Agger feeling the pain but eager to beat Blues

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has revealed he is still reeling from his FA Cup final disappointment, but has targeted wins in both of the club’s remaining Premier League games, starting with their Wembley opponents Chelsea tonight (kick-off 8pm).

The Blues’ beat Liverpool 2-1 on the way to their seventh FA Cup triumph and Agger admitted he was still coming to terms with the fact he travelled back to the north west on Saturday evening with a losers’ medal.

“There’s not much more to say right now. We are all just so disappointed,” he said.

“We have got two games left in the season and we have got to try and win them. That is how we will start to move forward. It is difficult right now to think about anything else.

“When you get into an FA Cup final, you really want to win it. Nobody ever remembers the runners-up. Nobody likes to be a loser.”

Despite Liverpool’s failure to add to their Carling Cup success earlier in the campaign, the Denmark international believes the club is showing signs of progression. “Can we challenge the top teams next season? Yes, of course. We have moved forward a lot this season but right now the only feelings are of disappointment,” he added.

A late goal from former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson secured a 2-1 win for Liverpool at Stamford Bridge back in November and another victory would condemn the west London side to a sixth-placed finish in the league.

Reds’ boss Kenny Dalglish had never tasted defeat against Chelsea prior to the cup final, but he does not underestimate a team that has reached the Champions League final under the guidance of interim manager Roberto Di Matteo.

He said: “They got two fantastic results in the Champions League semi-final. They know how to play. They have got experience.”

For his part, Juan Mata has insisted there is no chance of him suffering burnout ahead of what could be more overtime at Anfield tonight.

Mata looked set to be handed a well-earned day off at Anfield following Saturday’s FA Cup final triumph against the same opponents, with most expecting the Blues’ top-four bid to have ended on Sunday afternoon.

But Newcastle’s defeat to Manchester City and Tottenham’s draw at Aston Villa — coupled with Arsenal’s failure to beat Norwich the previous day — kept alive sixth-placed Chelsea’s slim hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League via the Premier League.

They must beat Liverpool for the second time in four days to stand any chance of overhauling two of the three teams directly above them, leaving caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo with a real selection dilemma.

Mata is happy to answer the call.

“I have plenty of energy left,” said the Spain star. “It is a long season and my first in England, but the benefits of winning easily outweigh the fatigue.”


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