Barclays Premiership Result.
Saturday December 23rd 2006
Liverpool 2 Watford 0
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Riise, Pennant (Gonzalez, 65), Gerrard, Alonso, Luis Garcia, Bellamy (Crouch, 82), Kuyt (Aurelio, 90).
Unused subs: Dudek, Hyypia.
Goals: Bellamy 47, Alonso 88.
Watford: Foster, Mariappa, DeMerit, Shittu, Stewart, Smith, Mahon, Bouazza, Bangura (Francis, 82), Young, Henderson (McNamee, 60).
Unused subs: Lee, Doyley, Priskin.
Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).
Reds boss Rafa Benítez: “We deserved to win the game but they were really physical and worked really hard and it was difficult at times to find space. In the first half we created some chances but I told the players at half-time to play on the ground a lot more and it would just take one pass to get a goal. That is what happened for us when Bellamy scored.
“We know Bellamy has a lot of quality and he is playing well now for us. He is showing the sort of quality we bought him for. He has such pace and can get behind defences, while setting up chances for colleagues. When I signed him it was the idea to have him running behind defenders and creating chances for others. He has a good understanding with Kuyt, their partnership is starting to get better and he is scoring goals. Strikers take confidence from goal and that is what we are now seeing from Craig.
“It is nice to keep winning and keep another clean sheet. The players like playing at Anfield in front of our supporters and it's nice to be unbeaten at home in 2006.
“We deserved to win the game, but it was a difficult game. We desperately needed that second goal to clinch the points, and it took a long time to get it. Watford were physical, we expected that, and they were dangerous from set pieces, always a problem. I told the players at half-time to play on the ground a lot more and it would just take one pass to get a goal. That is what happened for us when Bellamy scored.
Watford manager Adie Boothroyd: “We competed well, but we are not taking our chances. We are resilient and we could have come away from the game with something.
“It would be easy to say this was a killer result. But it's only a killer if you allow it to knock you down. We competed well and created chances but didn't take them. The first goal we conceded was a real kick in the teeth for us as it came from our mistake. I just felt we could have come away from this game with something but in the end we have nothing to show for our efforts.”
* Apologies for this being added to the site so late – we hope you all had a great Christmas!