See the Reds at Anfield

Liverpool are selling tickets for Wednesday’s Premiership clash against
Blackburn at Anfield. It’s normally quite difficult to get hold of
tickets for home games, but this game was arranged at shorter notice
than normal, so tickets are being sold nearer to the game than normal.
An email has been sent out to all registered fans to let them know
about the arrangements.

The email follows:

Continue reading See the Reds at Anfield

Round-up from around the web.

A quick look at a few Liverpool-related stories avaialble to read on the internet right now.

Ex-red Kevin Keegan today left Manchester City "by mutual consent". The
BBC are one site that hint at Keegan’s departure leaving the way open
for City to cash in on Shaun Wright-Phillips. Liverpool are linked
amongst other clubs as being interested. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_city/4340871.stm

Also on the BBC site is a story pointing out there could be trouble
over the 4th English place in next season’s Champions League. If
Liverpool won the Champions League and Everton finished fourth in the
Premiership, it would be up to the FA to decide which team went into
the competition next year. According to UEFA, the maximum number of
teams allowed in the competition from one country is four. If this is happens (if) expect law-suits a plenty. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/4335671.stm

The Liverpool Echo claim an exclusive that Didi Hamman’s offer of a new
contract has been withdrawn after the German midfielder failed to sign
the deal as quickly as Rafael Benitez would have liked. According to
the article, Hamman must now prove he’s still worth a new deal before
the end of the season. http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/

The official site continue to mix news stories with advertising, and
today they are offering the chance to win a signed Steven Gerrard
shirt. The catch? You need to be an Orange phone user, and you need to
download a wallpaper from the LiverpoolFC.TV pages on the Orange 3G /
WAP portal. As nice as these wallpapers are, they’re probably a little
overpriced at three english pounds each. You can always design your own
on your own PC when the boss is in a meeting and email it to your
phone. Or download a picture from the net – check rules on the page you
get the image from though, there may be copyright issues. Still want
that signed shirt though? Well if you’re an Orange subscriber there are
some "Terms and Conditions" listed, and if you can read down it far
enough you’ll see "No Purchase Necessary" and the chance to win is also
available by sending a postcard to a specified address. Not Anfield
either.  http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drilldown/N148112050311-1544.htm

Also on the official site is a great interview with Rafael Benitez –
about his trip to the pub! As you may already know, Rafa went into an
Irish bar in Germany intending to watch the second half of Chelsea’s
Champions League game on Tuesday night. Before too long he found he was
surrounded by Liverpool fans, taking photos with their mobiles and
singing his name. He expresses his delight at the warmth shown by those
supporters in an article well worth a read. http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drilldown/N148110050311-1538.htm

Continue reading Round-up from around the web.

Gerrard – boss thinks we can do better.

Liverpool’s outstanding performance last night was still not as good as
it could have been. That was the verdict of Rafael Benitez after the
victory in Germany. It was clear towards the end of last night’s game
that Liverpool knew victory was sewn up, and Steven Gerrard said the
boss told them he wasn’t happy with the attitude towards the end. "The
manager will always want more from us whether we’re playing well or
not," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo. "Even though we won 3-1, when we
got back to the dressing room he told us he didn’t think the second
half was good enough".

Was Gerrard upset at this? No: "That’s why he’s such a successful
coach. He won’t settle for any individuals or the team dropping their
standards. We were sloppy in the second half and the manager wasn’t as
happy as he was after the first. When you get a big lead and know the
other side needs six to beat you, you can let things slip a little. We
settled more than we would have had the game still been tight. The
manager doesn’t want us to take our foot off the pedal at all."

Gerrard was happy with his own performance against Leverkusen, feeling
it was a vast improvement on his recent form: "No-one knows more than
me if I’m playing well or not and in my last five or six games I’ve
been below the standard I expect from myself. The manager has told me
he wanted more from me so I felt I needed a big performance. I’m happy
with how I played last night. It was a lot better than I’ve been for
the last five weeks.

The captain also feels that the first-half performance was something to
be proud of, in a season that has seen as many downs as it has ups: "We
know there’s a lot to be positive about from the first half,
particularly when you consider our away form this season. I think we
shocked them because they expected us to sit back and be negative.
Instead, we got at them, took control and dominated the first half."

As far as the next round is concerned, does Gerrard fancy another
couple of games against Chelsea? "There are a lot of teams left who are
stronger than others," he says. "Every tie will be difficult and I
wouldn’t like to choose to play any particular side. Everyone will want
a battle of Britain and if we can play like that and get a few more
injured players back in time, we’d fancy our chances against anyone."

English teams can now be drawn against each other in the draw that
takes places on Friday of next week. That draw will also include the
semi-final draw, so it will be clear by then whether there’s any chance
of Liverpool facing Chelsea. Gerrard accepts though that the
improvement at Anfield over previous seasons hasn’t been matched away
from home: "We’ve got to keep this kind of form on the road. We’ve not
had many problems at Anfield, but this shows we are capable of doing it
away too."

Gerrard also had some encouraging words for the left-sided-mdifielder
turn left-back, Stephen Warnock: "Steve was brilliant – considering
he’s only made a handful of European appearances, it was an
exceptionally good game by him. I’m really pleased for him."

In a game that saw a 20 minute run-out for young John Welsh, who played
well in the time he was on the pitch, the injury-depleted Liverpool
team showed that they are capable of much greater things than they’ve
shown before. Leverkusen finished top of a difficult qualifying group,
and Liverpool did well not only to beat them, but to beat them
convincingly.
Continue reading Gerrard – boss thinks we can do better.

Liverpool through to the quarter finals of the Champions League

Liverpool went into tonight’s game with a 3-1 lead from the first leg
at Anfield. The emphasis before the game was on that one Leverkusen
away goal, which came from a fluffed Jerzy Dudek save right at the end
of that first leg.

The first goal was always going to be important. An early goal for
Leverkusen would have ensured a difficult night for Liverpool – the
scored would then have been 3-2 on aggregate, but thanks to that
infamous away goal, only one more would be needed by Leverkusen.

For twenty-five minutes Liverpool played comfortably. The main chance
in that first part of the game came when Milan Baros was brought down
in the area, right in front of the linesman. Replays clearly showed it
should have been a penalty. It wasn’t though, and Leverkusen did look
like they had the potential to keep Liverpool at bay and to get that
first goal themselves.

Then along came Luis Garcia. The Spaniard has shown a lot of promise
for Liverpool this season, but has often seemed to be struggling with
life in the Premiership. He’s more comfortable on the European stage
though, and scored two goals in 4 minutes, leaving Leverkusen with an
unsurmountable task to get back into the tie.

Both the Garcia goals came from pressure Liverpool put on from
set-pieces. For the first goal on 27 minutes, Steven Gerrard collected
a ball that had been cleared from a corner to put Garcia through. For
the second a Gerrard corner after 31 minutes was headed down by Biscan
and Garcia’s simple touch wrong-footed the goalkeeper and in it went.
Garcia almost got his hat-trick towards the end of the first half but
was denied by an excellent save.

Overall Liverpool took more and more control as the game went on, with
Dudek rarely troubled. The second half goal from Milan Baros was as
much as he deserved for tireless work as a lone-striker. Baros has been
complaining in the press recently, saying he’ll leave if he doesn’t get
more games. The previous Liverpool manager might have taken that as a
cue never to play him again, but Benitez stuck with him, partly due to
Morientes being both cup-tied and injured, and tonight Benitez was paid
back. Excellent, confident passing from Liverpool, and once again Mr
Gerrard was involved.

Liverpool felt sufficiently confident in the game to bring off Didi
Hamman and Jamie Carragher with still a fair amount of time remaining,
and in the end it would have taken six goals for Leverkusen to save
their place. As it was Liverpool did concede, but by then they’d pretty
much taken their foot off the pedal.

The sound system at the German stadium rang out to the sound of "You’ll
Never Walk Alone" at the end of the game. An excellent gesture by the
Germans, and recognition of an excellent performance.

Benitez was "very proud" of his team tonight, and had every right to be
so. He’d joined the Liverpool fans in Germany last night for a couple
of drinks. He’s returning to England tonight, but he’ll probably be
having a small tipple on the plane.

Steven Gerrard told Sky Sports that tonight’s performance was the best away from home by Liverpool for some time.

The draw for the next round takes place on the 18th of March, and we
now know that Michael Owen won’t be making a playing return to Anfield
this season. Real Madrid, 1-0 up from the first leg, were beaten 1-0
over the 90 minutes, leading to extra time, where Juventus scored
again, leaving Real to join Barcelona in exiting the competition before
the quarter finals. Also leaving the competition tonight were Arsenal,
who won 1-0 but were beaten 3-2 on aggregate. In tonight’s other match
PSV knocked Monaco out.

Liverpool proved tonight just how good they can be. The key now is to
continue this form in the league to close the gap on Everton for that
final Champions League place. Or can they win the Champions League this
season? Jamie Carragher thinks they can.

Continue reading Liverpool through to the quarter finals of the Champions League

Tonight’s other Champions League results

All the following are final scores.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Bayern Munich
(T Henry 66)
Agg 2-3. Bayern through.              

Juventus 2 – 0 Real Madrid (After extra time)
(D Trezeguet 75)
Agg 2-1. Juventus through.
Ronaldo sent off. Tachinardi sent off.

Monaco 0 – 2 PSV
(J Vennegoor of Hesselink 27
D Beasley 69)
Sent off: G Givet 77
Agg 0-3 PSV go through.
     

Continue reading Tonight’s other Champions League results

Final score – Leverkusen 1 Liverpool 3 (Agg: 2-6)

Experimental updates on the game this evening. Hit "Refresh" to be sure of getting the latest information on the game.

  • 90:00 +2:16 It’s all over. Final Score Leverkusen 1 Liverpool 3 (agg 2-6). Liverpool
    leave the pitch to the strains of You’ll Never Walk alone – played over
    the German speaker system. Nice touch from the beaten team.
  • 90:00 +0:30 A mistake by Gerrard forces Dudek into making an excellent save. Corner Leverkusen.
  • 90:00 2 minutes of stoppage time to be played.
  • 88:45 Baros misses an opportunity to set Riise up, unmarked
    in acres of space, by trying to set up the less-well positioned Smicer.
  • 86:58 GOAL!!! Krysnowek. Leverkusen pull one back to
    make the score the same as it was at Anfield. 3-1 Liverpool, 6-2 on
    aggregate.
  • 85:10 Excellent play from Warnock keeps Liverpool’s
    clean-sheet intact. Warnock slid in at speed and took the ball off his
    opponents foot. Corner for Leverkusen, cleared.
  • 83:30 Chance for Bayer, cleared by Hyypia.
  • 80:40 Dudek gets another touch of the ball with another
    relatively easy save. Latest scores in the other Champions League
    matches: Arsenal 1 Bayern 0 (Agg 2-3); Juventus 1 Real Madrid 0 (Agg
    1-1); Monaco 0 PSV 2 (Agg 0-3).
  • 78:00 Liverpool have now taken their foot off the pedal to
    some extent, but to their credit it’s the first time they’ve done so
    this evening.

Continue reading Final score – Leverkusen 1 Liverpool 3 (Agg: 2-6)

Chancellor: You’ll win brilliantly

"You are going to win brilliantly on Wednesday."

These were the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, to Liverpool Football Club earlier today.

If encouragement breeds confidence, and confidence breeds success, then
Liverpool can consider this a boost in their quest for some success
from the current season.

The Chancellor was in Liverpool today, meeting manager Rafa Benitez,
captain Steven Gerrard, and defender Jamie Carragher at the launch of a
new sports development project. The photocall was at a youth club in
Liverpool – Anfield Youth Club – which will benefit from the new
project to the tune of £600,000 thanks to the Barclays Spaces for Sport
programme.

According to reports, Mr Benitez had trouble understanding the thick
Scottish accent of Mr Brown, saying, “be careful you talk very quickly”.

If Mr Benitez is still unsure, here’s a translation of Gordon Brown’s
comments: “Some of the Barcelona players are saying that no English
club will get through but you are going to prove them wrong. We are
wishing you all the best. You are going to win brilliantly on
Wednesday.”

Liverpool are ahead 3-1 going into Wednesday’s second-leg match against
Bayer Leverkusen in Germany. Victory would see them into the
quarter-finals.
Continue reading Chancellor: You’ll win brilliantly

Final Score – Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0

A lacklustre second-half performance from Liverpool saw them fall to
yet another defeat. If Everton win their game tomorrow against
Blackburn, that would leave Liverpool a massive eleven points behind
neighbours Everton in the chase for a Champions League place.

The last chance of the game fell to Steven Gerrard, who rounded off a
week he’d rather forget by missing the sort of chance a confident
Steven Gerrard would have buried.

Graham Sounness will have built his players up more than ever for this
match against the team he used to love – and that passion was what left
Liverpool shattered yet again.

Liverpool have suffered numerous injuries this season, and with the
lack of funding from the board to keep them in league with some of
those they are trying to compete with, the squad was once again at bare
bones. Morientes was the latest – with a groin injury.

Milan Baros failed to play as good a game as he claimed he could earlier in the week.

It’s going to be tough for Liverpool to catch up to Everton, but of
course there is still a chance of it. Liverpool could be 11 points
behind by the end of tomorrow, but Everton would need to win against
Blackburn to do that. At the moment, the gap is 8 points, and after
Everton play tomorrow, Liverpool have a game in hand.

All eyes on the Champions League tie on Wednesday now – 3-1 ahead from
the first leg at Anfield, the injury-hit Liverpool side must go with
the right attitude.

Scott Carson played today because Dudek was deemed not fit enough to
start, and played a good game. Not at fault for the goal, which was
from an excellent Lauren Robert free kick – albeit a dubiously awarded
one – he’ll hopefully gain a lot of confidence from his performance.

Now it is down to the defeatist element of the Liverpool support to try and get behind the playing staff we have
got. And it’s down to the current board to get down to business behind
the scenes to bring some decent funding to the club. Otherwise the shoe
will ultimately be on the other foot as Liverpool could be the
poor-relations of Everton!

Continue reading Final Score – Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0