Henderson the unlikely hero to secure Euro qualification for Liverpool

Europa League Group A Game 6
Thursday 06 December 2012 - 6:00 pm
Stadio Friuli
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23'Henderson ⚽️
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Udinese 0-1 Liverpool

JORDAN HENDERSON was the unlikely hero as Liverpool won away in Italy and qualified for the Europa League knockout as Group winners.

Henderson scores his first European goal against Udinese

Henderson scores his first European goal

Gerrard (illness), Agger and Lucas were all left at home - and Liverpool's luck did not appear to be going well early on when Sahin was taken off in the 12th minute with injury.

Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing were surprise inclusions in the side, especially after their poor performances a week ago at White Hart Lane.  Surprisingly, this was also Luis Suarez' first away start in a European match for Liverpool.

Jonjo Shelvey came on for Sahin and immediately added more drive to Liverpool's midfield.

In the 23rd minute the two much-maligned players were key to the goal.  Stewart Downing sent over the corner, touched on by Suarez to the back post and Suso controlled and found Henderson - who slotted it calmly in to the Italian net.

Glen Johnson saw a goal chalked off when the assistants indicated that Downing had been offside when he supplied the cross.

The second half was a relatively relaxed affair for Liverpool - both Carra and Skrtel defending with a solidity not seen in their on-off partnership of recent times.

Sterling had a late cameo, coming on for Suso, and his trickery bamboozled Pasquale who picked up his second yellow card and an early bath.

Udinese's tormentor-in-chief Di Natale came on with 5 minutes to go, and with the last kick of the game he almost broke Liverpool's hearts.  His shot going over the bar.

Young Boys won in their game anyway, meaning Liverpool did need victory tonight.  The combination of results means Liverpool finish top of Group A.

The 24 qualifiers from the 12 Europa League groups will go in to the draw with the 8 third-placed Champions League sides on the 20th December.

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Henderson the unlikely hero to secure Euro qualification for Liverpool

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