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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Riise's pain after Champions League own goal

After the unforgettable mistake, Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has admitted his misery at the own goal which threatens to derail his side's Champions League challenge.

In fact, Riise is still coming to terms with the impact of his blunder after he headed into his own net in the last minute of stoppage time to gift Chelsea a 1-1 draw in the semi-final first leg at Anfield.

The Red team face a mammoth task to reach the final now but Riise is determined to help the Reds bounce back at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday.

"What can I say? I'm ashamed and devastated. Sometimes you experience these kind of things and for defenders it happens from time to time. Now it has happened to me," he expressed.

"In fact, I know how strong I am mentally, and what really matters is how you recover. I've experienced tougher things and I know I will learn from this.

"I'm very disappointed, but I won't go around and hang my head. I have to use this as something positive and learn from it."

The Norway footballer, who also scored an own goal against Luton in the FA Cup this season, was so down he didn't even speak to his brother in the aftermath of Tuesday's game.

Indeed, Bjorn Helge Riise, who plays for Lillestrom, let us know: "I tried getting in contact with John Arne after the encounter.

"Eventually he sent me back a sms saying, 'I don't want to speak. I'm so disappointed. Give me a call back in a couple of days and we'll speak then'."

We must consider that Riise's future at Anfield was already far from certain before his gaffe and the defender admitted his hopes of earning an extension to his current contract, which runs out next year, were hardly improved on Tuesday.

Despite that, Riise is likely to start in the return against Chelsea after Fabio Aurelio was ruled out and Benitez expressed: "I have talked with John and told him not to keep thinking about the own goal all of the time. He must come back and be ready.

"I know he is really down, but the only way to change the situation is to score in the right net at Stamford Bridge. He knows that Fabio is injured, so he knows he will get his chances again. He has played so well for this club, so for that to happen in the last seconds is the worst thing possible."

"Of course we have tried to analyse what happened. Mascherano could have stopped the cross, but when you are left-footed like John, the problem was whether he used his right foot to clear. That was the real point. I prefer to think like this: if Riise scores the winning goal that will be perfect for us."

1 comment:

soccer86 said...

you gotta feel bad for him. what a bad own goal though.