Draw leaves Reds in trouble

04 November 2009 11:23
Liverpool came so close to a Champions League miracle in Lyon but saw their qualification hopes take another hit thanks to Lisandro Lopez's last-gasp leveller to secure a 1-1 draw.

A stunning Ryan Babel goal gave the Reds the lead with only seven minutes left, and a victory would have kept them in with a realistic chance of still qualifying for the last 16.

But Lisandro grabbed an equaliser in the last minute to give Lyon the draw they needed to qualify and left Liverpool's hopes hanging by a thread.

Fernando Torres found a yard of space in the box and almost had Liverpool ahead after 12 just minutes. Emiliano Insua swung over a cross from the left, and the striker met it first-time eight yards to force a fine point-blank save from Hugo Lloris, who was to deny Liverpool twice more before the break.

Another Insua cross gave Dirk Kuyt the chance of a clever lob, again Lloris needing to be at his best to touch the ball over the bar.

Liverpool's third decent chance of the half came after a foul on Torres deep in his own half. Javier Mascherano's quick free-kick cleared Lyon's back line and allowed Andriy Voronin a clear run at goal. His shot was low, but again Lloris was up to the task, blocking the effort with his legs.

Lyon started the second period with a quicker tempo, and Lisandro hooked over an Aly Cissokho cross. The full-back's next cross saw Michel Bastos head over the far angle.

As Liverpool pressed forward, the gaps were appearing behind them, and Bafetimbi Gomis looked increasingly dangerous.

But the Reds broke from defence after a painful bout of head tennis to get the ball away and grabbed a sensational goal after 83 minutes. Yossi Benayoun spun the ball out to the left for Babel, who cut inside to unleash a thunderous drive into the top corner from 30 yards, before being engulfed by his team-mates.

However, with just seconds left, Liverpool's dream crashed. Lisandro got past Insua in the box and lifted his shot over Reina for the equaliser.

Source: Eurosport