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Gerrard pulls strings as Liverpool beat OM

Published: Wednesday 17 September 2008, 0.30CET
Olympique de Marseille 1-2 Liverpool FC
Steven Gerrard scored twice, a stunning curling effort from distance and a penalty, as the English visitors kicked off Group D with a comeback victory.
by Chris Burke
from Stade Vélodrome
Gerrard pulls strings as Liverpool beat OM
Steven Gerrard celebrates his second goal ©Getty Images

Match statistics

MarseilleLiverpool

Goals scored1
 
2
Attempts on target5
 
2
Attempts off target7
 
5
Corners6
 
4
Offsides2
 
1
Fouls committed9
 
19
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:22 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 17 September 2008, 0.30CET

Gerrard pulls strings as Liverpool beat OM

Olympique de Marseille 1-2 Liverpool FC
Steven Gerrard scored twice, a stunning curling effort from distance and a penalty, as the English visitors kicked off Group D with a comeback victory.

New season, similar outcome. Nine months after dancing through the Stade Vélodrome as if they owned the place, Liverpool FC kicked off UEFA Champions League Group D with a 2-1 comeback win at Olympique de Marseille, Steven Gerrard returning to the side to fire both their goals.

Gerrard double
The influential Reds' captain was an injury doubt before kick-off, but there was nothing rusty about his first-half performance as he responded to Lorik Cana's opener with a majestic strike from distance and a pinpoint spot-kick. He eventually departed in the 69th minute, but by then his team were well on their way to victory – one less dominant than their 4-0 success here last December, but important all the same.

Returning stars
Fernando Torres likewise found his way back into Rafael Benítez's starting XI after a hamstring knock, and the Spaniard instigated the first real skirmish too, forcing a corner that he himself subsequently headed goalwards, only for Steve Mandanda to palm over. At the other end Mamadou Niang blasted over, but if Marseille thought they were now going to impose their will, Liverpool began displaying real menace. First, Ryan Babel skipped past Ronald Zubar and shot high, then Gerrard called Mandanda into action with a low drive before Torres looped a header on to the roof of the net.

Cana breakthrough
Given that pattern, it was a genuine surprise when Cana broke the deadlock after 23 minutes. Modeste M'Bami served Benoît Cheyrou in the centre and the midfielder flicked a pass over the visitors' static back line for his captain to rifle beyond Pepe Reina. That merely incurred the Merseysiders' wrath, however, Torres quickly dispossessing M'Bami and feeding Dirk Kuyt on the right. The Dutchman calmly set up Gerrard to hit a magnificent, long-distance curling effort first time that Mandanda merely watched as it looped in.

Retaken penalty
Merely four minutes later, Liverpool were ahead courtesy of their talismanic skipper once again. Zubar's foul on Babel had the referee pointing to the spot, and despite having to retake his penalty, Gerrard found joy low to Mandanda's left. Immediately afterwards, Niang speared narrowly wide, but the home side were rattled and replaced M'Bami with Mathieu Valbuena four minutes before half-time.

Marseille chances
Symbol of Marseille's 1-0 triumph at Anfield last term, the diminutive provocateur demonstrated quick feet more than once after the restart, with Benítez's charges now content to counterattack. Considering Babel's pace, that was always a threatening proposition and Mandanda had to dive at the winger's feet to deny him close to the hour. Chances for Koné volley and Vitorino Hilton restored local belief, but substitute Karim Ziani really should have done better with Koné's expert cut-back.

Babel threat
Instead, Liverpool continued to look the more likely scorers and Babel almost did just that with a fierce close-range effort blocked by Mandanda. A constant threat as he celebrated a rare starting berth, the Dutch international still had time to clip a post. The gulf between the two teams may have shrunk, but the English outfit look a lot more comfortable than their Ligue 1 counterparts.

Last updated: 17/09/08 11.52CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15276/match=302704/postmatch/report/index.html#gerrard+pulls+strings+liverpool+beat+om

Lineups

marseille

Marseille

liverpool

Liverpool

30
MandandaSteve Mandanda (GK)
25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
3
TaiwoTaye Taiwo
2
DossenaAndrea Dossena
5
HiltonHilton
8
GerrardSteven Gerrard (C)
Goal26
Goal32
Substitution69
7
CheyrouBenoît Cheyrou
9
TorresFernando Torres
Substitution65
11
NiangMamadou Niang
17
ArbeloaÁlvaro Arbeloa
14
KonéBakari Koné
Substitution75
18
KuytDirk Kuyt
Substitution86
15
ZubarRonald Zubar
Yellow Card31
19
BabelRyan Babel
19
CanaLorik Cana (C)
Goal23
20
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
20
Ben ArfaHatem Ben Arfa
Substitution57
21
LucasLucas
Yellow Card47
23
M'BamiModeste M'Bami
Substitution41
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
24
BonnartLaurent Bonnart
37
ŠkrtelMartin Škrtel
Yellow Card21

Substitutes

1
RiouRudy Riou (GK)
1
CavalieriDiego Cavalieri (GK)
6
ZianiKarim Ziani
Substitution57
5
AggerDaniel Agger
10
ZendenBoudewijn Zenden
7
KeaneRobbie Keane
Substitution86
12
KaboréCharles Kaboré
11
RieraAlbert Riera
Substitution65
17
SamassaMamadou Samassa
Substitution75
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
22
ErbateElamin Erbate
15
BenayounYossi Benayoun
Substitution69
28
ValbuenaMathieu Valbuena
Substitution41
27
P. DegenPhilipp Degen

Coach

Erik Gerets (BEL) Rafael Benítez (ESP)

Referee

Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Assistant referees

Bernhard Zauner (AUT), Armin Eder (AUT)

Fourth official

Oliver Drachta (AUT)

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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