Liverpool cruelly suffered another late show from Lyon in the Stade Gerland this evening.
With a number of key players out and two players on the pitch heavily under the influence of painkillers, the reds dominated the match against the Group E leaders who have now qualified for the knockout stages of this years tournament.
The reds central midfield pairing were dominant throughout the game as the reds had plenty of possession – moving the ball around tidily.
But with Torres clearly suffering, and Voronin unable to put away chances the reds huffed and puffed.
Torres and Voronin both had fantastic chances in the first half – both fired straight at the keeper. Dirk Kuyt went close but the Lyon goalie tipped over from close range.
In the second half the reds again had the better of the play.
A reaction save prevented a Lucas goal, and a resultant overhead kick from Torres was too weak to trouble Lyon.
Babel replaced Lyon and endured an anonymous 15 minutes before a clever pass from Benayoun left him powering towards goal. He unleashed an unstoppable shot that put the reds ahead.
Lyon woke up, and Liverpool’s poor confidence left us attempting to shut up shop. Torres who had been walking about the pitch for 15 minutes was providing no outlet so David N’gog went on to provide more attacking impetus.
The reds were holding out well until, more through fortune than bad defending, a bouncing ball landed at Lisandro’s feet and he managed to fire in. Reina got a touch but not enough and Lyon had equalised.
With Fiorentina’s victory at home over Debrecen – Liverpool will be hoping that Lyon take at least a point from Fiorentina.
Liverpool have 4 days now to try and get some of the walking wounded back in to some action before we face Birmingham at Anfield.
Post Match Comments
“We are really disappointed because it was a great opportunity for us.
“We had some chances, but again it was a late goal against Lyon that made a massive difference.
“Clearly it is difficult for us to qualify, but not impossible. We have to win our game and see what happens in the game with Fiorentina and Lyon. Then we will approach the last game.
“We have a chance and the main thing is to play well against Debrecen and then see what the situation is for our last match.”
(On their goal)
“If you analyse the goal we conceded, we had a lot of players in position and we were not in a bad position,” he said.
“We made a mistake, but not because we were too high or trying to attack. We were trying to control the game, but we couldn’t.
“But football is like this – sometimes you need luck, and we didn’t have it in the end.”
(On our injurys)
“I think we had too many problems before the game, so I am quite pleased with the performance of the players”
“We had many players in different positions, and they did well.
“I think it will be good to analyse the performance of the team. The players will see we were working very hard and had many chances and that is positive.
“The players know if they work as hard as tonight they will win matches.
“Hopefully we will have Skrtel available for the next game and we can manage things in a different way.”
“I think he was okay. When he is playing with pain it is not easy.
“He was inconsistent because he was having to stop and start again, but we have some time and we will be working with him.”
Liverpool: Reina, Agger, Insua, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Benayoun, Leiva, Mascherano, Kuyt, Voronin (Babel 68), Torres (N’gog 86)
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Skrtel, Ayala, Darby, Aquilani
Yellow Cards: Agger
Goals: Babel (83)
Lyon: Lloris, Cris, Reveillere (Gassama 18), Cissokho, Kallstrom, Pjanic (Ederson 40), Gomis (Govou 73), Makoun, Toulalan, Lopez, Bastros
Subs not used: Vercoutre, Gonalons, Delgado, Tafer
Yellow Cards: Lopez
Goals: Lopez (90)
Ref: De Bleeckere
Our Man of the Match
Liverpool’s central midfield pairing bossed the game. Our man of the match goes to Lucas Leiva.