The official website for European football

Liverpool on Moscow mission

Published: Monday 21 October 2002, 16.44CET
FC Spartak Moskva's home record against English clubs could come under serious threat on Tuesday.

Tournament statistics

Spartak MoskvaLiverpool

Goals scored1
 
12
Attempts on target16
 
58
Attempts off target29
 
34
Corners21
 
38
Offsides11
 
16
Fouls committed118
 
79
Yellow cards18
 
7
Red cards0
1

Media Services

 
Published: Monday 21 October 2002, 16.44CET

Liverpool on Moscow mission

FC Spartak Moskva's home record against English clubs could come under serious threat on Tuesday.

By Pavle Gognidze

FC Spartak Moskva have a proud record to uphold against Liverpool FC but there are worrying signs for the Moscow side ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B match on Tuesday.

Warning signs
Spartak may never have lost at home to English opposition but the way Liverpool dismantled Oleg Romantsev's side 5-0 at Anfield three weeks ago does not augur well. And only last season Liverpool consigned to history the statistic about an English club having never won in Ukraine when they defeated FC Dynamo Kyiv.

Form team
Moreover, Liverpool's 1-0 win at Leeds United AFC on Saturday extended a fine run which has left them top of the English Premiership and with just one defeat from their last 27 league matches. In the Champions League, they are level with FC Basel after taking four points from three matches - five points below group leaders Valencia CF but considerably better than Spartak's total of zero.

No complacency
The win at Leeds led Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier to praise his side's growing maturity, saying they were "more composed and tactically mature now" than at the beginning of the season. However, he also insisted his players "will not get overconfident" when they take on Spartak.

Gerrard missing
Liverpool are missing Steven Gerrard, who injured a hip playing for England against F.Y.R. Macedonia last week, while Emile Heskey will have a late test on his groin problem after missing the Leeds match.

Worry over Kebe
Spartak have not won in 15 Champions League games and have dropped admission prices to try and counter falling attendances for both domestic and European matches. Although buoyed by a 4-0 cup victory over FC Uralan Elista, they remain without key defender Dmytro Parfionov and captain Yegor Titov, both injured, while another defender Moisés is suspended. There are also concerns over Senegalese midfield player Baye Kebe, who has missed recent matches due to depression brought on by the death of his relatives in a ferry tragedy in Senegal.
 
Last meeting

Among Romantsev's side are two survivors of their last meeting with the Merseysiders, in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup - goalkeeper Stanislav Cherchesov and striker Vladimir Beschastnykh. Then Spartak won 4-2 in Moscow en route to a 6-2 aggregate success. While Houllier says this is "not a must-win game", he is doubtless expecting anything but a repeat of that result.

Last updated: 22/10/02 14.37CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2002/matches/round=1636/match=1036481/prematch/preview/index.html#liverpool+moscow+mission

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.