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Martinez's woe at wretched Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Bellamy hails career highlight

Liverpool ace Craig Bellamy has classed his crucial first-half goal against Barcelona in the Champions League as the pinnacle of his career to date.

Liverpool looked set to go into half-time at the Nou Camp still trailing by Deco's 14th-minute strike, when Bellamy popped up three minutes before the break to head the Reds level.

The Wales international then turned goal provider in the second half, laying the ball across for John Arne Riise to lash a right-footed thunderbolt into the roof of the Barcelona net, earning Liverpool a stunning 2-1 win from this last-16 first leg.

The build-up to the game had been overshadowed by an alleged incident during Liverpool's training camp in Portugal last week - reportedly involving both Bellamy and Riise.

However, Bellamy was back making headlines for the right reasons last night, and the quicksilver striker could not be happier.

'It was a great night for the club and brilliant to score a goal at the Nou Camp. It was my best moment in football,' he said.

'There was a special atmosphere coming into the ground and it's probably the biggest game I've played.'

Bellamy insists nobody is getting carried away with the win though, pointing out that defending champions Barcelona have a chance to turn things around in the second leg at Anfield.

'This is a great result but it is only half-time,' he said. 'We've got to go back to Anfield, so there is still a long way to go.'

'Barcelona are a top side and the reigning champions of Europe, but we've done a lot of work for this game and I think you could see that.'

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger was also wary about a Barca backlash in next month's return meeting.

Agger played a key role as Liverpool's back-line overcame a shaky start to the match to superbly shackle the combined threats of Barca superstars Ronaldinho, Deco, Lionel Messi and Javier Saviola.

'We played well and we scored two great goals, but at the Nou Camp every goal is good. There is still one more game to go and we know that it will be difficult because Barcelona are a great side,' he said.

Liverpool's Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso was delighted to put one over on his countrymen, but he too admits the Reds cannot afford to relax.

'We weren't expected to win, but we came here and played really well. We took our chances and have to be really happy with the result,' he said.

'We know that it will be difficult in the second leg. Barcelona are a great side going forward and will come out and attack at Anfield, so we still have a lot of work to do.'