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    Ijumaa, Agosti 31, 2012

    LIVERPOOL YASHIKWA MKWIJI ULAYA


    Liverpool preserved a proud European record but, as is becoming the modern way of this once-great club, they did it in the most  complicated manner. 
    Brendan Rodgers’ side progressed to the Europa League group stages with this aggregate victory over Hearts, thus ensuring their sequence of protecting a first-leg European lead extended to a 33rd game. But it was only by the  faintest of margins.
    Luis Suarez’s 88th-minute goal spared their blushes and, at one stage, it appeared as if they were heading for the exit after Pepe Reina’s inexplicable error in allowing a David Templeton shot to squirm from his grasp.
    Rescue act: Luis Suarez scores the equaliser
    Rescue act: Luis Suarez scores the equaliser

    MATCH FACTS

    Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Downing, Henderson (Borini 76), Allen, Shelvey, Gerrard, Morgan (Sterling 62), Suarez. Subs Not Used: Jones, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Coates.
    Goals: Suarez 88.
    Hearts: MacDonald, Ryan McGowan, Webster, Zaliukas, Grainger, Novikovas (Carrick 75), Barr, Taouil, Paterson, Templeton, Sutton (Driver 66). Subs Not Used: Hamilton, Robinson, Holt, Dylan McGowan, McHattie.
    Booked: Barr,Grainger.
    Goals: Templeton 85.
    Attendance: 44,361
    Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (Russia)
    On a night when Andy Carroll’s name was the only one being discussed, so many themes from last season were evident: lots of nice football, plenty of chances but profligacy almost cost them dearly.
    ‘We achieved the objective, which was to get through,’ said a relieved Rodgers. ‘It was never going to be easy but the attitude and commitment was  excellent. We showed spirit when we went behind. We were a little bit  wasteful, created chances and could have put the game to bed a lot earlier. The most important thing was to get through and we did that.’
    There has been an inevitability  surrounding Carroll for much of the summer, so it should not surprise that he has moved on. The only shock, despite him saying it was ‘a no-brainer’, is that he has ended up at West Ham.
    But as the dust started to settle on his move, some will have felt Rodgers has gambled in allowing an England forward to move on, particularly as Liverpool again squandered chances. 
    Red front: Suarez celebrates with a message for injured Lucas
    Red front: Suarez celebrates with a message for injured Lucas
    Howler: Pepe Reina watches David Templeton's shot go over the line
    Howler: Pepe Reina watches David Templeton's shot go over the line
    Howler: Pepe Reina
    Howler: Pepe Reina
    For all Hearts’ huff and puff, there was never a moment when it appeared they would become the first Scottish team to win a two-legged Battle of Britain since  Rangers knocked Leeds out of the old European Cup in 1992. 
    Yet Liverpool — who only secured a first-leg advantage thanks to an own goal from Hearts defender Andy Webster — need to develop a ruthless streak. 
    As was the case in Edinburgh seven days ago, Liverpool’s start was laboured and Hearts, brimming with industry, attmpted to take advantage; Callum Patterson was the first to try his luck, cracking a shot just over the bar.
    Callum Paterson and Liverpool's Joe Allen (right) battle for the ball
    Callum Paterson and Liverpool's Joe Allen (right) battle for the ball
    Scare: Callum Paterson goes down looking for a penalty
    Scare: Callum Paterson goes down looking for a penalty
    Liverpool stepped up the tempo after 16 minutes, when Stewart Downing — in the left-back role with which he may now have to become familiar — sped forward and picked out Adam Morgan, who was making his competitive debut, and his knock-down found Suarez. 
    For a striker of such ability, he should have dispatched his opportunity but his header lacked power and it gave Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas chance to hook the ball clear from under the bar.
    That should have settled the crowd’s nerves but, the opposite was true and Hearts had a penalty shout when  Patterson tumbled under a challenge from Jamie Carragher. There were loud appeals, but replays were inconclusive. 
    Up for it: Liverpool's Stewart Downing (L) challenges Hearts' Callum Paterson
    Up for it: Liverpool's Stewart Downing (L) challenges Hearts' Callum Paterson
    Aerial: Luis Suarez of Liverpool collides with Jamie Macdonald of Hearts
    Aerial: Luis Suarez of Liverpool collides with Jamie Macdonald of Hearts
    Liverpool responded and Steven  Gerrard looked set to give them the lead after a surge into the area but, after jinking past two challenges, his shot was pawed away by Hearts keeper Jamie MacDonald.
    This was Gerrard’s 588th appearance for Liverpool but, to see him barking out orders and making surging runs, he clearly retains the enthusiasm he had on his first 14 years ago and his drive was vital in keeping his side on the front foot. 
    He was involved in the move that looked as if it had brought Liverpool the goal that would have effectively settled the tie but Morgan’s delight was cut short after a linesman ruled that Suarez had run the ball out of play before crossing for the 18-year-old.
    When Morgan marked his first senior appearance with a goal during a friendly in Toronto last month, he celebrated as if scoring the winner in a Champions League final and a repeat was on the cards here. His goal would have ended Hearts’ challenge but the visitors reached half-time with the scores level. The longer it stayed that way, the more chance they had of springing a surprise.
    There was a better pace to Liverpool’s play after the break and they should have won the game emphatically but Suarez was wasteful, shooting into the side-netting after being played in by Jordan Henderson.
    When Reina fumbled, a monumental shock appeared on the cards but  Suarez saved the day. ‘We didn’t get disappointed and Luis’ most difficult chance he took,’ said Rodgers, who refused to blame Reina.
    ‘It was a  wonderful run and finish. We could have put the game to bed a little bit earlier. We need to improve.’


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2196035/Liverpool-1-Hearts-1-agg-2-1--Suarez-rescues-misfiring-Reds-35m-Carroll-departs.html#ixzz256arYNnU
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    Item Reviewed: LIVERPOOL YASHIKWA MKWIJI ULAYA Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Mahmoud Bin Zubeiry
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