Liverpool 1 - 0 Unirea Urziceni

Liverpool made their Europa League debut last night (Feb 18) beating Romanian’s Unirea Urzinceni 1-0 at Anfield. After being dumped out of the Champions League early, Rafa Benitez’s men found themselves with European solace thanks to a backdoor into the vastly inferior Europa League. They didn't get their campaign off to a win so much however, the victory was a hollow one.

From the start it was clear that Urzinceni intended to play a defensive game, hoping not to concede and win the match on home turf in the second leg. Liverpool dominated possession but with almost no clear cut chances on goal until a desperate final 10 minutes when David Ngog managed to head home a close range header on the 81st minute.

Talking post match Rafa the gaffa was upbeat (as always); ‘It is not the best result but it is good - a clean sheet was important. Sometimes when the other team is defending well you have to be patient and keep more of the ball. We were waiting for the goal and were really pleased when we did at the end’.

Although a minor European game for Liverpool, who haven’t played in the business end of the Champions League since an early exit in 2004, Anfield was near to full with 40,000 home supporters cheering the reds on. The 2nd leg takes place next week with Liverpool as favourites to advance to the last 16.

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