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Kuyt strike gives Liverpool advantage

Published: Thursday 3 April 2008, 0.55CET
Arsenal FC 1-1 Liverpool FC
The Anfield club have the edge over their London rivals after Dirk Kuyt replied to Emmanuel Adebayor's effort.
by Michael Harrold
from London

Match statistics

ArsenalLiverpool

Goals scored1
 
1
Attempts on target5
 
4
Attempts off target6
 
0
Corners6
 
3
Offsides3
 
1
Fouls committed8
 
13
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Matches

1 April 2008

Roma
0-2
Man. United
Schalke
0-1
Barcelona

2 April 2008

Arsenal
1-1
Liverpool
Fenerbahçe
2-1
Chelsea
 
Published: Thursday 3 April 2008, 0.55CET

Kuyt strike gives Liverpool advantage

Arsenal FC 1-1 Liverpool FC
The Anfield club have the edge over their London rivals after Dirk Kuyt replied to Emmanuel Adebayor's effort.

Liverpool FC will take a slender advantage back to Anfield for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final after the first of three meetings with Arsenal FC inside seven days ended 1-1 in London.

Absorbing contest
In an absorbing contest, Emmanuel Adebayor put Arsenal in front on 23 minutes only for Dirk Kuyt to restore parity with a crucial away goal three minutes later. The two sides renew hostilities in the Premier League on Saturday before resuming a finely-balanced tie at Anfield next Tuesday.

Few chances
Both managers had predicted a tight encounter and there was little to separate the teams early on. Javier Mascherano was brought back into the Liverpool midfield as they looked to contain Arsenal's passing threat down the middle while Adebayor was restored to the hosts' attack. Chances, though, were few and it took seven minutes for either side to threaten, and that came only when Pepe Reina misjudged a long ball forward, recovering just in time to thwart the menacing Adebayor.

Adebayor opener
The opportunity lifted the home supporters, whose hopes for the season have ebbed during Arsenal's recent dip in form. The sight of Kolo Touré dispossessing Steven Gerrard, then Mathieu Flamini clattering into Fernando Torres, further raised morale and Arsenal almost capitalised on their momentum on 21 minutes. Flamini's beautifully flighted pass dissected the Liverpool defence and was met on the volley by Robin van Persie, who could not keep his shot down. Moments later the Dutch striker came close again. His low shot was tipped behind by a full-stretch Reina and from the resulting corner Arsenal scored, Adebayor rising to head in.

Kuyt reply
Liverpool were reeling yet quickly regrouped and as so often, inspired by Gerrard, they hit back with their first chance of the game. The visiting captain picked up a loose ball and darted past Emmanuel Eboué and Touré before crossing low for Kuyt to bundle the ball in. Belief restored, the Merseysiders were suddenly the sharper. Ryan Babel tested Manuel Almunia with a low drive before Sami Hyypiä's header almost caught out a surprisingly sluggish Arsenal back line as Liverpool went for the kill.

Walcott introduction
Rafael Benítez's men almost scored again two minutes after the restart. Again the Gunners rearguard failed to clear, allowing Kuyt to snap a shot at goal that Almunia did well to hold. Van Persie hobbled off at the break, making way for Theo Walcott, only the third Englishman involved on the night, and he was soon in the thick of the action. His rasping 56th-minute attempt flew just past the far post and his pace immediately unsettled the Liverpool defence. On 65 minutes he darted into the area and pulled the ball back for Eboué whose goalbound effort was cleared away.

Final chance
Arsène Wenger sent on Nicklas Bendtner and the Dane's first telling contribution was to block, inadvertently on the line, Cesc Fabregas's goal-bound shot with 20 minutes to play. The north Londoners' moment had passed. Having defeated holders AC Milan at San Siro to get this far, Arsenal will not be daunted by the return leg at Anfield; given their record against English opposition there in this competition, neither will Liverpool be.

Last updated: 08/04/08 17.27CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15107/match=301903/postmatch/report/index.html#kuyt+strike+gives+liverpool+advantage

Lineups

arsenal

Arsenal

liverpool

Liverpool

24
AlmuniaManuel Almunia (GK)
25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
5
K. TouréKolo Touré
8
GerrardSteven Gerrard (C)
6
SenderosPhilippe Senderos
9
TorresFernando Torres
Substitution86
10
GallasWilliam Gallas (C)
12
Fábio AurélioFábio Aurélio
11
Van PersieRobin van Persie
Substitution46
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
Substitution77
13
HlebAleksandr Hleb
18
KuytDirk Kuyt
Goal26
16
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
19
BabelRyan Babel
Substitution58
22
ClichyGaël Clichy
20
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
25
AdebayorEmmanuel Adebayor
Goal23
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
27
EbouéEmmanuel Eboué
Substitution67
37
ŠkrtelMartin Škrtel

Substitutes

1
LehmannJens Lehmann (GK)
30
ItandjeCharles Itandje (GK)
2
DiabyAbou Diaby
6
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
17
SongAlex Song
10
VoroninAndriy Voronin
Substitution86
19
Gilberto SilvaGilberto Silva
11
BenayounYossi Benayoun
Substitution58
26
BendtnerNicklas Bendtner
Substitution67
15
CrouchPeter Crouch
31
HoyteJustin Hoyte
17
ArbeloaÁlvaro Arbeloa
32
WalcottTheo Walcott
Substitution46
21
LucasLucas
Substitution77

Coach

Arsène Wenger (FRA) Rafael Benítez (ESP)

Referee

Pieter Vink (NED)

Assistant referees

Adrianus Inia (NED), Hans Ten Hoove (NED)

Fourth official

Bas Nijhuis (NED)

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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