Match Preview: Liverpool v Sevilla

The Reds will return to Champions League action on Wednesday when they face Sevilla at Anfield.

Liverpool held by Sevilla in Champions League opener

Liverpool began their Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-2 draw with Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday.

Match Day: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

Liverpool endured a frustrating afternoon at Anfield as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley on Saturday.

Goal Highlights: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

Liverpool is keen to make up for the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley.

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Showing posts with label europa league. Show all posts
Showing posts with label europa league. Show all posts

Friday, August 10, 2012

Picture: Joe Allen watches Liverpool beat FC Gomel


Europa League: Liverpool 3-0 FC Gomel

Europa LeagueFabio Borini netted his first Liverpool goal as the Reds clinched a place in the Europa League play-offs with a 3-0 win against FC Gomel.

Brendan Rodgers partnered the Italian with Luis Suarez for his first Anfield game as Reds manager and the pair combined for Liverpool's opener on 21 minutes.

The Reds won 4-0 on aggregate. Steven Gerrard tapped into an empty net minutes before half-time to add to Borini's opener before Glen Johnson fired a stunning volley past Vladimir Bushma to grab Liverpool's third on the night.

The home side started brightly and Anfield rose to its feet in anticipation every time Suarez jinked, whenever Lucas seized possession and when Borini shaped to shoot from the edge of the box on three minutes, only to see his effort blocked by a green and white shirt.

Gerrard demanded the ball constantly and stormed into an advanced role in behind the Gomel midfield. On nine minutes, Stewart Downing cut inside and slipped a pass into the skipper, who wrapped his right boot around the travelling ball and drilled it low into the arms of Bushma.

A sublime Liverpool move was to follow. Gerrard dummied a diagonal pass and sprinted onto the return ball from Suarez. Head raised, the captain surged towards goal before sliding a cutting pass through the Gomel defence to where the Uruguayan was poised to smash over the bar.

Full report: Liverpool FC Official

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Europa League: FC Gomel 0-1 Liverpool FC

Gomel v Liverpool Europa League 2012FC Gomel V Liverpool FC UEFA Europa League QualifyingBrendan Rodgers got off to a winning start as Liverpool manager as his side recorded a 1-0 victory over FC Gomel in Belarus on a landmark night for Jamie Carragher.

Though the Reds were under pressure for much of the contest, Stewart Downing grabbed the game's only goal when he found the bottom corner with a powerful shot from the edge of the box on 67 minutes.

Liverpool were able to see the remainder of the first leg of the Europa League third-round qualifier out and ensure the new manager marked his first competitive game in charge with a win.

There were plenty of other plus points for the Reds, as Jamie Carragher chalked up his 700th appearance for the club while Lucas Leiva was introduced into the action as a second-half substitute as he continues on the road to full fitness.

Rodgers named a strong line-up for the clash in Belarus - though it was the selection of Carragher that grabbed the headlines as he notched up his 700th run-out for the Reds.

In recognition of the feat, the No.23 was named as the team's captain for the night, despite the inclusion of Steven Gerrard on the team sheet.

Meanwhile, Fabio Borini was handed his competitive debut for the club as he led the attack, while Glen Johnson reached the 100-game mark for Liverpool.

Gomel created the first chance of the evening with two minutes on the clock as Igor Voronkov strode forward from deep and let fly with a dipping effort that grazed the roof of Brad Jones' net.

Full match report: Liverpool FC Official

Red's Fury™on

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Liverpool await Europa draw

europa-leagueLiverpool will today discover their opponents for the Europa League third qualifying round.

The draw takes place in Nyon at 12.30pm GMT so stay logged on to to see who Brendan Rodgers and his squad will face.

The Reds are seeded in pot two and could face the following teams:

NK Osijek (CRO) or Kalmar FF (SWE); FC Arsenal Kyiv (UKR), FC Spartak Trnava (SVK) or Sligo Rovers FC (IRL); FK Renova (MKD) or FC Gomel (BLR); Dundee United FC (SCO); Maccabi Netanya FC (ISR) or KuPS Kuopio (FIN).

The two legged matches will be played on August 2 and August 9.

Source: Liverpool FC Official

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Europa League: Liverpool knocked out of Europe

Liverpool's quest for silverware is over for another season following a goalless draw with Braga at Anfield on Thursday night.

The Reds could not overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of their Europa League last 16 encounter with The Arsenalists.

The result means a fifth-place finish in the Barclays Premier League is now likely to be required to secure participation in continental competition next term.

It should have been a night to remember for Pepe Reina on his 300th appearance for the club and for Andy Carroll, who was deemed fit enough to start his first game since arriving for a record fee in the January transfer window.

It took him just eight minutes to earn nods of appreciation from the Kop with a towering header through to Joe Cole, whose angled shot was parried by Artur. Carroll attempted to steal his first Reds goal from the rebound only to see his shot deflected wide. Predictably, it was the 22-year-old who won the aerial battle from the resulting corner but this time his effort flashed wide of its own accord.

Braga took a while to settle but enjoyed the better chances as the half wore on. Last week's goalscorer Alan twice did well to carve space for a shot, while Lima powered towards goal only for his attempt to ricochet off Martin Skrtel to safety.

Liverpool had several shouts for a penalty denied - a handball and a shove on Lucas - but the visitors would have been aggrieved if either had been given. [Read more…]


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Friday, March 11, 2011

Europa League: SC Braga 1-0 Liverpool (1st leg)

Liverpool suffered their first European defeat of the season as they were beaten 1-0 by Braga in the Europa League last 16, first-leg tie on Thursday night.

The home team got the only goal of the evening in Portugal on 18 minutes with Alan comfortably beating Pepe Reina from the penalty spot after Sotirios Kyrgiakos had brought down Mossoro in the area.

Liverpool struggled to muster a response and though Andy Carroll's introduction as an early second-half substitute did inject new life into their play, Braga were able to see out the contest to clinch the win.

The Reds departed John Lennon airport on Wednesday afternoon aiming to build upon Sunday's comprehensive 3-1 victory over Manchester United, knowing they would have to do so without the services of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.

The captain remained behind on Merseyside to have a groin injury assessed, and though Suarez did travel with the squad, his appearances for Ajax in the competition earlier this season ruled him out of action. [Read more…]

Sources: Video courtesy of and match report from

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Europa League: Dirk Kuyt sent the Reds into the last 16

Liverpool will face SC Braga in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Dirk Kuyt headed home a later winner as Liverpool booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League with a 1-0 win over Sparta Prague on Thursday night.

Dirk Kuyt The Dutchman was left unmarked to guide in Raul Meireles's 86th minute corner after it had looked like the side from the Czech Republic would force extra-time.

It means the Reds are now unbeaten in eight games under boss Kenny Dalglish, who also celebrated his first European triumph as manager.

Ahead of the clash Dalglish opted to make four changes to the side that drew in Prague, with Joe Cole returning to start his first match for the Scot.

There was no doubt that it was a big opportunity for the England midfielder to finally show the Kop the full repertoire of his attacking talents and he was heavily involved in the early exchanges. [Read more…]

Sources: Video courtesy of RuTube and match report by

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Europa League: Sparta Prague 0-0 Liverpool

Liverpool will take a creditable goalless draw back to Anfield following a laboured Europa League last 32 first leg clash with Sparta Prague.

Kenny Dalglish's first ever continental match in charge of the Reds will not live long in the memory - but it was the visitors who were the happier come the final whistle.

The contest will now be decided on Merseyside in one week's time to see who will face Braga or Lech in the last 16.

All the pre-match hype centred around the inclusion of four Youth Cup stars in the squad, though only England U19 skipper Conor Coady would be in with a chance of taking part after being named on the bench.

Instead it was an experienced Reds side that took to the Generali Stadium pitch on a freezing night in Prague - the one exception being 19-year-old Danny Wilson operating at left-back in a 4-4-2.

Liverpool set about controlling the early possession but it was 13 minutes before either side created an opening worth writing about. [Read more…]

Sources: Video courtesy of and match report by

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Liverpool brings young Raheem Sterling to Prague

Four of the Reds Under 18′s starlets have been rewarded for their impressive performances this season, and particularly in Monday’s 9-0 victory, with a trip to Prague in Liverpool’s 23 man squad.

If Raheem Sterling is selected in the final 18 and makes an appearance, he will be Liverpool FC’s youngest ever player at the mere age of 16 years and 71 days.

Source: Video courtesy of PegScouser of YouTube

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Match Highlights: Liverpool 0-0 Utrecht

Liverpool endured a frustrating 90 minutes as they rounded off their Europa League Group K campaign with a goalless draw against Utrecht on Wednesday night.

The Reds created the better openings but could not find the breakthrough to equal the club's record of nine successive home victories in Europe.

However, the result does ensure that Roy Hodgson's men conclude the group stage undefeated with 10 points from six games played and means they can now look forward to Friday's draw for the knockout stages.

Ahead of the match the boss opted to make 10 changes to the side that lost at Newcastle with stand-in skipper Martin Skrtel the only survivor.

It saw Nathan Eccleston make his first ever start for the club while there were also chances for the likes of Joe Cole, Danny Wilson and Milan Jovanovic to impress.

The changes in personnel did little to instigate a fast start to the proceedings though and the only effort of note in the early exchanges came on eight minutes when Jovanovic crashed a rasping 25 yard drive against the crossbar.

It was the highlight of a somewhat inauspicious opening half as the lack of competitive edge meant neither side passed the ball with any real urgency.

Fabio Aurelio curled a free-kick in a dangerous position against the visitors' wall while at the other end Wilson gave another glimpse of his outstanding promise when he denied Ricky van Wolfswinkel a shot on goal.

The Scot then headed Jonjo Shelvey's left-wing corner over the top before the Dutch outfit suffered a huge blow on the stroke of half-time when van Wolfswinkel was carried off injured on a stretcher. [Read more…]

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pepe Reina howler almost cost Liverpool qualification in Europa League

Pepe Reina Pepe Reina held his hands up after his mistake prevented Liverpool celebrating progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League with a victory.

An uncharacteristic 61st-minute blunder from Reina – who claimed to have been bothered by a laser pen in the crowd during the first half – saw the goalkeeper allow a tame Eder Bonfim header to squirm through his grasp and over the goalline to earn Steaua Bucharest a 1-1 draw in Romania.

However, the 3-3 draw between FC Utrecht and Napoli meant Liverpool did enough to win through as Group K leaders with a game to spare.

But Reina, who was captain for the evening in the absence of injured duo Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, accepted the result could have been better but for his mistake.

An experimental Liverpool team packed with fringe players and youngsters had taken the lead through Milan Jovanovic's 19th-minute header.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson chose not to dwell on Reina's error, and instead pointed to an encouraging performance from his much-changed team.

Cole made his comeback after more than a month out through injury, while Ryan Babel, Milan Jovanovic and Fabio Aurelio were all handed rare starts in a team that also included youngsters Martin Kelly, Dani Pacheco and Danny Wilson.

And Hodgson believes his policy of giving the whole squad an opportunity in the Europa League is paying dividends.

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Europa League: Steaua Bucharest 1-1 Liverpool

Liverpool sealed a place in the last 32 of the Europa League after a 1-1 draw with Steaua Bucharest in Romania on Thursday night.

Milan Jovanovic headed the Reds into a 19th minute lead when he converted Ryan Babel's cross, somewhat against the run of the early play.

Steaua drew level on the hour when a rare mistake from Pepe Reina allowed a tame header from Eder Bonfim to roll over the line.

Both sides had chances to win the game, with Sotirios Kyrgiakos coming closest when he cannoned a header against the crossbar.

However, the result was enough to secure a safe passage into the next stage of the competition for Liverpool with a game to spare.

The Reds touched down in the Romanian capital on Wednesday afternoon minus the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Fernando Torres, Raul Meireles, Glen Johnson and Dirk Kuyt.

Instead, Roy Hodgson decided to utilise the depth of his squad ahead of Monday's Barclays Premier League showdown with Aston Villa by naming a youthful travelling party that included teenage defenders Jack Robinson and John Flanagan. [Read more…]

Watch the goal highlights here

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Europa League: Liverpool 3-1 Napoli

Substitute Steven Gerrard struck a sensational second-half hat-trick as Liverpool came from behind to snatch a 3-1 victory in a keenly contested Europa League clash with Napoli on Thursday night.

The skipper deflected home visiting stopper, Morgan De Sanctis's attempted clearance on 75 minutes before slamming home a late penalty and a delightful dinked finish to earn the points after the visitors had taken the lead through Ezequiel Lavezzi's smart first half strike.

It means Roy Hodgson's side remain top of Group K, three points ahead of Steaua Bucharest after four matches played.

Ahead of the clash, the Barclays Premier League showdown with Chelsea occupied much of the pre-match chatter and Hodgson's team selection indicated he had one eye on the game with the leaders, as he made six changes from Bolton.

In came Glen Johnson for his first appearance since October 3 while the likes of Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey, who impressed in Naples, were once again given the opportunity to shine.

As if buoyed by recent results Liverpool were fast out of the traps too but, despite some good possession, it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous.

On three minutes, a well worked counter attack saw Lavezzi break down the right flank and when he fizzed a low ball into the six yard box, Paul Konchesky was fortunate to see his attempted clearance crash into the side netting of Pepe Reina's goal.

The Serie A outfit appeared to have more of a threat in the attacking third and midway through the half they had another sight of goal as Edinson Cavani latched onto a clever through pass and smashed a right foot volley into the stand.

For all Liverpool's endeavour there had been little to shout about for the home support and Napoli continued to probe, with Lavezzi seizing upon Shelvey's misplaced pass and drilling a venomous shot just beyond Reina's left-hand post.

With the away side in full flow, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Hodgson's men and on 28 minutes they found themselves behind. Christian Poulsen misjudged a header in his own half allowing Cavani to nod the ball into the path of Lavezzi. The Argentine raced into the penalty area before showing fine poise to slip the ball beyond the advancing Reina.

Liverpool needed a response and they should have had it just three minutes later as David Ngog exchanged a neat one-two with Poulsen before stabbing his effort from 12 yards just wide.

Johnson then went close to marking his return from injury in style but saw his rasping left foot drive well saved by De Sanctis.

In truth, Liverpool's first-half display would not have impressed John Henry and new director of football strategy Damien Comolli watching in the stand, and it was no surprise that Hodgson made the decision to introduce Gerrard as a half-time replacement for Milan Jovanovic.

The change immediately sparked the hosts' attack into life and on 51 minutes the inspirational No.8 should have levelled but he flashed his shot high into the stand after De Sanctis had brilliantly denied Ngog from close range.

There was a clear improvement in Liverpool's approach play and they again went close just shy of the hour mark when Shelvey miscued his far post header following a great run and cross from Ngog.

Next it was Raul Meireles's turn to hold his head in hands, steering wide from 10 yards out after Shelvey had caused havoc in the Napoli defence.

There was no doubt which side was now in the ascendancy and after sending a low free-kick inches past the far post, the skipper finally levelled matters in the most fortunate of circumstances.

A probing run from Shelvey should have been cut out by the Italians' rearguard, but a poor back pass allowed Gerrard to race in on De Sanctis and ricochet the 'keeper's attempted clearance into the far corner of the net.

It was a huge slice of luck for Hodgson and co but one they would have felt their second half showing deserved.

With the clock ticking down the Reds continued to push forward and two minutes from time they snatched the lead when Gerrard converted from the spot after Johnson was felled in the area.

And the midfielder rubbed salt in Napoli's wounds a minute later, latching onto substitute Lucas Leiva's well-timed challenge and clipping the ball over De Sanctis to seal victory.



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Friday, September 17, 2010

Europa League: Liverpool 4-1 Steaua Bucharest

Joe Cole scored his first goal for Liverpool and David Ngog notched a brace as the Reds beat Steaua Bucharest 4-1 in the Europa League on Thursday night.

The midfielder had the honour of firing home the club's fastest ever goal in European competition on 27 seconds before Ngog (penalty) and substitute Lucas Leiva put them back in the driving seat after Cristian Tanase had levelled with a sublime first-half finish.

Ngog then put the icing on the cake with a well taken fourth in injury-time to take his tally to six for the season so far.

It means Liverpool have opened their Group K account with an important victory and also sees Hodgson become the first Reds manager in history to win his first five European games.

Going into the clash the boss had opted to make eight changes to his line-up with both Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard amongst a host of players rested for Sunday's league contest at Manchester United. [Read more…]



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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Europa League Group K opponents and dates

Liverpool have been drawn alongside Steaua Bucharest, Napoli and Utrecht in Europa League Group K.

It means Roy Hodgson's men will face a reunion with Andrea Dossena in a first ever meeting with Diego Maradona's former club.

Liverpool took on Steaua back in the 2003-04 season when Gerard Houllier's men secured a 2-1 aggregate success in the UEFA Cup, second round.

Djimi Traore got the all-important away goal in Romania before Harry Kewell netted in a 1-0 triumph at Anfield as the Reds notched up a landmark 50th victory in the competition.

The clash with Utrecht will also see us play our first competitive match against the Dutch side, for whom current goalkeeping coach John Achterberg featured for prior to his move to Tranmere Rovers.

Liverpool will start off their Europa League Group K campaign with an Anfield clash against Steaua Bucharest on Thursday, September 16.

The first away trip for Roy Hodgson's men will be Holland and a visit to Utrecht on Thursday, September 30.

The Reds will complete their Group with an Anfield return against Utrecht on Wednesday, December 15.

Europa League Group Group K fixtures

Thursday, September 16. Liverpool v Steaua Bucharest. Kick-off 8.05pm.

Thursday, September 30. Utrecht v Liverpool. Kick-off 6pm.

Thursday, October 21. Napoli v Liverpool. Kick-off 6pm.

Thursday, November 4. Liverpool v Napoli. Kick-off 8.05pm.

Thursday, December 2. Steaua Bucharest v Liverpool. Kick-off 6pm.

Wednesday, December 15. Liverpool v Utrecht. Kick-off 8.05pm.

The draw in full:

Group A: Juventus, Manchester City, FC Salzburg, Lech Poznan

Group B: Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Rosenborg, Aris Thessaloniki FC

Group C: Sporting Lisbon, Lille, Levski Sofia, Gent

Group D: Villarreal, Club Brugge, Dinamo Zagreb, PAOK

Group E: AZ Alkmaar, Dynamo Kiev, FC Bate, FC Sheriff

Group F: CSKA Moscow, Palermo, Sparta Prague, Lausanne

Group G: Zenit St Petersburg, Anderlecht, AEK Athens, Hadjuk Split

Group H: VFB Stuttgart, Getafe, Odense BK, Young Boys

Group I: PSV Eindhoven, Sampdoria, FC Metalist Kharkviv, Debrecen

Group J: Sevilla, Paris St Germain, Borussia Dortmund, FC Karpaty Lviv

Group K: Liverpool, Steaua Bucharest, Napoli, Utrecht

Group L: FC Porto, Besiktas, CSKA Sofia, Rapid Vienna


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Friday, August 27, 2010

Europa League: Trabzonspor 1-2 Liverpool goal highlights

Liverpool secured a safe passage into the group stage of the Europa League after grinding out a 2-1 win over Trabzonspor in Turkey as Roy Hodgson became the first Reds boss since Bill Shankly to win his first four European games in charge of the club.

The home side could not have wished for a better start as Teofilo Gutierrez converted inside the opening three minutes to void Ryan Babel's first-leg Anfield winner of one week ago.

Trabzonspor dominated the opening 45 and should have perhaps furthered their lead through captain Ibrahima Yattara, who was guilty of spurning an inviting headed opportunity.

Liverpool were much improved after the break, though David Ngog headed well when he perhaps should have found the back of the net with an unmarked header from inside the six-yard box.

However, their renewed vigour was rewarded when Remzi Giray Kacar put Glen Johnson's cross through his own net before Dirk Kuyt tapped home a winner with just seconds to spare to ensure the Reds' European adventure will continue this season and help Hodgson equal a milestone set by Shankly over four decades ago. [Read more…]



Sources:, RUTube

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Transfer rumours: Kuyt and Mascherano latest

Roy Hodgson has reiterated that Dik Kuyt is not for sale, insisting the Dutchman is a key part of his Liverpool plans.

It has been suggested in some quarters that the 30-year-old's future could lay elsewhere other than Anfield, but the manager was robust when answering questions from journalists about the forward's future.

   "We have not received any offer. Dirk Kuyt has not told me he wants to go.

"We don't want an offer and at this very late stage in transfer window it would be remarkably unusual for us to accept an offer for a player we don’t want to lose and for money we don't want.

"I need the player, I don't need money." Hodgson told a press conference in Turkey.

Hodgson continues to deny any knowledge of Kuyt wanting to leave despite suggestions by his agent that talks between the two clubs are continuing.

Meanwhile, Rob Jansen has claimed that the Dutch forward wants to leave the club and that talks are ongoing between Liverpool and Inter Milan, who former Reds boss Rafa Benitez departed for this summer.

Hodgson also revealed there have been no new developments in the future of Javier Mascherano, who continues to be linked with Barcelona.

The Argentina captain was left out of Monday's Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City by the boss and did not join the squad in travelling to Turkey today.

But Hodgson said he hoped there would be a conclusion one way or the other in the next few days and did not rule out selecting the Argentina captain for Sunday's Premier League match at home to West Brom.

   "As far as I know there have been no further developments since the last time I spoke to the press.

"The fact he's not here is, I guess, because the negotiations are on going between the clubs. If he played here tomorrow it might prejudice the transfer.

"I don't wish to do anything like that to the player. I don't wish to prejudice his transfer by forcing him onto the field in a game which might make it difficult.

"But I am seriously hoping things will be sorted out in the next couple of days one way or another. I have no idea which way that will be.

"Going into Sunday's game (against West Brom), I think I am entitled to have the player available for selection if he is going to continue to be a Liverpool player.

"Tomorrow night was never a question, but Sunday is very much a question because I think that by Sunday I should know whether he is going to play for Liverpool this season or Barcelona." Hodgson told a press conference in Turkey.

Hodgson also quashed the press’ speculations on the multitude of strikers linked with Liverpool in recent days such as David Trezeguet, Mario Gomez and Carlton Cole. He simply answered the press, “None of those players are likely to be playing for Liverpool this season.”


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No Gerrard, Torres and Jovanovic for Trabzon clash

Liverpool will be without star duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres for their Europa League trip to Trabzonspor, Roy Hodgson today confirmed.

Steven Gerrard Gerrard has a back problem while the club has decided not to risk Torres playing a third successive game following his injury troubles.

Both are expected to be fit for Sunday's clash with West Bromwich Albion. The recurrence of the back problem for Steven Gerrard and Hodgson needs to protect his star striker, Torres, has left Liverpool’s squad a little bit short of firepower.

Milan Jovanovic did not travel to Turkey for today's Europa League clash with Trabzonspor after figuring in all five of the Reds' fixtures so far this season.

However, Hodgson confirmed Jovanovic could return to face the Baggies.

Hodgson will also be without Daniel Agger (concussion) and Maxi Rodriguez (illness) for the jaunt to Turkey.

Liverpool squad v Trabzonspor: Reina, Gulacsi, Hansen, Johnson, Kelly, Skrtel, Carragher, Krygiakos, Aurelio, Cole, Spearing, Poulsen, Lucas, Pacheco, Shelvey, Babel, Kuyt, Ngog, Eccleston.


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Friday, August 20, 2010

Europa League: Liverpool 1-0 Trabzonspor First Leg Highlights

A Ryan Babel strike has given Liverpool a slender 1-0 advantage following the first leg of their Europa League play-off against Trabzonspor.

The Holland international fired home on the stroke of half-time but the Reds were denied the comfort of a second goal after Joe Cole missed a penalty in front of the Kop.

Ryan Babel The scoreline keeps Liverpool as favourites to progress to the Europa League proper as Roy Hodgson tries to become only the second manager after Sven Goran Eriksson to guide three different teams to the competition's final.

Having fallen at the last hurdle with both Inter Milan and Fulham, Hodgson is desperate to make it third time lucky in Dublin.

However, the Liverpool manager has already made it clear he intends to use his full squad in Europe this term, and against Trabzonspor there were first starts of the campaign for new boy Christian Poulsen, Fabio Aurelio, Maxi Rodriguez and Babel.

Martin Kelly and Sotirios Kyrgiakos also made the XI as the likes of Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel enjoyed a rest.

It was Kyrgiakos who almost headed Liverpool into an early lead after just five minutes when he connected with a tasty Maxi corner only to be denied by Trabzonspor custodian Onur.

Burak flicked a similar opportunity wide of Pepe Reina's goal shortly after but it was the hosts who were playing more football, Milan Jovanovic in particular impressing down the left.

Aurelio came close to breaking the deadlock with a free-kick which swerved just over the bar on 26 minutes as Liverpool continued to probe without creating many clear cut chances.

The visitors offered little by way of an attacking threat, though Burak might have made a name for himself again had his sweetly struck dead ball crept under rather than over the crossbar.

But it was Liverpool who eventually took the lead in first-half injury-time when Cole swept an intelligent through ball into the box, leaving lone striker Babel with the relatively simple task of side-footing past Onur.

It was to be the Dutchman's last act of the evening after being substituted during the interval for Fernando Torres, who within 30 seconds of getting a rapturous welcome from the Kop was trying his luck with a rasping effort from wide of the box.

A minute later Lucas wasted a free header after Jovanovic's corner, while debutant Poulsen whacked over from range. The Reds were starting to purr.

The second goal looked certain to arrive on 52 minutes when Serkan tripped Lucas in the box and Cole stepped up from 12 yards. The No.10's penalty kick was weak, however, allowing Onur to parry away.

Jovanovic was next to hold his head in hands when he was denied by a decent save after smart footwork from Torres sent him through on goal.

Trabzonspor should have made the Reds rue their profligacy on 59 minutes as Umut evaded the offside trap before being thwarted by a superb hand from Reina.

Poulsen seemed to have made it a dream debut with just under 20 minutes remaining when he tapped in after a goalmouth scramble - only to be denied by a dubious call of a foul from the referee. Television replays showed justice may have been done, though, as the Dane was standing in an offside position.

The Reds now take their lead to Turkey in a week's time.



Sources: and RUTube

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Transfer news: Babel and Diego latest

Roy Hodgson confirmed that Diego Cavalieri looks set to leave Liverpool - but the boss dismissed speculation that Ryan Babel could move.

Goalkeeper Cavalieri will hold talks with Italian side Cesena after our Europa League play-off first leg with Trabzonspor.

His likely departure follows the arrival at Anfield this week of stopper Brad Jones, who was not signed in time to be eligible for today's Europa League clash.

   "Diego has done a marvellous job for the last three years.

"He's a very good goalkeeper and a very good person, but he made it clear to me at the start of the season that after three years of watching Pepe play every week he might, if he's not careful, lose his goalkeeping ability or his status as a first-team goalkeeper.

"He made it clear he'd like to leave and find a club where he'll be able to play on a regular basis, so we set about the task of finding someone we thought would be as good a complement to Pepe Reina as Cavalieri has been.

"That's why Brad Jones has come in. He's the man we've chosen to back up Reina, put him under pressure and, most importantly, be ready to play.

"Diego will travel to Cesena after the game tomorrow night for a medical." Hodgson told

The Brazilian's departure would make Jones the recognised number two to Reina, and he is likely to feature regularly if we reach the Europa League proper.

Meanwhile, quizzed on whether rumours linking Babel with a move to Wolfsburg was accurate yesterday.

   "No, there's none there. I'm afraid we're in the realm of speculation. You know better than I how many stories you're getting every day, and many of them are unfounded and many are attempts from people to get their players in the spotlight.

"We've had no written or formal offers for Ryan Babel and he's a player who I'm expecting to play for us." Hodgson said.

With two weeks of the transfer window remaining, the gaffer is not ruling out more activity - and backed up Christian Purslow's suggestion that there could be 'one or two' new faces on top of Jones.

Elsewhere, Hodgson was delighted with news that Martin Skrtel has signed a new contract at Anfield.


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