Liverpool saw out a 1-0 victory in Hungary in a game that started brightly.
Agger, with his head bandaged heavily, returned to the reds defence and Carragher returned to centre-back. Glen Johnson returned to the right back slot. Aurelio started the match on the left wing.
Early pressure from Liverpool resulted in a corner which eventually Jamie Carragher headed in to the six yard box. David N’gog got the angled touch which sent the ball in to the corner of the net. Liverpool fans may have felt a whitewash coming on. Indeed, the reds had total domination in the first half and plenty of possession, but a combination of a couple of decent saves and some
Dirk Kuyt and David N’gog both had great opportunities to increase the lead.
The second half was much more laboured. The reds still had the lions share of possession but could not fashion the second goal. As the half wore on Debrecen gained slightly in confidence and did force a solid save out of Pepe Reina who had little to do overall.
The final whistle went and the reds had done their job and the players gathered round to watch the final moments of the Fiorentina – Lyon game. In the dying moments Lyon forced a fine save but it was in vain as the French side were defeated 1-0, ensuring Liverpool’s exit.
The reds now go in to the Europa League, a modified version of the UEFA Cup which the reds lifted in the glorious 2001 year. Liverpool’s two late defensive switch-offs against Lyon home and away are the reason behind this season’s Champions League exit. They will need to correct that for Sunday when the Merseyside Derby comes around.
Post Match Comments
“It was our own fault in the end, the late goals we have conceded along the way have cost us.
“We have been so good in the last few years that maybe people think it is easy to qualify in all competitions.
“We have to be disappointed, we knew we had to win and we did that. You cannot change what happened in Florence but at least we did our job.”
“You have a budget at the beginning of the season and it assumes that we have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League. We did this.
“Two or three more games maybe, in terms of money, won’t make such a big difference.
“The main thing for us is to finish in the top four and to be in the Champions League group stages again next year.”
Shots: 15 (7 on target) [Debrecen – 5 (2 on target)]
Corners: 12 [Debrecen – 3]
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Insua, Carragher, Aurelio (Dossena 89), Leiva, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard (Aquilani 90+1), N’gog (Benayoun 77)
Unused subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Spearing
Goals: Ngog 4
Our Man of the Match
The reds played decent without playing outstanding. We’ve gone for Mascherano.