Monday, 30 January 2012

Dalglish hails Reds resolve

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has hailed his players after they booked their place in the Carling Cup final with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Manchester City on Wednesday night.

The Scotsman saw his side suffer a frustrating 3-1 defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers last weekend in the Premier League, after which the Reds manager intimated heads could roll following the lacklustre performance at the Reebok Stadium.

However the Merseyside outfit responded to the defeat and battled to a 2-2 draw against City at Anfield, with their previous goal advantage from the first semi-final leg ensuring a date at Wembley is just around the corner. Those looking at the Carling Cup betting should remember this.

Liverpool have not been at the national stadium since it was rebuilt and Dalglish has praised his players for showing great character to reach the League Cup final. Anyone looking at the Odds Carling Cup final needs to bear this in mind.

He said: "I think it was a fantastic performance. Although the game finished as a draw, we were deserved qualifiers for the final.

"The boys were magnificent tonight and deserve a great deal of credit, and everybody in the squad has helped us get through.

"The supporters were magnificent and it is a great reward for them and the loyalty they have shown us, so for everybody at Liverpool it has been a fantastic evening."

Dalglish and his men will now look forward to a day in the capital as they prepare for the clash against Championship outfit Cardiff City, who managed to beat Crystal Palace in a penalty shootout to secure a place in the final.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Freedman proud of defeated Eagles

Crystal Palace boss Dougie Freedman has revealed his pride in his players following their heartbreak exit from the Carling Cup on Tuesday night.

The Eagles were just a game away from a much deserved trip to Wembley, as they held a goal advantage going into their trip to South Wales for the semi-final second-leg.

However, after seeing his side score an own goal in regular time, Freedman had to watch has his players saw their first two penalties saved by City keeper Tom Heaton, with the Bluebirds eventually winning the shootout and booking their place in the final and a date at Wembley. Those looking at the Odds Carling Cup final need to bear this in mind.

Palace worked wonders to reach the final four of the Carling Cup this term and will take plenty of memories from the journey, which included a shock win over Premier League champions Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Freedman paid tribute to the effort shown by his players who just fell short of earning a big day for their loyal supporters. People placing a Carling Cup bet should remember this.

He said: "I am really proud of my players and the physical output they put into the game and the desire to keep the ball out of the net.

"I've got to be disappointed in the short-term, but in the long-term you can see what we're trying to do.

"We have won a lot of hearts.”

Palace will now turn their attentions back to the Championship campaign as they look to climb the table with the play-off places just five points away for the London outfit.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Chelsea struggling to meet traditional standards

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech reckons the team need to continue to battle for the Premier League title this season as the club’s stature means they must win trophies.

Andre Villas-Boas has been under huge pressure during his short time at Stamford Bridge to date and Chelsea are facing a battle to at least finish in the Premier League top four.

The Portuguese coach has inherited a squad full of ageing stars and misfiring forwards and now AVB will be under the microscope as Chelsea have not gone two seasons in succession without lifting a trophy since Roman Abramovich took over. Anyone looking at the Premier League betting should remember this.

With Manchester City and Manchester United looking front-runners to win the league, Chelsea have to be classed among the chasing pack along with the likes of Spurs and Arsenal.

That means there are five clubs chasing four Champions League qualification spots, while Liverpool fans will also claim they are in the reckoning, but Cech reckons Chelsea need to look to meet recent standards and still battle for the Premier League title. Those gambling on football should bear this in mind.

The keeper said: “We want, ourselves, to win something. We don't want to go another season without trophies, so our aim is to end this season with silverware.

"We're doing everything in our power to achieve that, alongside the transformation and transition of the team. I think it will be a good year to build on for the future.”

Chelsea have completed the signing of Gary Cahill from Bolton as they look to shore up a leaky defence. The Blues now have England’s first-choice central defensive partnership and AVB will hope this can bring a new stability to the club as they look to ensure a Premier League top four finish.