Liverpool rode their luck in a game of two halves in Marseille. A last minute save from Reina helping Liverpool to ensure all three points returned to Anfield.
The opening was very bright, with chances aplenty for both sides.
With Torres and Gerrard both returning to the starting eleven, Xabi Alonso and Robbie Keane found themselves on the bench.
It was Marseille who grabbed the first goal, just as United had done on Saturday. They had threatened to break the Liverpool offside trap and did just that in the 23rd minute when Cheyrou (Bruno’s brother) passed a neat ball that Cana fired past Reina.
Within minutes Liverpool pressed and Torres played the ball out wide to Kuyt. The Dutchman returned the ball straight back to Gerrard who with his first touch fired a cracking lob over the Marseille keeper.
Only minutes later Carragher found Babel with a great ball in the Marseille penalty area. A quick turn of pace from Babel and he’s too quick for Zubar who brings him down for a penalty.
Up steps Gerrard who fires home the penalty in the bottom right corner. But the referee ordered a re-take after Kuyt had moved in to the penalty box before the ball had been hit. Up steps Gerrard again, and puts the ball in exactly the same spot – past the keeper. Three goals in 9 minutes.
Marseille continued to press but the reds had chances of their own as the first half reached it’s end.
The second half started well for Marseille and the reds allowed the Frenchmen to have the best of most of the second half. Torres was removed after 65 minutes and Gerrard after 70 as their return to fitness continues.
Marseille sensed that the equaliser was on the cards and by the time the 92nd minute arrived it nearly did, only the legs of Reina making sure the reds got three points. Last season the reds were on one point after 3 games in this tournament. Three points after one game is a vast improvement, even if we didn’t match last years 4-0 victory on this ground.
Liverpool face PSV at Anfield next.
Liverpool: Reina, Dossena, Skrtel, Carragher, Arbeloa, Kuyt (Keane 85), Leiva, Gerrard (Benayoun 70), Mascherano, Babel, Torres (Riera 70)
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Agger, Alonso, Degen
Booked: Skrtel, Leiva
Goals: Gerrard (26, pen 32)
Marseille: Mandanda, Bonnart, Zubar, Hilton, Taiwo, Cana, Cheyrou, Kone (Samassa 75), M’Bami (Valbuena 41), Ben Arfa (Ziani 57), Niang.
Subs Not Used: Riou, Zenden, Kabore, Erbate.
Goals: Cana 23.