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Liverpool through after thriller

Published: Thursday 9 December 2004, 0.10CET
Liverpool FC 3-1 Olympiacos CFP Steven Gerrard's dramatic late strike ensures the English side go through.

Match statistics

LiverpoolOlympiacos

Goals scored3
 
1
Attempts on target6
 
3
Attempts off target8
 
3
Corners11
 
1
Offsides5
 
6
Fouls committed24
 
16
Yellow cards3
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Thursday 9 December 2004, 0.10CET

Liverpool through after thriller

Liverpool FC 3-1 Olympiacos CFP Steven Gerrard's dramatic late strike ensures the English side go through.

By Adrian Harte at Anfield

Steven Gerrard's stunning late strike completed a dramatic Liverpool comeback and took them through to the last 16 at Olympiacos CFP's expense on head-to-head record.

Anfield delight
England midfield player Gerrard scored with a thumping 25-metre drive with just four minutes left to play to send Anfield into raptures. It was a far cry from when Rivaldo had put the visitors into an early lead but, after goals from second-half substitutes Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Neil Mellor, Liverpool knew they had a chance.

Baroš back
Liverpool had lined up without the suspended Dietmar Hamann but welcomed back Milan Baroš from injury, while Antonio Núñez earned a first Champions League start for Liverpool on the right of midfield. Olympiacos lined up as expected with the Brazilian duo of Giovanni and Rivaldo in attack.

Moment of confusion
The home side signalled their intent straight away as they forced two corners in the opening 44 seconds. A third followed after a further 20 seconds and, from it, Baroš's header was cleared off the line by Anastasios Pantos but there were a few seconds of confusion after it appeared initially that Spanish referee Manuel Mejuto González had awarded a goal.

Hyypiä denied
Liverpool should have had a goal from the next set-piece as Sami Hyypiä met Gerrard's corner at the near post but he sent his header the wrong side of the upright. The pace inevitably slackened after that frenetic opening although Rivaldo twice threatened the Liverpool goal with free-kicks as Olympiacos began to feel their way into the game.

Sublime run
The Greek side had another narrow escape on 21 minutes when Gerrard met Alonso's corner with a deft flick but the ball rebounded to safety off the bottom of the post. Rivaldo again supplied the Olympiacos response with a sublime slaloming run half the length of the pitch before Hyypiä brought him down. The Brazilian was not to be denied and he fired in from the resultant free-kick after 27 minutes as the Liverpool wall parted like the Red Sea.

Chance spurned
Given the news of AS Monaco FC's convincing lead in La Coruna, Liverpool knew they now needed to score at three times without reply and they should have eased their task with an immediate equaliser when Baroš played in John Arne Riise, but the Norwegian sliced his shot wide.

Attacking intent
Rafael Benítez introduced Sinama-Pongolle in place of Djimi Traore at half-time and the move paid immediate dividend. Within a minute of the restart, Harry Kewell raced to the byline and crossed for the young French forward to equalise from close range.

Hope renewed
Suddenly the tie was alive and the renewed hope of the home fans was palpable. Passions were raised on the pitch too and one ill-advised lunge from Gerrard earned the Liverpool captain a booking and a one-match ban.

Gerrard denied
The odds were that that ban would be served in the UEFA Cup and Liverpool might have sensed that it was not going to be their night when Gerrard had an effort disallowed after 62 minutes after an infringement earlier in the move.

In command
Just as in the first half, the early Liverpool momentum faded until Mellor's arrival for Baroš 13 minutes from time. Again the move proved inspired as the homegrown forward pounced within minutes, following up after Núñez's header was saved.

Crucial goal
That signalled another wave of Liverpool pressure. Mellor went down to large penalty appeals and then Kewell failed to capitalise on an Antonios Nikopolidis error. Finally, the third goal came as Jamie Carragher's ball was headed down by Mellor and Gerrard beat Nikopolidis with that thunderous shot.

Last updated: 09/12/04 12.27CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2004/matches/round=1968/match=1077225/postmatch/report/index.html#liverpool+through+after+thriller

Lineups

liverpool

Liverpool

olympiacos

Olympiacos

22
KirklandChris Kirkland (GK)
71
NikopolidisAntonis Nikopolidis (GK)
3
FinnanSteve Finnan
Substitution85
1
KafesPantelis Kafes
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
3
VenetidisStelios Venetidis
Substitution84
5
BarošMilan Baroš
Substitution78
5
RivaldoRivaldo
Goal27
6
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
6
StoltidisIeroklis Stoltidis
7
KewellHarry Kewell
10
GiovanniGiovanni
Substitution87
8
GerrardSteven Gerrard (C)
Yellow Card55
Goal86
11
P. DjordjevićPredrag Djordjević (C)
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
Yellow Card28
12
SchürrerGabriel Schürrer
Yellow Card79
18
NúñezAntonio Núñez
30
PantosTasos Pantos
Yellow Card42
21
TraoréDjimi Traoré
Substitution46
31
GeorgiadisGiorgos Georgiadis
Substitution70
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
Yellow Card44
32
AnatolakisGeorgios Anatolakis
Yellow Card45+1

Substitutes

1
DudekJerzy Dudek (GK)
34
GiannouKleopas Giannou (GK)
2
HenchozStéphane Henchoz
4
KouloucherisThymios Kouloucheris
15
DiaoSalif Diao
7
CastilloNery Castillo
17
JosemiJosemi
Substitution85
8
MarićMiloš Marić
Substitution84
24
Sinama PongolleFlorent Sinama Pongolle
Substitution46
Goal47
9
OkkasIoannis Okkas
Substitution87
28
WarnockStephen Warnock
13
Ivan RezićIvan Rezić
Substitution70
33
MellorNeil Mellor
Substitution78
Goal80
25
VallasSpyros Vallas

Coach

Rafael Benítez (ESP) Dušan Bajević (SRB)

Referee

Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

Assistant referees

Oscar David Martinez Samaniego (ESP), Javier Novoa Robles (ESP)

Fourth official

Evaristo Puentes Leira (ESP)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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