Friday, February 23, 2007

Rafa BENITEZ comments on Javier MASCHERANO

Rafael BENITEZ he can give Javier MASCHERANO a platform to prove to a doubting English public that he is a great player.

Liverpool received Premier League permission to complete the deal to sign the Argentina midfielder while they were in Barcelona this week.

He was an unused substitute in the Nou Camp and there is every chance the midfielder will be involved in some capacity against Sheffield United.

BENITEZ is certain the 24 year-old's move to Anfield will be a success.

He said: "He plays for one of the best national teams in the 542 world and he needs to play, which he wasn't at West Ham.

"Maybe the first six months in England was difficult because of the language. But he has spent six months learning English and he is with us, with Spanish staff and players. I feel we will see the best of him now.

"He now knows more about the Premier League and he can progress here."



Seba said...

And MASCHE played well for Liverpool today!

Here´s the match report:

Liverpool 4-0 Sheff Utd
By John Sinnott

Fowler's Premiership goals this season have all been penalties
Liverpool followed up their Champions League victory against Barcelona with a comfortable win over Sheffield United.

Two first-half penalties from Robbie Fowler put Liverpool in total control.

Steven Gerrard won both penalties after he was fouled first by Rob Kozluk and then by Nick Montgomery, with Fowler finishing each time with precision.

After the break Sami Hyypia's low shot made it 3-0, before Gerrard added the fourth with a superb individual goal after he was set up by a Fowler pass.

Interview: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Interview: Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock

The win moved Liverpool four points clear of fourth-placed Arsenal, while defeat for United leaves them with some work to do as regards securing their Premiership place for next season.

Liverpool's starting line-up showed seven changes from the team that had won in the Nou Camp, with Javier Mascherano making his debut and Jerzy Dudek playing for the first time in the league this season.

Having spent much of his time on the sidelines at West Ham, Mascherano played well, allowing Gerrard plenty of freedom to move forward.

The Argentine midfielder had a hand in Gerrard's goal, picking out Fowler with an incisive pass in the build-up.

As for Dudek, having conceded nine goals in his previous two games, he had the satisfaction of keeping a clean sheet.

United did not create a serious chance until the closing stages when Rob Hulse rattled the bar with a close-range shot.

Fowler must wish he could play United every weekend.

On the opening day of the season a disputed penalty had salvaged Liverpool a point against United, with Fowler successfully converting the spot-kick.

Prior to Saturday's game that had been the only Premiership goal Fowler has scored this season, but thanks to United's overly close attentions to Gerrard, the Liverpool striker found himself on the cusp of a hat-trick by the 25th minute.

Kozluk fouled Gerrard for the first penalty, stopping the Liverpool captain from making a run for a corner.

Montgomery then hauled Gerrard down as the Liverpool midfielder threatened to unleash a shot after being released by Dirk Kuyt's clever header.

Fowler went to Kenny's left for the first penalty and then changed sides for the second, each time sending the ball into the corner of the net.

Hyypia's goal was something of a red-letter day for the Finn as it was the first time he has scored in the league this season.

In the opening half the Liverpool defender had set up Mark Gonzalez with a couple of raking passes and on 70 minutes he got forward for a corner to fire a left-footed shot past Paddy Kenny.

Gerrard's goal capped a professional Liverpool performance as their captain's deft control and raking shot saw him claim his fifth league goal of the season.

The only downside for Liverpool was the loss of Peter Crouch, who went off with bloodied face after the first penalty was awarded when he got a boot to the head from Hulse.


Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:
"The second penalty was very clear, and for the first one the referee was watching, and he'd warned the lad just before not to do it.
"He had his arms around Steven, it was unnecessary and the referee was just there watching."

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock:
"If Steve Bennett knew a bit more about the game and not the rules inside out, he'd be a really top referee. He's a manufactured referee.
"The England captain Steven Gerrard is looking at Bennett and saying 'you've got to give a penalty'.

"The first penalty knocked the stuffing out of us."


Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher (Agger 77), Hyypia, Riise, Pennant, Gerrard (Alonso 74), Mascherano, Gonzalez, Crouch (Kuyt 23), Fowler.
Subs Not Used: Padelli, Sissoko.

Goals: Fowler 20 pen, 25 pen, Hyypia 70, Gerrard 73.

Sheff Utd: Kenny, Geary, Jagielka, Lucketti (Morgan 32), Armstrong, Kozluk (Kazim-Richards 25), Tonge, Fathi, Montgomery, Stephen Quinn (Stead 66), Hulse.
Subs Not Used: Davis, Alan Quinn.

Booked: Montgomery, Tonge.

Att: 44,198

Ref: S Bennett (Kent).

john said...

Well done Javier!!!

Alwin, Bala and myself were watching the match together and overall it was a good performance. I wouldn’t say it was a great performance from him but it was a much better than anything we have seen from him in a West sHAMe jersey.

Nevertheless lets hope that both Rafa and Javier will continue to build on this.

The same cannot be said for Carlitos, having played for 90 minutes in the Hammers 4-0 loss to Charlton. Having said all this I’m pretty worried about his future but nothing can be done for now.

On a positive note, perhaps this goes to show that Alan Curbie has faith in him. Perhaps with a little bit more confidence and improvement on his form, maybe he could help to turn the Hammers fortune around and keep them survive in the Premiership.

Meanehile in the Madrid derby, Leo Franco, Kun and Gago and Higuain started for Athletico and Real respectively. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with Higuain scoring the equalizer after Torres had given Athletico the lead. Could anyone confirm with me whether this Gonzalo’s first goal for Real?


andaman said...

People thay say Masche is crap will eat their words.

Yep John, this is Pipita's first goal in Spanish Liga and for Real. Beautiful goal too although I was rooting for At.Madrid cause they were playing better football.

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