Two goals from Dirk Kuyt at Anfield yesterday saw Liverpool complete their four home games in succession with a 100% success rate and also saw them move into seventh place in the league. Reaction to the game from the scorer of both goals and and the two managers.
Dirk Kuyt: “It was a difficult game because they were defending a lot. Myself and Peter had three defenders on us all the time so I am happy with the result and the two goals for me. But the most important thing is to play well for the team. Then I know the goals will come for me and everyone. The most important thing for me is winning, not how many I score.
“I know people in Holland were doubting I could play here when I joined, but I just intend to give 100% every time and I believe I can play at this level. I did well in Holland, although I accept the pace is much greater in England and the Premier League is a higher level.
“I knew what to expect. I watched the Premier League on television in Holland for many years before I came here. I knew how fast it all was and that it was one of the world's best competitions. I wanted it so much and now I am here and scoring goals. Now I just want to show what I've got. I have settled well, it's getting better and better on and off the field. I love playing at Anfield and I like the city and the people.
“We can still produce more, not only me. I have played three matches on the trot with Peter and that partnership is getting better. It was the same with Craig Bellamy. We were improving together so there are now two partnerships we can use knowing they work well. I can work with both players.
“Things are improving although I know there is still a big gap between us and the top sides. But if we can win at Arsenal next week then things will start to change for us. That will be the big test after four home wins and the bad start we have made in our away games.”
Rafael Benítez: “Dirk is a very good worker. I knew the player when he was at Vitesse Arnhem and Utrecht before he moved to Feyenoord. He always worked hard and scored goals giving defenders a lot of problems, the complete striker. He created much for his team-mates and now his understanding with Peter Crouch is very good and he can also create space for Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso to exploit with their runs. He always works, always makes great effort and shows the right level of commitment. He creates space for others and the partnership with Peter Crouch is working well.
“We have won four at home now but we know this form must be translated into our away form. Since the defeat at Manchester United we know we have done better and scored goals. Now we are away to Birmingham in the Carling Cup and then Arsenal in the league and we know we must improve on our away form.”
“Reading are organised and work hard and I think they are good enough to stay up. We expected five defenders and five across midfield and it was difficult to find space. When we got the second they had to come out and that left us with more chances.”
Reading manager Steve Coppell: “We are trying to bridge a huge gap. Liverpool are a tremendous team with great individuals and two seasons ago they were champions of Europe. At that stage we were in a different division. It is very hard to compete with that sort of quality. We needed to change the system and give us a strong foundation and to make life difficult for them. We had to keep it tight and see what happened, but you need a break, you need to get your noses in front and although we had a couple of chances, it didn't happen for us.
"We know we have lost four on the trot in the league, but I do not think of runs like that. When we started the season we did well but that was probably a coincidence of the fixtures. Now we have lost these last four. That too is a coincidence of the fixtures. We have had Arsenal, Chelsea and now Liverpool in that sequence."