Preston 0-2 LFC: What the papers say

Goals from Spanish duo Albert Riera and Fernando Torres gave Liverpool the win in the third round of the FA Cup at Preston on Saturday afternoon. Steven Gerrard impressed in midfield, while Robbie Keane missed several chances to put the game beyond the Championship side in the first half. Here’s what the broadsheets have to say this Sunday morning….

Mark Ogden in The Telegraph comments on Gerrard’s unselfish decision to hand Torres a comeback goal rather than claim the glory himself:

“On the field, he cannot help creating his own headlines, but as he stroked the ball to Fernando Torres in the third minute of stoppage time for the Spaniard to score Liverpool’s second goal against Preston, Gerrard’s unselfishness underlined his reluctance to steal the limelight once more from his team-mates.”

With assistant manager Sammy Lee commenting after the game: “This football club is not about individuals but his pass at the end epitomised the team spirit we have in the team.”

Paul Wilson in The Observer focuses on Keane’s lack of finishing:

“On a day of shocks, there were no more nasty surprises on the Lancashire coast for Liverpool, unless you count some atrocious finishing by Robbie Keane.

As one of the season’s running stories, that one is rapidly losing its shock value, although even by the standards Keane has set since his £20m move some of these misses were hard to believe. Sunday league teams would have been embarrassed. Even Preston hardly knew where to look, knowing that Fernando Torres was watching from the bench and they really ought to have been four or five goals down by half-time. Torres later came on and rounded off the victory with the easiest of tap-ins in injury time, but Keane should have put the result beyond doubt long before then.”

Later commenting:

“Keane missed a gaping target by a distance of yards. He could have had a first-half hat-trick by doing no more than applying three finishing touches, but missed all three by ever more embarrassing margins. When, incredibly, he got a fourth gift-wrapped opportunity in front of goal in first-half stoppage time, he admitted defeat and squared the ball to the less well-placed Alonso.”

While Steve Tongue in The Independent writes:

“The one negative for Liverpool, apart from Alonso’s injury, was the performance of Robbie Keane. Dropped last week after scoring three times in two games, he was restored in place of Dirk Kuyt but wasted three chances in the first half alone, the worst of them from four yards following Gerrard’s perfect cross. Fortunately,Riera’s aim was true midway through the half when Preston were unable to deal with a left-wing corner. Gerrard thought briefly about a spectacular volley, then settled for nudging the ball on for Riera, who came inside on to his favoured left foot and shot high into the net.”

  • More media reports here