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Liverpool chase Braga comeback win

Published: Friday 11 March 2011, 0.52CET
A 1-0 UEFA Europa League round of 16 first-leg defeat at SC Braga ratcheted up the pressure on Liverpool FC, but their previous record against Liga opposition will give them hope.
Liverpool chase Braga comeback win
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 11 March 2011, 0.52CET

Liverpool chase Braga comeback win

A 1-0 UEFA Europa League round of 16 first-leg defeat at SC Braga ratcheted up the pressure on Liverpool FC, but their previous record against Liga opposition will give them hope.

A 1-0 UEFA Europa League round of 16 defeat in Portugal last week ratcheted up the pressure on Liverpool FC, but their previous record against Liga opposition – and SC Braga's past results in England – will give them hope.

• Alan's 18th-minute penalty, following Sotiris Kyrgiakos's trip on Mossoró, was the only goal in the first leg.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.

• Braga have played 11 games against English sides in Europe, with the record W3 D1 L7 (W0 D1 L4 in England, with those results including two 6-0 defeats).

• Liverpool's 17 games against Portuguese clubs have ended W8 D4 L5 (W6 D1 L1 at home). They have not won in their last seven games in Portugal since a 4-1 victory at SL Benfica in the 1983/84 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals, but their last two Portuguese vistors both left Anfield with 4-1 defeats.

Match background
• Braga have now won their last four European home games without conceding, with the Liverpool success following three 2-0 victories; against FK Partizan and Arsenal FC in the UEFA Champions League group stage and then KKS Lech Poznań in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• The Braga loss ended a 13-game unbeaten European run for Liverpool – including their first 12 European matches this season. Prior to the match, they were six games unbeaten away from home in Europe, but had drawn the last four. Liverpool had gone three matches without conceding in the UEFA Europa League before last week. Four of their last eight continental fixtures have ended 0-0.

• Braga have won away against both Sevilla FC and FK Partizan in Europe this season, but have lost three of their last four European away games without scoring, conceding nine times in the process.

• Liverpool have not lost in ten European home ties (nine wins and a draw) since a 2-1 UEFA Champions League group stage defeat by ACF Fiorentina on 9 December 2009. They have not lost in 14 UEFA Europa League and UEFA Cup games at Anfield since a 2-0 quarter-final loss to Celtic FC on 20 March 2003.

Team facts
• Liverpool won the UEFA Cup three times (in 1973, 1976 and 2001) and are thus the most successful side left in this season's competition, though PSV Eindhoven (1978), Bayer 04 Leverkusen (1988), AFC Ajax (1992), FC Porto (2003), PFC CSKA Moskva (2005) and FC Zenit St Petersburg (2008) have also won it.

• Braga's goal in the first leg was their 100th in UEFA club competition.

• Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is up against Liga opposition for the first time as a coach, but he faced Portuguese sides in nine games as a player for Liverpool, Scotland and Celtic with the record W7 D0 L2 (W5 D0 L0 at home). In those nine fixtures he scored three goals and picked up the only red card of his European playing career, in Liverpool's 1-0 loss at SL Benfica in the 1984/85 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round.

• Liverpool's Raul Meireles is facing Portuguese opponents for the first since leaving Porto for Anfield in the summer. He won four league titles and three Portuguese Cups with the Dragons.

• Meireles played 11 Portuguese games against Braga (two with Boavista FC and nine with Porto) with the record W5 D4 L2.

• Braga stars Alan (2005-07) and Hélder Barbosa (2005/06 and 2007/08) were team-mates of Meireles at Porto, while Miguel Garcia, Custódio and Hugo Viana played alongside the midfielder in Portugal youth teams.

Penalties
• Liverpool have won all three of their European penalty shoot-outs. They prevailed 4-2 against AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in the 1983/84 European Champion Clubs' Cup final – Dalglish featured but did not take a penalty – and won the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League final 3-2 on spot kicks after a 3-3 draw with AC Milan in Istanbul. No current Liverpool players took kicks that night, but Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt both found the target as the Reds eliminated Chelsea FC with a 4-1 success at Anfield in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

• Braga have never been involved in a European penalty shoot-out.

Last updated: 14/03/11 15.12CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000130/match=2003814/prematch/background/index.html#liverpool+chase+braga+comeback

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