Sunday, July 17, 2011

Match Report: Malaysia 3 - 6 Liverpool

Charlie Adam scored from the spot on his first start for the club as Kenny Dalglish's side won another high-scoring friendly victory.

Having beaten Guangdong 4-3 in China three days ago, there were nine more goals in an entertaining clash against a Malaysian XI.

Adam, a £6.75million signing from Blackpool, was named in midfield alongside Jay Spearing, Raul Meireles and Conor Coady, with Andy Carroll in front of Joe Cole in attack.

Adam was a lively presence in the opening exchanges and after 25 minutes played in Carroll, who went down in the area and earned the penalty.

Adam had to take the spot-kick twice but sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 1-0.

Mohammad Safiq Rahim equalized with a fine free-kick five minutes from half-time.

Dalglish made 11 substitutions at the break and after 68 minutes David Ngog scored following some poor defending.

The Frenchman added a second moments later as the Reds swamped their opponents.

Maxi Rodriguez made it 4-1 in the 76th minute before Mohammad Safi scored twice in as many minutes to put the hosts back in contention.

Maxi then scored a second of his own in the last minute as the All-Stars chased the equaliser, with Dirk Kuyt making it six deep in injury time.

Charlie Adam Overjoyed After Scoring His First Goal For Liverpool

Charlie Adam admitted that he is very happy to have opened his goal scoring account for Liverpool.

The Reds took on Malaysia in a pre-season friendly that ended 6-3 in favour of Kenny Dalglish's men, with the former Blackpool midfielder opening the scoring after successfully converting a penalty.

"Obviously I'm delighted to get on the scoresheet," Adam told the club's official website. "The performance is always the most important thing. I'm lucky because Andy [Carroll] should have taken the penalty and he was nice enough to give it to me.

"It was my first real opportunity to score and I'm delighted. But I'd rather get it in the Premier League than in a friendly."

The man in charge ordered the 25-year-old to re-take his spot-kick after he had put the ball in the back of the net, but the ex-Rangers man sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to grab his maiden goal.

"It was a similar situation to the one I had last season at Tottenham when I had to take the kick twice. I knew what was going to come but I'm just glad it went in this time. To get a goal for this club means a lot, but like I say, it'll be more special when I get one in the Premier League."

Adam was also surprised by the enormous support that he and the team have received, and said: "To come here and have 80,000 supporting you is incredible. It just shows how big this club is. We'll need the support over the season and hopefully we can repay them with good performances and results."

Steve Clarke Praises Charlie Adam After His First Liverpool Goal

Liverpool's assistant manager Steve Clarke praised his team's efforts against a Malaysia XI on Saturday, after a 6-3 win, particularly new signing Charlie Adam's influence on the game, scoring a twice-taken penalty early on.

Clarke took over from the absent Kenny Dalglish as his team trounced the Malaysia side, with goals from Adam, Dirk Kuyt and two from David Ngog and Maxi Rodriguez and he was quick to praise his players after the game, particularly Adam.

"He did well. He had the added pressure that he had to take the penalty a second time," he told the club's official website.

"He showed great composure. He also enjoyed some nice touches and some good forward passes.

"We all know there is a lot more to come from all of the players and Charlie Adam is one of those that will improve throughout the pre-season.

"We've got to be happy with the fact we scored six goals. We are disappointed that we conceded three - although one of them looked at least three yards offside.

"It was a good work-out. We got the fitness work done and that is what you are trying to do at this stage. We have a lot of things we need to improve but we can take a lot of positives too."

Clarke also admitted that the team were enjoying their trip to the Far East, but were looking forward to heading home.

"We've had a fantastic time. The people in China and Malaysia have looked after us and made us feel really welcome," he added.

"The players are a bit tired. They've had a long week of training and played a couple of games. We are tired and ready to go home - but before we do that we must drop in on our friends in Singapore and say hello to the fans there."

Liverpool Owner Impressed By Aquilani And Ngog

Liverpool owner John Henry has hinted that Alberto Aquilani and David Ngog both have futures at the club.

Aquilani has been linked with a return to Italy after impressing during a loan spell at Juventus last season, having previously struggled for fitness and form at Liverpool.

Ngog has also failed to impress at Anfield, scoring just nine Premier League goals in 63 appearances. It has been speculated that a summer switch to Sunderland or Aston Villa could be on the cards.

However, the pair impressed Henry during the Reds' 6-3 victory over a Malaysian XI on Saturday, with Ngog scoring twice and Aquilani displaying his creative qualities.

Reacting to the result, Henry wrote on Twitter: "One missing link last year: Acquilani. Put the ball near Ngog and the goal and it's going in. Too much talk of them somewhere else."

Liverpool Agree Fee For Cissokho

According to reports in French daily newspaper, Le Parisien, Liverpool has agreed a fee with Lyon for left back Aly Cissokho.

The paper reports that the 23 year old French international, who saw a move to AC Milan fall through in 2009 over dental issues, will cost the big spending Anfield club 8.7 million pounds.

The former Porto player began his career with Gueugnon before making a name for himself in Portugal firstly with Vitoria Setubal and then with Porto, with whom he won the Portuguese league before joining Lyon in 2009 for a reported 15 million euro.

The left back position has proved to be problem area for Liverpool in recent seasons and fixing it this summer has been a priority for Kenny Dalglish. The club has been linked with moves for a number of players including Gael Clichy, Jose Enrique and Leighton Baines however it seems that their search is finally over providing terms can be agreed and a medical passed.

Reds Eye £10m Midfielder

Liverpool could be set to make a £10million move for Lee Cattermole with the Sunderland player devastated at losing the captaincy to new boy John O'Shea.

Black Cats boss Steve Bruce has handed his recent signing from Manchester United the armband, delivering a massive blow to the tenacious Cattermole.

And now the Merseysiders are keeping tabs as Kenny Dalglish continues his policy of signing top English players and the former Wigan midfielder, 23, could be next.

There will be no lack of spice when Sunderland head to Anfield for the first match of the season on August 13. Bruce has signed three midfielders in Craig Gardner, David Vaughan and Seb Larsson plus young Irishman David Meyler meaning Cattermole may not even make the starting line-up.

He could also be reunited with old pal Jordan Henderson, who left Wearside to join the Reds last month.

Cattermole found himself under fire last season because of his dire disciplinary record of 10 bookings and two sendings off including a dismissal in the opening game against Birmingham City. And, after this weeks tour of Germany, Bruce will announce O’Shea as his new skipper ahead of his fellow ex-United signing Wes Brown because of his superior fitness record.

Despite Sunderland bringing in no fewer than nine players in the close season, there could yet be more arrivals before the big kick-off. Heading for the exit will be right-back Marcos Angeleri, who is set to return home to Argentina.

Dalglish is also looking abroad for young talent and is poised to bid for young Swedish centre-half Alexander Milosevic rated at £1.5m by his club AIK Solna.

The Reds chief sent his top spies to check out the 19-year-old last week and have opened talks with his club about bringing him to Anfield.

Milosevic has played over a dozen times for AIK and the Kop want to snatch him now before Arsenal and Sunderland make their moves.

Comolli Delighted With Downing

Damien Comolli believes new signing Stewart Downing is the 'missing link' that Liverpool have been lacking.

The Reds shelled out £20million for the former Aston Villa winger who joins fellow new boys Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and goalkeeper Doni at Anfield.

And Liverpool's director of football is delighted with the capture of the England international, as well as the other additions and cannot wait to see them training together for the first time on Monday.

On Downing's signature, Comolli told Sky Sports News: "It is very significant, as significant as the others. I don't think we can make any difference. They are all priorities for us, the Liverpool players we've signed.

"With Stewart, we know everything he can bring to us, but we are delighted to have signed the other three as well.

"Obviously he can play on both sides which is good.

"He can play different systems whether it's 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 or whatever Kenny (Dalglish) wants to do, and then he brings us his strength - the quality of his delivery.

"He can score, he creates a lot, he can deliver a lot of assists so he was the missing link that we didn't have and that's why we were eager to get him.

"To have everybody on Monday is a comfort really. I saw Carra (Jamie Carragher) said about Stewart that he will come into the changing rooms knowing all of the players and I think that is very important."

Viola To Pay For Aquilani Loan?

Fiorentina could bring Alberto Aquilani back to Serie A by paying Liverpool to take him on loan.

Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic confirmed in his Press conference on Friday that his team “needs an Aquilani-style midfielder” for this season.

The Italian international has made it clear he would like to play in Serie A after Juventus failed to take up their option to make a loan spell permanent.

According to the latest reports coming out of Florence, the Viola are prepared to pay Liverpool in order to have Aquilani on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.

Even with this cut-price method of taking the €14m-rated ex-Roma man, there are still big financial obstacles.

Aquilani’s contract is worth €4m per season, which is far above Fiorentina’s current wage average.

The club hopes Aquilani will agree to lower his wage demands in order to play regularly in the lead-up to Euro 2012.

Enrique Unlikely To Fancy Liverpool Move

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has admitted that defender Jose Enrique is keen to quit the club and move to one that will offer him Champions League football.

Enrique has been one of the club's best players over past seasons and Liverpool and Arsenal are believed to be in the market for a left-back of his class. Newcastle has made him a lucrative new contract offer, but having rejected it, Pardew concedes that the Spanish star may have to move on.

However, Pardew's admission that Enrique is holding out for Champions League football would suggest Kenny Dalglish will miss out on his second left-back target, after Gael Clichy moved to Manchester City.

"The noises coming out of Jose's camp are that he wants to get a new club playing Champions League football," Pardew said.

"Unfortunately we can't offer him that but that seems to be his focus. Hopefully that will change but we've offered him a massive contract which he does not want to sign, so it's a difficult position.

"There have been no concrete offers. But if he goes, it is going to leave a big hole in the team. It would need filling quickly."

However, Enrique is in the Toon squad which flies out to the United States for a three-match tour after Friday's friendly at Darlington.

Rampant U18s Hit Eight

Adam Morgan scored a fantastic double as a rampant Liverpool U18s beat Stevenage Borough 8-0 at the Academy in a pre-season friendly on Saturday afternoon.

The prolific striker came on in the second-half for his first outing since playing for England in the U17s World Cup in Mexico, and netted with an audacious strike from 40-yards out.

He also scored the last goal of the game with another great finish, and was a denied a hat-trick right at the end after a goalmouth scramble.

Jack Dunn and defender Matty Regan, who were with Morgan in Mexico, also made appearances off the bench.

Fresh from scoring six against Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday, Mike Marsh's new-look team made it 14 goals in just two friendly outings.

Jordan Lussey was also on target as he netted an outstanding goal with a move he started in his own half.

Marsh fielded a number of trialists and one of them grabbed a hat-trick, with the other netting a double.