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Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Return of Torres and Suarez to Anfield

The Anfield crowd were treated to a rare opportunity of seeing two of their most  recent star strikers step into the pitch but this time not to haunt them but rather to help raise fund for charity.
The match was Organised by the Liverpool FC Foundation, the game raised money to fund community programmes which benefit thousands of young people and adults in Liverpool.
Funds will also support Alder Hey's new Hospital in the Park, as well as providing support packages to Claire House, Positive Futures, Centre 56 and Cash for Kids.

Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres returned to Anfield on Sunday but Mario Balotelli outshone both, scoring one and setting up another in a 2-2 draw in the Liverpool All-Star charity match.


Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher captained teams at a sold-out Anfield and were joined by a host of players from Liverpool’s past and present, as well as a number of star names from the football world including Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry and Chelsea captain John Terry.

But it was the half-time introduction of former Liverpool heroes Suarez and Torres which brought the ground to its feet as the pair played together for the first time.
However, it was current Liverpool striker Balotelli who took centre stage, taking just nine minutes to give Team Carragher the lead, beating Brad Jones with a low left-footed strike.

Carragher's side were two goals to the good in the 23rd minute with Balotelli, who has scored just four goals for the club since arriving last summer, involved again as Didier Drogba latched onto the Italian’s inch-perfect through ball, before rounding Jones to tap the ball home into the empty net.
Gerrard’s men were handed a lifeline just before the break and it was the captain himself beating former team-mate Pepe Reina from the spot after Martin Kelly brought down Jerome Sinclair.

Gerrard's side were back in it and at half-time he sent for the cavalry as former Anfield heroes Suarez and Torres came onto the field with Henry one of the players to make way.

And it was not long before the Kop was in full voice, chanting the names of their former stars as Torres combined with Gerrard, only for the skipper to fire his shot over the cross bar.

Torres was involved again minutes later as Carragher bundled him to the ground but the referee was unmoved as both sets of players saw the funny side.
Reina, who officially left Liverpool for Bayern Munich last summer, was using the charity match as an opportunity to say goodbye to the club’s fans and he received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Peter Gulacsi after 60 minutes.

However, the substitute goalkeeper was soon picking the ball out of the back of his net as Gerrard stepped up to level the scores with his second penalty of the game after Carragher pulled back Suarez in the box.
The Uruguayan was now in the thick of the action and had chances to give his side the lead, curling a shot from the edge of the box wide, before Gerrard teed up his former team-mate, but his shot was well stopped by Gualcsi.

Both sides had chances to win it with Torres’ low cross cleared, while Luis Garcia’s late strike just drifted wide of the upright.

The final chance fell to Suarez as he headed the game's final touch into the side-netting as the game finished all square, but the biggest cheer was still reserved for the Barcelona star during the lap of honour.

                                        TEAM LIST
GERRARD'S TEAM                              

1.BRAD JONES
2. GLEN JOHNSON
3. JOHN ARNE RIISE
4. JOHN TERRY
5. ANTHONY GERRARD
6. XABI ALONSO
7. STEVEN GERRARD
8. KELVIN NOLAN
9. RYAN BABEL
10. JEROME SINCLAIR
11. THIERRY HENRY


SUBS
1. SCOTT DANN, 2. ASHLEY WILLIAMS, 3. LUIS SUAREZ 4. FERNANDO TORRES 5. CHARLIE ADAM 6. JAY SPEARING 7. STEPHEN WARNOCK 8. JOAO CARLOS TEIXEIRA

CARRAGHER'S TEAM

1. PEPE REINA
2. JON FLANAGAN
3. JAMIE CARRAGHER
4. MARTIN KELLY
5. ALVARO ARBELAO
6. LUCAS LEIVA
7. JONJO SHELVEY
8. HARRY KEWELL
9. STEWART DOWNING
10. DIDIER DROGBA
11. MARIO BALOTELLI

SUB
1. PETER GULACSI 2. LUIS GARCIA 3. CRAIG NOONE 4. ALBERTO MORENO 5. GAEL CLICHY 6. FABIO BORINI 7. CRAIG BELLAMY





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