Tag Archives: straight defeat

Liverpool booed as Lyon inflict fourth straight defeat

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Liverpool booed as Lyon inflict fourth straight defeat

PARIS (AFP) – An injury-time goal from substitute Cesar Delgado clinched a dramatic 2-1 victory for Lyon in their Champions League group visit to Liverpool on Wednesday, inflicting a fourth successive defeat on the English side for the first time in more than two decades.

The Anfield crowd booed their team on the final whistle after they had squandered a first half lead handed them by Yossi Benayoun and the defeat leaves major question marks over whether Rafa Benitez can deliver silverware for his club this season.

Liverpool looked in control of the game until a 72nd minute equaliser from substitute defender Maxime Gonalons and worse was to follow, a minute into added time, when Delgado slid in at the far post to meet Sidney Govou’s cross for a memorable winner.

Benayoun struck five minutes before the interval, ending an anxious period for the home side who had lost Steven Gerrard after only 25 minutes, presumably due to a recurrence of the groin injury which had kept him out of the bizarre weekend defeat against Sunderland with the decisive goal deflected off a beach ball.

Just ten minutes had gone here when impressive full-back Aly Cissokho delivered a stunning far post cross onto the head of Lisandro only for the Lyon striker to place his effort too close to Jose Reina who responded with a reflex save.

That attack exploited Liverpool’s teenage debutant Martin Kelly, thrown into the fray in place of the injured Glen Johnson, but after a couple of early anxious moments, the right-back coped well with the occasion.

Before his departure, Gerrard had set up a ‘goal’ for Dirk Kuyt, only for the effort to be ruled out for a push by the Dutchman on Jeremy Toulalan.

Just before half-time Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris made a magnificent block to keep out a powerful header from Gerrard’s replacement Fabio Aurelio.

By then, however, Liverpool were a goal to the good against the French visitors.

Benayoun drove Liverpool forward on the counter attack, feeding Aurelio wide on the left from where his low shot was missed by a number of bodies in the six-yard before being driven home calmly by the Israeli international.

With the Spanish international forward Fernando Torres still injured, Benitez had opted to hand Ngog his first start of the season in the by- now familiar 4-2-3-1 formation Liverpool have adopted.

David Ngog came close to marking his call-up just before the hour, taking an excellent cross from Kelly on his chest but being able to only produce a tame left-foot shot wide.

The second period had opened with Anthony Reveillere sending a dipping shot over the Liverpool crossbar but, as the half wore on, the visitors seemed to be running out of ideas at the attacking end.

That changed dramatically in the 71st minute when Gonalons headed Lyon level following an acrobatic double save from Reina. Liverpool’s Spanish keeper only half cleared a corner with his punch but seemed to have made amends with blocks to deny efforts from Toulalan and Govou.

The rebound from that second attempt fell unkindly for the home goalkeeper and Gonalons was well placed to steer an uncontested header into the unprotected net.

Substitute Martin Skrtel hooked a shot over the bar and Javier Mascherano saw a long-range attempt saved before the dramatic finale brought defeat.

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Portsmouth boss predicts bright future ahead

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Portsmouth boss predicts bright future ahead

LONDON (AFP) – Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie suggested Sunday that despite a seventh straight defeat – the worst start in Premier League history – hope was on the horizon.

Storrie is optimistic the spending power of new owner Sulaiman Al Fahim will soon make the squad stronger and has urged the club’s fans to be patient.

“He (Al Fahim) has said there’s 50 million pounds coming, publicly at a meeting to supporters on Friday night,” Storrie told BBC Radio.

“Sulaiman showed the board documentation to say the money’s there. We hope it all comes to fruition in the next few days.

“We can only go by what he’s told the fans and what we’ve seen.”

Pompey missed a host of chances in a 1-0 home defeat against Everton on Saturday and remain anchored to the foot of the table, yet Storrie said that it would be “daft and stupid” to sack manager Paul Hart.

Sunday’s British press have suggested time is not on Hart’s side, with former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan one of the names to be linked to the club.

However Storrie believes Hart can turn things around.

He said: “It’s okay people saying ‘go and change things’ but look at the performance yesterday – and the support.

“It was a very strong performance we think we can build on for the future. You’d be daft and stupid to change it.”

Storrie admitted the Hampshire club’s financial problems prevented the club from being able to replace quality players such as Peter Crouch, Sylvain Distin and Nico Kranjcar during the transfer window.

He explained: “There’s been a massive change and we’ve had to bring players in at the last minute but the performance yesterday was the best for some while.

“We’re confident the players will turn it around – and they are too.”

Storrie refuted suggestions the new arrivals are not good enough for the Premier League.

He explained: “All the players we’ve brought have either played in the Premier League, come from the Premier League, or played in top leagues in Europe.”

Portsmouth have made the worst start by an English top-flight team for 79 years and Hart claims the close-season wrangling over the club’s future that caused so many key players to leave is to blame.

“I can’t put into words what it was like watching player after player leave,” he said in the Sunday Times.

“Crouchie (Peter Crouch), Glen Johnson, one of the best players I’ve ever worked with, (Sol) Campbell, even with that lot it was damned hard work last season.

“I’ve spent more time talking to senior players across this desk than you would care to know.

“Take Sylvain (Distin). He looked at us with 14 players and he’s got concerns. I can’t knock him for that. But getting players in has been difficult because we have no money.

“It’s time people realised that the players who have come in haven’t cost us a bean. We’re not in a position to pay money. That’s it.”

Hart admits that he had offers from elsewhere to consider during the close-season, but insists he never had any intention of quitting Fratton Park.

“I’m not new at the club and I don’t like to leave things unfinished,” he said. “So I decided to stay.”

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