Benfica beat Liverpool 1-0

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:38 IST

Brazilian defender Luisao scored six minutes from the end to give Benfica a 1-0 win over defending champion Liverpool in a first-leg Champions League game.

Benfica beat Liverpool 1-0

Lisbon:

Brazilian defender Luisao scored six minutes from the end to give Benfica a 1-0 win over defending champion Liverpool in a first-leg Champions League game on Tuesday.The game looked headed for an uneventful scoreless draw until Luisao beat his markers to head in a free kick from Armando Petit at the Stadium of Light."The first leg is always a cautious affair ... but we showed we can be dangerous," Luisao said.Winning streakLiverpool, which can claim a quarterfinal slot if it wins the March 8 return, went into the game on a three-game winning streak including triumphs over Manchester United and Arsenal. However, Benfica easily held its own despite losing three of its last four domestic league games."The game was clearly heading for a draw. We tried playing second-half counter-attacks but we couldn't score," Benitez said. Injury woesLiverpool coach Rafa Benitez kept Steven Gerrard, who had a slight knee injury, and England striker Peter Crouch on the bench.Benfica goalkeeper Moretto fumbled a cross in the 23rd minute but there were no Liverpool players close enough to pounce. Simao Sabrosa found a way through the Liverpool defense two minutes later only for goalkeeper Jose Reina to snatch the ball from his feet.Benfica's best opportunity came in first-half injury time when it won a free kick on the edge of the visitor's area, but Sabrosa hit the ball over the bar. Spectacular momentOne of the game's most spectacular moments came after 62 minutes when Petit fired an on-target shot almost from halfway, forcing Reina to scamper back and collect it.At the other end, Fernando Morientes headed John Arne Riise's throw over the bar.Benitez brought on Djibril Cisse and Gerrard in the second half but they made little impact. (AP)



Topics : Football Benfica Liverpool
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