Liverpool 1 Debreceni 0


A slightly unconvincing start to this seasons group stages but a successful one none the less.

Liverpool started the same 11 fielded against Burnley for the tie against Debreceni and it was newly positioned Kuyt who was granted with a goal. After a slow start the red's began to pile on the pressure, frustratingly numerous chances whistled past the post with Kuyt, Gerrard, Torres and Riera all shooting wide within the first 20 mins.

Steven Gerrard was penalised not long after the 25 minute mark for taking a free kick before the referee (Proenca) blew his whistle, i myself felt this was a bit harsh although the referee did make it clear to Gerrard that he wished for him to wait. Another possibly silly booking for the squad which could prove a problem during the latter stages of the groups if the skipper is not on his best behavior.

During the next minutes up until the goal we saw a few flashes from Alberto Riera, sometimes not a fan favourite although i myself am personally a big fan, after getting into a scoring position and losing the defender his first attempt was rather disappointing, a shot lacking power and maybe taken too soon. Almost straight away he again finds himself one on one with the keeper, this time causing Poleksic to make a great stop.

Goal, first half stoppage time, finally the efforts are rewarded a great ball through from the always aware Yossi Benayoun who feeds the ball through to Torres, Torres shoots but is denied by the goalkeeper, up steps Kuyt; 1-0.

The second half was again most of the same, Debreceni focusing on putting 10 men behind the ball, creating the odd chance and failing to keep hold of possession. Perhaps the most controversial issue within the game was a blatant shirt pull 10 minutes into the second half on Gerrard which brings the man down. Is this not classed as a yellow outside the box? So why was a penalty not given?

Gerrard goes on to have numerous failed attempts in the second half perhaps the most memorable being a volley from outside the area which clipped the cross bar. Yossi during this half shows several moments of skill and creativity again by feeding the ball through to a constantly forward pushing Johnson.

Lucas through this second half as in the first has a cracking game, confident tackles, passes and awareness of the ball even producing a smashing header which unfortunately went wide. Critic's beware, he's proving us wrong and fair play to the lad.

Carragher and Skrtel were solid in defence with Insua not having such an impact as i felt he did against Burnley. Johnson provided some of his defence skills, which he has been accused of not having by successfully seeing off opposition players like Kiss (amusingly pronounced as Quiche) throughout the game.

Reina was ultimately kept quite but pulled off some convincing saves on the few occasions he was asked. I was also glad to see a certain Fabio Aurelio after attaining a knee injury playing football with his children. Also glad to see Masch back after recovering from a knock. An interesting situation when the board was held up with Ryan Babel's number on though as heckling appeared to occur, this probably due to the comments Babel had made in the media recently i assume. This seemed to be silenced by a good performance from the 22 year old for the latter stages of the second half though.

All in all it was more of a "3 points" we're happy night tonight as opposed to a memorable European night at Anfield. My man of the match = Dirk Kuyt.

Stats:

Shots on target - Liverpool 7/Debreceni 3
Shots off target - Liverpool 16/ Debreceni 8
Corners - Liverpool 10/Debreceni 6
Fouls - Liverpool 9/Debreceni 12
Offsides - Liverpool 4/Debreceni 3
Yellow Cards - Liverpool 1/Debreceni 1
Red Cards - Liverpool 0/Debreceni 0

Roll on West Ham.

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