Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mark Gonzalez at Liverpool F.C

Speedy Gonzalez Gets Liverpool Back On Winning Track
Chilean Footballer Scores First P. League Goal Against Spurs

On September 23, Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez made a good decision and put on Chilean national team player Mark "Speedy" Gonzales from the first minute during the English Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspurs. The action took place at Anfield Road, the home ground of England's most successful football club. Liverpool's rival was another of England's most traditional clubs, also known as the "Spurs", that in recent years has been always in the middle of the points table. Tottenham´s last major trophy was in 2001, when the north London club won the "Worthington Cup".
Yet again the Liverpool fans were rewarded with a sunny day and filled up the grandstands at Anfield Road to cheer on their team, that has been struggling to show consistency in its play. Mark Gonzales was fundamental in bringing back optimism to the local fans that had not been very pleased with the previous results (defeats to Everton and Chelsea and a victory over Newcastle United. With his dangerous runs up the left wing, Gonzales showed that he is the man to lead the Liverpool attack and bring danger to rival areas. Speedy was first applauded by the fans in the 19th minute as he approached the Spurs area but was brought down by a defender, and again in the 34th minute as the Chilean player took a corner from the right, where the ball rebounded off a Spurs player and hit the left hand post.
Liverpool controlled the match in the first half and in the second came out to get the victory. The play became more open and there were several scoring chances for both teams. In the 60th minute , Dutch international Edgar Davids replaced Teemu Tainiu for Spurs, and in his first touch of the ball a minute later, Davids broke away clear on the left wing and gave a good pass to Jenas, but incredibly, as he was alone in front of Reina ,the Spurs player took a shot that missed the goal completely. These kinds of opportunities cannot be missed at this level and this situation clearly demoralized the Spurs players.
Then came the turning point in the match as immediately Liverpool went on a fast counterattack where Gerrard crossed the ball from the right, Bellamy´s shot hit the left goalpost but Mark Gonzales ran in and sent the ball into the bottom right corner of the Spurs net. This is the first Premier league goal scored by Speedy and it could not have come at a better moment.
In the 72nd minute Gonzales was involved in a good combination of passes that ended with Dirk Kuyt scoring the second goal for Liverpool. Coach Rafa Benitez must have sensed that the result was secured since in the 76th minute he replaced Mark Gonzales with Fabio Aurelio and the Chilean player was given a standing ovation by the local fans as he left the pitch. Speedy was undoubtedly the man of the match for Liverpool, making no mistakes and always creating goal-scoring chances for his team.
The match had a spectacular ending in the 89th minute as Riise struck a very powerful shot nearly forty meters away from the Spurs goal that entered the left hand corner of Robinson's net. This goal will surely be included in the "Top Goals of the Year" competition. As the match ended, the Liverpool fans left the ground singing their traditional victory song, "You´ll never walk alone", showing that they have recovered confidence in their team.

Starting lineups :
Liverpool : Reina (gk), M.Sissoko, Alonso, Agger, Gerrard, Hyypia, Finnan, Riise, Bellamy, Kuyt and Mark Gonzales.

Tottenham Hotspurs : P.Robinson (gk), Dawson, King, Jenas, Zokora, Murphy, Ekoto, Defoe, Chimbonda., Tainiu and Robbie Keane.

Goals : Mark Gonzalez (min 63 ), Dirk Kuyt (min 72) and Riise (min 89)

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