Saturday, May 24, 2008

Reds close in on Dossena

Liverpool are closing in on Udinese left-back Andrea Dossena, according to the Italian club's coach Pasquale Marino.
The 26-year-old defender, who impressed this season in helping his side qualify for the UEFA Cup, has been linked with an £8million move to Anfield in the last few weeks and it appears negotiations are progressing.
"I think that a deal with Liverpool for Dossena is on the way," Marino told Italian station Radio Kiss Kiss.
"Everything is going smoothly. The requirements are in place and the player has given his consent because he wants to test himself at an important club after the season he has had.
"Our director general was in England partly because of that just two days ago."

Andrea Dossena has been one of Italy's best defenders this term. He is on the verge of signing for Liverpool. Below are his details:

Name: Andrea Dossena
DOB: September 11th 1981
Height: 1.85m
Weight: 74kg
Position: Defender
Current Club: Udinese Calcio 1896
Early Years
Andrea Dossena was born in Lodi, a small town in the region of Lombardy- home to both Inter and Milan. He began his football career with Hellas Verona and he quickly moved up into the club's youth system after showing incredible talent at a young age. In 2001 he left the youth team and made the step up to the senior squad under Alberto Malesani's tutelage.
Dossena made his Serie A debut on November 18 2001 and he was thrown in at the deep end as his first appearance was against bitter rivals Chievo in the Derby di Verona and he played alongside emerging talents such as Mauro Camoranesi, Alberto Gilardino, Massimo Oddo, Marco Cassetti and Adrian Mutu. He was quick to adapt within a side boasting plenty of youth and brilliant talent with massive potential.
Anfield Awaits
The Italian stopper has the chance to play in the Champions League next term with Liverpool who are on the verge of signing their target. Rafa Benitez has been impressed by the Bianconero and the Reds are focused on taking the rising star to Anfield as a replacement for John Arne Riise. Dossena has similar qualities to the Norwegian but he is more graceful on the ball and has a sweeter first touch. He is also excellent in the air and has a commanding presence at the back. His current coach Pasquale Marino has revealed that the player will move to Liverpool. It is believed the Reds are close to signing the defender from Lodi for around £8m. The future is looking bright for the stopper and no doubt he will impress wherever he ends up playing.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

Goals from Andriy Voronin and Fernando Torres secured a comfortable victory for Liverpool over Tottenham in a lack-lustre affair at White Hart Lane.
Voronin opened the scoring midway through the second-half slipping the ball past Radek Cerny after latching onto Torres' flick-on.
Torres then made it 2-0 with a superb individual effort, his 24th league goal of his debut Liverpool season.
The Spaniard also hit the crossbar with a fine chip late on.
Although both teams had little to play for, Liverpool being secure in fourth place and Tottenham stuck in mid-table, entertainment was in short supply early on.
The visitors shaded a poor first 45 minutes, dominating possession with Tottenham struggling to get out of their half.
Bet despite not having the ball for long periods, Tottenham defended well and limited Liverpool to half-chances.
Voronin had the first chance of the game but his volley was tame and Cerny saved comfortably.
Minutes later, Ryan Babel side footed weakly from a difficult angle as another chance went to waste.
Dimitar Berbatov had Tottenham's first chance testing Reina with a powerful close range header from Jamie O'Hara's corner.
Tottenham made two changes at half-time, with Tom Huddlestone and Teemu Tainio coming into proceedings.
But Liverpool continued to create the better chances and Torres should have done better when one on one with Cerny, but the Spaniard blasted his shot straight at the legs of the Tottenham keeper.
Soon after, Steed Malbranque went close with a left foot volley which was deflected into the side netting for a corner.
Liverpool did eventually break the deadlock after 69 minutes through Voronin, who latched onto Torres' flick-on to beat Cerny from close range for 1-0.
Tottenham were almost level a few minutes later but Jose Reina pulled off a wonderful save from Berbatov's half-volley.
But Torres made it 2-0 with a fine individual effort to secure the points for Liverpool.
Picking the ball up on the edge of the area, he shaped to go one way before dragging the ball the other and from a tight angle he coolly slipped the ball past Cerny to score his 33rd goal of the campaign.
And 33 could have been 34 had his chip late-on been a couple of inches lower with the Liverpool striker hitting the crossbar late-on.
It could have got worse for Spurs, but Cerny saved Alan Hutton from conceding an embarrassing own goal.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez:"We knew we had a lot of supporters here and we wanted to win for them.
"We created a lot of chances and could have scored more goals. The first half was frustrating but the second was much better and we deserved the victory.
"Gerrard and Torres are good players and they have a great understanding, but you have to credit the whole team.
"You know when you sign a player like Torres you will get goals and you expect that but this season he has been amazing. He has been fantastic."
Tottenham assistant manager Gus Poyet:"It was a disappointing performance and we expected something different and something better than that.
"We wanted to win and prove ourselves against Liverpool. But they were better than us and we need to learn from this.
"We cannot complain too much, we have won silverware and qualified for Europe this season."
On Berbatov's future he added: "He is under contract and we would like him to stay, but if a club comes in with an offer we will have to look at it."
Tottenham: Cerny, Hutton, Dawson (Bent 75), Woodgate, Gilberto, Malbranque, Jenas (Huddlestone 46), Zokora, O'Hara (Tainio 46), Berbatov, Keane. Subs Not Used: Robinson, Chimbonda.
Booked: Hutton.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Kuyt (Lucas 80), Gerrard, Mascherano, Babel (Benayoun 59), Torres, Voronin (Finnan 71). Subs Not Used: Itandje, Hyypia.
Booked: Insua.
Att: 36,063
Ref: Uriah Rennie (S Yorkshire).

Monday, May 5, 2008

Liverpool 1-0 Man City

Fernando Torres took his tally to 32 goals for the season as Liverpool eased to a win over Manchester City.
Torres left Richard Dunne trailing and angled in a shot to put the Reds ahead just after Martin Petrov's free-kick hit the post at the other end.
The Reds had chances to wrap up the game but Dirk Kuyt's header struck the crossbar and Ryan Babel skied a shot.
City rarely threatened but almost punished the home side only for Pepe Reina to save Benjani's late free-kick.
The visitors had gone into the match with boss Sven-Goran Eriksson expecting to be sacked after the end of the season but he was given firm backing by the club's fans at Anfield.
The away contingent regularly and passionately sung out his name and had Eriksson masks as they showed their support for the Swede in a game that struggled to get going.
There was a distinct end-of-season feel to proceedings early on and only a near post Ryan Babel header, which went over, threatened to break the deadlock.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard saw a long range effort power just wide as he was invariably the man trying to cajole his side into a degree of urgency.
The Reds skipper again went close when he forced keeper Joe Hart into a full-length save to tip away his curling shot before Liverpool upped the pace the other side of the interval.
A sublime pass with the outside of the right foot by Gerrard released Torres on goal but he failed to get the bend needed on his shot as he opened up his body and aimed for the far corner.
City then almost caught Liverpool out with a sucker-punch after barely having had an attack worthy of the name.
Elano stepped up to take a 25-yard free-kick only to see his effort hit the outside of the post.
The Reds heeded the warning and Torres scored for the eighth league game on the trot at Anfield by bursting past Dunne and shooting through Hart's legs.
Hart was quickly forced into action again as he blocked a Kuyt volley and kept out the follow-up overhead kick from Lucas.
The chances were now flowing for the home side and Kuyt guided a header on to the crossbar before finding Hart with another header when left unmarked eight yards out.
A battling Torres set up Babel for a clear strike at goal from six yards only for the Dutchman to sky his effort as the Reds failed to put the game to bed.
At the other end, Reina blocked a powerful Benjani free-kick as City sensed an opportunity to steal a point against their dominant opponents.
But Liverpool completed the win as they finished their home league campaign with a record of 12 wins, six draws and one loss at home ahead of their final game of the season at Tottenham.
· Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez refused be elaborate on the futures of John Arne Riise and Peter Crouch after both players were left out of the squad.
"They have one more year left on their contracts so they are still our players."
He added: "Clearly we have some names and we are working to try to improve the squad."
· Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson on his future:"I've not been told anything regarding the (job) situation but at my age I don't need to be told what to do.
"I have my own conclusions and ideas. It's not good to talk before the season is finished.
"The support (from the fans) is very nice. They appreciate what they have seen this season and believe the team have a future. I think it's very, very nice."
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas (Alonso 74), Kuyt, Gerrard (Voronin 78), Babel (Benayoun 68), Torres.Subs Not Used: Itandje, Skrtel.
Goals: Torres 58.
Man City: Hart, Corluka, Dunne, Ball, Jihai, Vassell (Garrido 81), Ireland, Johnson, Petrov (Castillo 67), Elano (Hamann 67), Mwaruwari.Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Gelson.
Att: 43,074
Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

John Arne Riise's injury-time own goal gave Chelsea the advantage in their Champions League semi-final.
Dirk Kuyt's close-range finish three minutes before the interval looked to have secured Liverpool a slender lead.
And it took fine saves from Petr Cech to deny Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres as Liverpool threatened to put the tie out of Chelsea's reach.
But Riise headed in Salomon Kalou's cross five minutes into injury time to give Chelsea a priceless away goal.
It was an incredible finish to an absorbing match which leaves Chelsea as slight favourites to progress in next Wednesday's second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea boss Avram Grant surprisingly gave Florent Malouda the nod on the left flank, while Liverpool dropped Sami Hyypia and drafted in Alvaro Arbeloa.
In a typically cagey start, Chelsea had more of the possession but Liverpool carved out the clearer opportunities.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard shot straight at Cech after seven minutes, then Kuyt's poor control let him down after he was sent clear by Xabi Alonso, allowing the Chelsea keeper to make the clearance.
Joe Cole wasted Chelsea's best opportunity when he was sent clear in the area, but he failed to realise the amount of time he had and the chance was gone.
Chelsea had penalty appeals waved away when Didier Drogba tumbled under Jamie Carragher's challenge before Torres was denied by a brilliant save from Cech.
The Spanish marksman was cleverly played in by Gerrard, but Cech was alert and came out to make a crucial block.
But he was powerless when Liverpool took advantage of a catalogue of defensive errors to take the lead two minutes before half-time.
Chelsea were caught out by Alonso's quick free-kick and when Lampard failed to clear, Kuyt stole in on the end of Javier Mascherano's mis-kick to steer the finish past Cech.
The goal gave Liverpool a further injection of confidence and they dominated the early stages of the second half, with Ryan Babel fizzing a 25-yard shot just wide after 58 minutes.
Chelsea needed to regain a foothold in the game, and boss Grant made a change to send on Kalou for the subdued Joe Cole.
Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina had been virtually unemployed, but he was in action after 66 minutes when Michael Ballack headed on Lampard's free-kick.
And it then took a vital interception from Mascherano to block Malouda after Lampard carved open the Liverpool defence.
Chelsea had shown greater purpose in the latter stages, but once again Liverpool's trademark defensive resilience had kept them at bay.
And with six minutes left they broke the shackles and Cech needed to produce a stunning stop to turn Gerrard's rising volley over the bar.
Cech made another fine block from Torres in injury-time - and its value was emphasised by dramatic events seconds later.
Kalou's cross sparked uncertainty in the six-yard area and Riise, in two minds, sent a spectacular flying header into the top corner at the Kop end.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio (Riise 61), Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Babel (Benayoun 75), Gerrard, Torres.Subs Not Used: Itandje, Hyypia, Crouch, Pennant, Lucas.
Goals: Kuyt 43.

Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Makelele, Ballack (Anelka 86), Joe Cole (Kalou 63), Drogba, Malouda.Subs Not Used: Hilario, Shevchenko, Obi, Alex, Belletti.
Booked: Terry.
Goals: Riise 90 og.
Att: 42,180
Ref: Konrad Plautz (Austria).