ANFIELD ONLINE MATCH REPORT
|Daniel Carvalho 28.
Cisse 82, 102
Luis Garcia 109
Djibril Cisse provided a telling response to suggestions his place should be usurped by Michael Owen with a match-winning contribution to secure the European Super Cup for Liverpool.
The 24-year-old French striker came off the bench to score two goals and make the third for Luis Garcia just when it looked as though the match was heading UEFA Cup winners CSKA Moscow's way through Daniel Carvalho's first-half strike.
Rafael Benitez had elected to keep Cisse on the bench until the last 15 minutes of normal time - but his introduction proved decisive with his pace and power providing a compelling argument that Liverpool may not be better off with Owen instead of him as their first-choice forward.
Super Cups are often muted affairs and this was no exception, especially with Liverpool being limited to 2,000 tickets while CSKA Moscow were given 6,000 - no doubt to attract cash-rich Russians to the millionaires' playground of Monte Carlo.
CSKA's gameplan was to try to contain Liverpool and strike on the break through the impressive Carvalho and his fellow Brazilian Vagner Love, and for most of the match it worked - thanks also to Luis Garcia wasting four or five decent chances due to poor finishing.
Liverpool were without skipper Steven Gerrard, who was not risking a calf injury, and his replacement Dietmar Hamann contributed to a brisk opening period with a low sidefooted shot from the edge of the box which was well saved by Igor Akinfeev.
Luis Garcia should have done better when set free by Hamann's lofted ball over the top but his first touch was poor, and then the Spaniard fired over from 18 yards after being picked out by a glorious pass from Bolo Zenden.
Liverpool continued to carve out chances with Fernando Morientes clipping a curling effort a couple of yards wide, then his backheel set up Luis Garcia only for him to drag his shot past the post.
Morientes brought another save out of Akinfeev from 20 yards before CSKA first showed the quality which brought them their first European trophy in May.
Milos Krasic's trickery earned him space to fire just wide before CSKA took a 28th-minute lead in their next attack thanks to their Brazilian strike duo.
Vagner Love sent Carvalho through with John Arne Riise playing him onside and the 22-year-old skipped past Jose Manuel Reina before rolling the ball into the empty net.
Luis Garcia was once more wantonly wasteful with an off-target finish after being put clear by Hamann, and the German midfielder himself then fired well over from 25 yards.
The stadium DJ tried to raise Liverpool spirits by playing Love Me Do by The Beatles during the break but the Reds continued to struggle with their finishing in the second half.
Josemi was the culprit this time after a surging run but his powerful drive cleared the crossbar.
At the other end Reina was almost embarrassed by a dipping free-kick from Yuri Zhirkov, and Liverpool struggled to break down a packed CSKA defence and midfield.
Finally, Benitez relented and sent on Cisse with 15 minutes of normal time remaining - and 120 seconds later he equalised.
There was more than an element of luck to the goal - and a strong element of handball - after Luis Garcia's flick-on of Reina's long kick created uncertainty in the CSKA defence.
An attempted clearance struck the French striker's hand and looped over goalkeeper Akinfeev, allowing Cisse to follow up and wallop the ball gleefully into the net.
Cisse had a chance to clinch it in normal time but could not find the power to beat Akinfeev.
In the 12th minute of extra-time Cisse seized on a defensive error to put Liverpool ahead with a long ball from Hamann causing problems.
Sergey Ignashevich made a hash with a clearing header and Cisse crashed a shot straight at Akinfeev, but slipped home the rebound when it fell fortuitously at his feet.
Vagner Love could have sent the game to penalties after being set up by Carvalho but Reina did enough to keep him out.
Then Cisse ensured the trophy was Liverpool's with a curling cross which landed the ball on Luis Garcia's head - and even he could not miss from close range.
Liverpool Reina, Finnan (Sinama Pongolle 55), Hyypia, Riise (Cisse 79), Luis Garcia, Alonso (Sissoko 71), Hamann, Josemi, Morientes, Carragher, Zenden.
Subs Not Used: Carson, Warnock.
Booked: Zenden, Luis Garcia, Hyypia, Sinama Pongolle.
CSKA Moscow Akinfeev, Ignashevich, Alexei Berezutsky, Vasili Berezutsky, Ordia (Gusev 90), Daniel Carvalho, Vagner Love, Krasic (Dudu 85), Zhirkov (Semberas 66), Aldonin, Rahimic.
Subs Not Used: Mandrykin, Samodin.
Ref: Rene Temmink (Holland).
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|Match Report filed: 27 August 2005|