Liverpool suffered second half heart-break and more injuries in a disappointing Champions League game against French league leaders Lyon.
Against this quality of opposition a team needs to play to their full potential to get the result and Liverpool, for 75 minutes of this fixture, seemed incapable of passing to a fellow red shirt. Some Liverpool players should be thoroughly embarrassed by their so-called efforts.
Glen Johnson was ruled out of the squad on the morning of the game – adding to Liverpool’s woes after Albert Riera was also ruled out. Fernando Torres was still missing from the line up and Steven Gerrard was named in the side before re-injuring his groin and coming off mid-way through the first half.
Liverpool played poorly in the opening half hour before suddenly turning the pressure back up. The reds had a goal ruled out when Dirk Kuyt was judged to have pushed a Lyon defender. After a David N’gog chance was well saved, moments later Yossi Benayoun put the ball in the net in the Kop end to put Liverpool ahead. The reds finished the first half strongly and could have doubled the lead.
The reds opened the second half brightly, with a Benayoun header going close.
However, Lyon were pressing for the equaliser. From a corner a Reina punch landed the ball straight at the oppositions feet. They shot, Reina saved, straight back to Lyon and another reaction save from Reina before Gonalons fired in to the empty net.
Matters got worse when Martin Kelly went off injured after a very impressive game for the inexperienced player.
Liverpool suffered a sucker punch in injury time when a cross passed through three defenders before Salgado slotted home in to an empty net after Carragher failed to challenge.
Liverpool can still qualify but it might require 3 more wins in the group.
Post Match Comments
“We’ve come back before – and we can do it again.
“We now must be ready for the next game. I have confidence we have the quality to overcome these problems.”
“We have to push players now, to keep working and to maintain our confidence,” said Benitez.
“We just had too many problems before and during the game. Losing Glen Johnson before the match, and then Gerrard and Martin Kelly during the match, was just too much to contend with.
“It was a difficult game with all our problems, and we had done well to be leading at the break. Then we had two or three chances soon after the interval.
“Had we scored, it would have changed everything.”
“It was not a gamble to play Gerrard. He wanted to play and had trained normally for two games.
“He was given the all-clear by the doctor, and what happened was just bad luck. He felt something wrong in his groin, and it was wise to come off.”
Liverpool: Reina, Agger, Insua, Carragher, Kelly (Skrtel 74), Gerrard (Aurelio 25), Benayoun (Voronin 84), Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Ngog.
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Skrtel, Spearing, Plessis, Babel.
Lyon: Lloris, Cris (Gonalons 42), Reveillere, Cissokho, Kallstrom, Pjanic, Ederson (Gomis 61), Makoun, Toulalan, Lopez (Delgado 86), Govou.
Subs not used: Vercoutre, Clerc, Michel Bastros, Belfodil.
Ref: Undiano Mallenco
Our Man of the Match
An excellent performance for the inexperienced Martin Kelly.