Lyon 1-1 Liverpool

Champions League Group E Match 4
Wednesday 04 November 2009 - 7:45 pm
Stade Gerland, Lyon
Lyon1
1Liverpool
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83'Babel
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Babel's 83rd minute strike is undone with a last minute equaliser.

Babel's 83rd minute strike is undone with a last minute equaliser.

Liverpool cruelly suffered another late show from Lyon in the Stade Gerland this evening.

With a number of key players out and two players on the pitch heavily under the influence of painkillers, the reds dominated the match against the Group E leaders who have now qualified for the knockout stages of this years tournament.

The reds central midfield pairing were dominant throughout the game as the reds had plenty of possession – moving the ball around tidily.

But with Torres clearly suffering, and Voronin unable to put away chances the reds huffed and puffed.

Torres and Voronin both had fantastic chances in the first half – both fired straight at the keeper.  Dirk Kuyt went close but the Lyon goalie tipped over from close range.

In the second half the reds again had the better of the play.

A reaction save prevented a Lucas goal, and a resultant overhead kick from Torres was too weak to trouble Lyon.

Babel replaced Lyon and endured an anonymous 15 minutes before a clever pass from Benayoun left him powering towards goal. He unleashed an unstoppable shot that put the reds ahead.

Lyon woke up, and Liverpool’s poor confidence left us attempting to shut up shop.  Torres who had been walking about the pitch for 15 minutes was providing no outlet so David N’gog went on to provide more attacking impetus.

The reds were holding out well until, more through fortune than bad defending, a bouncing ball landed at Lisandro’s feet and he managed to fire in.  Reina got a touch but not enough and Lyon had equalised.

With Fiorentina’s victory at home over Debrecen – Liverpool will be hoping that Lyon take at least a point from Fiorentina.

Liverpool have 4 days now to try and get some of the walking wounded back in to some action before we face Birmingham at Anfield.

Post Match Comments

Rafael Benitez

“We are really disappointed because it was a great opportunity for us.

“We had some chances, but again it was a late goal against Lyon that made a massive difference.

“Clearly it is difficult for us to qualify, but not impossible. We have to win our game and see what happens in the game with Fiorentina and Lyon. Then we will approach the last game.

“We have a chance and the main thing is to play well against Debrecen and then see what the situation is for our last match.”

(On their goal)

“If you analyse the goal we conceded, we had a lot of players in position and we were not in a bad position,” he said.

“We made a mistake, but not because we were too high or trying to attack. We were trying to control the game, but we couldn’t.

“But football is like this – sometimes you need luck, and we didn’t have it in the end.”

(On our injurys)

“I think we had too many problems before the game, so I am quite pleased with the performance of the players”

“We had many players in different positions, and they did well.

“I think it will be good to analyse the performance of the team. The players will see we were working very hard and had many chances and that is positive.

“The players know if they work as hard as tonight they will win matches.

“Hopefully we will have Skrtel available for the next game and we can manage things in a different way.”

(On Torres)

“I think he was okay. When he is playing with pain it is not easy.

“He was inconsistent because he was having to stop and start again, but we have some time and we will be working with him.”

Teams

Liverpool: Reina, Agger, Insua, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Benayoun, Leiva, Mascherano, Kuyt, Voronin (Babel 68), Torres (N’gog 86)

Subs not used: Cavalieri, Skrtel, Ayala, Darby, Aquilani

Yellow Cards: Agger

Goals: Babel (83)

Lyon: Lloris, Cris, Reveillere (Gassama 18), Cissokho, Kallstrom, Pjanic (Ederson 40), Gomis (Govou 73), Makoun, Toulalan, Lopez, Bastros

Subs not used: Vercoutre, Gonalons, Delgado, Tafer

Yellow Cards: Lopez

Goals: Lopez (90)

Ref: De Bleeckere
Att: 39,180

Our Man of the Match

Liverpool’s central midfield pairing bossed the game. Our man of the match goes to Lucas Leiva.

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  • Marc Stenberg

    On a different note, did anyone put a bet on the Lyon game? If so then check this out http://tinyurl.com/yhd89fl – it’s from the Right2Bet petition and it shows you how much money you could have lost (even if you won your bet) because of the messed up EU gambling rules. It’s mental!

  • Imran

    We’re paying the price for Rafa putting all his egg’s in the one if not two baskets that are Gerard and Torres!.Everyone was crying out for atleast another forward during the last transfer window but he chose to ignore our plea’ instead depend totally on Torres to do all the work.This has now returned to haunt us because our other forwards are average at best and incredibly poor at worst.Sure Voronin should go providing someone else wants him but they don’t….

    It’s highly unlikely that we’ll qualify for the latter stages now and also look likely that we’ll drop out of the top four in the Premiership thus losing millions in revenue.It’s very difficult to remain positive when our season is almost over in mid Nov with nothing to look forward to,the FA is very little consolation for me even if we do win it.Yes we played well but i’d much rather that we played poorly but win because the result is all that matters so let’s stop fooling ourselves…

    • ROB1892

      Your rite the result was everything last night not the performance and we got stuffed cus we couldn’t defend for 4mins ?
      Im not so sure about blaming rafa for the striker situation though because it was obvious that he had major targets this summer but was refused funds and even had 14 mil plus the 20 mil promised not given to him so had to settle for having Voronin back instead !

      He makes mistakes don’t get me wrong , as iv said above subbing Torres with only 4mins left was a big one as was starting Voronin up front with Torres but i think insufficient funding and slow/ poor decision making by the owners ( both Parry +Moores /Gillete + Hicks ) have dogged him since he arrived !

      • Imran

        It’s not news that ultimately it’s David Moores who is responsible for selling our great club to Hicks and Gillette only to satisfy his own greed.Now our club is in a bigger mess then the Middle East which is certainly saying something!

        As for the striker issue why did Rafa sell both Keane and Crouch when he surely must have known that he wouldn’t be able to find or buy a suitable replacement/s??.Make no mistake that i wasn’t very happy with Keane but he’s far better then Voronin or N’go,i’ve always been a fan of Crouch and was enraged to see him depart.

        Then Rafa let’s Nemeth go out and loan that causes us further damage furthermore why is he not giving Pacheco a chance when he’s a far better choice to Voronin??.

  • Wasim

    Voronin NEEDS to go. He’s on our wage bill for NO reason. He is USELESS. Hertha Berlin didn’t want him….need I say more?

    GET RID!

    N.B Players should be fined for poor performances. Just as they demand wages in the thousands each week, we should demand performances worthy of their salary each week. Not good enough, then no pay. Simple and fair. I think Voronin should, by his own admission, pay back the money he’s unjustly earnt at Liverpool. Most players worthy of the mighty Liverpool shirt could have finished that off. As a striker, that was aweful. At THAT level, you cannot miss.

    YNWA

  • CulCul

    lads, this was one of the worst performances i have seen since Rafa took over.
    We continue to play long ball out of defense and always seem to bypass our midfield, the result is the consession of the ball time & time again. Why do we play the long ball when the last decent target ball we had is now at spurs???
    Lyon were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure and take a draw from the game. When we scored, Lyon upped the tempo and tested our defense. Net result = concide a goal.
    The strenght of the squad is poor especially after a 5 year building cycle.
    We have got ride of more talent in the previous 2 seasons than we signed and i believe that we have no more than 8 players good enough for first team football at LFC.
    I cannot understand why previous bloggers are clapping each other on the back and talking about a great/unlucky performance. Over two legs, Lyon played with 2 x centre midfielders at centre half and dropped their captain Govou for last night. Lyon are no super power and never will be.
    Lets get realistic, we have a massive battle ahead and in my opinion the downward spiral has started. Lost revenue from not getting out of the group means that we must now win the Europa Cup. failure to finish in the top 4 in the ELP will be the death nial in the coffin.

    • Ian Cade

      I think the backs play the long ball up so that they can bypass Lucas………….. but credit where its due , he didnt have a bad game last night…… or perhaps having voronin on the pitch makes lucas look better

      • ROB1892

        having Voronin on the pitch would have made a blind three legged dog with no fur look good in a red shirt last night ! This league, this team this life just don’t suit him !!!!

    • Kev

      A poorer performance than at Burnley in the FA cup in 2004-05. Yoo probably don’t remember

  • king sensai

    Well done red men.
    It did seem like a defeat but we outplayed them on their own pitch with fanatical fans.
    We lacked someone apart from Torres to put the ball in the net with the greek at the back not bad but weak for their goal.
    Vorinon must feel as if the world is against him but thats not his fault. Rafa picked him and like the fulham game was the worse man on the pitch.
    If I were you Voronin i would refuse to play again!!! for the mighty reds .
    Do us all a favour mate.
    THE MIGHTY REDS LFC

  • byron

    Rafa you a good guy..but couldnt you have strengthened our defense for 3 more mins..But Babel thanks I could feel my feet neither could I breathe to celebrate Such an awesome strike..Fiorentina will lose both their games but whatever they do they will @ Anfield Go Reds!! We will be in th last 16..watch th space

  • Alex

    This game quite good compare to last few match. Rafa should sell Voronin cuz he was suck. Babel is a good sub because he would usually score when he was a sub.

  • Chris

    Absolutely GUTTED.

    Well done to the lads, Except Vorinin the Donkey. When will Rafa Learn that you can’t field a team of 10 players giving their all and one useless T**t who can’t do a thing right.

    YNWA

  • Kev

    Only poor finishing prevented us from winning convincingly last night. We may have to bite the bullet in the CL, though qualification is still a possibility it doesn’t look likely. A positive performance nonetheless mconsidering our injury list and the task facing us. Voronin had a shocker and must go. We need a decent back up striker. This player doesn’t need to be a world beater or a £30m wonder kid. Ronny Rosenthal or David Speedie would do, just soemone that is reliable in possession and can finish from 12 yards. Babel summed up his career in the space of 5 minutes last night. From the sublime to the ridiculous!

  • ROB1892

    It was as good as a defeat and leaves us staring at the bottomless pit which is the Europa cup.
    I believe rafa’s substituting of Torres cost us the game, by taking him off with what was 4 minutes left we effectively gave the onus back to them to relax defensively and push forward, which they did by doubling up on the flanks and stretching our defense thus resulting in the goal !

    For the entire game they had not managed to stretch our defense the way they did in the 89th min and that was due in part i believe to the fact that they were preoccupied with containing Torres ( another reason that Babel had so much time and space to shoot at goal ! )

    I am not one to overly critique Benitez and/ or blame him as a whole for our current situation even though he has made questionable decisions which have directly impacted upon the team and results in the past and thus far this season ( Selling Keane, forcing out Alonso and replacing him with a player with an injury, not getting ‘judas Owen’ or adequate cover for Torres ) But as a fan all you ask is that the mistakes you make , you learn from !

    So why after saturday with the score 1-1 and all that followed do you make the same decision to replace your Star striker with a measly 4 minutes left on the clock ?

    Granted our defense should on both occasions have been able to stand firm however what you do is not only remove a physical threat that keeps your opposition occupied you remove a mental threat in the minds of your opponent ! This allows them to relax more and invites your opponent the time and composure to re-assess their situation thus allowing the freedom to attack !

    How many times dose Benitez talk about the little details and the difference they can have on your results ? I really think that this along with missed chances and not including Aquilani for even five ten minutes directly adds to the result. It’s a risk but taking into consideration the importance of the match and the fact we don’t play till Monday you would think Rafa would take a few calculated risks to solidify our position once going ahead.
    In the end i believe that if you leave Torres on for the remainder of the game we win the game it’s as simple as that.

  • glen

    voronin lost us the game,he seems to do the opposite what is expected. clean through and he shoots straight at the keeper da

  • Mouggy

    Unlucky lads we did not deserve that, jammy b*****ds. My gran could have done a bet job than voronin, and she uses a zimmer frame. Well done to the rest of the team with all the injuries that we have we still outplayed Lyon. Cracking goal by Babel. COME ON YOU REDS we are still the best club in the world!