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Gerrard leads Liverpool charge

Published: Wednesday 3 March 2004, 22.35CET
PFC Levski Sofia 2-4 Liverpool FC (agg: 2-6) Steven Gerrard's early strike sets tone for confident Liverpool.

Match statistics

LevskiLiverpool

Goals scored2
 
4
Attempts on target2
 
4
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards2
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 3 March 2004, 22.35CET

Gerrard leads Liverpool charge

PFC Levski Sofia 2-4 Liverpool FC (agg: 2-6) Steven Gerrard's early strike sets tone for confident Liverpool.

Early goals from Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen set the tone for a commanding away performance from Liverpool FC, who advanced to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup at PFC Levski Sofia's expense.

Gerrard opener
Forced to chase the game to reverse a 2-0 first-leg deficit, Levski coach Georgi Vassilev paired Georgi Chilikov up front with Vladimir Ivanov, but their task was soon made harder. After only seven minutes Gerrard latched on to Ilian Stoianov's underhit back-pass and rounded Dimitar Ivankov to score.

Owen beauty
Levski were stretched time and again by a Liverpool side attacking with pace down the flanks, and on eleven minutes Harry Kewell picked out Owen, who beat the offside trap and cut into the box before curling a beautiful right-foot shot beyond Ivankov and into the far corner.

Ivankov saves
Levski were giving the Liverpool midfield too much time to pick their passes and Kewell was the next player sent clear, but this time Ivankov dived smartly to smother his low strike.

Ivanov strikes
Levski were struggling to make an impression up front, but when Steve Finnan failed to clear with 27 minutes played, Ivanov seized his chance to fire low beyond Chris Kirkland and bring Levski back into the match. Levski had found a cutting edge and, with their tails up, drew level on 40 minutes. Chilikov back-heeled the ball to Sasa Simonovic on the edge of the area and he beat Kirkland with a curling drive.

Hamann heroics
Having fought their way back into the game, however, Levski's defence crumbled again one minute before the break, Gerrard's corner headed in by an unmarked Dietmar Hamann.

Hyypiä header
Gerrard was in excellent form, spreading play with a brilliant series of passes as Liverpool remained on top during the second half. Midway through the half, Gerrard's precision passing was made to count - Sami Hyypiä rising high at another corner to head in and restore Liverpool's two-goal cushion.

Liverpool control
Levski had tested Liverpool on 63 minutes when Stanislav Angelov shot crisply from the edge of the area, but Kirkland tipped his effort over the bar and was otherwise comfortably in control, like a Liverpool team who will now look forward to the last 16 with confidence.

'Outstanding game'
Gérard Houllier, the Liverpool manager, was particularly delighted with the form of Michael Owen. "I'm very happy that he scored," Houllier said. "He had an outstanding game and worked very hard. He was very sharp." Houllier added: "It's great to score four goals away from home and that four different players scored for us."

'Best shot'
A disappointed Vassilev admitted his side had little chance after conceding a goal so early. "The tie was virtually killed off when Gerrard scored," he said. "We didn't play well in defence and allowed Liverpool to score two goals from set pieces. Liverpool are a great team, but we did our best."

Last updated: 04/03/04 10.52CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2003/matches/round=1720/match=73846/postmatch/report/index.html#gerrard+leads+liverpool+charge

Lineups

levski

Levski

liverpool

Liverpool

27
IvankovDimitar Ivankov (GK)
22
KirklandChris Kirkland (GK)
13
BukarevAsen Bukarev
Substitution65
2
HenchozStéphane Henchoz
Yellow Card90+2
19
ChilikovGeorgi Chilikov
Substitution72
3
FinnanSteve Finnan
Substitution59
20
AngelovStanislav Angelov
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
Goal68
22
I. StoyanovIlian Stoyanov
Substitution63
7
KewellHarry Kewell
Substitution80
26
TemileOmomigho Temile
10
OwenMichael Owen
Goal11
15
SimonovićSaša Simonović
Goal40
13
MurphyDanny Murphy
35
G. MarkovGeorgi Markov
Yellow Card82
16
HamannDietmar Hamann
Goal43
38
VidolovKostadin Vidolov
17
GerrardSteven Gerrard
Goal7
90
G. IvanovGeorgi Ivanov
Goal27
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
11
TopuzakovElin Topuzakov
Yellow Card65
28
CheyrouBruno Cheyrou
Substitution70

Substitutes

1
G. PetkovGeorgi Petkov (GK)
1
DudekJerzy Dudek (GK)
4
Biser IvanovBiser Ivanov
5
BarošMilan Baroš
Substitution70
7
BorimirovDaniel Borimirov
Substitution63
8
HeskeyEmile Heskey
10
KolevTodor Kolev
Substitution72
9
DioufEl Hadji Diouf
17
GolovskoyKonstantin Golovskoy
Substitution65
20
Le TallecAnthony Le Tallec
Substitution80
23
StankovMartin Stankov
21
TraoréDjimi Traoré
25
Lucio WagnerLucio Wagner
25
BišćanIgor Bišćan
Substitution59

Coach

Georgi Ivanov (BUL) Gérard Houllier (FRA)

Referee

Peter Fröjdfeldt (SWE)

Assistant referees

Stefan Wittberg (SWE), Ingemar Larsson (SWE)

Fourth official

Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

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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