Liverpool 1-0 Standard Liege

Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
Wednesday 27 August 2008 - 8:05 pm
0Standard Liege
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Liverpool left it till 3 minutes from the end of this 3 and a half hour stalemate between the Belgian Champions and Liverpool before booking our place in the group stages of the Champions League.

Liverpool left Belgium shell-shocked two weeks ago after a battling display by Standard Liege. Unfortunately the reds failed to heed that warning and rode their luck for most of the first half as Liege out-paced, out-thought and out-fought the men in red.

Benitez, who is beginning to adopt a more settled side than in recent years, was visibly uncomfortable in the dugout as his side lacked the guile expected on a big European night.

A Liege goal would have meant the reds needed two, and Liverpool looked anything like scoring even one. Anxiety was high and Reina had to make a couple of excellent saves in the first half.  The reds were easy to defend against.  Lacking any width, all the play was concentrated in the middle third of the pitch and the Belgian side smothered the majority of Liverpool’s attacks.

Although Liverpool improved, slightly, after the break most of the best chances were from 30 yard attempts as the frustration grew amongst the Liverpool players.

After Babel and El Zhar had replaced the ineffective Benayoun and Keane, Liverpool’s wings slowly opened up.

When the match appeared to be heading for penalties, Dirk Kuyt, arrived at the far post to meet an excellent Ryan Babel cross with his feet and poke the ball past the keeper.  It was Dirk’s 100th Liverpool appearance, and his goal helps Liverpool to the group stages, to the £18 million Champions League cash, and avoids what could have been a catastrophic start to the season.



Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Kuyt, Gerrard, Alonso, Benayoun (Babel 61), Keane (El Zhar 83), Torres (Plessis 120).

Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Spearing.

Goals: Kuyt 118.

Standard Liege: Aragon, Camozzato, Onyewu, Sarr, Dante, Dalmat (Jovanovic 86), Fellaini, Defour (Nicaise 118), Witsel, De Camargo (Toama 101), Mbokani.

Subs Not Used: Devriendt, Goreux, Mikulic, Ingrao.

Booked: Sarr, De Camargo, Dante.

Att: 43,889

Ref: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland).

4 comments on
Liverpool 1-0 Standard Liege

  1. We’ve got to give the team some time to gel…everyone’s talking about lack of width and all – but we do have the players to provide this width: Babel and El Zhar.

    Ferguson won nothing in his first four years, and no league title for his first six; then, more recently, won only an FA Cup and a League Cup between 2003 and 2007, and had only one good Champions League campaign in that time. Now it seems he can again do no wrong. Between 1998 and 2002 Arsene Wenger won nothing, and between 2004 and the present day has won only domestic cups. (Even the great Bill Shankly won nothing at all between 1966 and 1973.)

    I’ll leave you to compare the above with Rafa’s achievements in his first four years in charge.

    In Rafa we trust – he WILL get it right, there should be no doubt about that.

  2. Our business at anfield is to win games, if they won the game, then we don’t have a problem now do we? Well done kuyt for that well deserved goal!

  3. Phew! We left it late, but once again Kuyt scores a important goal. Has to be said though, that over the 2 games we were a little lucky to get through. This lack of width is a real worry, and we need to sort it very quickly, and to miss Gerrard with a op over the coming 2 or 3 weeks is going to hurt. Xabi will have to step up to the plate during this period. We are still not convincing, as has been the case in all 4 competitive matches so far this season. We need these 2 wide players signed by the end of the month, so come on the Liverpool board get your fingers pulled out for the good of the team. El Tel Alicante

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