Liverpool beat Kaunas 3-1

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:54 IST

Liverpool took another step on the road to defending their title, with a 3-1 win over FBK Kaunas in the first leg of the second qualification round.

Liverpool beat Kaunas 3-1

Kaunas:

Liverpool took another step on the road to defending their title, with a 3-1 win over FBK Kaunas in the first leg of the second qualification round in the Champions' League. Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez deployed most of his big guns for the first leg of his side's second round qualification match. A modest but vocal 8,500 Lithuanian fans turned out to see if their own league champions could cause an upset and after 21 minutes they began to believe that it might just happen. Arturas Rimkevicius wriggled past Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia following a throw-in and his near post cross was met by Giedrius Barevicius, the ball evading Jose Reina on its way into the net. Secure approachThe setback caused Liverpool to tighten their approach and just six minutes later they were level. Dutch international Boudewijn Zenden crossed from the left, Peter Crouch outfought his marker and Djibril Cisse swept the ball home with his right foot. Four minutes later they had the lead. Skipper Steven Gerrard swung in a corner, Jamie Carragher stole in with a header and although the ball went in off a defender, the Liverpool centre back claimed the goal. Making a comeback The visitors went into the break 2-1 up and eight minutes after the restart made the game safe. Gerrard's penetrating run into the Kaunas penalty area was halted by Mindaugas Baguzis, illegally in the opinion of Danish referee Knud Erik Fisker, and Gerrard picked himself up to put away the spot kick with the minimum of fuss. The fight was knocked out of the Lithuanian champions after that and Liverpool will take a 3-1 advantage back to Anfield for the second leg next Wednesday. The draw for the third qualification round will be played on Friday, and if the Reds can get through the second leg and negotiate that hurdle, they'll be in the group stages. (AP)



Topics : Football Liverpool
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