My Soccer World

Football: Keane At The Double For Ruthless Reds

Posted on: November 9, 2008

LIVERPOOL, England – Liverpool striker Robbie Keane scored twice in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion as the Reds moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

After losing at Tottenham on their last league outing and requiring a hugely generous penalty decision to scrape a late draw against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in midweek, Liverpool were under pressure to return to their early season dominance.

Keane, in particular, was under the spotlight, without a league goal since his 20.3 million pounds move from Tottenham and with critics pointing to the absence of Fernando Torres as a major obstacle in Liverpool’s attempts to land silverware.

How the Irish international striker answered those critics with his first league goals for Liverpool before Alvaro Arbeloa added a third, curling in from a Javier Mascherano pass in the 93rd minute.

Yet Torres, out for a month since injuring his hamstring playing for Spain at the start of October, was brought on as a 72nd-minute replacement for Keane. And with Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez seemingly against the idea of playing two men in an orthodox forward line, Keane faces a tough battle to establish himself in the starting line-up despite his current form.

It had been a patient opening from Liverpool in which they dominated possession, establishing a pattern of play they would quickly turn to their advantage.

Steven Gerrard and Keane both tested Scott Carson with early long shots and Jonas Olsson made a superb covering tackle on Albert Riera.

Gerrard was orchestrating play from the centre of the field, 25 yards from goal, slipping the ball to left and right without obstruction from an Albion side which had placed Jonathan Greening in front of its back four, presumably to cut out just such a threat.

In the 29th minute, the England midfielder’s pass played in Yossi Benayoun who advanced, had his shot well blocked by Carson and was then denied a clear penalty as the ball struck the arm of Jonas Olsson.

It was an injustice but, as events transpired, not a costly one. In the 34th minute, Gerrard took up exactly the same position and passed at an angle to his left for Keane to sprint through and lift a superb finish over the advancing Carson, his first league goal of the campaign.

A goal to the good, complacency now seemed Liverpool’s biggest opponent, certainly it was when Pepe Reina gave away a corner after almost fumbling Ishmael Miller’s cross into his own goal.

But, from the resulting corner, Liverpool and Keane doubled their tally. Mascherano’s outlet pass allowed Fabio Aurelio to spot Albion’s defence struggling to back pedal.

The perfect pass found Keane, in full stride, who rounded the advancing keeper and slotted home the ball with confidence.

The second half opened with Robert Koren trying two long-range shots but it was soon business as usual.

In the 53rd minute, Riera’s back heel to Fabio Aurelio saw the overlapping full-back send a dangerous centre torpedoing across the face of goal and, moments later, the winger’s cross hung invitingly in the air with Keane and Dirk Kuyt coming within inches of making contact.

Keane, sensing a hat-trick, almost had it on the hour when he found himself isolated against Ryan Donk, shrugged the defender aside but produced a weak shot directly at Carson.

Torres had one decent glance at goal, a 79th-minute shot which Carson held well but, apart from a Chris Brunt free-kick into the home team’s netting, Liverpool had no concerns about the outcome.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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Football: Keane At The Double For Ruthless Reds

Posted on: November 9, 2008

LIVERPOOL, England – Liverpool striker Robbie Keane scored twice in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion as the Reds moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

After losing at Tottenham on their last league outing and requiring a hugely generous penalty decision to scrape a late draw against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in midweek, Liverpool were under pressure to return to their early season dominance.

Keane, in particular, was under the spotlight, without a league goal since his 20.3 million pounds move from Tottenham and with critics pointing to the absence of Fernando Torres as a major obstacle in Liverpool’s attempts to land silverware.

How the Irish international striker answered those critics with his first league goals for Liverpool before Alvaro Arbeloa added a third, curling in from a Javier Mascherano pass in the 93rd minute.

Yet Torres, out for a month since injuring his hamstring playing for Spain at the start of October, was brought on as a 72nd-minute replacement for Keane. And with Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez seemingly against the idea of playing two men in an orthodox forward line, Keane faces a tough battle to establish himself in the starting line-up despite his current form.

It had been a patient opening from Liverpool in which they dominated possession, establishing a pattern of play they would quickly turn to their advantage.

Steven Gerrard and Keane both tested Scott Carson with early long shots and Jonas Olsson made a superb covering tackle on Albert Riera.

Gerrard was orchestrating play from the centre of the field, 25 yards from goal, slipping the ball to left and right without obstruction from an Albion side which had placed Jonathan Greening in front of its back four, presumably to cut out just such a threat.

In the 29th minute, the England midfielder’s pass played in Yossi Benayoun who advanced, had his shot well blocked by Carson and was then denied a clear penalty as the ball struck the arm of Jonas Olsson.

It was an injustice but, as events transpired, not a costly one. In the 34th minute, Gerrard took up exactly the same position and passed at an angle to his left for Keane to sprint through and lift a superb finish over the advancing Carson, his first league goal of the campaign.

A goal to the good, complacency now seemed Liverpool’s biggest opponent, certainly it was when Pepe Reina gave away a corner after almost fumbling Ishmael Miller’s cross into his own goal.

But, from the resulting corner, Liverpool and Keane doubled their tally. Mascherano’s outlet pass allowed Fabio Aurelio to spot Albion’s defence struggling to back pedal.

The perfect pass found Keane, in full stride, who rounded the advancing keeper and slotted home the ball with confidence.

The second half opened with Robert Koren trying two long-range shots but it was soon business as usual.

In the 53rd minute, Riera’s back heel to Fabio Aurelio saw the overlapping full-back send a dangerous centre torpedoing across the face of goal and, moments later, the winger’s cross hung invitingly in the air with Keane and Dirk Kuyt coming within inches of making contact.

Keane, sensing a hat-trick, almost had it on the hour when he found himself isolated against Ryan Donk, shrugged the defender aside but produced a weak shot directly at Carson.

Torres had one decent glance at goal, a 79th-minute shot which Carson held well but, apart from a Chris Brunt free-kick into the home team’s netting, Liverpool had no concerns about the outcome.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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