My Soccer World

Football: Benitez Tells Liverpool To Sharpen Up

Posted on: January 26, 2009

LIVERPOOL – Rafael Benitez admits Liverpool need to find a sharper cutting edge after his side’s latest frustrating draw sparked a war of words with Everton.

For the second time in a week Benitez was left fuming as Everton came to Anfield with a defensive mindset and managed to grind out a 1-1 draw, this time in the FA Cup fourth round.

After snatching a Premier League draw against their Merseyside rivals on Monday, Everton held out again because Liverpool were unable to turn their possession into goals.

Benitez’s frustration at Everton’s cautious tactics, and his disappointment at the prospect of an unwanted replay at Goodison Park on February 4, boiled over after Sunday’s match.

“When you have a busy time it is better not to play too many matches but you have to do it,” he said.

“I think we have important games coming now. It will be difficult but if everyone is available we will manage the squad.

“It could be better to get the tie finished in one game without a replay. At least we are still in the competition.

“One team was trying to win this match and one didn’t want to lose. To attack against 10 players behind the ball is not easy so I’m really pleased with the players.

“I have never played like this here or at Valencia. It has to be different in the replay. Clearly they have to attack.”

Benitez’s jibes drew an angry response from Moyes, who hinted that his counterpart lacked dignity.

“I never come looking for a draw that’s for sure, although I might have taken a draw in the end,” he said.

“We’ve come to a side with a lot of big players who have spent big to win trophies. That makes it difficult for a side like Everton.

“This is a great football club but we look after our business. We do things with a bit of dignity and style.”

Liverpool’s failure to kill off Everton despite completely dominating the second half means they face a busy period of three games in seven days.

Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Wigan is followed by a crucial home game against Chelsea on Sunday and now another derby at Everton three days later.

Benitez’s decision to leave Robbie Keane out of his squad left Liverpool with few attacking options to break down Everton, but he insisted it was up his forwards to improve.

“We know we have had some draws against teams who have defended like Everton, so we have to change the situation and improve our attack,” he said.

“Robbie was not selected because we have a very good squad but he is working hard.

“Normally all the players want to be in the squad and start so I doubt he will be happy.”

Although Everton were slightly fortunate to escape defeat, Moyes was proud of the way his injury-hit squad kept Liverpool at bay despite the absence of influential midfielder Mikel Arteta with a rib problem.

“The players are extremely resilient. They’ve come here twice and made it hard for a team with great aspirations,” he said.

“I was disappointed they had so much possession but in the main I felt quite comfortable defensively.

“It was difficult to find a way to get a second goal because we didn’t have the physical threat.”

A home tie against Aston Villa or Doncaster lies in wait for the replay winners and Moyes insisted there is no advantage to being at home for the return.

“You couldn’t class Everton as favourites but there was a lot said about we wouldn’t be in the next round so we’re pleased we’ve given ourselves a chance to get through,” he added.

Everton had taken the lead in the 27th minute when Steven Pienaar floated over a corner, Tim Cahill head goalwards and Lescott pounced to nod past Jose Reina from close range.

But a fine flick from Fernando Torres sent Steven Gerrard surging clear in the 54th minute and he fired in a low shot that should have been stopped by Tim Howard. Instead the American goalkeeper allowed the ball to creep under his body and into the net. – AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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Football: Benitez Tells Liverpool To Sharpen Up

Posted on: January 26, 2009

LIVERPOOL – Rafael Benitez admits Liverpool need to find a sharper cutting edge after his side’s latest frustrating draw sparked a war of words with Everton.

For the second time in a week Benitez was left fuming as Everton came to Anfield with a defensive mindset and managed to grind out a 1-1 draw, this time in the FA Cup fourth round.

After snatching a Premier League draw against their Merseyside rivals on Monday, Everton held out again because Liverpool were unable to turn their possession into goals.

Benitez’s frustration at Everton’s cautious tactics, and his disappointment at the prospect of an unwanted replay at Goodison Park on February 4, boiled over after Sunday’s match.

“When you have a busy time it is better not to play too many matches but you have to do it,” he said.

“I think we have important games coming now. It will be difficult but if everyone is available we will manage the squad.

“It could be better to get the tie finished in one game without a replay. At least we are still in the competition.

“One team was trying to win this match and one didn’t want to lose. To attack against 10 players behind the ball is not easy so I’m really pleased with the players.

“I have never played like this here or at Valencia. It has to be different in the replay. Clearly they have to attack.”

Benitez’s jibes drew an angry response from Moyes, who hinted that his counterpart lacked dignity.

“I never come looking for a draw that’s for sure, although I might have taken a draw in the end,” he said.

“We’ve come to a side with a lot of big players who have spent big to win trophies. That makes it difficult for a side like Everton.

“This is a great football club but we look after our business. We do things with a bit of dignity and style.”

Liverpool’s failure to kill off Everton despite completely dominating the second half means they face a busy period of three games in seven days.

Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Wigan is followed by a crucial home game against Chelsea on Sunday and now another derby at Everton three days later.

Benitez’s decision to leave Robbie Keane out of his squad left Liverpool with few attacking options to break down Everton, but he insisted it was up his forwards to improve.

“We know we have had some draws against teams who have defended like Everton, so we have to change the situation and improve our attack,” he said.

“Robbie was not selected because we have a very good squad but he is working hard.

“Normally all the players want to be in the squad and start so I doubt he will be happy.”

Although Everton were slightly fortunate to escape defeat, Moyes was proud of the way his injury-hit squad kept Liverpool at bay despite the absence of influential midfielder Mikel Arteta with a rib problem.

“The players are extremely resilient. They’ve come here twice and made it hard for a team with great aspirations,” he said.

“I was disappointed they had so much possession but in the main I felt quite comfortable defensively.

“It was difficult to find a way to get a second goal because we didn’t have the physical threat.”

A home tie against Aston Villa or Doncaster lies in wait for the replay winners and Moyes insisted there is no advantage to being at home for the return.

“You couldn’t class Everton as favourites but there was a lot said about we wouldn’t be in the next round so we’re pleased we’ve given ourselves a chance to get through,” he added.

Everton had taken the lead in the 27th minute when Steven Pienaar floated over a corner, Tim Cahill head goalwards and Lescott pounced to nod past Jose Reina from close range.

But a fine flick from Fernando Torres sent Steven Gerrard surging clear in the 54th minute and he fired in a low shot that should have been stopped by Tim Howard. Instead the American goalkeeper allowed the ball to creep under his body and into the net. – AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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Football: Benitez Tells Liverpool To Sharpen Up

Posted on: January 26, 2009

LIVERPOOL – Rafael Benitez admits Liverpool need to find a sharper cutting edge after his side’s latest frustrating draw sparked a war of words with Everton.

For the second time in a week Benitez was left fuming as Everton came to Anfield with a defensive mindset and managed to grind out a 1-1 draw, this time in the FA Cup fourth round.

After snatching a Premier League draw against their Merseyside rivals on Monday, Everton held out again because Liverpool were unable to turn their possession into goals.

Benitez’s frustration at Everton’s cautious tactics, and his disappointment at the prospect of an unwanted replay at Goodison Park on February 4, boiled over after Sunday’s match.

“When you have a busy time it is better not to play too many matches but you have to do it,” he said.

“I think we have important games coming now. It will be difficult but if everyone is available we will manage the squad.

“It could be better to get the tie finished in one game without a replay. At least we are still in the competition.

“One team was trying to win this match and one didn’t want to lose. To attack against 10 players behind the ball is not easy so I’m really pleased with the players.

“I have never played like this here or at Valencia. It has to be different in the replay. Clearly they have to attack.”

Benitez’s jibes drew an angry response from Moyes, who hinted that his counterpart lacked dignity.

“I never come looking for a draw that’s for sure, although I might have taken a draw in the end,” he said.

“We’ve come to a side with a lot of big players who have spent big to win trophies. That makes it difficult for a side like Everton.

“This is a great football club but we look after our business. We do things with a bit of dignity and style.”

Liverpool’s failure to kill off Everton despite completely dominating the second half means they face a busy period of three games in seven days.

Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Wigan is followed by a crucial home game against Chelsea on Sunday and now another derby at Everton three days later.

Benitez’s decision to leave Robbie Keane out of his squad left Liverpool with few attacking options to break down Everton, but he insisted it was up his forwards to improve.

“We know we have had some draws against teams who have defended like Everton, so we have to change the situation and improve our attack,” he said.

“Robbie was not selected because we have a very good squad but he is working hard.

“Normally all the players want to be in the squad and start so I doubt he will be happy.”

Although Everton were slightly fortunate to escape defeat, Moyes was proud of the way his injury-hit squad kept Liverpool at bay despite the absence of influential midfielder Mikel Arteta with a rib problem.

“The players are extremely resilient. They’ve come here twice and made it hard for a team with great aspirations,” he said.

“I was disappointed they had so much possession but in the main I felt quite comfortable defensively.

“It was difficult to find a way to get a second goal because we didn’t have the physical threat.”

A home tie against Aston Villa or Doncaster lies in wait for the replay winners and Moyes insisted there is no advantage to being at home for the return.

“You couldn’t class Everton as favourites but there was a lot said about we wouldn’t be in the next round so we’re pleased we’ve given ourselves a chance to get through,” he added.

Everton had taken the lead in the 27th minute when Steven Pienaar floated over a corner, Tim Cahill head goalwards and Lescott pounced to nod past Jose Reina from close range.

But a fine flick from Fernando Torres sent Steven Gerrard surging clear in the 54th minute and he fired in a low shot that should have been stopped by Tim Howard. Instead the American goalkeeper allowed the ball to creep under his body and into the net. – AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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