The Sunday Papers on Fulham 2 Liverpool 4

Posted by Rushian on October 17, 2004, 05:45:01 AM

Liverpool look good to Benitez as Alonso papers over cracks
by Jason Burt, Independent on Sunday

Three thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine times before yesterday Liverpool have taken to the field for a League match. Rarely will they ever have played as badly as they did in the first half here. They were shocking. Absolutely shocking. That they somehow won this contest was due entirely to Fulham's own shortcomings in protecting their lead, two goals which took heavy deflections, and the introduction of a vibrant Xabi Alonso who scored the third and ran the show .... it was a body-blow and Alonso, dropping deep, dictating play, cutting off Malbranque, exploited it ...

Alonso inspires a change of fortune
by Gerry Cox, The Observer

Rafael Benitez - tactical genius or lucky so-and-so? The debate is on, particularly among Liverpool's happy travelling fans, after their side turned a 2-0 half-time deficit into an unlikely 4-2 victory, their first away win in the Premiership this season. The turning point came at the start of the second half, but the question is whether it was Benitez's decision to make up for an earlier omission by sending on Xabi Alonso as substitute that transformed Liverpool's fortunes, or was it Zat Knight's freak own-goal in the 48th minute that got them back into the game? .... but Liverpool's supporters had been calling for Alonso, and Benitez obliged, taking off the hapless Diao and seeing an instant return with Knight's bizarre own-goal ...

Liverpool ride luck to first away victory
By Clive White, Sunday Telegraph

Liverpool's first away win of the season in the Premiership arrived by way of the most tortuous journey in west London yesterday. Two goals down within the opening half hour, they somehow found a way to win, ultimately comfortably, with the help of an own goal and a deflected free-kick and despite being reduced to 10 men in the second half .... the struggling Josemi then handed the initiative back to Fulham when he transgressed again with a foul on Boa Morte and was sent off ...

Fulham 2 Liverpool 4: Alonso inspires fightback
By Brian Doogan, Sunday Times

Winless away from home and two goals behind at half-time, Liverpool conspired to make their 4,000th league game one to remember, maybe even a seminal moment for new manager Rafael Benitez. Xabi Alonso inspired the revival as soon as he came on for the second half; luck played a huge part — two deflected goals wrecking Fulham’s dream start — but the impact on Liverpool’s season could be immense. “Winning makes it easier to acquire mental toughness,” said Benitez. “Winning makes it easier, full stop.” Being able to bring a £10.5m man off the bench can ease the task, too .... before Liverpool could regroup they were hit by another thunderbolt, Malbranque’s magic again exposing Hyppia ...

Liverpool in thrilling fightback
by Press Association, Soccernet

Ten-man Liverpool contrived a thrilling 4-2 fightback success as they recovered from two goals down at half-time to snatch their first Barclays Premiership away win under new manager Rafael Benitez. The manager's Spanish compatriot Xabi Alonso, a £10million signing from Real Sociedad, did the trick with a stunning free-kick from 25 yards which took a slight deflection after the Reds had trailed sheepishly to a Luis Boa Morte double before the break .... Igor Biscan made it 4-2 with virtually the last kick of the match after arriving as another substitute, his smashing strike sailed beyond the hapless Edwin van der Sar ...

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