Sunday, April 5, 2009

Reds Go Top

Liverpool sustained their title challenge in the most dramatic fashion with substitute Yossi Benayoun scoring an injury-time winner against Fulham.

The victory puts Liverpool top of the Premier League table, ahead of Manchester United by two points but having played two games more ahead of United's game against Aston Villa on Sunday.

It looked as if the afternoon would end in frustration for the Reds, who hit the woodwork four times in the first half as Craven Cottage witnessed some sublime football.

The Craven Cottage faithful felt certain their side would earn their eighth point of the season against the big four in west London but in the 91st minute, Ryan Babel headed inside, found Steven Gerrard with his pass who helped deflect it on to Benayoun. His shot from a sharp angle twelve yards out beat Mark Schwarzer to spark scenes of delirium on the Liverpool bench and keep the pressue on United.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Liverpool destroy Aston Villa

Liverpool are breathing down Manchester United's necks in the Premier League title race after destroying fifth-placed Aston Villa 5-0. The third stunning Liverpool victory in 12 days, having previously put four past Real Madrid and Manchester United.

The champions' lead is now one point - they also have a game in hand - but Liverpool have now scored more goals than Sir Alex Ferguson's men and have also wiped out their goal-difference advantage.

Villa had no answer to a side with a driven desire to take the title from under United's noses.

Steven Gerrard scored a hat-trick with a free-kick and two penalties, with the latter one following the dismissal of goalkeeper Brad Friedel for bringing down Reds striker Fernando Torres.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Manchester United 1 - 4 Liverpool

Followed up the four they put past Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 second leg on Tuesday, Liverpool side hauled themselves back into the title fight with a decisive 4-1 hammering of 10-man Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Merseyside giants battled back from a goal down to defeat the Premier League leaders in clinical fashion, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard turning the match on its head before the break, with Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena easing Liverpool well clear before the end.

In contrast, it was an day to forget for Nemanja Vidic, who gifted Torres the equaliser before being sent off against Liverpool for second time this season as Benitez's side reduced United's lead at the top to four points, albeit having played a game more.

It represented Liverpool's biggest win at United since 1936 and could yet trigger an amazing championship revival. Liverpool have managed to do this season is beat Chelsea and United, against both of whom they have now registered 'doubles'.

With the slaughtering of two European giants in 5 days, The Reds are now back to the business...!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Liverpool 4 - 0 Real Madrid

If Real Madrid didn’t know it before, they are now all too painfully aware of what a European night at Anfield is all about.

Liverpool produced a magnificent performance to reach the Champions League quarter-finals with a 5-0 aggregate defeat of Real Madrid.

In a remarkable first half, Real Madrid were torn to shreds by a breathtaking attacking display led by Fernando Torres, their arch-enemy from his Atletico Madrid days.

Torres scored early on, before Steven Gerrard fired home from the spot.

And had it not been for an outstanding display from Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Liverpool would have had a hatful in that first 45 minutes alone.

Gerrard scored a spectacular third seconds after the break to deflate Madrid further and substitute Andrea Dossena added a fourth with three minutes to go.

Real were not just beaten, they were pummelled into submission by a Liverpool side which grabbed their illustrious opponents by the scruff of the neck and never let go until all signs of life had been squeezed out of them.

Admittedly, the Reds’ failure to perform as well in the Premier League as they do in the Champions League is a disappointment.

But when clubs of the calibre of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus are so regularly overcome, their European exploits could hardly be a cause for complaint.

There is something very special about Liverpool in Europe and in the not too distant future supporters will look back on nights like last night as among the most glorious and memorable they have ever experienced. For everyone else, it brought yet another reminder of how potent the combination of Benitez’s Liverpool and their Anfield home are on a European night.

Long may it continue.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Torres trains but Benayoun a doubt for Liverpool

News that striker Fernando Torres was fit enough to train on Monday ahead of Liverpool Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Tuesday was tempered by a hamstring injury to midfielder Yossi Benayoun.

Israeli Benayoun scored the only goal when Liverpool beat Real 1-0 in Madrid in the first leg of the last 16 tie last month, but faces an anxious wait to see if he can play any part at Anfield after colliding with a team mate in training over the weekend.

Torres has missed Liverpool's last two league matches after twisting an ankle against Real in the first leg and took part in a light training session on Sunday.

His fellow Spaniard Arbeloa, who has also missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, also trained on Sunday and is in contention for a place in the starting line-up.

One player who definitely misses out is Albert Riera, who is suspended.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yossi Benayoun Sunk Real Madrid

Yossi Benayoun has scored arguably the biggest goal of his career to give Liverpool a magnificent first leg victory over Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu.

With just eight minutes remaining of the Champions League first leg clash in the Spanish capital, Benayoun rose unmarked inside the area to head home an unstoppable goal following a brilliant free kick delivery from Fabio Aurelio.

It was no more than Liverpool deserved after yet another mature, controlled and often dominant performance in Madrid, and Rafael Benitez's men will now be odds on favourites to finish the tie at Anfield and secure a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Rafael Benitez masterminded another magnificent European away triumph as Liverpool confounded the odds with a stunning 1-0 victory over Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. He has coached Liverpool to remarkable performances away to Juventus, Barcelona, Arsenal, Inter Milan and Chelsea in recent seasons in the Champions League, but this was by far the most impressive.

Real have been rampant of late and unbeaten this year, but Liverpool dug deep and Benayoun headed the late winner to give his side every chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.

Despite days of intensive treatment, Steven Gerrard did not make the starting XI, the midfielder initially left on the bench. Gerrard's absence was a bad blow but confirmed how Benitez would play the first leg. Contained defence, a combative and mobile midfield and hard running were the order of the day.

In the opening exchanges there was a calmness about Liverpool in this intimidating arena, five tiers of fervent passion pouring down in support of Real. They defended with discipline and long before the break Real were trying their luck from distance. The longer the game went on, the more Liverpool seemed in control defensively.

Liverpool were comfortable and things got even better with eight minutes left, where Gabriel Heinze's foul on Kuyt gave Fabio Aurelio the opportunity to curl in a free-kick that Benayoun headed past Casillas from six yards. Benayoun was engulfed by his jubilant team-mates and way up above them, 3,000 Liverpool fans erupted.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Real Madrid are in perfect shape to deal a blow Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday, 25th February 2009. Real have scored 22 goals in those nine victories, including Saturday's 6-1 hammering of Real Betis, and conceded just two.

Liverpool's first leg to face a Real side on a run of nine Primera Liga wins in a row while Liverpool's domestic title challenge faded further on Sunday with another disappointing draw. Liverpool's 1-1 result against Manchester City on Sunday, their sixth draw at Anfield in the league this season, left them seven points adrift of leaders Manchester United. They were given a lift on Monday when Benitez named captain Steven Gerrard in his squad for Wednesday's match after he missed almost three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Probable line-ups:

Real: 1-Iker Casillas; 4-Sergio Ramos, 3-Pepe, 5-Fabio Cannavaro, 16-Gabriel Heinze; 11-Arjen Robben, 8-Fernando Gago, 6-Lassana Diarra, 10-Wesley Sneijder; 7-Raul, 20-Gonzalo Higuain

Liverpool: 25-Pepe Reina; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 23-Jamie Carragher, 37-Martin Skrtel, 2-Andrea Dossena; 20-Javier Mascherano, 14-Xabi Alonso, 11-Albert Riera; 8-Steven Gerrard, 18-Dirk Kuyt; 9-Fernando Torres

I predict a 1-1 draw at Bernabéu since both sides are seven points behind their respective league leader, but the game won't be as boring as Inter Milan vs M.U. which ended goalless.