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Kewell finish edges out Steaua

Published: Friday 28 November 2003, 0.58CET
Liverpool FC 1-0 FC Steaua Bucuresti (agg: 2-1) Harry Kewell's header leaves Gérard Houllier smiling.

Match statistics

LiverpoolSteaua

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target1
 
0
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards0
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Friday 28 November 2003, 0.58CET

Kewell finish edges out Steaua

Liverpool FC 1-0 FC Steaua Bucuresti (agg: 2-1) Harry Kewell's header leaves Gérard Houllier smiling.

Harry Kewell's headed goal gave the 2000/01 UEFA Cup winners a place in this season's third round as FC Steaua Bucuresti were made to pay for missing early opportunities.

Decisive moments
The winning strike, after the teams had drawn 1-1 in Bucharest, came in the 49th minute and followed an appeal for a penalty at the other end. Steven Gerrard, whose all-action performance showed how much he craves success for his hometown club, crossed superbly and the Australian international headed into the turf and up into the net.

Comfortable on the ball
It was never easy for Liverpool and they had to work hard to limit the scope of the visitors – the unbeaten league leaders in Romania – who all over the pitch had players comfortable in possession.

Early scare
An early scare for Liverpool came in the third minute as Claudiu Raducanu, who scored in the first leg and also in both games as Steaua eliminated another English side, Southampton FC, in the first round, was played onside. He only had Chris Kirkland to beat but lifted his shot on to the roof of the net as the goalkeeper advanced.

Sinama Pongolle shines
Liverpool dominated possession and in Florent Sinama Pongolle, the young Frenchman who was preferred to Emile Heskey, they had a player alongside Michael Owen with the pace to unsettle the Steaua defence. And with Dietmar Hamann making his comeback in the midfield holding role after a seven-month absence, Liverpool had the means to starve the visitors of space around the penalty area. Crucially Hamann's return also enabled Gerrard to push further forward and his influence was telling.

Eager Gerrard
A couple of early shots from the England midfield player registered his eagerness to score. He made the goal and after that nearly set up other strikes for Sinama Pongolle and Owen, who was brought off near the end complaining of a tight calf muscle.

'Deserving winners'
Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier said Owen's problem was not a concern and added that his team were deserving winners overall. "It's important for us to keep the European experience going," he said. "Steaua passed the ball really well and we knew it would be difficult to break them down. It is a good omen for us because the last time we beat a Bucharest team we went on to win the final."

Smooth surface
The conditions were a vivid contrast to the saturated pitch in the Romanian capital and the smooth Anfield surface clearly suited the Romanians' high technical levels. Their penchant for knocking long balls from defence to attack was a worry for the home team.

Another scare
From one such move in the 17th minute Marian Aliuta gave Kirkland another scare but, shooting on the diagonal, his low drive skidded beyond the far post. Liverpool had also failed to take early chances with Owen heading over and Gerrard, reversing the move that led to the decisive strike, directing a header from Kewell's pinpoint centre straight at Vasili Khomutovski.

Last updated: 28/11/03 12.04CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2003/matches/round=1719/match=73645/postmatch/report/index.html#kewell+finish+edges+steaua

Lineups

liverpool

Liverpool

steaua

Steaua

22
KirklandChris Kirkland (GK)
33
KhomutovskiVasili Khomutovski (GK)
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
2
DumitruFlorentin Dumitru
7
KewellHarry Kewell
Goal50
3
RachitaValeriu Rachita
Yellow Card25
9
DioufEl Hadji Diouf
Substitution70
6
RădoiMirel Rădoi
10
OwenMichael Owen
Substitution88
8
StoicaPompiliu Stoica
15
DiaoSalif Diao
10
AliuţăMarian Aliuţă
Substitution59
16
HamannDietmar Hamann
11
BoştinăGabriel Boştină
17
GerrardSteven Gerrard
14
RaducanuClaudiu Raducanu
21
TraoréDjimi Traoré
18
FalemiNana Falemi
Substitution81
24
Sinama PongolleFlorent Sinama Pongolle
Substitution70
19
OpritaDaniel Oprita
Substitution81
25
BišćanIgor Bišćan
29
MuticaDorel Mutica
Yellow Card40

Substitutes

1
DudekJerzy Dudek (GK)
12
TudorMartin Tudor (GK)
8
HeskeyEmile Heskey
Substitution70
4
CurtTiberiu Curt
11
ŠmicerVladimír Šmicer
Substitution70
5
ParaschivSorin Paraschiv
Substitution59
13
MurphyDanny Murphy
Substitution88
7
PituAdrian Pitu
Substitution81
18
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
9
NeagaAdrian Neaga
20
Le TallecAnthony Le Tallec
20
OgăraruGeorge Ogăraru
36
OtsemoborJon Otsemobor
27
DinitaLaurentiu Dinita
Substitution81

Coach

Gérard Houllier (FRA) Victor Piturca (ROU)

Referee

Florian Meyer (GER)

Assistant referees

Peter Henes (GER), Josef Webers (GER)

Fourth official

Torsten Koop (GER)

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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