Football

.

Reds facing defining moment

Published Add your comment

Rafael Benitez is hoping against hope that Fernando Torres is fit to face Lyon in Liverpool's crucial Champions League match on Wednesday.

The Liverpool manager took a gamble by substituting his star striker after 63 minutes with the scoreline locked at 1-1 against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday, but his decision backfired when Fulham scored two more goals for a 3-1 victory.

Benitez said: "We needed to do something to protect the player. We were more or less in control of the game. If we had left him on the pitch maybe we would have lost the player for a month."

He added: "It was a difficult decision but we decided to start with him because he can do a proper warm-up. But we decided to take him out at 60 minutes. The last time he played 80 minutes it took him four days to be fit."

To make matters worse, they had Swiss defender Philipp Degen and captain Jamie Carragher sent off in what proved to be the worst possible preparation for their big European encounter.

It means the Spanish striker, who equalised Bobby Zamora's opening goal with a brilliant volley for his 10th league goal of the season, is touch and go to be fit for Wednesday's Group E match which could shape Liverpool's entire season.

Defeat could see them go out of the Champions League at the group stage and with Steven Gerrard doubtful with his groin injury and Glen Johnson suffering from a calf strain, the Liverpool injury list shows no sign of easing.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
European News
Fulham
Bobby Zamora
Football
Glen Johnson
Premier League
Fernando Torres
UEFA Champions League
Steven Gerrard
Jamie Carragher
Liverpool
Philipp Degen

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again