Liverpool fans travelled to FC Gomel in Belarus

FC Gomel 0-1 Liverpool

FC Gomel 0-1 Liverpool

Europa League 3rd Qualifying Rd Leg 1
Belarus
Thursday 02 August 2012 7:00 pm

Brendan Rodgers made a winning start to his Liverpool career, and his European debut as a manager - although he was left in little doubt about the size of the job he faces at Liverpool.

Liverpool fans travelled to FC Gomel in Belarus

Much of the pre-game talk had been about the new style of football we can expect from Liverpool - but the reds for the majority of the game were a poor second best and were lucky to even be in the game at half time.

The reds consistently gave away the ball - often in dangerous positions - in front of an intimidating atmosphere created by the fans in Belarus.

Fabio Borini made his Liverpool debut, and Jamie Carragher captained the side in his 700th appearance for Liverpool Football Club.

In the second minute Igor Voronkov fired the first shot in anger for the hosts but it went narrowly over the bar.

Early on Liverpool suffered an injury, Joe Cole going off clutching his thigh, and moments later Raheem Sterling was sent on to replace the former England international.

Gomel dominated Liverpool in the first half and Brad Jones was required to spare Liverpool's blushes on a number of occasions.  As well as Liverpool's inability to retain possession - the high line of the two full backs was allowing the Belarus strikers time and space to put pressure on Liverpool's centre-back pairing.

At half time Glen Johnson made way for Martin Kelly but almost immediately the lead nearly fell to Gomel when they caught out the reds defence and skipped past the oncoming Brad Jones.  The ball thankfully raced over the goal-line before it could be angled in to the net.

Kozeka then went close for the hosts when he hit the post, the rebound thankfully put wide.

In the 66th minute Lucas Leiva came on to replace Jordan Henderson and within a minute Liverpool were ahead.

Against the run of play Stewart Downing caught the keeper off guard to lash home the reds first goal of the season.

The goal did little to settle Liverpool - and Gomel continued to control the game for the rest of the match.

Liverpool were shockingly poor in this game, but got a result that should almost certainly put us through to the next round. The 2nd leg is in a weeks time at Anfield.

Team: Jones, Johnson (Kelly 46), Enrique, Carragher, Skrtel, gerrard, Cole (Sterling 23), Henderson (Leiva 66), Downing, Spearing, Borini

Unused subs: Gulacsi, Robinson, Adam, Shelvey

Goals: Downing 67

  • jose

    why people dont understand this is a glorified friendly , we playedaganist a team who is in mid season and our players none of them had a full 90 mins under the belt. so calm down and wait before WE throw our judgments

    • Kieran Watts

      But this wasn’t a glorified friendly – it was our first competitive fixture. We can maybe forgive players for not being 100% fit – but we sure should expect them to be able to pass a football to each other and show some of the technical ability that makes them earn at least 100x more than their Belarussian opponents.

      I don’t think anyone will have watched that game and been more optimistic about the season ahead.

      Must do a lot better – if we don’t make huge leaps forward in the next two weeks in terms of the basics then we will get beaten by West Brom.

  • red33

    Watta bunch of…borini (where the hell is he),downing (even though he score but is more of a lower league player with his skill),henderson (have a good engine but without a driver, can’t even pass a ball properly),spearing (giving ball away cheaply,running like a headless chicken),johnson (awful),hate to say this but liverpool is run by a bunch of joker since rafa,frustration,disappointed,and sad to see liverpool were manage by poor managers who only have eyes for very very very average player,houghson,daglish and i dearly hope not rodger.

  • redfernando

    Its the result that counts. That’s what we lacked last season