Champions League: Liverpool victory revives hope

Updated: 08 November 2007 17:16 IST

Liverpool revived its chances of reaching the next round of the Champions League on Tuesday with the competition's biggest ever win.


Liverpool revived its chances of reaching the next round of the Champions League on Tuesday with the competition's biggest ever win, and Valencia's hopes were hit by a loss to visiting Rosenborg.

Liverpool needed victory after it picked up just one point from its first three Group A matches, and Yossi Benayoun scored a hat trick to lead the five-time European champions to an 8-0 win over Besiktas.

Two-time runner-up Valencia lost to Rosenborg 2-0, defending champion AC Milan won at Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0, and 2004 winner FC Porto beat Marseille 2-1.

Also, Lazio beat Werder Bremen 2-1, Celtic downed Benfica 1-0, Real Madrid was held to a 0-0 draw at Olympiakos and Chelsea drew 0-0 at Schalke.

Peter Crouch, who started up front instead of Fernando Torres, put Liverpool ahead in the 19th minute when he scored from a rebound after goalkeeper Hakan Arikan had stopped his initial shot.

Benayoun made it 2-0 in the 32nd with a firm shot across goal after a cross by Andriy Voronin that beat both central defenders, and scored again in the 53rd with a rebound from Steven Gerrard's saved shot.

The Israel midfielder completed his hat trick - the first in this season's Champions League - three minutes later from another rebound, this time from a free kick by Gerrard.

"I am happy to score but what was important was the way we won," Benayoun said. "We just need to continue to improve all the time. We knew we had our backs to the wall.

"I'm sure this win will give us a lot of confidence."

Gerrard made it 5-0 in the 69th with a right-foot shot from inside the area and Benayoun completed his man-of-the-match performance in the 78th when he set up Ryan Babel for Liverpool's sixth goal, with the substitute scored with a back-heel flick.

Babel then forced the seventh goal with nine minutes left, when he jumped to block a defender's clearance and the ball hit his back and looped into the goal.

Babel hit the bar and, in the 89th, Crouch scored the goal that beat the 7-0 record that Juventus set in 2003 and Arsenal matched two weeks ago.

Liverpool, which lost last year's final to Milan, improved to four points in Group A, three fewer than Marseille and four fewer than leader Porto.

That means it has to beat both teams above it in its remaining two games.

"Although it is a big win, it is only three points," Crouch said. "We need to win the other games and make sure we can qualify."

Porto's Lisandro Lopez headed in his team's winning goal in the 78th off a cross by Ricardo Quaresma.

Marseille dominated the first half, but Porto went ahead in the 27th through Tarik Sektioui, who ran from halfway and burst between two defenders. The Moroccan player then waited for goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to go to the ground before tapping a shot into an empty net.

Mamadou Niang equalized in the 47th, beating Porto goalkeeper Helton with a downward header off a cross from Laurent Bonnart.

"We didn't start well," Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira said. "We were nothing like the normal Porto.

"In the second half the result was fair. We showed the will to win. We played well, with intensity and hard work."

Winning streak

Chelsea kept the lead of Group B despite its seven-match winning streak coming to an end with its scoreless draw at Schalke, and Rosenborg strengthened its hold on second place through two goals by Steffen Iversen at Valencia.

The Norwegian team, which was expected to finish last in the group, went ahead in the 31st when Iversen hit a low shot in off the post after a pass by Marek Sapara.

Iversen, who had only scored two Champions League goals before Tuesday, made it 2-0 in the 58th with a header from Mikael Dorsin's corner kick.

Rosenborg moved up to seven points, one fewer than Chelsea. Schalke is next with four, with Valencia last with three.

"It's a shame. It's now going to be much harder for us to advance," Valencia defender Ivan Helguera said. "But in soccer, you can never give up."

Lazio moved up from last to share second place in Group C with Olympiakos after striker Tommaso Rocchi scored two goals against Bremen.

Rocchi got his first Champions League goal in the 57th when he scored from a rebound after goalkeeper Tim Wiese saved his penalty kick. He scored his second after being set up by French midfielder Mourad Meghni, who had won the penalty 11 minutes earlier.

Brazilian midfielder Diego converted a penalty kick for Bremen in the 88th, then was expelled in injury time for his second yellow card.

"It was a matter of pride," Lazio coach Delio Rossi said. "The guys pulled out a great performance."

Lazio has five points, the same as Olympiakos, and three fewer than record nine-time champion Real Madrid.

Milan leads Group D with nine points after substitute Filippo Inzaghi scored two second-half goals and set up another in Ukraine.

Inzaghi came on for Alberto Gilardino in the 63rd and opened the scoring three minutes later off Andrea Pirlo's pass.

Kaka scored from a pass by Inzaghi six minutes later and Inzaghi, who scored twice in last season's final, completed the scoring three minutes into injury time.

Celtic took a share of second place with six points after a deflected 45th-minute goal by Aiden McGeady gave the Scottish champions victory over Benfica.

Benfica played with only 10 for the final minutes after Gilles Binya was sent off in the 85th because of a bad tackle on Scott Brown.

Topics : Football Liverpool
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