Team Line-Up's

FC Rabotnicki Liverpool
Bogatinov Cavilieri
Sekulovski Kelly
Belica Kyrgiakos
Lopes Skyrtel
Dimovski Agger
Carlos Lucas
Tunevski Spearing
Todorovski Jovanovic
Wandeir Amoo
Gligorou Aquilani
Silva N'Gog
Kandikijan Shelvey
Marcio Dalla Valle
Adem Ince
Carlos Eccelston
Petkovski Darby
Sinkovic Ayala
Mojsov Gulacsi
Sekulovski (Adem 43)
Filho (Mojsov 57)
Agger (Darby 72)
Tuneski (Petkovski 77)
Aquilani (Dalla Valle 83)
Amoo (Eccleston 83)
  N'Gog 17,59,
Yellow Cards
n/a n/a
Red Cards
n/a n/a
Antonio Damato
Matchday Photo's
Man of the Match

Match Stats

Liverpool   Rabotnicki
57% Possession 43%
3 Shots On Target 4
4 Shots Off Target 3
7 Corners 3
16 Fouls 13
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Match Report

David Ngog's double strike eased an inexperienced Liverpool side to victory over Rabotnicki in their Europa League third qualifying round first leg.

In his first competitive game in charge Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson left out nine of his World Cup stars, including captain Steven Gerrard.

But Liverpool were comfortable, opening the scoring when Ngog lofted over the goalkeeper after a defensive mix up.

Ngog's second was a cool six-yard volley from Martin Kelly's cross.

For Roy Hodgson, the victory was vindication of his decision to leave most of his World Cup stars at home, a risky strategy considering the Europa League represents Liverpool's only hope of European glory this season.

Hodgson had criticised governing body Uefa for making Liverpool play a Europa League qualifying game only 18 days after the World Cup and had subsequently left nine of his first-team squad at home including Gerrard, new signing Joe Cole, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson.

He also left behind Argentina duo Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez as well as Spain's Fernando Torres, goalkeeper Pepe Reina and forward Dirk Kuyt.

But the patched up Liverpool team proved to have more than enough strength and guile to hold off an enthusiastic but limited FK Rabotnicki side - who should not pose any problem in the second leg on 5 August.

Liverpool's game plan from the off appeared to focus on being tight in defence and worrying about attack secondarily.

And with only half of the starting XI being "first-team regulars" it was perhaps telling that three of the experienced players called on were defenders, in Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Sotirios Krygiakos - all of whom played in the World Cup group stages for Slovakia, Denmark and Greece respectively.

That defensive unit gave Liverpool the solid platform to build on as, after a slightly disjointed start, the Premier League side grew in confidence and controlled the game.

The only clear-cut chance of the first half produced the only goal when captain Lucas chipped his free-kick towards the edge of the area for Ngog to chase.

The Frenchman was rewarded for his endeavour when Martin Bogatinov and Egzon Belica both missed the ball and he was left to comfortably lift his finish over the goalkeeper.

Rabotnicki were limited to one first-half chance but Ze Carlos' long-range strike was easily collected by Brazilian compatriot Diego Cavalieri.

Liverpool often looked in cruise control in the second half with their main threat coming through the impressive Ngog.

The 21-year-old striker scored eight goals in 37 appearances for Liverpool last season, a return which could not make up for the loss of Torres for long periods through injury.

But the French under-21 international showed glimpses of quality against the Macedonian side in a display which suggested he may be able to force his way into Hodgson's thinking this season.

Ngog's second goal came when he met Kelly's cross from the right with a neat volley on the edge of the six-yard box which flew into the top right corner.

Another striker on show for Liverpool was Milan Jovanovic who signed on a free transfer from Standard Liege this summer.

But playing on the left of a front three for the most part the Serbia international was unable to mark his debut with a goal.

Liverpool used much of the second half as a training exercise, Hodgson throwing on youngsters Stephen Darby, Lauri Dallaa Valle and Nathan Eccleston as his first competitive game in charge went almost entirely to plan.

Head to Head - FC Rabotnicki