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Liverpool complete safe passage

Liverpool FC 4-0 Toulouse FC (agg: 5-0)
Peter Crouch, Sami Hyypiä and Dirk Kuyt all scored as the 2006/07 runners-up returned to the group stage.

Peter Crouch blows a kiss to the crowd after scoring
Peter Crouch blows a kiss to the crowd after scoring ©Getty Images

Liverpool FC cruised into the UEFA Champions League group stage as last season's beaten finalists completed a 5-0 aggregate victory against Toulouse FC.

Beyond doubt
Leading 1-0 from the game in France two weeks ago, Liverpool scored on 18 minutes through Peter Crouch before Sami Hyypiä and Dirk Kuyt with two late goals put the result beyond doubt. The five-time European champions will find out their opponents in their fourth consecutive group stage campaign on Thursday; the following day Toulouse will be in the UEFA Cup first round draw for the first time in 20 years, after this unsuccessful end to their debut appearance at this level.

Early goal
The home side were missing Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher but Crouch was restored for his first start since the trip to Toulouse, in place of first-leg scorer Andriy Voronin, and Liverpool attacked from the off. John Arne Riise immediately tested Toulouse goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez with a free-kick. Crouch headed a 16th-minute corner off target but was soon on the scoresheet as he turned Kuyt's clever pass into the net.

Crouch went close again, shooting past the post and then heading over as Liverpool continued to dominate. Kuyt, selected ahead of Fernando Torres, also threatened with an effort from inside the box and the nearest Toulouse came was just before half-time when Johan Elmander cut out a Riise back-pass but the defender recovered to win back the ball.

Victory sealed
Within three minutes of the restart it was 2-0, a Yossi Benayoun corner being nodded in by Hyypiä. Liverpool were sailing through the tie and Kuyt provided still more attacking menace yet missed the target when set up by Crouch. The Dutchman was also denied by the crossbar after his shot had taken a touch off Mauro Cetto but he finally got his reward three minutes from time after a fine one-two with substitute Ryan Babel. Deep into stoppage time, Benayoun played him in for his second.

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