Lille 1-0 Liverpool

Europa League Last 16 1st Leg
Thursday 11 March 2010 - 6:00 pm
Stadium Lille Metropole
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Liverpool suffer another late goal in Europe – Photo from fOTOGLIF

Liverpool conceded late in the match yet again in Europe this season to give French side Lille the upperhand in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Before the game the reds welcomed Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson back to the starting line up. Ryan Babel also replaced the injured Yossi Benayoun. Rafa had asked for a response from the players but the first ten minutes of this game were dominated by Lille keen to press ahead on the front foot and try to take advantage of Liverpool’s recent poor form.

After the reds survived the opening exchanges, and as the half wore on, some improvement returned to Liverpool’s play.

A neat interchange between Torres and Babel put Ryan in the clear, but his shot was stopped – if the 1-2 had ended with the ball at Torres feet it could have been a different matter.

Liverpool again went close towards the end of the half.

Steven Gerrard’s free kick was stopped and then the cross back in found Torres head.  Again the keeper reacted well to keep out Liverpool’s number 9.

The second half was an entirely more drab affair.  The game appeared to be heading to stalemate until with just minutes left on the clock, a free kick from Eden Hazard fired straight in to the goal after eluding the reds defence and Pepe Reina.

The reds found a sense of urgency for the final minutes but it was a little too late to start playing football.

A disappointing performance, although the result will be reminiscent of the Olympiakos defeat just over 5 years ago.  With Lyon dumping Real Madrid out of the European Cup and now this first leg result, French football has a smile back on its face.

Liverpool will have to improve to wipe that smile off them in one week’s time.

Post Match Comments

Rafa Benitez (who took some time before joining the press conference)

“I think it was an improvement. The reaction has been very positive. I am disappointed with the result, but really pleased with the effort of the players.

“I have confidence we can beat anyone on a good day at Anfield. I would be worried today if the players hadn’t worked as hard as they have. The fans will play a part, they will push and will be behind the team.

“Lille are a good side, with good players and they are dangerous. We will play a difficult game at Anfield but have confidence we can beat them.”

“When you play away in these knockout competitions, you have to score when you have chances.

“In any competition it is important to try and score away, particularly in this one. It is a great advantage if you do. If not you have to be strong, but I think we were strong enough today.

“We had two or three situations, so that was a pity, but the reaction was good and we still have 90 minutes to play.

“Sometimes you play well and score an early goal – then you can manage the game. If we work as hard as we did today, we can beat anyone.

“The attitude of the players was fantastic. We were talking about not letting the fans down in terms of team effort and I think we did this.

“Every game is important for us now. We have to be ready to play Portsmouth and try to win. Then we have to look to the Europa League game, that is how it is when you are a top side playing in different competitions.”

15 comments on
Lille 1-0 Liverpool

  1. getting rid of rafa will be a huge mistake, it will be a huge shock when or if a manager comes in that doesnt care about the club, just his name of becoming a manager with a good rep. rafa’s not fussed about the name thing likje jose is, he just wants to be a huge hit at liverpool, you can tell, he loves the club and sorry but for me, if we had done what we should have done last year or after we won the champions league and brought some truly great players then we would not be in the mess, we have never brought more than 2/ 3 players in any one market and that in the problem, and i mean real imnvestment, wake up fans it the yanks that have nearly killed this club.

  2. I’ve been saying for ages that RAFA IS NOT THE MAN FOR LIVERPOOL!.He may not have the financial backing of a Chelsea or Man Utd but surely we should be taking care of Wigan and Stoke etc!!!

    He’s negative and plays to avoid defeat instead of win!!.He’s awful in the transfer market signing flop after flop like Babel,Lucas,Kuyt and Aquilani a £20 mil injury prone player who he says needs more time!

    Never would Man Utd,Chelsea,Barca,Arsenal or Real Madrid put up with such rubbish for so long but we continue making excuses instead of calling a spade a spade!.What we need is for both the owners to sell and a new positive minded manager who gives youth like Pacheco a chance for the lad looks good to me.

  3. Only one answer”RAFA’s team selection is appalling to say the least. Its time he was shipped off to another team so that Lpool can rebuild. All his excuses is no longer acceptable.

  4. i think its about time Raf talks to the players about their performance. it’s very sad to see l’pool in this state. i pray for a better results against Lille at Anfield. Steve please tell your boys to back up.

    • Gerrard needs to start playing some decent football himself first, instead of walking through matches, rather than running and looking for space….wake up Stevie and start earning your sinful wages….show some leadership!, or let someone else take the armband……because at the moment….you are walking round with a sulk and, looking dead misarable for a Captain of a great team!!!!!!.


  5. European games are getting the same script with liverpool no goals, think they are playing for a draw. i wouldnt even watch liverpool right now even a free ticket. Look there are players who should be dropped no one should be untouchable not even stevie g. Bring in some young guys who woiuld be proud to be in a first team outing. If it goes on this like this we could be sixth in the Premier League. What will follow next no one will like as star players would probably jump ship. then could be followed by severe financial problems.

  6. Go Now rafa. We are all fed up with this rubbish and take a few of the players with you. 5 years was your plan, you’ve had the money and time. If the owners aren’t gonna budge then they should sack him and plead with king kenny to take over, at least he’ll bring out the best of the younger lads. Look at what the reserves are achieving they are no prima donnas getting paid thousands a week. Look at the fans that travelled to Lille and all over Europe they all deserve a refund. Oh well that’s my rant over with. So let’s look on the bright side, we’ve only got Pompey next.

  7. Lverpools problem is that they over achieved last season, even though they didnt win anyhing, they had a good run in the league which means that they expect to win all the time, its never going to happen, and im glad that we are starting to see the true liverpool but the fans are still delusional and live in the past, face it scousers, your ship sailed a very long time ago, its time you realize your a mediocre team.

  8. Gerrard needs to loose the captains armband because a little tough love is needed on him now !
    He was poor beyond belief tonight and has been all season and theirs no excuses ( he set the standard for himself !) and where some like Carra, Masch, and Yossi have had their bad patches; they have come through to finish the season strong whereas Steve hasn’t put in a good 90min hell even 45min performance all season.
    Im not saying it’s just him and it isn’t lost on me what he’s done for this club but we need STEVEN GERRARD back and now if we are to save any form of dignity from this atrocious season we need him to stop sulking 24-7 .

  9. What the F**k is goin on?…I have supported Rafa from day 1 but, I think that he has lost the plot….How can you use El Zhar ahead of the creative 20mil Aquilani?, when a little creativity was badly badly needed?…I for one and (it hurts me to say this) have now lost all faith in the very negative approach by Rafa Benitez.


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