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Liverpool back in business

Published: Thursday 14 July 2005, 0.08CET
Liverpool FC 3-0 Total Network Solutions FC Steven Gerrard's hat-trick helps Reds begin their defence in style.

Match statistics

LiverpoolTNS

Goals scored3
 
0
Attempts on target3
 
0
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards0
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 14 July 2005, 0.08CET

Liverpool back in business

Liverpool FC 3-0 Total Network Solutions FC Steven Gerrard's hat-trick helps Reds begin their defence in style.

By Simon Hart at Anfield

Just seven weeks since their unforgettable comeback in Istanbul, Liverpool FC opened their UEFA Champions League defence with a 3-0 victory against Welsh champions Total Network Solutions FC.

Full house
There was a full house at Anfield for the European champions' first outing of the season and they were rewarded by the sight of captain Steven Gerrard scoring a hat-trick which, as expected, puts Liverpool firmly in control of this first qualifying round tie ahead of next Tuesday's second leg.

Change of heart
Gerrard was on the verge of leaving Anfield last week before having a last-minute change of heart and signing a new contract until 2009, and here – as if it were needed – was confirmation of why he is so vital to the Liverpool cause.

Close-range opener
It took Gerrard only eight minutes to score Liverpool's first goal of the 2005/06 campaign, the England midfield player stroking a close-range shot past TNS goalkeeper Gerard Doherty after being teed up by Fernando Morientes.

Lobbed finish
After both he and Morientes were denied by Doherty's double-save on the quarter-hour, Gerrard added his second on 21 minutes. The Liverpool captain nicked the ball from Steve Evans some 30 metres from goal and advanced to the edge of the box before lifting the ball over Doherty and into the net.

Reds dominant
Mid-July is more of a time for cricket in England and at this stage it seemed a cricket score was in the offing. Not surprisingly either. Even the TNS manager, Ken McKenna, had described the tie as "more than David and Goliath" and here was a team from the Welsh village of Llansantffraid – population 1,200 – whose average crowd is 333, taking on the champions of Europe.

Finnan denied
Liverpool kept creating chances. Doherty kept out a flying header from Anthony Le Tallec on the half-hour and then saved at the feet of Morientes. In the dying seconds of the first period he turned a Steve Finnan shot round the post.

Wilde half-volley
Liverpool failed to maintain the same pace after the break and TNS enjoyed more of the ball, albeit without troubling Liverpool's new Spanish goalkeeper José Manuel Reina. Bought from Villarreal CF to replace Jerzy Dudek – who did not even feature on the bench – he made just one save of note in the entire match, and even then Michael Wilde's half-volley in the first half flew straight at him.

Hat-trick hero
Anfield had its first sight of another summer signing Boudewijn Zenden as a second-half substitute but it was a more familiar face who had the final word as Gerrard completed his treble in the last minute with a left-footed drive from the edge of the box.

Last updated: 14/07/05 13.24CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2005/matches/round=2198/match=81166/postmatch/report/index.html#liverpool+back+business

Lineups

liverpool

Liverpool

tns

TNS

25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
1
DohertyGerard Doherty (GK) (C)
3
FinnanSteve Finnan
2
NaylorMartin Naylor
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
3
KingChris King
6
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
4
BakerPhil Baker
Yellow Card16
8
GerrardSteven Gerrard (C)
Goal8
Goal21
Goal89
5
EvansSteve Evans
13
Le TallecAnthony Le Tallec
6
HolmesTommy Holmes
Substitution72
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
7
RuscoeScott Ruscoe
19
MorientesFernando Morientes
9
WildeMichael Wilde
Substitution59
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
15
WoodJamie Wood
28
WarnockStephen Warnock
Substitution64
17
WardNicholas Ward
Substitution82
34
PotterDarren Potter
Substitution76
18
JacksonMichael Jackson

Substitutes

20
CarsonScott Carson (GK)
26
ActonRichard Acton (GK)
5
BarošMilan Baroš
8
WilliamsMarc Williams
9
CisséDjibril Cissé
Substitution76
10
BeckSteven Beck
Substitution59
16
HamannDietmar Hamann
11
LawlessJohn Lawless
Substitution72
17
JosemiJosemi
12
TonerJohn Toner
30
ZendenBoudewijn Zenden
Substitution64
14
HoganBarry Hogan
37
WhitbreadZak Whitbread
16
LeahJohn Leah
Substitution82

Coach

Rafael Benítez (ESP) Kenneth Michael Mckenna (WAL)

Referee

Joeri Van De Velde (BEL)

Assistant referees

Jean-Philippe Lannoy (BEL), Rudi Verbruggen (BEL)

Fourth official

Eddie Vermeirsch (BEL)

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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