Monthly Review - February

February 1  - McAteer blow.

Jason McAteer's season is over after breaking his left leg in yesterday's goalless draw against Blackburn. McAteer went on a foray down the right wing, with the former Bolton man being pursued very closely by Rovers' Billy McKinlay. As McAteer attempted to get over a cross down by the goal line he slipped and fell badly on his left leg. The 26-year-old knew immediately that the injury was bad, and moments later he was stretchered off the field. It is now a battle for the Eire international to get himself fit for the start of the 1998/9 season. - Team Talk

February 2  - Liverpool management plans for listing.

Liverpool are planning to join the Premiership "dash for cash" by floating on the stock market. The Anfield directors are examining several schemes aimed at listing Liverpool on the market alongside other top Premiership clubs such as Manchester United, Newcastle, Aston Villa and Spurs.  Liverpool increased turnover from 27m to almost 40m, but that was still 20m short of Manchester United's. And the growing feeling in the Anfield boardroom is that they will never close the gap on the Old Trafford outfit without competing on a level playing field. - condensed from Daily Mirror

February 7  - Liverpool 2 Southampton 3.

An amazing finish at Anfield saw Southampton claim all three points. Liverpool looked to be cruising when the scores were level, dominating the game and just looking for the winner. Southampton then managed to score a break away goal with five minutes to go. They then got a third through David Hirst to virtually seal all three points before Michael Owen pulled one back on the stroke of full time to give the visitors a real scare. - condensed from TeamTalk

February 11  - Owen sets new record.

LIVERPOOL'S Michael Owen takes his place in history with England at Wembley tonight  aiming to maintain a proud personal record. Coach Glenn Hoddle start the brilliant young Anfield marksman against Chile tonight to make him the youngest English player this century. Owen, a debutant at 18 years and 59 days, broke the previous record by Duncan Edwards (18 years 183 days). England however lost the match 0-2 at Wembley. Liverpool fans will be pleased that Owen was probably the best England player out on the field during that match.

February 14  - Owen first league hat-trick rescues Liverpool.

Michael Owen - aged 18 years and 62 days - became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Premiership in Liverpool's 3-3 draw away to Sheffield Wednesday.   In a frantic match at Hillsborough, Owen helped Liverpool savaged 1 point after being down 1-3. With the rest of the top guns playing their FA Cup ties this weekend, Liverpool went one place up in the table, 4 points behind leaders Manchester United. But having playing one more game than Manchester United, Liverpool would consider 2 points lost rather than 1 point  gained.

February 18  - Liverpool knocked out by Boro !

Liverpool failed to recover from a 2 goal deficit inflicted by Middlesborough in the 1st 4 mintues of the game and crashed out of the Coca Cola League Cup. It gave Middlesbrough a 3-2 aggregate win and earned them a Wembley final against Chelsea, 3-1 winners over Arsenal in the other semifinal. Debutant for Boro, Italian striker Marco Branca scored  the second goal.

February 19  - Ruddock rejects loan move

Neil Ruddock rejects a loan move to Port Vale.

February 19  - Keeper on  loan

Liverpool reserve goalkeeper Jorgen Nielsen has joined Danish First Division club Ikast on loan until the end of the season in a bid for a place in Denmark's World Cup Finals squad

February 23  - Liverpool 1 Everton 1

Liverpool's chances of making a dent in Manchester United's lead at the top of the premier league took a knock on Monday when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Anfield by Merseyside rivals Everton. In the 150th meeting between the sides, Everton, who needed the point to help them in their bid to avoid relegation, put up a brave rearguard action, epitomised by a brilliant display of goalkeeping by Thomas Myhre. The draw takes Liverpool into joint second place with Arsenal on 47 points, nine points behind Manchester United. Arsenal, however, with the same goal difference as Liverpool, have two games in hand over the other two. - Reuters (note Ince equalised for Liverpool after Duncan Ferguson gave Everton the lead)

February 24  - Fowler out for the season

Robbie Fowler has been ruled out for the rest of the season -- and out of the World Cup -- after suffering knee ligament damage in Monday's derby against Everton. Fowler limped off the pitch in the final minute of the Anfield clash, which finished 1-1, after a collision with Everton goalkeeper Thomas Myhre. Liverpool spokesman Ian Cotton said on Tuesday: "He's suffered a tear of the medial ligament and there is some cartilage damage to his knee. "It looks like he is out for the rest of the season and will miss the World Cup." He will have an operation later on Tuesday. - Reuters

February 26  - Fowler injury gives Kennedy hope of revival

The serious knee injury that has sidelined Robbie Fowler for the rest of the season and shattered his World Cup hopes opens the door for 21-year-old Kennedy to claim a place in Liverpool's attack. The Republic of Ireland forward will be recalled by manager Roy Evans next week at the end of his month on loan at Queens Park Rangers and could go straight into the side for the Premiership meeting with Bolton. Evans is resisting moves into the transfer market to reinforce his squad - and it is a remarkable reversal of fortune for a player who became so disillusioned with life at the club he supported as a young boy, he was desperate to leave little more than two years after moving from Millwall in a 2million deal. Kennedy has been regarded mainly as a left-winger but was a prolific scorer as a striker in youth football - and it is in that role that Evans could give him his big chance. Apart from Fowler, Evans has Karlheinz Riedle under treatment for an ankle problem and if he continues to be ruled out, will have no experienced striker to partner 18-year-old Michael Owen. - World Soccernet

February 26  - New injury blow for Fowler

Robbie Fowler has been dealt a devastating new blow after being told that the knee injury that will keep him out of the World Cup is even worse than was first feared. A scan has shown that the Liverpool striker has ruptured his cruciate ligament as well as suffering medial ligament damage following his collision with Everton goalkeeper Thomas Myhre in the Merseyside derby on Monday, according to a report in The Times. A similar injury to England stars Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne kept them out for nearly a year. Fowler could be out for a minimum six months. "It is a terrible, terrible blow for me - I'm devastated," Fowler told the paper. - condensed from Press Association

February 26  - Berger wants Benfica move

Liverpool midfielder Patrik Berger has set his heart on a move to Portuguese side Benfica. The Czech star says he would move "tomorrow" if given the chance but the Anfield side will do what they can to hold onto him following the season-ending knee injury to Robbie Fowler. Berger, who has struggled to win a regular starting place in his two seasons at Liverpool, told the Portuguese newspaper Bola: "If it were up to me I'd go to Lisbon tomorrow. "Benfica is a great club, and I'm completely informed about the club because my friend Karel Poborsky tells me everything. He said that he is very happy in Lisbon and he said they have high ambitions at the club. "My wife is hoping for a move there also, and she has said that being in Portugal is like being in Prague. My family's happiness is one of the most important thing to me." Club spokesman Ian Cotton said: "The situation is that he is not for sale. No official approach has been received from Benfica." - Jeff Taylor for the "Press Association"

February 26  - Liverpool targets Egil

Liverpool have targeted 4million marksman Egil Ostenstad to solve their striker crisis. The Southampton front-runner was at the top of Roy Evans' hit list even before Robbie Fowler's season was brought to an abrupt halt by a knee injury on Monday night. Liverpool scouts have been present virtually every time Ostenstad has turned out for the Saints over the past two months. Now Evans is lining up a bid after seeing Fowler hobble out of Liverpool's campaign for a Champions' League place. He was hot on Ostenstad's trail last summer and might have prised him away from The Dell but for a 6 million-plus asking price. That forced him to shelve his interest and led to Karlheinz Riedle being snapped up from European champions Borussia Dortmund for a knockdown 1.8 million. But the Liverpool boss is now ready to splash out on Ostenstad - a target for Kenny Dalglish prior to Andreas Andersson's recent arrival at Newcastle - after running into major problems up front. Southampton will listen to offers of around 4 million for Ostenstad and have already turned down a 2.5million bid by Blackburn. - John Edwards for "The Daily Mirror"

February 27  - Evans slams Berger

Roy Evans angrily turned on Patrik Berger after his transfer outburst and told him: "Roll your sleeves up and fight for your place."It has been a horror week for Evans, and the last thing he wanted was for one of his expensive stars to tell the world that he wanted to leave just 24 hours after Robbie Fowler's injury was confirmed as cruciate ligament damage that will sideline him for six months. Berger says he would move to Benfica "tomorrow" if he could, and that he wants to join his Czech mate Karel Poborsky, who moved to the Portuguese club from Manchester United earlier this season. But Evans has slapped down the tall striker and admitted he's unhappy with his attitude - Paul Walker for the "Press Association

February 28  - Collymore's double sinks Reds

The Reds went down 2-1 at Villa Park on Saturday. Things got off to the best of starts for The Reds though. With a goal for Liverpool coming after just five minutes. Leonhardson was brought down in the box by Bosnich, who was shown the yellow card. Michael Owen then stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to bag his 18th of the season. The lead was short lived as Villa hit back within minutes with the first goal from former Anfield star Stan Collymore, he hit a quick snap shot which took a big deflection to sail past keeper Brad Friedel. Liverpool managed to gain a foothold after the early goal scoring, and began to dominate the possession.  Stan Collymore proved to be the thorn in Liverpool's side though, when he grabbed his second. McManaman gave the ball away in the middle of the park, Taylor saw his shot hit the post and rebounded for Collymore to tap the ball into the empty goal. Both managers decided to bring on subs within the last ten minutes of the game, for Villa, Byfield came on for goalscorer Collymore, and for Liverpool, Berger came on for Leonhardsen. These players failed to have an influence on the score and Villa came out with the win and the vital three points. - TeamTalk


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