Blow for Liverpool

2009-02-28 19:55

London - Liverpool's Premier League title hopes suffered a crushing setback on Saturday as Rafael Benitez's men slumped a 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.

Three days after beating Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, Liverpool were brought back down to earth with a painful bump by opponents who had not won a league match since November 9.

The defeat allowed Chelsea - who claimed a last-gasp 2-1 win over Wigan - to reclaim second place in the table courtesy of their superior goal difference.

But the real winners were champions Manchester United, who now stand seven points clear of both their closest rivals with a game in hand.

Triumph in the Club Championship

Benitez came close to conceding that any chance of catching United had gone.

"Before the game it was very difficult, now it will be more difficult," the Spaniard acknowledged, before blaming poor finishing for his side's plight.

"You have to take your chances if you want to win these games," he said.

"The first 30 minutes we had five chances and we didn't score a goal. It has been a problem during the season and today has been the same."

United did not have a league game at the weekend because of Sunday's League Cup final date with Tottenham, which will see Sir Alex Ferguson's side attempt to claim their second trophy of the season following their triumph in the World Club Championship in Japan in December.

Arsenal were jeered off the pitch by their own supporters after a 0-0 draw at home to Fulham - their fifth straight draw in the league and a fourth consecutive goalless stalemate.

Limping off

If Aston Villa can beat relegation-threatened Stoke on Sunday, the Gunners will find themselves eight points adrift of a top four finish with only 11 games left to close the gap.

The defeat at Middlesbrough means Liverpool have now won just two of their last seven league matches and a bitterly disappointing afternoon was compounded by the sight of skipper Steven Gerrard, who made his first start in over three weeks, limping off midway through the second half.

Gerrard's influence had seen the visitors dominate the opening stages at the Riverside but they found themselves behind just after the half-hour mark when Alonso deflected a Stewart Downing corner into his own net.

Boro effectively ended the match as a contest when Turkey star Tuncay Sanli converted Jeremie Aliadiere's cutback in the 63rd minute.


  • RyanGiggs - 2009-02-28 21:38

    Brough havent won in 14 games, facing relegation and they clock pool? Hahahahaha

  • Selwyn - 2009-02-28 22:02

    Eish, eish,eish,eish,eish,eish,eish, need i say more, ek het julle gese. Glory glory ManUunted. The nail is in the coffin, where is empty "KOP" and NAPHY or the boy with the NAPPY now.

  • Carlsberg - 2009-03-02 07:56

    I think 7 points was already a bit much, but now the league really is United's. I still believe Liverpool were capable of doing it this season, but far too many of the dropped points can be traced back to some really bad decisions by our mumbling coach... Considering the start we had you really can see how many mistakes were made. To Man U, its basically 2 titles won on the same weekend so well done. It was a great Carling Cup final actually...

  • Steven Gerrard . - 2009-03-02 08:27

    To all the Manchester United supporters out there : you guys are right , Liverfool is a second rate team with a second rate manager ! Even Chelski has overtaken us - good for them , how hard ? Lampard ! From now on i will support the GREATEST TEAM AND MANAGER IN THE WORLD - MANCHESTER UNITED and Sir Alex Ferguson . Glory Glory Man United !

  • Shankly's Kin - 2009-03-02 08:30

    Well done boys. You tried your best. The chances were there, but we just couldn't convert. It happens to all the best teams. I urge all 'Pool fans to keep their heads up, and keep believing. Still 11 games to go. Anything can happen in football. Anything. Impossible is nothing. Keep doing the good work Rafa.

  • Shaheen - 2009-03-02 08:53

    I rather say nothing... hehe..... other than let's wait for the (we all knew) "supposed" title decider on March 14th now hey? LOL...

  • Nazeem - 2009-03-02 09:41

    You know, right about now I would want to take advantage of the situation and really let the Liverpool guys have it, but I think as responsible Man Utd fans we must say hard luck guys, it would have been a great end to the season had you guys been able to give us a go.. I wish you better luck in the Champs League...

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-02 11:30

    "keep doing the good work Rafa" ? dude, what r u smoking ? i've been a 'Pool supporter all my life, and 2 c the team he played on the W.E was another frustrating W.E for me in terms of the league - he again plays players out of position & when we CHASING the game after the own goal he puts on Lucas & Ngog ?! those kids r far from ready yet ! yeah, sure, things were REALLY not going our way when we were dominating the match, but why take off the players who WERE creating the 9 shots on target ? (El Zhar & Stevie) even if a 1/3 of those went in, we had the 3 points, but they didn't - bad day at the office but our missing absolute sitters cost us big time - the title is definitely Manure's 2 lose, even if we beat them @ Old Toilet. Why change a winning team ?! I hope the right Liverpool shows up for the remainder of the season, the one that has knocked out Barca, Inter, Chelsea, Arsenal, etc of the CL & not the one we saw on Saturday, if only to keep the pressure on Manure at least & try 2 secure 2nd place at a minimum

  • Nazeem - 2009-03-02 14:19

    Anonymous user @11:30am, c'mon what with all the manure/old toilet comments??? The only team playing shyte right now is Loserpool... I bet my group of U8's can whup their butts right about now...

  • Shaheen - 2009-03-02 16:24

    Your manager is an idiot! You beat Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, and a vital game (every match was vital) against Middlesbrough and he makes four changes to a winning side??? Come on, that cannot breed consistency, and THAT is the BIGGEST downfall of Liverpool, Rafa's rotation policy. Sorry guys, United WILL be LEVEL with 18 LEAGUE titles now, so Liverpool arebeing dethroned as (historically) the most successful English side (domestically). And before you jump down my throat with 5 European Trophies etc etc, we all know about that already. See every match an Anfield, no need for repetitiveness.

  • Man4Life - 2009-03-03 08:06

    We have been verbally abused over the course of this season for being ManU supporters, fortunately for us we knew that " DIE BOL PRAAT " I suggest that liverpool tell their spin doctors to remove the words, TITLE CONTENDERS and LEAGUE RIVALS from all and every future press release, they have managed to lose out on both 1st and 2nd place, that's just weak. You call us manure, well guess what - who is covered in dog crap now. This will be my last communication with you chancers, its time to chat with chelski, we have been neglecting them for so long.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-03 11:44

    shame, touchy touchy - it works both ways guys, you okes are quick to call us "Loserpool" (when we've lost the same amount of games as u guy's), etc but get all sensitive when we tease u's ? I'm the die-hard 'Pool supported who posted yesterday. My wife supports Manure. It's nothing personal mense :-) Take it easy !

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-03 12:11

    i just have to say to all pool fans - dont get frustrated with us cos our team is doin WAY better than yours! suck it up guys its just a few more months left for the league and all other competitions to be over and then you guys can try again! BUT United is not gonna make it easy for you! the one thing you can brag about is how you beat United at anfield i'm sure that will be enuf to keep you guys goin till you actually win a trophy!!! want some advice? FIRE RAFA HE IS USELESS hes trying too hard to be like Fergie with the Rotating of the squad! BIG MISTAKE cos Pool dont have the depth that United have!!! i hear Scolari is lookin for a job maybe thats a start for you guys!!! and wat the hell is it with that Lucas guy i honestly believe he is a Ret@rd he should be the water boy!!! come and catch us if you can!!! Fred The Red Devil!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-03 14:12

    Better luck next season Loserfools. You are going to have to play damn hard at Old Trafford to try and retain 2nd spot. Dont worry, next season both team have won 18 titles, so technically speaking as long as you get a new manager you may just do something.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-03-03 15:51

    but looking at today's news at LIverpoolfc, we are on top of Uefa's table based on co0- effecient points below is Chelsea. Manchester United are placed 7th.

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