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FINAL WHISTLE REPORT : SHANGHAI SHENHUA 0 – 2 LIVERPOOL

August 4, 2007
SHANGHAI SHENHUA 0 – 2 LIVERPOOL
Friday 03 August 2007 17:30 , Port of Rotterdam Tournament

TORRES OFF THE MARK IN REDS WIN

Liverpool’s chances of rounding off their pre-season programme with silverware are still alive after Fernando Torres grabbed his first goal for the Reds in a 2-0 victory over Shanghai Shenhua in Rotterdam.

Liverpool’s chances of rounding off their pre-season programme with silverware are still alive after Fernando Torres grabbed his first goal for the Reds in a 2-0 victory over Shanghai Shenhua in Rotterdam.

Rafael Benitez chose the penultimate warm-up match to hand his record signing a first start, and the 23 year old didn’t disappoint with a lively display which was rewarded with a cleverly taken goal after just 12 minutes.

And skipper Steven Gerrard added a spectacular second just seconds after being introduced from the substitute’s bench to secure the points.

Liverpool controlled the play almost from first minute to last and, aside from a slight first half scare when Sami Hyypia was forced to avert the danger as Soto Blanco was given a sight of goal, Benitez will be well pleased with his side’s display in the energy sapping Dutch heat.

Argentinian youngster Sebastian Leto was also handed his debut after receiving permission to play from the footballing authorities, while fellow countryman Emiliano Insua was given another chance to impress on the left side of the defence.

Torres’ strike was the highlight of a low key first half during which Peter Crouch also went close with a long range strike and Momo Sissoko tested the goalkeeper with a couple of long range efforts.

The goal the Reds deserved “ and the one Torres craved “ arrived after 12 minutes when the Spanish striker found space behind the back of the Shanghai defence to latch onto Yossi Benayoun’s pass and clip the ball over Chen Zhang in the Chinese goal.

Ryan Babel and Steven Gerrard were introduced to the action after an hour and the captain took no time at all to stamp his mark on the match with a brilliant curling shot from outside the area into the far corner of the goal.

The local Feyenoord fans “ who a minute earlier had greeted the arrival of former Ajax man Ryan Babel with a chorus of boos “ were soon standing to join the Liverpool fans in applauding the brilliance of the skipper. It won’t be the last time this season we see such a spectacular goal from our number eight.

Dirk Kuyt was afforded a real hero’s welcome when he joined the action 17 minutes from time and he almost made an instant impact with a wonderful pass into the feet of Benayoun, but the Israeli took too long to get his shot away with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Shanghai may not have provided the greatest of opposition against which to test the progress of Rafa’s Reds during pre-season “ but the clash with Feyenoord in two days time is sure to be a different story.

And, with a trophy at stake, victory would be the perfect tonic to take into the final week before the big kick-off at Aston Villa.

Teams

Liverpool: Martin, Insua, Hyypia (captain), Paletta, Finnan, Leto, Sissoko, Leiva, Benayoun, Crouch, Torres. Subs – Riise, Babel, Arbeloa, Gerrard, Alonso, Kuyt, Mascherano, Reina, Carragher

Shanghai Shenhua: Zhang, Xiang, Du, Weifeng (captain), Gang, Xiao, Blanco, Yu, Sun, Alonso, Jiang. Subs – Yao, Chang, Zheng, Wang, Martinez, Shengjiong, Ricard, Hui, Ke

Referee: Unknown

Conditions: Unknown

Attendance: Unknown

Liverpoolfc.tv Man-of-the-Match: Yossi Benayoun

Breakdown

16:30 GMT : Match Starts
1 min : Shanghai get the Rotterdam Tournament under way
2 mins : Leto gets first touch as Reds knock it around
2 mins : Leiva dispossessed in midfield
3 mins : Leto’s got white boots on
4 mins : Hyypia hits long ball on to Torres but the keeper intercepts
5 mins : Torres barged off the ball
5 mins : Substitution: Hamilton Ricard for Tao Yu:
7 mins : How did Ricard end up in China?
8 mins : Strong run by Torres but he can’t get a decent shot in
10 mins : Torres forced wide…gets the cross in…headed clear
11 mins : Ricard gets his first touch but he’s sandwiched off it by South America buds Lucas and Paletta
12 mins : Nice play by Leto down the left
13 mins : GOAL! Fernando Torres: Great dink over the keeper after superb Yossi throughball. Torres is off the mark – get in!
16 mins : Leto skins his man before laying off to Yossi – but the Israeli dummies when no one is there
18 mins : Leiva getting a lot of the ball
19 mins : Insua and Blanco having a personal battle down our left…they’re still at it…Insua wins
19 mins : Sissoko throughball…Crouch doesn’t read it
20 mins : Crouch has definitely got the height advantage here
21 mins : Blanco starts on Momo after foul – you don’t want to do that mate
22 mins : Martin catches their free-kick easily
23 mins : Momo tries a long one to Yossi but it’s cut out
24 mins : Ricard’s on the floor again but the ref’s having none of it
25 mins : Leiva chips it to Finnan down the right…Reds corner
25 mins : Leto takes it…gets it back…has a crack…blocked – unlucky son
26 mins : Was that a flick from Momo? He’s having a good pre-season
26 mins : This is measured but we’re in control
27 mins : Leiva looks hurt after a stumble
28 mins : He’s getting up now…should be okay
28 mins : Good link up play by Yossi and Fernando – they seem to be on the same wavelength
29 mins : Good challenge by Momo
29 mins : Paletta doesn’t take any chances with Ricard on the lookout…but then his clearance is disappointing
30 mins : Is that the same Li Weifeng who used to play for Everton? How many Li Weifengs can there be?
30 mins : Torres goes down in the box…the ref’s not biting
31 mins : Crouch through…tries to volley over the keeper…easy save
31 mins : Leto does his man again…but his cross is too heavy
34 mins : oh…they’re through…Martin comes…the shot hits his leg and goes clear
34 mins : Blanco will be kicking himself for that miss
35 mins : Reds taken their foot off the gas…Rafa is taking notes
36 mins : Babel warming up…they don’t like him in Feyenoord…he smiles
36 mins : Shanghai free-kick down their right…they have a pop…side-netting
37 mins : Ricard and Diego Alonso crash into each other…that’s quite funny
38 mins : Crouch fouled midway inside their half
38 mins : Leto swings one in but it’s cleared easily
39 mins : Now Kuyt’s warming up…he gets a standing ovation. They used to call him Dirk Kuip – after their stadium
41 mins : Momo man-handled in the box…why is that a foul to them?
43 mins : Leto looks tricky for a six foot twoer
43 mins : Lovely play by Torres but his cross is too long
44 mins : They’re backing off…Momo is on the ball…tries one from 35 yards…too soft
44 mins : Torres keeps drifting to the right…the ball goes in for Momo but he volleys over
17:16 GMT : Half Time Reached
17:31 GMT : Second Half Begins
46 mins : Crouch and Torres get the second half under way
46 mins : Turns out the guy subbed after six minutes is their owner!
47 mins : Another good run from Torres but he’s tackled just before he can get his shot away
48 mins : Leto and Torres link well…Leto wins a corner
48 mins : Yossi swings it in but it’s cleared
49 mins : Leiva is battered in the head…goes down…that guy should be booked for that, but he isn’t
50 mins : Leiva is bleeding
50 mins : Yossi sends free-kick into the box…Torres gets his head to it but can’t get anything on it
52 mins : Momo loses it in the middle
52 mins : Long ball seems to catch Reds defence out…Ricard takes it past Hyypia…his cross is straight into the arms of Martin
53 mins : Rash challenge from Paletta on the edge of our box
54 mins : Diego Alonso strikes it but that’s no problem for Martin
54 mins : Great tackle by Momo
55 mins : Cool play between Leto and Insua down the left
56 mins : Good hustling from Leiva wins the ball back inside the Shanghai half but the move soon breaks down
57 mins : Paletta stops Blanco
58 mins : Leto inside the opposition area…tries one…well wide
59 mins : The skipper is limbering up…he and Babel could be about to come on
59 mins : Strong defending from Sami to clear Ricard threat
60 mins : Torres is given acres…pulls the trigger from distance…straight at the keeper
61 mins : Substitution: Ryan Babel for Peter Crouch:
61 mins : Substitution: Steven Gerrard for Momo Sissoko:
62 mins : Babel going over to the right, Yossi heading up front
62 mins : Substitution: Lin Chang for Kun Jiang:
64 mins : GOAL! Steven Gerrard: Absolute corker from Gerrard as he sends a dipping curler into the top corner from an angle 20 yards out
67 mins : Babel picks up the ball on the edge of the box and sends a powerful drive goalwards…it’s turned away for a corner
68 mins : Gerrard’s corner comes to nothing after Babel foul
70 mins : Great play by Gerrard down the left
72 mins : Leiva again wins the ball in the middle
72 mins : Gerrard threads it through to Torres with his left foot but the Spaniard can’t quite get there
73 mins : Rafa’s waiting to make some more changes
64 mins : Substitution: Dirk Kuyt for Fernando Torres:
74 mins : Substitution: Javier Mascherano for Lucas Leiva:
75 mins : Substitution: Xie Hui for Hamilton Ricard:
75 mins : Substitution: Wang Ke for Sergio Blanco:
77 mins : They are going wild for our boy Dirk here
74 mins : Substitution: Alvaro Arbeloa for Steve Finnan:
79 mins : Dirk tries to take them all on…he’s challenged and the crowd boo the Chinaman
80 mins : Dirk is offside…the crowd boo the linesman
81 mins : Dirk and Stevie link up well…to Yossi…his cross could have been better
82 mins : Nice turn by Yossi…to Babel…runs into trouble
83 mins : Yossi has a pop but he doesn’t connect properly
84 mins : Nice ball from Leto to Dirk…Reds forced to retreat…the move dies
85 mins : Another class ball from the skipper to Yossi…lays it off to Dirk…can’t get the shot in
86 mins : Martin’s had little to do this half – probably best, he played for the reserves yesterday
87 mins : Shanghai are putting a lot of bodies behind the ball now
88 mins : This has been a good workout for Rafa’s boys
18:16 GMT : Match Over

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