Result: Everton 0 Liverpool 2

Premier League, September 27th 2008, Result

Everton 0 Liverpool 2 (Torres 59, 62)

Liverpool moved to the top of the table again, even if only for a couple of hours, by taking control of the latest Merseyside derby and ending it as deserved winners.

Fernando Torres ended a short spell without a goal by getting his name on the score-sheet twice – and thought he had a hat-trick until referee Mike Riley pointed out he’d just blown for a foul by Kuyt.

His strike partner Robbie Keane still hasn’t opened his account for the Reds – but if he plays like he did today, in particular in the move for the opening goal, Rafa won’t have any issues with him at all. Just short of the hour mark Torres had got himself unmarked, in the box, and Keane’s vision and delivery were perfect. Torres made no mistake; Liverpool were ahead.

Just three minutes later Dirk Kuyt was causing Everton trouble, until Phil Jagielka put in what he must have thought was an important tackle, stopping Kuyt in his tracks. It would have been important, had Torres not been on hand to pick up the loose ball, smashing it into the roof of the net from just yards out.

His third “goal” came just two minutes later, and Riley’s decision to rule it out might have been controversial, had it not got to the point where the result was already looking academic. After the game Torres was asked if he was disappointed to see it ruled out – he wasn’t disappointed at all, he was delighted to score, but above all else delighted for Liverpool’s three points. And he was also thinking about the next match already: “It has been a difficult start for me this season after a busy summer. Six games is too many times for a Liverpool striker. Now I want to keep going in the Champions League, scoring almost every game like last season and maybe improving on the 33 I managed then.”

Continue reading Result: Everton 0 Liverpool 2

Carling Cup 4th Round draw

The draw for the fourth round of the Carling Cup has been made, and Liverpool have been drawn against striker Robbie Keane’s former club Spurs.

It’s an away draw, and the trip to White Hart Lane will take place week commencing November 10th, sandwiched between league games against West Brom and Bolton.

It’ll be the seventh time the two sides have met in the competition, Liverpool having only won two of those games. The first meeting was in 1972, in the fifth round, a 1-1 draw at Anfield preceding a 3-1 win for Spurs two days later back in the days when replays still took place. Liverpool reversed that scoreline almost ten years later in the next meeting, and it was at Wembley in the final. That was the second of four successive League Cups for Bob Paisley. Spurs knocked the Reds out in the third round in 1984, 1-0 at White Hart Lane, and again in 1998 with another 3-1 scoreline.

The most recent meeting was something of a dramatic night. Spurs broke the deadlock 18 minutes into extra time in London, only for Florent Sinama Pongolle to level the game from the spot with 3 minutes left. That meant penalties were needed to decide it, and after successful kicks from Henchoz, Partridge and Welsh it was down to Pongolle to put Liverpool through. He kicked the opposite way to the kick he’d taken during the game itself, and Liverpool were through. The Reds went all the way to the final after that, but were beaten at the Millennium Stadium by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea – and that result was soon forgotten after Liverpool sent Chelsea out of the Champions League on their way to Istanbul.

Full draw:

Sunderland v Blackburn
Arsenal v Wigan
Chelsea v Burnley
Swansea v Watford
Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers
Stoke v Rotherham
Brighton or Derby v Leeds
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool

Everton v Liverpool

Premier League, September 27th 2008

Everton v Liverpool

It’s the Merseyside derby, the Goodison one, and although some Reds supporters will argue the games against Manchester United are bigger, it’s still massive – especially to local Reds. Everton actually bring out DVDs of the game if they win.

Both sides of course will do all they can to win. For both sets of supporters it’s important they go into work on Monday morning without having to hear the jokes their colleagues have spent 48 hours crafting. They want to be telling the jokes, having the fun. But for Liverpool there’s also the importance of not dropping any more points in what is an important season for Rafa Benitez. If they want to be challenging for the league they’ve got to get the points against the big sides – like they did in their win against Manchester United two weeks ago – but they’ve also not to drop points against the small sides – like they did last week against Stoke. They mustn’t drop points today.

Everton are looking for their first home point in what is the 179th derby, Liverpool are so far unbeaten in the league this season. But that really doesn’t matter in these games, where the referee’s name is often mentioned more than any player’s name in any discussions after the match. Ask Clive Thomas about this. You can also ask Mark Clattenburg about this – the two Everton players he sent off in this fixture last season took the total to 16 red cards in the 32 meetings since the Premier League began, and added his name to a list that Everton supporters seem to keep in their heads. One of those sent off last season was Everton captain Phil Neville, who appointed himself rush-goalie to prevent Liverpool’s Lucas getting his first goal for the club. Liverpool’s captain, Steven Gerrard, has been sent off twice in these games.

Today’s referee is Mike Riley, who seems to be unpopular with fans of all clubs. With 20 yellow cards already in just four matches so far this season it’s not exactly surprising. Two of those went to Liverpool players – Arbeloa and Keane in the game at home to Middlesborough. He booked eight in one game last weekend, seven of them going to Manchester United players in their draw with Chelsea.

More John Motson style trivia for this fixture – defeat today would be Everton’s third in a row at home, and it would be the first time that’s happened in almost three years. And it was Liverpool who inflicted that third defeat three years ago. Liverpool are on a run of 12 games unbeaten in the league, but remaining unbeaten isn’t enough – too many draws last season ended any hopes of a league challenge pretty early. But Everton aren’t likely to go into this game looking for a point, which means the game should be open and full of chances.

Everton: 24 Howard, 2 Hibbert, 4 Yobo, 6 Jagielka, 5 Lescott, 10 Arteta, 18 Neville, 25 Fellaini, 21 Osman, 17 Cahill, 22 Yakubu
Subs: 1 Nash, 3 Baines, 8 Castillo, 9 Saha, 14 Vaughan, 19 Nuno Valente, 26 Rodwell

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 17 Arbeloa, 23 Carragher, 37 Skrtel, 2 Dossena, 18 Kuyt, 14 Alonso, 8 Gerrard, 11 Riera, 9 Torres, 7 Keane
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 4 Hyypia, 5 Agger, 12 Aurelio, 16 Pennant, 19 Babel, 21 Lucas

Referee: Mike Riley

Kick-off: 12.45pm.

Fresh from SOS meeting, Rafa picks strong side to face Stoke

Barclays Premier League, September 20th 2008.

Liverpool v Stoke

Anfield, 3pm.

Liverpool are at home for the second league game in succession, and a win would take them top of the league, but nobody at Anfield is taking three points for granted.

Stoke City might be new boys in this division, but Rafa Benitez doesn’t expect a repeat of the one-sided game that took place the last time the two sides met. That was an 8-0 League Cup win, eight years ago at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium, which included a Robbie Fowler hat-trick.

It won’t be an easy game – the regular mentions of Stoke’s threat from throw-ins suggests that it will be another one of those games where supposedly inferior opposition fight like it’s their cup final. But Liverpool know that the better they get, the more they’ll find opponents arrive at Anfield feeling that way. One of Rafa’s challenges is to find a way to deal with that approach. Another is to ensure complacency doesn’t set in, like it did after Liverpool’s promising start to last season.

He’s not weakened his team in any great way. Carra and Skrtel retain the centre-back spots with Agger sitting on the sidelines again, waiting for his chance to reclaim his place. All three are top quality centre-backs that any decent manager would love to have at his disposal; much like the days when Liverpool had to choose two out of Hansen, Lawrenson and Gillespie. Continue reading Fresh from SOS meeting, Rafa picks strong side to face Stoke

Merseyside families to march for justice

We’ve previously added articles highlighting the murder of 18-year-old Andrew Jones, an Everton supporter who had been on a night out in Liverpool when he was attacked. This was five-and-a-half years ago, and to this the day nobody has been convicted for ending his life.

An inquest is now set for December, when the family hope to finally see some large steps taken towards justice. More details can be found on the website the family have set up –

Andrew’s family aren’t the only family living through additional pain after losing loved ones, caused by obstacles they face in their quest for justice. In Liverpool alone there are a growing number of families in this position, and as a result a group has now been set up to campaign about it – Merseyside Families for Justice.

Andrew’s dad, Andy, asked us to publish the following statement from the group, who are to hold a march and rally early next month.

Merseyside Families for Justice will hold their first March and Rally on Saturday 4th October 2008. All supporters and justice campaigners will be welcomed. It will start outside the CASA in Hope Street at 12 noon and finish at 2:00pm with a Rally outside of the Law Courts in Derby Square.

Merseyside families who have lost loved ones through acts of criminal and unwanted violence will be holding a March and Rally in the City Centre of Liverpool. They will be calling on the Government and Judiciary to implement tougher sentences for those who commit murder and acts of violence. They will also be asking for the criminal justice system to give better support to the families of the victims and show a far greater understanding of their needs and concerns.

All families and family friends and supporters who have experienced the trauma of murder are being urged to join the demonstration.

Family, friends and supports of murder victims Andrew Jones, Liam Culshaw, Ryan Dugdale, Gary Dunne, Kevin Lavelle, Stephen Croft, Lee Connerty, Julie Cunningham, Chantel Taylor and Robbie Ryan will lead the march.

Result: Liverpool 2 Man U 1

Barclays Premier League – Result – Saturday September 13th

Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1

Reaction to follow…


Liverpool: 25 Reina, 17 Arbeloa, 37 Skrtel, 23 Carragher, 12 Aurelio, 15 Benayoun (8 Gerrard, 68), 14 Alonso, 20 Mascherano (4 Hyypia, 87), 11 Riera (19 Babel, 71), 18 Kuyt, 7 Keane
Unused subs: 1 Cavalieri, 2 Dossena, 9 Torres, 24 Ngog
Goals: Brown 27 (og), Babel 77

Man Utd: 1 Van der Sar, 6 Brown, 5 Ferdinand, 15 Vidic, 3 Evra, 10 Rooney, 18 Scholes (4 Hargreaves, 66), 16 Carrick (11 Giggs, 46), 8 Anderson (17 Nani, 78), 32 Tevez, 9 Berbatov
Subs: 29 Kuszczak, 23 Evans, 22 O’Shea, 24 Fletcher
Booked: Tevez 21, Nani 81, Vidic 78
Sent off: Vidic 90
Goal: Tevez 3 

Referee: Howard Webb

Attendance: 44,192

Stats (BBC): Liverpool – Manchester United
Possession: 62% – 38%
Shots on target: 10 – 3
Shots off target: 4 – 4
Corners: 5 – 4
Fouls: 10 – 18

League table at end of game:

    P GD Pts
1 Liverpool 4 3 10
2 Chelsea 3 5 7
3 Man City 3 4 6
4 Arsenal 3 3 6
5 West Ham 3 1 6
6 Middlesbrough 3 1 6
7 Aston Villa 3 1 4
8 Bolton 3 1 4
9 Man Utd 3 0 4
10 Blackburn 3 -2 4
11 Newcastle 3 -2 4
12 Hull 3 -4 4
13 Wigan 3 3 3
14 Fulham 2 0 3
15 Stoke 3 -2 3
16 Portsmouth 3 -2 3
17 Everton 3 -3 3
18 Sunderland 3 -3 3
19 Tottenham 3 -2 1
20 West Brom 3 -2 1

Teams: Liverpool v Man Utd – Torres and Gerrard on bench

As a large contingent of Liverpool fans marched on Anfield in protest at how the club is being run, the next thing on their minds was the game against major rivals Manchester United.

Rafa Benítez had arguably his two most important players looking doubtful for the fixture, with Steven Gerrard just starting his recovery from a groin operation, and Fernando Torres having been out due to a hamstring injury. Although the club said both players would be available for today’s game, the manager didn’t feel confident that they were fit enough to start. Both are on the bench; Rafa will be hoping they can stay there all game, rather than having to risk bringing them back too early.

Robbie Keane gets the chance to open his Anfield account against a team he will want to beat as much as any other Liverpool fan. If Rafa decides to play 4-4-2 then Kuyt will be Keane’s partner. Babel is also on the bench, with new signing Riera making his debut today.

Manchester United also have a new-signing making a debut, Keane’s former team-mate Dimitar Berbatov following on from his controversial transfer from White Hart Lane.

One of Liverpool’s co-owners, George Gillett Junior, is expected at the game after flying into the country. He’s believed to have changed hotel from the Malmaison to another city hotel on police advice.  At least one member of the Tom Hicks family is expected to attend the game too.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Benayoun, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Kuyt, Keane
Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Dossena, Gerrard, Babel, Ngog, Torres

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Anderson, Carrick, Scholes, Tevez, Berbatov, Rooney
Subs: Kuszczak, Evans, O’Shea, Hargreaves, Fletcher, Giggs, Nani

Referee: Howard Webb

Kick-off: 12.45pm BST

Gillett to visit Anfield as tensions increase

Liverpool co-chairman George Gillett will be at Anfield on Saturday, sharing the director’s box with at least one member of his fellow owner Tom Hicks’ family, as Liverpool prepare to face Manchester United in the league. Whether they’ll sit next to each other for the match remains to be seen, but even if they do it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the feuds of 2008 are over.

It’s hard to keep count of the feuds related to Liverpool FC now, all of which will bring laughter to most fans of Saturday’s opponents, who are close to catching Liverpool’s long standing record of league titles.

Hicks and Gillett made it clear in public earlier this year that their working relationship was over, Gillett using the word “untenable” to describe it. Gillett claimed in the summer that they’d now started to get on with each other again – given their lack of appearances together it seems more that they’ve decided not to speak to each other rather than argue. Whatever their individual plans are, it seems that they did finally realise that if they weren’t going to be able to separate as business partners, their business was going to be hurt by their public spats.

We’ve then got the feud between Rick Parry and Tom Hicks. Hicks sent Parry the letter that hit the headlines, asking the CEO to resign. Many of the points listed as reasons to resign were valid points, and in any other company Parry would either have gone or be under close scrutiny to fix the issues. But LFC don’t have one man making decisions, and Parry has Gillett on his side. It’s a mystery just quite how a club like LFC is expected to function successfully when one exact half of the ownership wants rid of the CEO and the other half is refusing to let him go. Continue reading Gillett to visit Anfield as tensions increase

Riera signs, Finnan’s Anfield days are over

Albert Riera has signed for Liverpool this afternoon as the summer transfer deadline draws near to a close.

Although manager Rafa Benítez hasn’t seen all his summer plans comes to fruition, he’s been linked with a move for the Spanish left-winger for some time, and is believed to have paid Espanyol around £8m for his services.

The announcement was made a couple of hours after Steve Finnan’s move in the opposite direction had been made public. Finnan has been one of Liverpool’s unsung heroes during his time at the club, but he’s now embarking on a new stage of his career with Espanyol – the fee wasn’t disclosed, but it’s believed that disagreement between the two clubs over what that fee should be had held up the Riera deal.

Riera has now flown back to Spain for a couple of days; he’ll be back in England in midweek ready to start his Reds career.

The usual transfer deadline was extended by a day due to 31st August falling on a Sunday, and although there are a few hours left there isn’t any big news expected from Melwood or Anfield today.

The Riera-Finnan move hasn’t been the only business for Rafa today. Continue reading Riera signs, Finnan’s Anfield days are over