Besiktas in 8-0 match-throwing allegations

Reports in Germany earlier in the week have filtered through to the English press today regarding allegations that Besiktas players were involved in match-fixing, the game in question being Liverpool’s record-breaking 8-0 win over the Turkish side. According to the reports, a late surge of bets were made on Besiktas losing heavily against the five-times champions, who they’d actually beaten in the home fixture.

There is no suggestion at all that Liverpool or their players were aware of the alleged fixing. Liverpool haven’t commented on the allegations because they say they’ve not been made aware of any. Continue reading Besiktas in 8-0 match-throwing allegations

CL Result: Liverpool 4 Porto 1

Champions League Group A – November 28th 2007 – Result

Liverpool 4 Porto 1

Liverpool’s 4-1 win means their Champions League destiny stays in their own hands, but after Besiktas also won their game over Marseilles, Liverpool have to win the last game, away to Marseilles.

Liverpool are now level on points with Marseilles, but despite the Reds’ far-better goal difference Marseilles are placed above them, based on the fact the French side won their first meeting. A draw or defeat in France would therefore see Liverpool finish below Marseilles, and would also mean at least one of Porto and Besikta finished on more points.

A win however would see Liverpool finish on ten points and qualify. They would top the group should Porto drop any points against Besiktas.

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 17 Arbeloa, 11 Benayoun (15 Crouch, 71), 8 Gerrard, 20 Mascherano, 19 Babel (18 Kuyt, 85), 10 Voronin (7 Kewell, 63), 9 Torres
Unused subs: 30 Itandje, 6 Riise, 21 Lucas, 22 Sissoko
Goals: Torres 19, 78, Gerrard 84 (pen), Crouch 88
Bookings: Hyypia 37

FC Porto: 1 Helton, 12 Bosingwa, 4 Stepanov, 2 Bruno Alves, 5 Cech, 11 Gonzalez (17 Sektioui, 77), 8 Gonzalez, 6 Paulo Assuncao (23 Postiga, 81), 25 Kazmierczak (16 Raul Meireles, 65), 7 Quaresma, 9 Lopez
Unused subs: 33 Nuno, 3 Pedro Emanuel, 13 Fucile, 18 Bolatti
Goals: Lopez 33
Bookings: Paulo Assuncao 48, Stepanov 82, Quaresma 90

Stats: (Liverpool – Porto)
Possession: 57% – 43%
Shots on target: 15 – 2
Shots off target: 3 – 8
Corners: 11 – 3
Fouls: 13 – 10

Referee: Roberto Rosetti
Attendance: 41,095

CL Teams: Liverpool v Porto

Rafa Benitez, knowing he’s got almost unanimous backing from Liverpool supporters, has picked a team with four changes for tonight’s Champions League game with Porto.

It’s almost certainly a must-win game, although Rafa has been referring to it more as do-not-lose game. Lucas and Kewell make way for Babel and Benayoun, with Gerrard moving into his preferred central role, alongside Javier Mascherano who returns in place of Momo Sissoko. Up-front Dirk Kuyt is replaced by Andriy Voronin who will play alongside Fernando Torres.
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 17 Arbeloa, 11 Benayoun, 8 Gerrard, 20 Mascherano, 19 Babel, 10 Voronin, 9 Torres
Subs: 30 Itandje, 6 Riise, 7 Kewell, 15 Crouch, 18 Kuyt, 21 Lucas, 22 Sissoko

FC Porto: 1 Helton, 12 Bosingwa, 4 Stepanov, 2 Bruno Alves, 5 Cech, 11 Gonzalez, 8 Gonzalez, 6 Paulo Assuncao, 25 Kazmierczak, 7 Quaresma, 9 Lopez
Subs: 33 Nuno, 3 Pedro Emanuel, 13 Fucile, 16 Raul Meireles, 17 Sektioui, 18 Bolatti, 23 Postiga

Referee: Roberto Rosetti

Reina: We must get three points

Liverpool’s Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina would, along with a number of other key players, almost certainly want to leave Liverpool should the new owners carry out their alleged threat to sack manager Rafa Benitez, but for now insists that the players are not allowing the fuss to distract them from their football. He said: “It’s not affecting us. It is not always easy, but all we can do is play football and show how good we are on the pitch.”

Reina was speaking ahead of tonight’s Champions League clash with Porto at Anfield. If Liverpool can win this game then their chances of qualification are back again, something that seemed highly unlikely after the half-way point of the group stage when they had just one point from nine available. He says a win tonight would set them up for a big match away to Marseilles in two weeks: “First of all it doesn’t just depend upon this result,” he said. “We want to keep playing in the Champions League for a long time and so we must look to get three points and then play Marseille in what would be a final.” Continue reading Reina: We must get three points

Crouch and Voronin start, Torres is sub

Liverpool must win tonight against Besiktas if they are to have any hope of going into the knockout stages of the Champions League, and manager Rafa Benitez has given the task of scoring the goals to Peter Crouch and Andriy Voronin.

There’s no shortage of attacking options on the bench either – Fernando Torres is back from injury, sitting alongside Dirk Kuyt, Harry Kewell and Marcus Babel.

Steve Finnan is rested for this tie with Arbeloa and Aurelio taking the full-back places, John Arne Riise likely to start pushed up into midfield. Continue reading Crouch and Voronin start, Torres is sub

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

CL Teams, Besiktas v Reds. Two changes from Rafa.

Liverpool’s team for tonight’s Champions League tie with Besiktas sees Rafa Benitez make just two changes from the side that beat Everton on Saturday.

Momo Sissoko and Yossi Benayoun are on the bench, with Jermaine Pennant and Ryan Babel getting the nod to start on the wings. Gerrard will play alongside Javier Mascherano in the centre of midfield.

Double-penalty hero Dirk Kuyt partners Andriy Voronin upfront again, meaning Peter Crouch again misses out on starting for the Reds. The bench includes the welcome site of Xabi Alonso, back in the squad after his metatarsal injury. Continue reading CL Teams, Besiktas v Reds. Two changes from Rafa.

Reaction: Liverpool 0 Marseille 1

Liverpool’s first defeat of the season came after Pepe Reina conceded his first goal from open play so far this season – and it was some strike. It leaves Liverpool with a lot of work to do in the Champions League now, having just one point from the six on offer.

The Reds did not look to be at all motivated for the game, perhaps missing the influence of assistant manager Pako Ayestaran. Pako is still officially the assistant manager, but is on ‘gardening leave’ for now after a big rift developed between him and the manager Rafa Benitez. It brought to an end a long friendship, and clearly had a major impact on how the first-team operate.

Despite the long and repetitive arguments for and against rotation, the problem the Liverpool side seemed to have was a lack of interest. Was Steven Gerrard’s mind elsewhere after he had the car accident which left a young boy with a broken leg? He certainly seemed to be less fired-up than he usually is on European nights, and that apathy seemed to spread throughout the team. Continue reading Reaction: Liverpool 0 Marseille 1

CL Result: Liverpool 0 Marseille 1

UEFA Champions League, October 3rd 2007.

Result

Liverpool 0 Marseille 1

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 12 Aurelio (10 Voronin, 70), 11 Benayoun, 8 Gerrard, 22 Sissoko, 33 Leto (6 Riise, 52), 9 Torres, 15 Crouch (18 Kuyt, 75)
Unused subs: 30 Itandje, 17 Arbeloa, 19 Babel, 20 Mascherano
Booked: Gerrard 20, Sissoko 52, Carragher 63

Marseille: 30 Mandanda, 24 Bonnart, 4 Rodriguez, 32 Givet, 3 Taiwo, 19 Cana, 7 Cheyrou, 28 Valbuena (8 Oruma, 83), 6 Ziani, 10 Zenden (13 Arrache, 87), 11 Niang (9 Cisse, 70)
Subs: 16 Hamel, 15 Zubar, 17 M’Bami, 21 Moussilou
Booked: None
Goal: Valbuena 77

Referee: Konrad Plautz

Attendance: 41,355

Stats: (Liverpool – Marseille)
Possession: 45% – 55%
Shots on target: 2 – 9
Shots off target: 5 – 5
Corners: 7 – 4
Fouls: 14 – 11