Team Line-Up's

TEAMS
Liverpool Sparta Prague
Reina Blazek
Kelly Repka
Kyrgiakos Brabec
Agger Abena
Wilson Pamic
Poulsen Sionko
Lucas Matejovsky
Kuyt Kusnir
Meireles Vacek
Cole Kweuke
N'Gog Kadlec
Substitutes
Gulasci Zitka
Pacheco Kladrubsky
Jovanovic Husek
Rodriguez Podany
Carragher Zeman
Spearing Keric
Skrtel Pekhart
Substitutions
Carragher for Kelly 45'
Spearing for Poulsen 64'
Podany for Sionko 73'
Pekhart for Abena 77'
Skrtel for Agger 84'
Keric for Pamic 89'
Goals
Kuyt 85'  
   
   
   
Yellow Cards
Kelly 29' Pamic 31'
Poulsen 34' Matejovsky 39'
Carragher 58' Kweuke 64'
Lucas 90'  
Red Cards
   
   
Referee
Milorad Mazic
Attendance
42,949
 
 
 
 

Match Stats

Liverpool   Sparta
48% Possession 52%
10 Shots On Target 4
11 Shots Off Target 5
7 Corners 5
15 Fouls 20
4 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0



Match Report

Dirk Kuyt's late goal earned Liverpool a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sparta Prague to send them into the last 16 of the Europa League.

After a goalless first leg the game looked to be heading into extra-time until Kuyt popped up with the winner four minutes from time.

Chances were few and far between throughout the game as Sparta frustrated the home side, but Kuyt grabbed the all-important winning goal four minutes from time when he nodded home from close-range.

The win was Kenny Dalglish's first victory in a European tie as Liverpool manager.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, absent for the two previous games with a groin injury, was not risked and his dynamism and precision was missed throughout.

Christian Poulsen, whose partner had a baby earlier in the week, made little impact in a central role while Joe Cole, starting for the first time under Dalglish was quiet on the left.

The former Chelsea midfielder looked determined to kickstart his faltering Reds career, however, and broke clear early on to send over a looping cross which clipped the bar.

The opening stages were lively and suggested the game, which ultimately lacked quality, would be far more eventful than the drab first leg.

Liverpool appealed for a penalty in the second minute when a Raul Meireles free-kick bounced and caught Manuel Pamic on the hand but nothing was given.

At the other end Libor Sionko headed over from a Kamil Vacek cross and a dipping shot from Vaclav Kadlec narrowly missed the target.

Both goalkeepers were tested by headers, Jose Reina first claiming a firm effort from Sinoko.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos then went close to handing Liverpool the lead when he rose to meet a Meireles corner but Jaromir Blazek saved well to his right.

Reina had a scare when he failed to claim a corner but Sionko was unable to take advantage and Meireles missed a good chance when he scooped a cross from the rampaging Martin Kelly over.

Blazek had an uncomfortable moment when he spilled a long-range shot from Cole, who had cut in from the left, but Liverpool could not capitalise.

David Ngog tried his luck from distance as the ball dropped invitingly but miskicked as he turned to shoot.

Ngog had a better chance moments later as Kuyt cut inside to tee him up but the Frenchman chipped tamely at Blazek, who almost gifted a rebound opportunity to Cole but recovered.

Lucas also saw a 25-yard shot drift narrowly wide just before the interval.

Injury

Liverpool were forced to withdraw one of the first half's better players in Kelly at the start of the second period, but were able to replace the right-back with the experienced Jamie Carragher.

The hosts started brightly after the restart with Meireles volleying narrowly wide and then creating another attack with a superb long ball for Kuyt.

Kuyt raced on into the area and pulled back for Ngog but the lone striker again fluffed his shot.

Sparta also continued to threaten but Reina got down well to cut out a cross from Ondrej Kusnir.

Liverpool met more frustration as they tried to prise an opening with Kuyt having a shot blocked and Cole heading wide midway through the second half.

Liverpool pressed further with Meireles playing in Ngog but Blazek denied him.

Kyrgiakos was forced off for treatment after a clash of heads with Tomas Repka left him with a nasty cut above the eye.

He returned just as defensive partner Daniel Agger was forced off with injury and replaced by Martin Skrtel.

Winner

Kuyt, along with Meireles, had been one of Liverpool's most forthright players in the second half and his efforts were rewarded with his winner.

The Dutchman jumped above the defence five minutes from time to head firmly past Blazek and put the Reds into the last 16.

Cole should have added a second when he raced through on goal in injury time but sliced his shot wide.




Head to Head - Sparta Prague


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