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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2006, 14:41 GMT
Charlton 0-3 Liverpool
By Mandeep Sanghera

Xabi Alonso strokes in a penalty for Liverpool's first against Charlton
Alonso set the Reds on the way to victory
Liverpool heaped more misery on lowly Charlton as they overpowered their hosts to record a comfortable victory.

A third-minute Xabi Alonso penalty gave the Reds the lead after Djimi Traore's high tackle on Jermaine Pennant.

The visitors wasted plenty of chances and were almost punished when Hermann Hreidarsson shot over an empty net.

Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent also gave the Reds late scares but a Craig Bellamy volley and Steven Gerrard curler secured a win for the visitors.

Charlton had gathered in a group huddle before the game and Traore's adrenalin seemed to have got the better of him as he conceded an early penalty.

The home side needlessly lost possession and Traore was punished for catching Pennant with a raised foot as the pair challenged for a Mark Gonzalez cross.

Alonso stroked in the penalty and more goals seemed inevitable as the Reds took command against their tame rivals.

Craig Bellamy watches the ball after volleying in for Liverpool in their 3-0 win at Charlton
The pacy and hard-working Bellamy was influential for Liverpool

But, while Charlton fans will have been bemused at the ease with which Liverpool sliced through their side, the visitors will have been wondering how they did not put the game out of reach within the first 20 minutes.

Bellamy raced through and evaded a joint challenge from Addicks keeper Thomas Myrhe and centre-back Talal El-Karkhouri only to see a sliding Luke Young clear his shot off the line.

Kuyt fired a shot across goal just wide of the far post after combining well with Bellamy and Pennant had a another strike cleared off the line by Traore's knee.

Charlton almost made the visitors pay for their missed chances but Hreidarsson shot high with a gaping net in front of him when Andy Reid's pull back came to him on his weaker right foot.

Kuyt side-footed another chance just wide as Charlton began to belatedly muster up the murmurings of a challenge.

606: DEBATE
GP

But the chances continued to flow for the Reds as Alonso and Gerrard tested Myrhe with long range strikes.

Kuyt hit the foot of the post after the tireless and lively Bellamy again set him up for a chance.

Ambrose volleyed high and Bent squeezed a shot agonisingly wide as Charlton looked to snatch something late in the game and caused Liverpool some late nerves.

But Bellamy raced clear and volleyed across goal for the second and Gerrard made it three as he curled the ball in for the third from 12 yards out before Charlton were booed off at the final whistle.


  • Charlton boss Les Reed:
    "We need to broaden and widen our squad. We need some balance and have a strong bench and, hopefully January will allow us to do that.

    "We have to turn it around. We've got to stop those performances and build on the confidence of the players.

    "We've got to work hard and dig in. It's going to be a long job but we have to be better and show more passion."

  • Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez:
    "The idea is to find the balance between attack and defence.

    "We're now doing that but every game is different and we need to keep going.

    "My idea is to think about the next game. Maybe in one or two months we will see if we are closer but we need to keep going."


    Charlton: Myhre, Young (Diawara 68), El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Traore, Rommedahl, Faye (Hughes 58), Holland, Reid (Ambrose 46), Hasselbaink, Darren Bent.
    Subs Not Used: Andersen, Marcus Bent.

    Booked: Traore.

    Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Pennant (Crouch 83), Gerrard, Alonso, Gonzalez (Luis Garcia 67), Bellamy, Kuyt (Aurelio 77).
    Subs Not Used: Dudek, Agger.

    Booked: Luis Garcia.

    Goals: Alonso 3 pen, Bellamy 82, Gerrard 88.

    Att: 27,111

    Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).

    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    16 Dec 06 |  Football


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