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Talk lfc match report

Match report and Player analysis by Robin Amins for talklfc

Liverpool climbed to fifth place in the Premiership thanks to wonderful strikes from John Arne Riise and Luis Garcia. Let's see what they said after the match... Rafa Benitez on the match:

"First half we had a lot of opportunities, but we couldn't score. Sometimes it was because of the goalkeeper, sometimes a defender."

"I am not sure if this was our best performance of the season because we played very well in the first half against Deportivo, very well in the second half at Fulham, and very well in other home games this season."

"I am happy with the win but we had many opportunities and needed to score more goals. We had at least 10 clear opportunities to score besides the two goals and you need to score. This was very much like our goalless draw with Deportivo in the week. We had so many opportunities and the players will need to take far more of them in the future. "

"Just as against Deportivo, we played very well for a long period and made many chances. The problem can be when if you have so many opportunities and don't score then sometimes it can only take one mistake to let the opposition score."

"We are taking a little step with each game and we must try to keep doing that. If you play well and you win, it is good."

Rafa Benitez on Baros & Cisse: "They both did very well. Cisse was moved onto the right in the second half and he had a good game, and Baros looked sharp all game. You can see now that they do have the ability to form a partnership, they both did very well and can only improve as a pair as the season continues."

Man-of-the match Xabi Alonso: "We have to be confident as we were in the second half when we scored."

Charlton manager Alan Curbishley: "We had to work so hard to even get the ball. We could not get going and we gave the ball away as soon as we had it. That was much to do with the way Liverpool played and how the pressured us. I have lost count of the games where we have conceded goals from outside the box, and there were two more here."

"Liverpool have played very well, they look formidable at home and a few sides will struggle at Anfield."

"Liverpool asked us questions and we didn't have enough. That could be the same for a lot of clubs playing at Anfield this season. But we are just not giving ourselves a chance with our defence under pressure all the time."

"Our attitude away from home has to change. We need results and quickly. We have got to alter the way we approach away games because it is totally different. As for Liverpool, they are very good and they will be competing for everything they are in right to the death this season. This is a very impressive team now."

John Arne Riise and Luis Garcia succeeded where Liverpool’s strikers failed and confirmed the steady emergence of Rafael Benitez’s side who move into fifth following this emphatic, if nervy, victory. The pair produced stunning efforts to relieve the growing belief around Anfield that Liverpool’s season could flounder because of their inability to finish teams off.

Player-by-player analysis

Chris Kirkland

Chris had nothing much to do in this match. It would be no exaggeration to say that we could have fielded Patrice Luzi and still got a clean sheet. But of course, as mentioned in the past, the defenders seemed more comfortable with Kirky behind them. His second clean sheet since his return to the line-up.

Steve Finnan

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley apparently started with Dennis Rommedahl on the left flank because he wanted to 'take advantage' of Josemi's absence from the right fullback position. That's underestimating Steve's ability. He may not be the world's best defender but he is one of the few reliable players around. And he showed that in this match.

Jamie Carragher

Another good game for Carra. Wears his heart on his sleeve and Liverpool's Mr Consistent. Showed some nimble footwork to dribble away from an attacker on some occasions rather than clearing the ball away when under pressure.

Sami Hyypia

He could have scored with a header from Garcia's corner but Danny Murphy was on hand to clear the ball off the line for the Addicks. He even launched himself into a bicycle kick after that! Easy afternoon for Sami...

Djimi Traore

I checked the stats and Charlton had about 3 or 4 efforts on the Liverpool goal. But I just can't remember those which shows just how well the defence did to protect Chris Kirkland. And surely Djimi contributed to the clean sheet. Slowly winning over his critics.

Luis Garcia

Sometimes sloppy, sometimes superb. But if he scores with a screamer like that one for everytime he gives away the ball needlessly, nobody will be complaining. As in the last few matches, Luis played behind the main striker instead of at the right flank in the second half and could have got a couple more goals for himself. But what a goal that was. Surely one of the best the Anfield crowd have witnessed. His corners were mostly good and his penchant for the sublime is the reason why many fans rate him highly.

Xabi Alonso

The people at Barclays chose him as the Man of the Match but to be honest, I found it hard to choose someone because so many of them played so well. Luis Garcia I'm sure would have snagged the award had his superb second effort found the back of the net but I'm not going to complain about that. Xabi's passing was slick and smooth as usual but he did give away the ball on a few occasions. Surely that had to do with the rain...

Dietmar Hamann

Typical Didi Hamann. Did the dirty work quietly and efficiently while the others took charge of the creativity. Played it simple most of the times and got a cheer from sections of the crowd after his swipe at ex-Bluenose Franny Jeffers.

John Arne Riise

If only he had more confidence in his right foot. Found himself in a goalscoring position as early as the first few minutes but wasted the chance after trying to cut it back to his left foot. Combined well with Djimi down the left flank and we really needed that goal to break the deadlock. His first goal in 18 months if I'm not wrong and it's been a long time since we last heard his song.

Milan Baros

Milan worked hard yet again. Dropped deep to get the ball and linked up well with midfield but sometimes took a touch too much on the ball when an early release would have been good. His close control is superb but heading is definitely not his forte. And he showed that when he missed two good opportunities to score when he headed straight at Kiely once and another one went agonisingly wide off the mark.

Djibril Cisse

It's all written on Djibril's face. But you wonder whether he is frustrated with his strike partner or with himself. Unlucky not to score with a very good freekick. Drew a blank yet again but did very well in the second half. Many say he is faster than Thierry Henry and maybe that was why on one occasion, he could chase the ball and conjure a good cross out of what looked like a lost cause.

Harry Kewell It was pleasing to see that instead of rushing him back, Rafa is resting Harry to let him get over his injury problems. Riise is doing well in his absence and he may have some problems getting back into the them if the Norwegian many a few more goals.

Florent Sinama Pongolle

He came on for Cisse in midweek and this time round, it was Baros' turn. Second substitute appearance for Flo Po after he asked to leave the club and he did well enough. The goalscoring opportunities dried up after that though.

Stephen Warnock

Came on for Djimi Traore with about 5 minutes left to play and Stephen had nothing much to do. Good to see yet another run out for the Academy graduate though.

Man of the Match:- Xabi Alonso

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