skip to content

Liverpool 4 Burnley 0: Anfield hopes may rest of Rafa rotation

More

12 Sep 2009 23:21:27

Liverpool 4 Burnley 0: Anfield hopes may rest of Rafa rotation

For once, nobody at Anfield was complaining about Rafa Benitez's rotations. Yossi Benayoun was called up and scored a hat-trick and the decision to play Dirk Kuyt as a striker was also vindicated by a goal. It all added up to an autumn stroll to suggest people write off Liverpool's title chances at their peril, despite defeats against Spurs and Aston Villa. Liverpool's Achilles heel last season was failing to beat so-called minnows at home. But there was never a chance Burnley would be let off the hook once the recalled Benayoun struck with a classy effort after 27 minutes.   Middle man: Yossi Benayoun opens the scoring for Liverpool 'The first goal is always important in games like this,' said Benitez. 'We scored in the first minute against Stoke and won 4-0. Once we scored our first goal, they had to push out more and we had space to make chances.' Of Benayoun, Benitez added: 'We know he has quality and have seen how good he is from the bench. 'He came to see me at one stage and said he wanted to play more from the start. I told him to be ready because I would make changes for games, particularly follow World Cup qualifiers. His movement was fantastic for the team and the understanding between all the players was very good.' Kuyt, up front to accommodate Benayoun after playing most of the last year as a workaholic winger, poached a second and Benayoun rounded things off with a second-half brace, thanks to a little help from Steven Gerrard and Andriy Voronin. The Israeli's third Liverpool hattrick in his two years at the club not bad for a wispy winger meant Fernando Torres could afford to coast through the game ahead of Wednesday's Champions League opener against Debrecen. Enjoying the fun in the sun more than anyone was staunch Liverpool fan Michael Shields. He watched the action from the Anfield directors' box after spending the last four years in prison for a crime of attempted murder he always denied. For Burnley, this was a wake-up call following early-season wins against Manchester United and Everton. G force: Steven Gerrard challenges Burnley's Martin Paterson Their approach of trying to play football rather than defend will win plaudits, but might not always get results. They looked good yesterday for the first minute, when Martin Paterson had a good chance, then were pummelled for the remaining 89. If it had not been for Burnley keeper Brian Jensen, the home side could have reached double figures. The burly Dane pulled off extraordinary saves from Kuyt and Gerrard, who also hit the outside of the post, and Benayoun had another goal wrongly ruled out for offside. It did not matter, and Liverpool fans could even laugh at pony-tailed substitute Andriy Voronin making a hash of a sitter in added time by chipping wide with the goal at his mercy. Benitez has sometimes been accused of tinkering too much but his decision to replace Javier Mascherano given time off after being away on World Cup duty in South America with Benayoun was spot on. Benayoun collected a pass from Glen Johnson down the right, dummied inside and swerved outside marker Graham Alexander before clipping a low cross-shot past Jensen. Point to prove: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez The whole atmosphere changed, and from then it was a case of how many. Kuyt pounced from close range after Jensen punched Benayoun's shot to him, Gerrard surged past three defenders before squaring unselfishly for Benayoun to score a third and, after the Israeli had been denied a hat-trick by a stray flag, he timed his run perfectly to stroke home a through-ball from Voronin in the closing minutes.  Sitting pretty: Liverpool fan Michael Shields was given the VIP treatment at Anfield just days after receiving a royal pardon from secretary of state for justice Jack Straw Burnley manager Owen Coyle said: 'It was a steep learning curve for us. I am disappointed in the manner we lost our goals. We know we can do better. 'I won't change the way we play though. I will always encourage tryingto play football.' Mascherano stayed in  South America to rest a minor pelvic injury, andBenitez is hopeful he will be fit for the Champions League in midweek.Liverpool have completed a shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered, a London-based investment bank, worth £80million over fouryears. It will provide Benitez will much-needed funds in future seasonsas the prospects of building a new stadiumwith increased capacity look doubtful during the credit crunch.LIVERPOOL (4-4-2): Reina; Johnson (Degen 64min), Carragher, Skrtel, Insua; Benayon, Lucas, Gerrard, Riera; Torres (Ngog75), Kuyt (Voronin 69). Subs (not used): Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos,Spearing, Dossena. BURNLEY (4-1-4-1): Jensen; Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan; Alexander (Gudjonsson 75); Fletcher, McCann, Elliott, Blake (Eagles 58); Paterson (Nugent 70). Subs (not used): Penny, McDonald, Thompson, Guerrero. Booked: Jordan, Eagles. Referee: L Mason (Lancashire).  Liverpool 4 Burnley 0: the action as it happenedWe're way off beam! Reina's blunt on Liverpool's title credentialsAndy Townsend's boot room: the stats, the facts, the tips, the teams...BURNLEY FC


Daily_Mail

Sponsored links

Facebook comments