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Voronin secures Reds win
15 Aug 2007 - 17:30:16
Liverpool secured a 1-0 victory away to Toulouse in the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie thanks to a superb strike from Andriy Voronin.
Rafa Benitez partnered England's Peter Crouch and Ukrainian Voronin in attack for the Reds, while Javier Mascherano was handed a start in midfield.
The early minutes saw little by the way of goalmouth action, with the Reds content to sit back and ease into the game.
Captain Steven Gerrard fired narrowly over as the clock ticked near to the half-hour mark, with the home side having failed to test Jose Reina in the Liverpool goal up to that point.
Shortly before the half-time break, summer signing Voronin gave the Reds a crucial lead, collecting a Crouch flick-on before firing home a superb 25-yard right-foot shot beyond the reach of the despairing Nicolas Douchez.
Toulouse brought on Fode Mansare for Bryan Bergougnoux at the start of the second half in a bid to shake things up.
However, Liverpool remained well on top, having grabbed a vital away strike just before the interval.
Just after the hour, Johan Elmander threatened for the home side with a near-post flick, but Reina was alert to the danger and gathered safely and soon after the Swede placed a header just over the bar.
One slight concern for Benitez came with Gerrard limping off midway through the second half, but the England man seemed to be carrying only a slight knock.
However, that failed to put a cloud on another thoroughly professional performance from the five-time European champions.