Liverpool second string secure first leg victory over Hearts

Europa League Play Off 1st Leg
Thursday 23 August 2012 - 7:45 pm
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Hearts 0-1 Liverpool

The reds maintained their 100% record in the Europa League qualifiers, taking a 1-0 lead back to Anfield in the European play off.

Martin Kelly's cross led to Liverpool's goal

Martin Kelly's cross led to Liverpool's goal

There were seven changes in the reds line up as one or two eyes will be focussed on the weekend's clash against Manchester City in the Premier League.

Carragher, Robinson, Henderson, Adam, Spearing, Shelvey and Sterling all came in to the side - to give the reds boss something to think about.

Hearts started the brighter in the game, spurred on by the passionate 15,000 inside Tynecastle.  Charlie Adam gave Jamie MacDonald something to think about in the Hearts goal with a low drive.

Sutton and Novikovas were tormentors-in-chief for the homeside; keeping Liverpool's keeper on his toes early on.

At the other end Raheem Sterling was a constant menace with his pace and trickery - often the outlet for Liverpool, and clearly someone the Hearts defenders had not been fully briefed on.

Just past the half hour and Borini had his first glorious chance - thanks to a breakaway involving Jordan Henderson.  Borini failed to stick the shot away and the ball went wide of the goal.

Just before half time and Sterling intercepted, and layed it off beautifully to Borini.  With only the keeper to beat he.. hit the post. Ahh, the woodwork - Liverpool's old friend.

Liverpool improved in the second half - controlling the pace of the game better and retaining more possession.

With just over 10 minutes to go, Kelly sent in a cross that was completely missed by Borini - but the ball rebounded off Andy Webster in to the Hearts goal.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit on you might say the result was a bit harsh on Hearts, or that Liverpool were probably the more comfortable side on the night.

Either way, Hearts will have it all to do in a weeks time at Anfield if they are to progress at the expense of Liverpool.

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