SL Benfica 2-1 Liverpool

Europa League Quarter Final 1st Leg
Thursday 01 April 2010 - 8:05 pm
Estadio de Luz
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1Liverpool
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'Insua
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Football - Benfica v Liverpool UEFA Europa League Quarter Final First Leg
Daniel Agger’s backheeled goal started the night in positive fashion.

Liverpool lit up the Stadium of Light with a 9th minute backheel before the referee sent off Ryan Babel, disallowed a Liverpool goal then gave Benfica two penalties – as the pressure from the illegal fire-crackers began to tell.

Liverpool’s only change from the weekends excellent win over Sunderland was the replacement of the cup-tied Rodriguez with Lucas.

Contrary to many people’s expectations the reds opened exceptionally brightly, dominating the opening exchanges and taking an early lead.

Steven Gerrard was felled just outside the box, one of many cynical fouls from the Portuguese side.

The resultant free kick showed that the reds set-piece work continues to be a training ground priority.  A slide-rule pass found Daniel Agger who backheeled in to the goal.  It was just desserts for the Danish defender, who had been searching all Sunday at Anfield to get himself on the scoresheet.

Aimar and Di Maria began to get involved in the game and were landing some crosses on to Cardozo’s head.  But the chances were too far out and the player could not get sufficient power to trouble Pepe Reina.

In the 30th minute though it was time for Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson to take some of the limelight. Luisao hacked down Fernando Torres with a cynical tackle from behind and was yellow carded.  Babel approached the player and an altercation resulted in Babel raising his hand to push the player away.

The referee brandished the yellow card again at the player before showing Babel the red card. Confused, so were we.

As the half wore on Benfica grew with their one man advantage. Towards the end of the half Insua was booked , meaning he misses the next leg.  With Aurelio and now Martin Kelly injured – this could present the reds with a problem.

Liverpool had a goal ruled out for offside which on replay was not clear-cut.

The second half saw Benfica kicking towards their favoured end of the ground – and the firecrackers thrown on to the pitch to cloud Pepe’s judgement were a significant danger.  The goalline official looked nervous, on more than one occassion walking away to speak to the referee.

On the hour the referee gifted Benfica a free kick after Agger had clearly taken the ball.  From the free kick which rebounded off the post Insua haplessly brought down Aimar.  Cardozo smashed in the penalty to level the result.

Following this, the game ebbed and flowed again – the reds should have scored when Torres was put one on one with the keeper – his shot going wide.

Jamie Carragher then sealed the reds fate when he handled the ball, again, from a Di Maria cross.  Cardozu was on hand to put the penalty away.

Liverpool were unlucky to get beaten – and coped as well as they could with 10 men for most of the game.  Next Thursday’s game will be interesting – Liverpool will certainly be out for revenge.

Man of the Match: Daniel Agger

Post Match Comments

Rafa Benitez

“It is half-time for us. We have one more game and we have to be confident we can progress.”

“The performance was good as we played for 60 minutes with 10 players. I am disappointed because we had some chances and could have done better.

“We knew Benfica are a good team with quality and pace and they were dangerous.

“To concede two goals to two penalties and have one goal disallowed is disappointing, but still it is a good result.”

“I was surprised because a foul from behind is more serious for me.

“It’s difficult to understand and impossible to change so we have to move forward and think about Anfield and our fans behind the team.

“Always when decisions are made against your team, you don’t like it. But you cannot change it and the only way now is to try to be positive and think about our fans behind the team and playing with 12 men at Anfield.”

“I have confidence we can do well and it will be totally different at Anfield. With the fans behind us, we can score goals and progress.

“I think tonight is a very good example of what the fans can do when they are pushing their team.

“Our fans are fantastic and they know if they are behind the team and push the players, they will work as hard as today and we can do a good job.

12 comments on
SL Benfica 2-1 Liverpool

  1. Common… Why don’t you guys just admit that benfica played better? You can’t always be the best team. Every game is diferent. Besides the referee missed a penalty against Liverpool when Cardozo got kicked in the shoulder inside the penalty box, and he never gave a yellow card to Insua for the first penalty. It would have been the second and he would have been ejected. Stop complaining about the referee. He helped you a lot…

  2. if liverpool had 11 men on that pitch and with the way we started that game, for the first 15 minutes we did not look like under any pressure at all, sure as the home team, benfica had break away moments, but i can tell anyone that liverpool clearly did not fget the rub of the green and we did not get the ref standing up to more disgusting crowd problems when reina could have been hit with that rocket, and for me it was a disgrace to football that benfica won that game, and how that ref can ref another game in a major game, fcuk knows!, come on rafas reds, 1 – nil and get them at pens at home, come on redmen,,, make em suffer big time at home,,,,

  3. We cannot let this ‘DISGRACE’ of a football team and fans to get through to a major semi-final because they are everything that is wrong with the ‘Sensationalism’ of modern day football !

    The way Benfica and their ‘mob’ of so called fans basically turned a game of football in to a modern day hooligan fight (with a ball) was an absolute disgrace and just proves that UEFA/ FIFA have done nothing to remove ‘Hooliganism’ from the game and from the stand.

    Since Roma fans had brought the ugly side of the game back in to sight what have they done ? Absolutely nothing but claim their FAT OVER PRICED WAGES and laughed all the way to the bank.

    MONEY IS ALL THAT MATTERS TO THESE PEOPLE AND IT’S ALL THAT EVER WILL UNTILL SOMEONE MAKES A CHANGE !!!

  4. Babel was righfully sent off and the two penalties were exactly that so no excuses from me.In fact we were rather fortunate to get away with a 1-2 defeat when it could have easily been 1-4 on chances created.

    Benfica are a a side who are good at home but we still have an excellent chance of progressing though it won’t be easy.The ref was poor looking confused and out of place still i’ve no complains with the result seeing that they dominated posession.

    This one is on a knife edge but i think we’ll sneak it due to our fans who will provide the extra man by taking of the roof at Anfield!

  5. What disappointed me most of all was the complete lack of accountabilty of everyone concerned. a black eye for the beautiful game this was as ugly as it gets. The game was a complete disgrace. What will be done? – probably nothing. They call this sport – where was the sportmanship. Every benfica players used acts of brutality courtesy of the referee. Torres was brutalized all night not one card was given about that. That refereee he should be forced to retire he lost control of the game. This game should be a workshop for referrees how not to control a game. Benfica should also be punished for crowd acts re firecrackers. Babel should have only got a yellow and the Benfica player a red.

  6. … old fashioned crooks like these (who are likely were they are this season by playing every game exactly as they have last night) would be nothing short of disgusting and truly unfair.

    I really hope that Raffa plays a 442 and masterminds another euro stroke of genius and that the ‘Real Liverpool’ tear them to pieces on our famous old turf, showing them how true Euro Greats do it.

    CUM ON REDMEN LETS MAKE ANFIELD SHAKE WITH OUR ROAR !!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE .

  7. Well done Liverpool, though the result was dissapointing. We can win on returned leg. You’ll Never Walk Alone, we are all behind you.

  8. the constant diving, aggro, flairs, intimidation and bullying payed off on both the match officials and our team because both gave in to Benfica’s demands and the game was thrown to them.

    Did we expect any different from a team from PORTUGAL ?! No offence but they did the same thing to England at the last world cup.

    I did not see liverpool out played last night ! I saw a team basically try every trick in the book (and on the cover) to unsettle and unnerve there opponents and officials and to be fair we fell for it !!!

    But mark my words the return will be very different and things will likely not go their way at ANFIELD, bet on that.
    To go out to a skilful and intelligent team is no shame but to go out to a bunch of cloak and dagger ..

  9. One question i think needs answering from last night is where is the discipline in the defence ?
    I mean two yes ‘TWO’ penalties and clear cut at that shows a total lack of composure and discipline at the back that has been evident all season. Insua could and should have given another pen away not long after with a wild hack which showed him up as the young understudy he has been all season ( one for the future maybe but he should not be our first choice left-back!) And Carras arm was so high it was in danger of colliding with low-flying traffic ( comical it was not )

    Babels sending off was harsh but he didn’t need to get involved which just showed how well benfica got under our skin all game. That was their greatest achievement last night

  10. What a rubbish referee Jonas Eriksson !!! He’s like shit, should not allow to official a high tempo match again. We will WIN the return match at home. Well done the RED!

  11. no doubt about that red card decided the outcome of the game. but the refereeing was disgusting absolutely 3rd rate a disgrace. when are these thugs who brutalized torres all game continue to unaccoiuntable. babel should have got a yellow the benfica player should have been given a red for his foul on torres

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