Robbie wants to score again at Anfield

Robbie Fowler is looking forward to his Anfield return with Cardiff City tonight – but is intent on sending the Welsh side through to the next round of the Carling Cup.

Fowler left Anfield this summer and with a surprising lack of interest from Premiership clubs he chose to move to South Wales. It won’t be the first time he’s played against Liverpool at Anfield though, the place he’s always felt was home: “I have been back before with Leeds and Manchester City so it will not be too weird for me. I am expecting a great reception from the Liverpool supporters, they have always been fantastic to me and I don’t see any reason why that should change. It is like going home when I get there. I will have a lot of friends and family to watch me there so I am hoping it will be a good night for everybody.” Continue reading Robbie wants to score again at Anfield

Crouch and Rafa looking forward to Robbie’s return

Liverpool forward Peter Crouch was given 45 minutes of action on Sunday against Arsenal in a season where he’s rarely been used by club or country. For many games this season Crouch hasn’t even been on the bench, but with Rafa Benitez using three forwards to start the game he was there to replace Fernando Torres at half-time. Torres had damaged another muscle on his return from injury, and with him out for three weeks Crouch is hoping to get more chances to remind the boss what he can do.

This should start tomorrow night in the Carling Cup when Liverpool play host to Cardiff, who now have Reds legend Robbie Fowler in their squad. Crouch is raring to go: “I’m looking forward to the Cardiff game and hoping to get 90 minutes under my belt. I was pleased to get on against Arsenal, even though it wasn’t in the circumstances I would have liked with Fernando getting injured. You always want your best players on the pitch and hopefully he won’t be out for too long.” Continue reading Crouch and Rafa looking forward to Robbie’s return

Result and reaction: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1

Barclays Premier League, October 28th 2007 – Result

Liverpool (1) 1 Arsenal (0) 1


Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez: “Torres has the same one as before and Xabi also has the same (injuries). It was going well but we had problems with Torres. We wanted to use his pace and he then had the injury, then Xabi Alonso and we had to change.

“At home we have always won a lot of games and had a good record. We now have a good record away and need to improve at home but a draw at the end, because they also had chances, was probably not the worst.” Continue reading Result and reaction: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1

Teams: Liverpool v Arsenal. Torres and Xabi return

Rafa Benitez has made two changes from the side that lost in Turkey on Wednesday, one of those forced due to the injury suffered by Jermaine Pennant. The other changes sees Ryan Babel dropped to the bench.

In their places arrive Xabi Alonso, back from his metatarsal injury, and Fernando Torres, back from a muscle injury.

Liverpool are starting with three strikers – Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Andriy Voronin, and three central midfielders – Alonso, Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano. All of which means the actual way the players line-up will be interesting.

Continue reading Teams: Liverpool v Arsenal. Torres and Xabi return

Rafa ignoring critics as he aims to get back on track

Liverpool will want to use the disappointment of defeat in the Champions League in midweek as a motivator against recent table-toppers Arsenal this afternoon at Anfield. Arsenal dropped down yesterday after being overtaken by a Manchester United side with two games in hand. Liverpool are now in fifth place, six points behind Arsenal, with both clubs having played the same number of games.

The Reds have had a torrid time of late – managing one point from nine in the Champions League, and drawing games against the likes of Portsmouth, Tottenham and Birmingham in the league. They are – along with Arsenal – one of only two unbeaten clubs in the top flight. But they’ve even drawn criticism when they’ve won. Ignoring the inevitable bitter bile from the Everton camp, other observers criticised Rafa despite victory over the city’s smaller club last weekend.

One of the reasons Rafa got slated despite that win was because he dared replace captain Steven Gerrard for tactical reasons. It’s not that Steven was playing badly, Rafa just wanted to tweak things, and felt Gerrard was the most suitable player to make way. It was a brave decision: as if it’s not bad enough that Rafa sometimes plays Gerrard on the right, how dare he take England’s vice captain off the pitch like that? That’s the view of the pundits – but Rafa says he doesn’t listen to them. Continue reading Rafa ignoring critics as he aims to get back on track

Reserves: Kewell in scoring return from injury

Harry Kewell scored for Liverpool in his reserve comeback last night as Liverpool Reserves beat Newcastle Reserves 2-1 in Warrington.

The Aussie international has had his career blighted by injury under Rafael Benitez, and his last game in the Red shirt had been during pre-season. He looked amazingly sharp in the 45 minutes he was on the field, and took his goal like a player who’d never been away.

The Halliwell Jones Stadium once again saw a good-sized crowd for the fixture, 3,171 turning out to see some of Liverpool’s hopeful stars of the future alongside Liverpool’s hopeful star of, well, as soon as possible. Continue reading Reserves: Kewell in scoring return from injury

Players: We can still go through

The overwhelming message coming from Anfield in the wake of the defeat to Besiktas is: “We can still get through”.

Liverpool are bottom of Group A with one point from three games, needing to pretty much win all three games to go through. In fact if they do win all three games they are almost certain to go through, but given the form so far in the competition it seems a tall order.

Not according to vice-captain Jamie Carragher: “We’ve now got to look back at what happened in 2005 when we didn’t look like we’d get through but ended up winning the final. We won’t settle for the UEFA Cup, we won’t settle for anything. We’re still in the Champions League and if we win all three games I think we’ll get through.” Continue reading Players: We can still go through

Hicks: Rafa’s the right boss

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has been asked for his views on manager Rafael Benitez’s tactics in the wake of the defeat to Besiktas in the Champions League last night. Liverpool are now bottom of Group A, pretty much needing to win all three of their remaining fixtures to go through to the knockout stage.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Hicks said: “We back Rafa. He’s the right manager. Rafa’s rotation has been his policy for three years.”

Rafa has taken Liverpool to two Champions League finals, in 2005 and 2007, winning one, and Hicks says the manager’s credentials in the competitions should not be forgotten: “Rafa’s ability to coach and manage, his tactics in the Champions League, should be unquestioned. We had a disappointing loss because we got outplayed by the Turks.”

Like the manager and captain, he’s also confident of progress to the next stage: “I think we have our work cut out, but yeah we can qualify. We have to win the next three games.”

Hicks is in London for an NFL meeting.

CL: Reds determined to get back into winning ways

Liverpool’s defeat in Istanbul last night has hit Liverpool’s Champions League hopes hard, the five-times winners of the competition now needed to win three out of three in their remaining fixtures.

The Reds sit bottom of the table on one point. Above them on three points are Besiktas who got their first win last night. Porto are second on five points after drawing with leaders Marseilles last night. Marseilles’ seven points means one more win for them and Liverpool cannot overtake them on points. Continue reading CL: Reds determined to get back into winning ways

CL: Reds beaten by Besiktas

UEFA Champions League – Group A

Besiktas 2 Liverpool 1

Liverpool fell to an embarrassing defeat against Besiktas in the Champions League this evening.

Sami Hyypia scored his second own goal in as many games after 13 minutes leaving Liverpool chasing the game. They chased, but after 82 minutes Bobo made it 2-0 for the Turkish hosts.

Steven Gerrard got it back to 2-1 a few minutes later, but it was too little too late.

Liverpool are now bottom of Group A, needing to win all three of their remaining fixtures for even a hope of going through to the quarter finals. The other match in Group A ended 1-1.

Besiktas: 84 Arikan, 22 Tandogan, 5 Zan, 58 Toraman, 19 Uzulmez, 2 Kurtulus (41 Avci, 42), 18 Cisse, 14 Tello, 21 Ozcan, 13 Bobo (15 Diatta, 86), 10 Delgado (9 Higuain, 62)
Unused subs: 35 Ozmen, 6 Yozgatli, 11 Nobre, 17 Ricardinho
Booked: None
Goals: Hyypia 13 og, Bobo 82

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia (15 Crouch, 83), 6 Riise, 16 Pennant (11 Benayoun, 59), 8 Gerrard, 20 Mascherano (21 Lucas, 76), 19 Babel, 10 Voronin, 18 Kuyt
Unused subs: 30 Itandje, 14 Alonso, 22 Sissoko, 46 Hobbs
Booked: None
Goal: Gerrard 85

Referee: Claus Bo Larsen
Attendance: 32,500

Stats: (Besiktas – Liverpool)

Possession: 44% – 56%
Shots on target: 9 – 11
Shots off target: 4 – 7
Corners: 4 – 11
Fouls: 3 – 8