Thrashing leaves Reds feeling blue

CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Liverpool lost 5-0 to Mainz in their final warm-up game before facing Maccabi Haifa in a Champions League qualifier on Wednesday


Sun, Aug 06, 2006 - Page 22

Liverpool crashed to a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Bundesliga side Mainz on Friday to end their pre-season preparations on a low note.

With the Reds set to begin their Champions League qualifying campaign against Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday, Rafa Benitez started with a strong line-up including Steven Gerrard, Peter Crouch and summer signings Jermaine Pennant and Craig Bellamy.

The match was goalless after the first 45 minutes at a soldout Bruchweg stadium, but a host of Liverpool substitutions at half-time weakened the Premiership giants.

Markus Feulner started the damage for Mainz, scoring in the first minute of the second period and goals from Tobias Damm, Ranisav Jovanovic, Chadli Amri and Fatmir Pupalovic completed an emphatic victory for the Bundesliga side.

Benitez told Liverpool's Web site: "We know we made a lot of mistakes. We need to analyze why things went wrong."

"We know we need to correct things. I am sure we will be much better on Wednesday," he said.