Barclays Premiership – September 15th 2007 – Result
Portsmouth 0 Liverpool 0
Portsmouth: 1 James, 5 Johnson, 23 Campbell, 15 Distin, 7 Hreidarsson, 17 Utaka, 28 Davis, 8 Diop, 11 Muntari, 25 Mwaruwari (19 Kranjcar, 67), 27 Kanu
Unused Subs: 21 Ashdown, 10 Nugent, 14 Taylor, 16 Pamarot
Bookings: Diop 29, Johnson 64, Davis 90
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 23 Carragher, 5 Agger, 17 Arbeloa, 16 Pennant (8 Gerrard, 67), 22 Sissoko, 14 Alonso (19 Babel, 77), 11 Benayoun, 10 Voronin, 15 Crouch (9 Torres, 62)
Unused Subs: 30 Itandje, 4 Hyypia
Bookings: Alonso 31, Sissoko 76
Referee: Mike Riley
Stats: (Portsmouth – Liverpool)
Possession: 49% – 51%
Shots on target: 2 – 6
Shots off target: 8 – 6
Corners: 5 – 4
Fouls: 20 – 14
Rafa Benitez: “After an international break it is very difficult to pick the team because you don’t have any time to train with the players – Mascherano, for example, was in Australia playing in a very important friendly!
“In the first half I thought we were the better team and controlled the game. In the second half it was very open and we both had very good chances. We could have won it, they could have won it. In my opinion we deserved at least a point: They had a couple of clear chances but they were from our mistakes and not from open play. I think we were better than them in the first half and were controlling the game. Our substitutes came on in the second half and helped us, it was just a pity we couldn’t score.
“I’m not sure if it was a penalty for them or not, certainly for this country it looked a harsh decision. But it’s okay, I’m not going to complain about that.”
“When Gerrard and Torres came on we had more creativity in attack than we had before but we had 18 players on international duty around the world last week and I don’t think it would have made any difference if they had started the game.
“I just had to try to pick the fittest and freshest players and we had the better of the game in the first half but then it became more open and they had chances, too.”
Peter Crouch: “A lot of teams will find it very difficult coming to Portsmouth. They are a strong side physically – probably the strongest in the league – but we matched them in that way and maybe a year or two ago we would have lost that game.
“I tried to put myself about, especially with it being my first start in the league, but Sol and Distan are two good centre-halves and it was a difficult test. I think it’s a decent point, even though we’re disappointed not to take away all three.”
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp: “It is up to Rafa what players and teams he picks. He has a lot to choose from. Obviously you are happy as an opposition manager when somebody like Gerrard is not playing against you, but we did well. We’ve had a tough run against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal and got only one point from those. I would be a liar if I said I wouldn’t have taken another point before the kick-off today. You would always settle for that against a top-four team but we could easily have won it. John Utaka’s chance was a very good one and, although I’ve seen penalties not given for the little tug that gave us that one today, Kanu’s penalty was crap. He tried to sidefoot it in and if the goalkeeper guesses the right way he saves it.
“Despite the chances we missed it was a point gained.”