report generating LIVERWEB - Liverpool Debreceni VSC Match Report - 16 September 2009

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SEASON 2009-10

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Liverpool 1 Debreceni VSC 0

The Reds got their Champions League campaign of to a winning start although it wasn't exactly an enthralling match or performance. Debrecen worked hard in the game but personally I thought there were huge areas of potential to actually take this game by the scruff of the neck and score a few. However the Reds just didn't click on the day and struggled to a one nil win.

The Reds started the match attacking the Anny Road end in the first half.

The Reds were very static throughout the match which was a worry. Unlike against Burnley the players seemed to adopt one position on the pitch and too often seemed reluctant to move.

The Reds were being limited to shots from outside of the box. The biggest worry was the fact that hitting the target didn't seem to be too hot for the Reds.

The night had started with a very early You'll Never Walk Alone which just didn't seem to rouse the fans or the players and the play on the pitch just didn't seem to inspire much either. If anything it was incredibly dull.

The first booking of the night came when Fodor hacked down Benayoun and he rightly saw yellow for it.

A little later and Steven Gerrard picked up a yellow card. Why he got the yellow card I have no idea. The ref suddenly decided that even though Gerrard wasn't trying to steal a yard or play a deep through ball he hadn't deemed play to start and booked him. No warning and no concept of the fact that he didn't seem to care where you took free kicks from. The worry then was that it might haunt him later in the game.

On the half hour Debrecen had a good shot by their number 77 which Reina did really well to tip over but it was a warning sign that the Hungarians did have something else about them.

On thirty five minutes Albert Riera suddenly burst in to life and he was set clear but his shot from outside of the box went wide of the target.

A few minutes later and Riera was sent clean through once again. This time he went on towards the keeper but it was saved and then the follow up by Kuyt was cleared off the line.

Suddenly the Reds were starting to look more likely and had a bit of pace about them.

Gerrard missed a great chance a minute before half time when he side footed the ball just post the post.

Just as first half stoppage time was entered in to the Reds finally took the lead. Torres was given a good ball and turned just outside the area and shot on target. The keeper, as seemed typical of the night wasn't a good handler. The ball bounced out and just like the weekend Dirk Kuyt reacted quickly and poked the ball home.

As the half time whistle went the whole team talk then seemed to be different with that goal lead.

Debrecen started the second half with neither side having made a change. The second half performance was certainly better for the Reds but they just looked at times to be a little scared to shoot when in the box.

Just six minutes in to the half and there was a penalty shout when Gerrard was dragged back and down in the box but I think it always just looked a little too obvious how he fell. There was contact though and it could easily have been given.

On fifty five minutes Steven Gerrard so nearly scored a second goal when he hit a superb volley which skimmed the top of the bar and smacked out off the back stanchion.

The Reds were now starting to get going a little bit more and a second goal looked likely. As ever Benayoun was involved in most things positive and on sixty five minutes he danced his way past virtually the whole defence before seeing his shot pushed out for a corner.

Lucas then headed the corner just wide from the resultant corner. Debrecen then had to make a switch as Ramos was stretchered off - he never recovered from Yossi dribbling him inside out.

As the clock ticked on you did have that nagging doubt in your head that Debrecen might just get that move together properly and nick an equaliser. On 78 minutes Coulibaly nearly did just that when he seemed well offside and managed to lob Reina but Carragher managed to head away before it could reach the goal.

Ryan Babel came on for the last ten minutes and replaced Albert Riera. Babel went down the right side and Benayoun switched to the left side.

Coulibaly was sent through on eighty two minutes and the Reds were grateful that Martin Skrtel got back superbly to at least make a nuisance of himself and forced the striker to shoot wide.

A minute later and at the other end Benayoun fired over after Babel and Torres had combined well. The ball fell for Yossi but he couldn't get his foot over the ball.

The Reds sent on Mascherano and Aurelio late on as they looked to close the game out. It so nearly went badly wrong as well in the final minute when the Reds were to busy trying to play the ball to the corner flag that they made a hash of it and actually from their own corner conceded one to Debrecen but thankfully they got away with it.

As the final whistle blew it just seemed a bit of relief more than anything that the boredom had been ended. We had got away with a poor performance and a win was a win at the end of the night. It will be better on other nights so the three points is the most important things at this point in time.

MotM : Martin Skrtel - difficult to pick out from the game but Skrtel managed really well at the back to ensure they stayed far enough from goal as they could and when it really mattered late on he put in a couple of great challenges.

Liverpool 25 Reina, 2 Johnson 37 Skrtel, 23 Carragher, 22 Insua, 15 Benayoun (20 Mascherano 86), 21 Lucas, 8 Gerrard, 11 Riera (19 Babel 79), 18 Kuyt (12 Aurelio 89), 9 Torres
Unused Subs
1 Cavalieri, 26 Spearing, 10 Voronin, 16 Kyrgiakos
Goal(s) Kuyt (45)
Bookings Gerrard (25)
Shirt Worn Home-Red
Manager Rafa Benitez

Debreceni VSC
Poleksic, Bodnar, Komlosi, Maszaros, Fodor, Kiss, Ramos (Laczko 66), Czvitkovics, Leandro, Szakaly (Feczesin 78), Coulibaly
Unused Subs Pantic, Szucs, Bernath, Olah, Katona
Booking Fodor (20)
Shirt Worn White
Manager Andras Herczeg

Referee Pedro Proenca Oliveira Alves Garcia  Portugal  
Att 41591
Venue Anfield
Kick Off Wednesday - 19:45:00
Date 2009-09-16 
HT/FT WW   (1-0)/1-0
Goal Sequence (Liverpool first) 1-0
Competition Champions League   Grp

Match Stats

Liverpool   Debreceni VSC
68% Possession 32%
7 Shots On Target 3
16 Shots Off Target 8
2 Blocked Shots 5
10 Corners 6
9 Fouls 12
4 Offsides 3
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0

Match Programme

Match number 6 of the season

European Match number 1 of the season

European Match number 301 of all time

Champions League Match number 93 of all time

European Cup/Champions League Match number 170 of all time

Match number 5154 of all time (excludes war time matches and Friendly/Testimonials)

Match number 1 against Debreceni VSC

Home Match number 1 against Debreceni VSC

Cup Match number 1 against Debreceni VSC

Home Cup Match number 1 against Debreceni VSC