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Discussion Starter #1
www.liverpoolfc.tv
ALONSO BOOST FOR REDS
Paul Eaton 05 April 2005
Xabi Alonso will provide Liverpool with a massive boost tonight when he takes his place on the substitute's bench for the Champions League clash with Juventus.
Alonso isn't fit enough to start the game after overcoming a fractured ankle, but boss Rafael Benitez has confirmed his Spanish midfielder will be in the squad.

Irresepective of whether he joins the action at some stage tonight or not, Alonso will play for the reserves against Leeds tomorrow.

Benitez said: "Xabi is in the squad. He will not be in the starting eleven but he will be in the squad because he is an important player and he is now training with the team.

"He is not 100 per cent fit and the idea is not to use him against Juventus because we hope to be playing well and winning. But if we are not and we need something different at the end of the game, then we may think about using him."
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If this was chess, I believe the term would be check.

Seriously though I wouldn't play him in this game to bigger rush IMO he hasn't even played for the reserves yet but just having him on the bench will be a boost for the lads :thumbsup:
 

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I doubt he will play tonight. Rafa mentioned that he will play only if the result require it, so let's hope we'll see him fully fit against City in 9 April :)

Anyway - it's a great boots for the players and the supporters and for our fourth spot chances as well.

But still if he can get five or ten minutes - I can imagine how the fans would welcome him :D .

YNWA
 

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gud news man :shades: :shades: :shades:
 

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Mutu_20 said:
I agree, no point risking him when there's a second leg to go.
Surely then no point in him being on the bench. If he were a striker then fair enough but to have a midfielder on the bench for "emergency use only" seems a bit daft to me
 

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perhaps Benitez wants to bring him on for twenty muinutes at the end when you are 4-0 up and the tie is done and dusted :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Owzat said:
Surely then no point in him being on the bench. If he were a striker then fair enough but to have a midfielder on the bench for "emergency use only" seems a bit daft to me
why one defence splitting pass could be descisive (sp?), besides you get 7 subs in Europe don't see giving one spot to one of best our players is a mistake considering the alternatives. We aint even got any fit strikers for "emergency use" anyway
 

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At the rate we lose players Cisse and Paco Ayestaran could get a spot on the bench.
 

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SM ONLINE said:
why one defence splitting pass could be descisive (sp?),
More likely to get injured than pull of a wonder pass

SM ONLINE said:
besides you get 7 subs in Europe don't see giving one spot to one of best our players is a mistake considering the alternatives. We aint even got any fit strikers for "emergency use" anyway
True enough but do you want to risk losing a player to injury just as he's coming back from injury, especially such a key player? And what situation could he have come into, 0-2 down? 1-2 down? What situation would have warranted bringing him on to perform this magical pass that would turn a bad situation around so much that it was worth risking him? I say there isn't one worth the risk, I'd rather give him a run out against Man City and have him available for the league if not the return leg and possible SF
 

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Discussion Starter #10
^to late now.

XABI MAKES SUCCESSFUL COMEBACK
Steve Hunter at Wrexham 06 April 2005
Xabi Alonso has given Liverpool's Champions League hopes a massive boost by playing 45 minutes for the Reserves in the 1-0 defeat by Leeds United at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground.
Spanish ace Alonso has been out for three months after breaking his ankle on New Year's Day against Chelsea and the sight of the midfield maestro back on a football pitch ahead of schedule is a very welcome one for Rafael Benitez.

Alonso played the second half and was quickly into his stride, making tackles and spraying the ball about with quality passes left, right and centre. He looked really sharp and combined superbly in midfield with John Welsh.

As for the game itself Hughie McAuley's side gave it everything, especially in the second half with Alonso on the field, and they were unlucky not to get at least a point.

Liverpool played good passing football in the second half and used the width well with Richie Partridge down the right, and Ryan Wilkie especially down the left catching the eye. Wilkie had an excellent game and was a constant threat to the Leeds defence.

Many times in the second half Liverpool got in behind the Leeds defence but the only thing that was lacking what a goal predator to put the ball in the back of the net. Irish youth striker Conal Platt worked hard and is a good young footballer with a good touch and vision, but he is more of a creative attacking player than a natural finisher.

The only goal of the game came on 27 minutes when Leeds Chris Jones curled a splendid shot past Paul Harrison.

With captain John Welsh and David Mannix in central midfield Hughie McAuley gave Academy defender Adam Hitchen his first reserve start at right back with David Raven moving to left back. Darren Potter played just off the lone striker Conal Platt.

Potter created the first chance for the Reds after two minutes when his superb back heel released Richie Partridge whose effort was well saved by Leeds former Charlton keeper Sasa Ilic.

Partridge went close again after 11 minutes when his cross was deflected just over the bar and at the other end David Raven cleared a Leeds cross off the line.

Wilkie then got in behind the Leeds defence down the left side but his cross was behind Partridge. Then after more good play from Wilkie Darren Potter had a great chance but unfortunately the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international miskicked in front of goal.

The best moment of the night arrived in the second half with the arrival of Xabi Alonso. Hitchen made way with Mannix moving to right back with Alonso partnering Welsh in midfield.

Straight away Alonso was putting tackles in and not afraid to get stuck in.

Liverpool had a great chance to equalise after 56 minutes from a corner but the unmarked Danny O'Donnell blazed over the bar.

After 70 minutes Alonso produced a brilliant cross from the left wing which he hit with the outside of his right foot, but after a goalmouth scramble Liverpool just couldn't force the ball home.

A superb Alonso pass then sent Partridge racing away but despite cutting into the area he shot wide. Partridge also missed a great chance four minutes from time when he couldn't keep an effort down from a good position.

Liverpool Reserves: Harrison, Hitchen (Alonso 45), Raven, O'Donnell, Whitbread, Mannix, Partridge, Welsh, Platt, Potter, Wilkie. Subs unused: Willis (GK), Hammill, Noon, Barratt.

Leeds United Reserves: Ilic, McKeown, Morris, Rothery, Keegan, Parker, Gray, Jones, Corr, Smith, Woods.

Referee: P N Gibbs.

Liverpoolfc.tv Man of the Match: Ryan Wilkie. Superb display on the left wing from Wilkie, really got at the Leeds right back.
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:thmbup: :smileani:
 
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