December 17th, 2009


this is not an excuse to post gernando

Rafael Benitez hailed a night of landmarks as Fernando Torres' winner on his 100th appearance in red provided a fitting climax to Liverpool's Bill Shankly celebrations against Wigan at Anfield.

The Reds boss was delighted that his side marked the 50th anniversary of the great Scot's arrival with a 2-1 success over the Latics and was quick to praise the impact of his number 9.

"It was a fantastic achievement for him," he told his post match press conference. "He was tired after the last game, so I told him if I don't play you it would be good. But at the end, I had to play him and that worked out well too."

He added: "Everybody here knows how important Bill Shankly was to this club. To see the former players around was very positive. We have a fantastic club with a great history."

Liverpool made a dream start to the proceedings when David Ngog headed home in the ninth minute and from there it looked like the floodgates might open.

However, the Reds contrived to miss a number of opportunities before Torres sealed victory, leaving the boss to admit the win was all that mattered.

"It was very important to win and get the three points," he said. "There were a lot of positives. We knew that we had to win and it doesn't matter about whether we could score more goals. Maybe we could have been more relaxed in the second-half but at end of the day three points was the key.

"It was important for everyone to get the three points. We can now relax and be ready for the next game. We will think about one game at a time and we will now look towards Portsmouth.

"We have spoken about winning games in a row. We have now won one and must look to the next game. We want the chance to talk about winning three games in a row, but first we must win the second one.

"In a top side it is always difficult because normally you have to win trophies. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and people talk about having to win. It is normal. I'd rather that than just looking to survive."

Asked about the growing reputation of Ngog, who notched his sixth of the season, Benitez added: "Ngog is improving. He had another chance with his left foot that could have led to a second goal but he is doing really well. You can see he is another option for us. If Torres cannot play, he can start and if Fernando can play, he can be a substitute.

"We have some players who need to play games and improve match fitness. It depends on each game. Fernando can play against Portsmouth. Gerrard is also playing games in a row and Aquilani had some minutes - it is very positive. We will see if we can keep everyone fit."

The boss also had words of praise for Javier Mascherano, who produced another impressive showing in the midfield.

"He's doing well and working hard," he said. "He is the Javier we knew we had, but I still think he can improve. He is working hard and is an inspiration for the other players. Everyone knows he is a key player for us."
  • teenny

Real Madrid do stuff. and stuff

This is a Real Madrid post. Sergio does some charity.Sergio once again tucks his scarf in his shirt. A bunch of dudes eat Christmas lunch together (because that's not gay, right?). Pepe crys, not because he read ontd_football. Villa calls Pepe. Xabi, Higuian, and Kaka show us their balls. 


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  • teenny

The Eritrean National Team Defect

By Jack Oyoo NAIROBI (Reuters) - Twelve Eritreans who disappeared in Kenya last weekend after taking part in a regional soccer tournament are in the process of being granted refugee status, authorities in Nairobi said on Thursday. "The process (to grant them refugee status) was started last night and the 12 are in safe custody in Nairobi," a police source, who cannot be quoted for security reasons, told Reuters. Despite its population of just 5 million, Eritrea manages to create one of the highest numbers of refugees of any country in the world not at war. Analysts say a culture of mandatory national service has disaffected many young people. A man-hunt was launched after the squad members did not travel back to Asmara as expected last Saturday.   Collapse )