The official website for European football

Touré talking up Gerrard threat

Published: Wednesday 2 April 2008, 11.37CET
Arsenal FC defender Kolo Touré believes stopping the Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard will be key to the Gunners establishing a first-leg advantage in London.
by Michael Harrold
from London
Touré talking up Gerrard threat
Kolo Touré wants Arsenal to stop Steven Gerrard on Wednesday night ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

ArsenalLiverpool

Goals scored19
 
29
Attempts on target53
 
77
Attempts off target55
 
66
Corners51
 
71
Offsides36
 
32
Fouls committed129
 
188
Yellow cards17
 
17
Red cards0
1

Matches

1 April 2008

Roma
0-2
Man. United
Schalke
0-1
Barcelona

2 April 2008

Arsenal
1-1
Liverpool
Fenerbahçe
2-1
Chelsea
 
Published: Wednesday 2 April 2008, 11.37CET

Touré talking up Gerrard threat

Arsenal FC defender Kolo Touré believes stopping the Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard will be key to the Gunners establishing a first-leg advantage in London.

Arsenal FC defender Kolo Touré believes Steven Gerrard will pose his side the greatest threat in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool FC, insisting that "if you can stop Steven Gerrard you can stop the Liverpool team".

Gerrard danger
Fernando Torres may have caught the eye for Liverpool recently with ten goals in eight games, but Touré says that if you can cut the supply line from Gerrard, the danger from Liverpool's attack will be nullified. "For us, it is not Torres who is most important, it's the team," the 27-year-old said. "Torres is a really good player but if you don't have a really good Steven Gerrard, it would be much easier for us. We need to stop them making the difference. It is going to be vital because they have been doing really well together. They listen to each other when they play. You can see that, the way they pass the ball and the way they move – and that's what we're looking to stop."

Belief
Touré was in positive mood as he faced the press. The manner in which Arsenal, reduced to ten men, battled back from 2-0 down to defeat Bolton Wanderers FC 3-2 on Saturday has brought fresh impetus to a faltering Premier League campaign – and a real lift heading into Wednesday's game. "When we went into the dressing room [at half-time at Bolton] the heads were down and the manager did a great job. He made us believe, pushed us and told us never to give up, and that's what we did in the second half. We believe. We trust each other. We know that together we won't stop."

Strong spirit
It was a similar spirit that took Arsenal to the UEFA Champions League final in 2006. Arsène Wenger's men overcame Juventus and Real Madrid CF to get there, and having knocked out holders AC Milan this time, they are confident of toppling another European luminary in Liverpool. Arsenal have the edge over their English rivals in recent domestic encounters, including victories in both cup competitions last term, and Touré reckons that run can continue when they meet for the first time in Europe. "They are quite good in the Champions League but we need to change that. We have the team, we have the belief. For us, the Champions League is really important because the club have never won it. We are just focused on that and we really want to win this trophy."

Last updated: 02/04/08 22.52CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15107/match=301903/prematch/focus/index.html#toure+talking+gerrard+threat

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.