Dalglish praises ‘intelligent’ Maxi

Kenny Dalglish paid tribute to the efficiency of his Liverpool players after they secured a comprehensive 5-0 win over Birmingham.Liverpool led 2-0 at half-time in Saturday’s English Premier League match thanks to goals from Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt.

Argentina international Rodriguez went on to claim a hat-trick with two more strikes in the second half.

Joe Cole came off the bench to add a simple fifth on 86 minutes following an error from Birmingham’s substitute goalkeeper Colin Doyle.

And Liverpool manager Dalglish was proud of the fact his team never eased off despite leading comfortably throughout at Anfield.

“It was good to get a goal early doors and then they (Birmingham) started to get in it a bit better,” Dalglish said.

“We got the second goal but I thought the third was the most important because at 2-0 it’s always a bit iffy.”

“To their credit, the boys started the second half and were determined to put on as good a show as they did in the first half.”

“I think we were deserved winners and played some fantastic football.”

“Maxi is a very intelligent footballer … (he has) not played for a few weeks but he’s come on today and has done a massive job for us.”

“And for Joe (Cole) … OK, it’s a goalkeeping mistake but he has a goal next to his name and it certainly won’t do us any harm and won’t do Joe any harm.”

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish was frustrated by conceding within the first seven minutes, after his team also went behind early in their match against Chelsea on Wednesday.

“Two games in a row we have conceded in the first few minutes and that’s just not on against the top teams,” McLeish said.

“It doesn’t mean you can’t come back, we have done that before, but you do give yourself a mountain to climb.”

“It gives the other team massive confidence and the home crowd are really on top of you.”

“The players are better than they showed today, no doubt about that, but we have to look at things and find out how we get back to our best level for the next game.”