malouda (Belletti 58), Anelka. Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Ivanovic, Ferreira, Alex. Booked: Malouda, Ashley Cole, Deco.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt (Leiva Lucas 88), Gerrard, Riera (Hyypia 90), Keane (Babel 60). Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Benayoun, Pennant.
Booked: Arbeloa, Gerrard, Mascherano.
Goals: Alonso 10.

Att: 41,705
Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Liverpool

Liverpool had to settle for a draw after Simao Sabrosa's late equaliser rescued a point for Atletico Madrid.
Robbie Keane's cool finish from a suspiciously offside position gave the visitors the lead in the 14th minute.
Liverpool's Yossi Benayoun and Atletico's Maniche then both had goals contentiously ruled out for offside after the break.
But Simao, who had a shot turned on to the post by goalkeeper Pepe Reina, drove home after 83 minutes.
Liverpool dominated the first half but did not make the most of their supremacy, and in the end were grateful for a point after being forced on to the back foot for most of the second period.
And Liverpool left Spain with an injury worry over goalscorer Keane after he limped off early in the second half with a groin injury.
It is a headache for boss Rafael Benitez ahead of Sunday's game at Chelsea, with Fernando Torres already struggling with a hamstring problem.
Benitez surprisingly left in-form Dirk Kuyt on the bench and played Keane as a lone striker - but it was a decision that reaped rewards with a priceless early strike.
Steven Gerrard was the creator with a trademark through ball, which the Republic of Ireland striker took in his stride before calmly sliding a finish beyond Atletico keeper Leo Franco.
Replays suggested Keane was offside - and it was not to be the only contentious decision of the game.
Liverpool exercised almost total domination in the early exchanges, with Xabi Alonso shooting over and Keane wasting a glorious chance after 22 minutes when he tried to over-elaborate in front of goal from Gerrard's cross and failed to make any contact.
Diego Forlan finally fashioned a chance for Atletico five minutes before the interval with a shot on the turn that flashed just wide with Reina beaten.
Liverpool suffered a blow seven minutes after the break when Keane limped off to be replaced by Kuyt. It also co-incided with Atletico's best spell following the half-time introduction of the exciting Sergio Aguero.
Atletico were desperately unlucky not to equalise after 55 minutes when Maniche's fine finish was ruled out by a linesman's flag, even though he was clearly onside, although Benayoun appeared to suffer a similar injustice moments earlier.
Liverpool were then thankful to keeper Reina when his fingertips diverted Simao's shot on to an upright.
The visitors were starting to look jaded, and Benitez replaced captain Gerrard with the pace of Ryan Babel on the hour.
But just as it looked like they had weathered the storm, Atletico drew level with seven minutes left.
Jamie Carragher misjudged a long ball to let Forlan in, and he found Simao, who drove a top-class finish across Reina into the bottom corner.
Atletico were scenting victory, and Reina had to be alert to turn a drive from Miguel over the top.
But Babel wasted a glorious opportunity to snatch the win for Liverpool after 88 minutes, when he somehow headed Kuyt's cross wide with the goal at his mercy.
It was the final chance of the game - with the draw leaving both clubs still in a perfect position to qualify for the knockout phase.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez"You have to finish when you have the chances. We were trying to find the perfect pass. We were in their final third and all we were doing was passing it.
"We were playing well and we had control until we got to the final third. We tried to be too precise, tried to give the perfect pass and didn't finish when we should have done.
"We have one more point now and it's not a bad position to be in, but if you concede after 83 minutes then you have to be disappointed.
"I'm happy with the game we played in the first half and to start the second. I'm disappointed with the chances we had to finish the game and didn't take though."
Atletico Madrid: Franco, Seitaridis, Perea, Dominguez, Antonio Lopez, Camacho (Raul Garcia 72), Maniche, Luis Garcia (Aguero 46), Simao, Forlan, Sinama Pongolle (Miguel 75). Subs Not Used: Bernabe, Pernia, Heitinga, Paulo Assuncao.
Booked: Maniche.
Goals: Simao 83.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Dossena, Mascherano, Alonso (Leiva Lucas 75), Benayoun, Gerrard (Babel 61), Riera, Keane (Kuyt 53).Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Aurelio, Pennant, Darby.
Booked: Riera, Arbeloa.

Goals: Keane 14.
Att: 44,500
Ref: Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Liverpool 3-2 Wigan

Dirk Kuyt's scissor-kick five minutes from time gave Liverpool all three points against 10-man Wigan in a pulsating game at Anfield.
Amr Zaki gave the visitors the lead after a mistake from Daniel Agger, but Kuyt fired Liverpool level.
On the stroke of half-time Zaki scored a spectacular overhead-kick to restore Wigan's lead, before Antonio Valencia was sent off for two bookable offences.
The home side hit back through Albert Riera, before Kuyt's late winner.
The result is harsh on a Wigan side who, until Valencia's sending off, looked good value for at least a point.
Wigan played with great confidence and, with the inspirational Zaki up front, they regularly troubled the Liverpool defence.
Even without the injured Emile Heskey, missing with a back problem, Liverpool struggled to cope with Wigan's movement, pace and greater desire.
In contrast Liverpool, missing striker Fernando Torres, appeared disjointed and struggled to create meaningful attacks.
Olivier Kapo, playing in a front three alongside Zaki and Daniel de Ridder, was the first to test Pepe Reina as his low left-foot shot was turned away by the Liverpool goalkeeper.
Robbie Keane curled wide as Liverpool started to feel their way into the game, but a minute later Zaki gave his side the lead after a horrendous error by Agger.
The Danish defender received the ball from Reina on the edge of his own area, but he was far too casual in possession and the Egyptian striker was on hand to rob the ball before coolly slotting home.

Agger made amends 10 minutes later as he drove forward from defence, exchanged passes with Andrea Dossena and cut the ball back for Kuyt to fire home.
Suddenly the confidence returned to Liverpool's play and Kuyt nearly grabbed a second as he unleashed a rasping shot from 20 yards that Chris Kirkland somehow managed to tip onto the crossbar.
But they were stung on the stroke of half-time as Zaki met Valencia's cross with a brilliant acrobatic effort that gave Reina no chance.
After the break Liverpool started to turn the screw and Lee Cattermole was on hand to clear Agger's header back across goal with Keane lurking at the far post.
Kuyt was then denied again by Kirkland from six yards as the home side struggled to break Wigan's resistance.
However, when Valencia was given his marching orders, the game swung in Liverpool's favour.
The Ecuador international was shown a yellow card for failing to retreat 10 yards as Gerrard lined up a free-kick and just a minute later he was on his way down the tunnel for a reckless tackle on Xabi Alonso.
Liverpool immediately looked to make their man advantage count and Alonso saw his shot from 25 yards deflected wide by Titus Bramble, before Riera drew them level with a right-footed shot from 20 yards.
It was the Spaniard's first goal in a Liverpool shirt, but Liverpool were not done yet.
They sensed victory as Wigan began to tire and Kuyt sealed the win with his fourth goal in three games.
He met Jermaine Pennant's pin-point cross with a flying volley that hit the ground before flying over the despairing dive of Kirkland.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:"I think that we were attacking, controlling and creating chances so we were in control of the second half.
"We didn't start well and they started really well.
"After conceding the goal the team was a little bit nervous but when we scored the first goal, we were again in the game and were controlling.
"We then concede the second goal when we were playing better."
Wigan manager Steve Bruce on Antonio Valencia's sending off:"Every decision that was contentious was given to Liverpool.
"Every little decision went their way. The first yellow card, he doesn't deserve a yellow card, the second one is arguable.
"That was the decisive moment in the match because up until then we were coping admirably and were arguably the best team."
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa (Benayoun 79), Carragher, Agger, Dossena (El Zhar 78), Pennant, Gerrard, Alonso, Riera, Keane (Hyypia 90), Kuyt.Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Leiva Lucas, Insua, Ngog.
Booked: Dossena.
Goals: Kuyt 37, Riera 80, Kuyt 85.

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Palacios (Koumas 90), Kapo (Brown 82), De Ridder (Kilbane 79), Zaki.Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Taylor, Boyce, Camara.
Sent Off: Valencia (75).
Booked: Valencia.
Goals: Zaki 29, 45.
Att: 43,868
Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Man City 2-3 Liverpool

Dirk Kuyt scored an injury-time winner as Liverpool came back from two goals down to beat 10-man Manchester City.
Stephen Ireland lashed in a shot to put City ahead and Javier Garrido curled a 22-yard free-kick into the top corner to extend the home side's lead.
But Fernando Torres sidefooted home and, after City's Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for a tackle on Xabi Alonso, headed in to level for the visitors.
Kuyt dramatically decided the game late on when he slotted in at the far post.
Liverpool showed plenty of character and belief in completing a battling comeback which will only have served to enhance their title credentials.
The game was a match up between a City side who were the highest scorers in the Premier League before the encounter, while the Reds had the top-flight's meanest defence.
And they produced an action-packed match with plenty of drama.
In the opening skirmishes, Reds left-winger Albert Riera caused plenty of problems for ex-club City.
Riera had a low well-struck shot from an acute angle saved by Joe Hart before he weaved and wriggled his way into space and put in a low cross for Kuyt.
The Dutchman sidefooted over with his left-foot from six yards and City responded by taking the lead.
Wright-Phillips crossed for Jo and, after Alonso nicked the ball away from him before he could shoot, the City winger managed to pull back another cross back for Robinho.
The Brazilian was challenged by Alvaro Arbeloa and the loose ball fell to Ireland to power home the opener.
The goal put a spring in City's play and they knocked the Reds out of their stride with a mixture of flair and hard work.
City were rewarded with a second when Riera fouled Wright-Phillips and Garrido curled in a left-footed free-kick past the despairing dive of Reina.
Liverpool must have been on the end of some harsh half-time words from manager Rafael Benitez because they came out with an increased desire after the break.
The visitors quickly pulled one back when Torres sidefooted in Arbeloa's cross, but City would have restored their two-goal advantage if Robinho had not fluffed a glorious chance.
Torres was then guilty of missing an equally gilt-edged chance to Robinho's when he struck an effort over from point-blank range after Robbie Keane's ball across City's six-yard box.
The Reds suffered a setback when centre-back Martin Skrtel buckled under his standing leg and was stretchered off.
Liverpool - also down to 10-men as they had made their three substitutions - stunned the Manchester City faithful when Kuyt slotted in the winner after a Torres shot had found its way to him.
It was Kuyt's first goal in the top-flight since last November and maintained Liverpool's unbeaten start to the season as they stayed joint top of the Premier League with Chelsea.
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes: "We played really well in the first half and deserved our lead," he said. "The sending off has changed the game and made it even more difficult for us.
"Overall, we have to take the positives out of it. In the first half, it was as good as we have played this season."
He added: "It's a harsh lesson and we will have to learn from it."
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez:"We have some experience after Istanbul (when we beat AC Milan after being 3-0 down) and other games.
"The main thing for me was the belief of the players until the end.
"In the second half we were on top. We changed the mentality and approach. We knew we were giving them too much space so we tried to press them.
"Kuyt is one of our key players. His work-rate is amazing and I think that is why the supporters love him."
Frankly this is one of the best Liverpool performance especially in the second-half.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Dunne, Richards, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Kompany, Elano (Petrov 85), Robinho (Evans 80), Jo (Fernandes 70).Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Hamann, Ben-Haim, Sturridge.
Sent Off: Zabaleta (67).
Booked: Dunne.
Goals: Ireland 19, Garrido 41.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio (Dossena 70), Mascherano (Keane 71), Kuyt, Gerrard, Alonso, Riera (Benayoun 81), Torres.Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Agger, Babel, Leiva Lucas.
Booked: Arbeloa.
Goals: Torres 55, 73, Kuyt 90.
Att: 47,280
Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Liverpool 3-1 PSV

Robbie Keane's first goal since his £20.3m move from Tottenham helped Liverpool ease to victory over PSV Eindhoven in Champions League Group D.
Dirk Kuyt put the Reds ahead after four minutes, following up after Andreas Isaksson saved Fernando Torres' volley.
Keane made it 2-0 before half-time when he hooked home Torres' bouncing cross.
Steven Gerrard wrapped up the win with a ferocious free-kick - his 100th goal for Liverpool - before Danny Koevermans bundled home a consolation for PSV.
There are sure to be sterner tests ahead for Liverpool in Europe this season than the visit of the Dutch champions but Reds boss Rafa Benitez has plenty of reasons to be satisfied after his side's convincing display.
PSV clearly came to Anfield with the intention of frustrating their hosts but their hopes of implementing that plan only lasted untol Kuyt broke the deadlock.

CLBVisiting keeper Isaksson did well to deny Torres, who had ghosted in unmarked to meet Steven Gerrard's cross, but he should have done better with Kuyt's shot which span out of his grasp and into the top corner.
From then on it was hard to see how Huub Stevens' side were going to emulate Stoke City, the only side to deny the Reds victory at Anfield this season.
PSV persevered with five men across the back - which at least kept Liverpool quiet immediately after they had scored - but with Nordin Amrabat on his own up front they were restricted to long-range efforts in their search for an equaliser.

Liverpool, meanwhile, continued to look menacing and, even before his goal, Keane might have had a penalty when he was tripped in the area by Carlos Salcido.
Torres was next to threaten, rising unmarked to head a Fabio Aurelio corner wide, and it was fitting that he was involved in Liverpool's second goal on 34 minutes.
Much has been made of the potential potency of Torres' partnership with Keane but the common consensus is that it will be the Republic of Ireland international who will be creating chances for his Spanish team-mate.
The opposite was the case here, with Torres combining well with Kuyt on the right before sending over an inviting cross that Keane despatched past the helpless Isaksson to end his Liverpool goal-drought in his 11th game for the Reds.
Aside from his fruitless spell with Inter Milan, Keane has never had to wait this long for his first goal for a club and the relief in his trademark tumbling celebration was obvious.

Steven Gerrard lets fly with the free-kick for his 100th Liverpool goalPSV, to their credit, continued to work hard and Otman Bakkal and Amrabat both sent shots skidding wide of Pepe Reina's goal.
But Liverpool were still more than comfortable and Torres should have made it 3-0 when he ran on to Jan Kromkamp's sloppy backpass only to see his attempted flick drift wide.
The third goal did arrive on 74 minutes, courtesy of Gerrard, who marked his century of Reds goals with an absolute scorcher.
Gerrard, so often Liverpool's saviour in the past, has scored many more crucial goals for his club but few have been better strikes than his free-kick, which left Isaksson with no chance.
That should have capped a fine night for the Anfield faithful but instead it was PSV who had the final word, Koevermans meeting a deep cross and getting enough on the ball to beat Reina.
The end result was never in doubt, however, and Liverpool will head into back-to-back fixtures with Atletico Madrid in a strong position to qualify for the knock-out stages.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Kuyt, Gerrard (Babel 81), Alonso, Riera (Benayoun 68), Torres, Keane (Leiva Lucas 75).Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Mascherano.
Goals: Kuyt 5, Keane 34, Gerrard 76.
PSV: Isaksson, Kromkamp, Simons, Marcellis, Salcido, Brechet (Pieters 46), Mendez (Dzsudzsak 76), Culina, Bakkal, Amrabat, Wuytens (Koevermans 60).Subs Not Used: Cassio, Rodriguez, Zonneveld, Nijland.
Booked: Marcellis.
Goals: Koevermans 78.
Att: 41,097
Ref: Felix Brych (Germany).