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Friday, 27 August 2010
TRABZONSPOR 1-2 LIVERPOOL MATCH REPORT
This was always going to be such a difficult night for Liverpool going over to Turkey with such a slender lead and with so many first team players unavailable. Its been a very difficult week for Liverpool and this fixture didn't make things any easier. Joe Cole's penalty miss in the first leg could have made it an easier task but Liverpool are not a club that dwell on missed opportunities.This competition is not Liverpool's priority this season as Hodgson admitted in a press conference and with the first team players that didn't even travel this highlighted the fact, but Liverpool still wanted to progress.
With the players that were missing the likes of Torres, Gerrard, Maxi, Agger, Jovanovic, Wilson and Mascherano, Liverpool were down to the bare bones. So what Roy had to choose from I can't complain with his team and thought it was still a strong team with so many missing. I was pleased to see Kyrgiakos, Poulsen, Kelly and Aurelio coming back in to the team.
With the hostile atmosphere and noise that the Trabzonspor fans were creating it was paramount that Liverpool got off to a good start and try to silence the crowd.
Could not have started worse, losing a goal inside the first five minutes which made the noise even louder. It was a very poor goal to lose with Kuyt losing possession inside his own half and Coleman struck a shot that from outside the box that was going well wide until Gutierrez sneaked into the penalty box to divert pass Reina. This lifted the Turks and you felt this was going to be a nightmare for Liverpool as Trabzonspor dictated the play and Liverpool struggling to contain them. Trabzonspor should have scored a second when a cross came over to the unmarked Kacar who should have scored only to head the ball past the post. Liverpool were hanging on and this pattern of play conitnued for the rest of the first half with Trabzonspor well on top and Liverpool trying to keep them at bay.
The Turks were trying every trick in the book and so were their supporters who were using laser pens to try and distract Reina. Liverpool, even though they were on the back foot were showing resiliance in not conceding again and made it through to half time.
Right at rhe start of the second half Liverpool almost conceded another when Trabzonspor disected the Liverpool defence right through the middle but thankfully with only Reina to beat the shot slipped past the post. After this scare Liverpool came into the game and started to get more of the ball and limit the Turks to a few breakaways. Starting to create a few chances the best being a header from N'Gog on the edge of the six yard box when he should have scored after good work from Joe Cole who created the chance with a good cross. N'gog had another chance soon after when he made space for himself on the edge of the box before shooting just wide of the target. But Liverpool were playing a lot better and you felt they looked the most likelier to score but the tie was still on a knife edge. As it looked like the game was heading for extra time Liverpool scored, good work from Johnson before pulling the ball back to a crowd in the six yard box and with both N'Gog and Cole trying to get there first Kacar's outstretched boot could only divert the ball into his own net giving Liverpool that priceless lead. Then to finish the match off they scored again created by the two substitutes, after good work from Babel he set up Pacheco who hit a low drive that was only parried by Kivrak and Kuyt had the easiest of tasks tapping the ball into the empty net and send Liverpool through.
This wasn't pretty but I thought this was a tremendous result for Liverpool and a great show of character from the team in what was very difficult conditions against a tough side. After losing such an early goal this could have turned into a nightmare, and Liverpool had to withstand so much pressure in the first half. With so many first team players out and showing the resiliance that they did was really comendable. This result is a massive lift for the club in what has been a very difficult week and I believe this will spur Liverpool on and give great confidence to the side.
Man of the Match Carragher - Martialled the defence brilliantly in what was a really difficult first half with Liverpool under so much pressure. Lead by example.