Wednesday 4th August 2004 (1am BST)
New York Giants Stadium, New York, USA


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Benitez record: Played 4 Won 3 Lost 1
MATCH REPORT - Liverpool 2-1 AS Roma

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Delvecchio (21)
Cisse (30)
Owen (85)

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Liverpool's new striking partnership of Michael Owen and Djibril Cisse gave them a 2-1 friendly win over Roma in New Jersey's Giants Stadium.

Roma went ahead on 21 minutes when Marco Delvecchio turned home Christian Panucci's cross.

Nine minutes later John Arne Riise set up to Cisse, who made no mistake sliding the ball into the net.

Philippe Mexes and Panucci hit the woodwork for Roma, but Owen's predatory class sealed the win for Liverpool.

More worryingly, skipper Steven Gerrard was forced off after taking an earlier knock.

Cisse and Baros initially started in attack for Liverpool while Igor Biscan - the surprise success of the tour - was given another chance to impress in his preferred midfield role.

Once again Biscan produced a fine display and he has staked a claim for a starting role against AK Graz next Tuesday in the Champions League third qualifying round first leg in Austria.

Both sides showed a willingness to attack but it was Roma who scored first through Delvecchio after good work by Vincent Candela and Panucci.

Liverpool deserved their equaliser, which provided Cisse with his third goal of the US trip.

Liverpool certainly finished the half strongest and right on the half-time whistle Harry Kewell stung the fingers of Roma keeper Carlo Zotti with a blistering left-footed strike that was superbly turned around the post.

New signing Josemi came on for his debut at the break and slotted in with ease at right back in place of Steve Finnan.

Josemi, who is tipped to win his first international call up in the next few weeks, showed some good touches coming forward and defended solidly.

Roma almost stole the lead against the run of play soon after when Mexes shot against the outside of the upright from a tight angle.

With five minutes remaining substitute Dietmar Hamann made a determined run and the ball fell to second-half substitute Owen who tucked the ball past Zotti.

Roma immediately struck back and hit the post through Panucci but Liverpool held on for a deserved victory.


» Teams

Liverpool (first half): Dudek; Carragher, Hyypia, Henchoz, Riise; Finnan, Gerrard, Biscan, Kewell; Cisse, Baros.

Liverpool (second half): Dudek; Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia (Whitbread), Riise; Murphy, Hamann, Diao, Warnock; Owen, Sinama-Pongolle.

Roma: Zotti; Panucci, Candela (Lanzero 73), Mexes, Curfe, Scurto; D'Agostini, Dacourt (Cerci 77), De Martino; Montella (Corvia 77), Delvecchio.

Ref: Michael Kennedy

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Match Report filed: 6th August 2004