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  • Date:17 Feb 2011
  • Kick-off:20:05
  • Venue:AXA Arena
  • Attendance:17,564
Goal!

Live Commentary

92mins

Leiva Lucas challenges Leonard Kweuke unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tomas Pekhart comes on in place of Marek Matejovsky. Direct free kick taken by Erich Brabec.

91mins

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rodriguez Maxi by Tomas Repka. Rodriguez Maxi takes the free kick.

90mins

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ondrej Kusnir by Dirk Kuyt. Free kick taken by Ondrej Kusnir.

89mins

Martin Zeman on for Vaclav Kadlec.

86mins

Shot from a long way out by Kamil Vacek goes wide of the left-hand post.

85mins

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Joe Cole, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jaromir Blazek by Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Jaromir Blazek takes the free kick.

83mins

The official flags Dirk Kuyt offside. Martin Skrtel joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Ngog. Free kick taken by Jaromir Blazek.

83mins

The referee blows for offside. Jose Reina takes the free kick.

82mins

Marek Matejovsky takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.

81mins

Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Cole on Martin Abena. The referee books Joe Cole for unsporting behaviour. Ondrej Kusnir takes the free kick.

77mins

The referee blows for offside against Dirk Kuyt. Jaromir Blazek takes the free kick.

76mins

Corner taken right-footed by Kamil Vacek, Leonard Kweuke takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a save.

73mins

(Sparta Prague) makes a substitution, with Libor Sionko coming on for Andrej Keric.

71mins

Leonard Kweuke takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.

71mins

Corner taken right-footed by Joe Cole, Leonard Kweuke makes a clearance.

70mins

Glen Johnson produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.

68mins

Joe Cole is penalised for a handball. Kamil Vacek delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Jose Reina makes a comfortable save.

67mins

Ondrej Kusnir fouled by Rodriguez Maxi, the ref awards a free kick. Ondrej Kusnir takes the free kick.

64mins

Ondrej Kusnir challenges Rodriguez Maxi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Wilson takes the free kick.

63mins

Headed effort from inside the area by Leonard Kweuke misses to the right of the target.

61mins

Kamil Vacek takes a shot. Blocked by Leiva Lucas.

60mins

The assistant referee flags for offside against David Ngog. Direct free kick taken by Erich Brabec.

59mins

Centre by Glen Johnson.

56mins

Tomas Repka concedes a free kick for a foul on David Ngog. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.

55mins

The ball is delivered by Glen Johnson, Jaromir Blazek makes a save.

54mins

Tomas Repka challenges David Ngog unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Glen Johnson.

53mins

Free kick awarded for a foul by David Ngog on Manuel Pamic. Manuel Pamic takes the direct free kick.

53mins

Manuel Pamic concedes a free kick for a foul on Leiva Lucas. Jose Reina takes the free kick.

50mins

Kamil Vacek concedes a free kick for a foul on Rodriguez Maxi. Free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.

49mins

Jamie Carragher concedes a free kick for a foul on Vaclav Kadlec. Kamil Vacek takes the free kick.

48mins

Leonard Kweuke gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes the direct free kick.

46mins

Danny Wilson challenges Martin Abena unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ondrej Kusnir.

45mins

David Ngog fouled by Martin Abena, the ref awards a free kick. Rodriguez Maxi takes the free kick.

43mins

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Raul Meireles from the right by-line, Headed effort from close range by David Ngog goes wide left of the goal.

43mins

Shot from inside the six-yard box by Leonard Kweuke goes wide right of the goal.

41mins

Free kick awarded for a foul by David Ngog on Tomas Repka. Jaromir Blazek takes the direct free kick.

41mins

Leonard Kweuke challenges Dirk Kuyt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.

39mins

Free kick awarded for a foul by David Ngog on Tomas Repka. The referee shows Tomas Repka a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. David Ngog goes into the book. Direct free kick taken by Jaromir Blazek.

38mins

Dirk Kuyt fouled by Tomas Repka, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Dirk Kuyt.

38mins

Dirk Kuyt concedes a free kick for a foul on Marek Matejovsky. Manuel Pamic takes the direct free kick.

38mins

Joe Cole on for Fabio Aurelio.

37mins

Foul by Kamil Vacek on Raul Meireles, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.

36mins

Effort on goal by Marek Matejovsky from 18 yards. Blocked by Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

35mins

Ondrej Kusnir crosses the ball, Manuel Pamic takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.

32mins

David Ngog challenges Tomas Repka unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Tomas Repka.

29mins

Shot from just outside the area by Fabio Aurelio misses to the left of the target.

26mins

Leiva Lucas concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Abena. Free kick taken by Marek Matejovsky.

25mins

Raul Meireles is caught offside. Free kick taken by Jaromir Blazek.

23mins

Tomas Repka concedes a free kick for a foul on Dirk Kuyt. Free kick crossed right-footed by Glen Johnson from right wing.

20mins

The offside flag is raised against David Ngog. Jaromir Blazek restarts play with the free kick.

18mins

Effort on goal by Manuel Pamic from 12 yards. Jose Reina makes a save.

16mins

Shot from just outside the box by Marek Matejovsky misses to the left of the goal.

16mins

Corner taken right-footed by Kamil Vacek, Sotirios Kyrgiakos makes a clearance.

16mins

The ball is delivered by Manuel Pamic, clearance made by Glen Johnson.

14mins

Corner taken by Raul Meireles from the right by-line.

13mins

Andrej Keric has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.

12mins

Leiva Lucas fouled by Martin Abena, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Leiva Lucas.

11mins

David Ngog is ruled offside. Jaromir Blazek restarts play with the free kick.

8mins

Shot from long distance by Leonard Kweuke goes wide of the left-hand upright.

8mins

Foul by Martin Abena on Sotirios Kyrgiakos, free kick awarded. Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes the direct free kick.

6mins

The assistant referee flags for offside against Vaclav Kadlec. Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes the free kick.

4mins

Foul by Kamil Vacek on Rodriguez Maxi, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Fabio Aurelio.

3mins

Foul by Kamil Vacek on Leiva Lucas, free kick awarded. Leiva Lucas takes the direct free kick.

Match Preview

Kenny Dalglish may have conquered Europe as a Liverpool player, but is honoured he now has the chance to lead them in continental competition as manager. The 59-year-old won the European Cup three times in seven years in an era when the Reds dominated both at home and abroad.

However, the ban imposed on English clubs after the Heysel Stadium disaster robbed him of the chance to extend that tally as a manager, having taken over from Joe Fagan after that fateful night in 1985.

He did eventually get to take sides into Europe when the exclusion was lifted, but Blackburn and Newcastle were nowhere close to being on the same level as the all-conquering team Dalglish played in. So 9,393 days after his first spell in the Anfield dugout began, Dalglish prepares to take charge of the Reds in Europe for the first time when they face Sparta Prague in the last 32 of the Europa League.

"It is not the first time I should have qualified," he said.

"The reason why I never managed [Liverpool in Europe] before was because the government, through FIFA, decided to ban us. We could have been up there challenging but we could only do what we were allowed to do and play in the competitions we were allowed to.

"We had some fantastic success and it was great credit to everyone involved then. Europe wasn't to be. Whether we'd have done well in Europe is hypothetical. People would discuss it but it was irrelevant.

"We just got on with it and in a way it helped us. Maybe if we'd have been involved in Europe we'd have trippe up in a few more games. That could have jeopardised our success. "It is a great honour for me to be involved with Liverpool, irrespective of the competition, but to be involved in Europe gives that extra little plus."

Liverpool have travelled without Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger (both recovering from injuries) and Christian Poulsen, whose wife is expecting a baby. Record signing Andy Carroll has also travelled but his involvement will purely be on a training and integration basis as he continues his recovery from a thigh problem.

Sparta captain Tomas Repka is slightly disappointed he will not be facing Fernando Torres on Wednesday. The former West Ham defender has yet to beat the Reds after one draw and three defeats during his spell in the Premier League.

Since the draw was made in December Repka had been gearing up for a head-to-head battle with the Spain international - only to have those hopes dashed by his £50million transfer to Chelsea. And with Gerrard also absent, the 37-year-old believes Liverpool are weaker now than when he faced them for the Hammers.

"Although they are pretty strong, when I was there (England) not only were they strong but they appeared in the Champions League and the number of big names was larger than today," he said.

"Our young players won't be overawed. Although there is some respect for the opposition - which they have earned - I don't think there is too much time for much humility or being scared.

"I was looking forward to a confrontation with Torres but it will be okay. I hope to improve my record against Liverpool."

Formation:4312Manager: Vitezslav Lavicka

Sparta Prague

Formation: 433Manager: Kenny Dalglish

Liverpool

  • Jaromir Blazek
  • Ondrej Kusnir
  • Tomas Repka
  • Erich Brabec
  • Manuel Pamic
  • Andrej Keric
  • Kamil Vacek
  • Vaclav Kadlec
  • Marek Matejovsky
  • Martin Abena
  • Leonard Kweuke
  • SUBS
  • Daniel Zitka
  • Jakub Podany
  • Libor Sionko
  • Adiaba Bondoa
  • Martin Zeman
  • Lubos Husek
  • Tomas Pekhart

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Match Report

Reds have edge after stalemate Kenny Dalglish waited 9,394 days to get the chance to manage Liverpool in Europe but after a turgid Europa League goalless draw against Sparta Prague he must have wondered why he looked forward to it so much. The 59-year-old missed out on continental competition in his first spell as Reds boss because of the ban on English clubs after the Heysel disaster. Despite the significance of his debut, this last-32 first-leg match in the Czech Republic is unlikely to live long in Dalglish's or anyone else's memory. Goalkeeper Jose Reina was Liverpool's best - and busiest - player with a few good saves, but even then he was not severely tested. The visitors' play was disjointed and lacked a cutting edge but crucially they kept a clean sheet and Dalglish will be hopeful next week's home leg, when captain Steven Gerrard should be available after a groin problem, will provide greater satisfaction. In the biting cold of the Generali Arena the game never really got going and although Liverpool tried to gain control by holding on to possession they never managed to make any ground by doing so. In fact, it was Sparta who created the few chances, most of which were created from wide positions as full-backs Ondrej Kusnir, on the right, and the particularly effective Manuel Pamic advanced at regular intervals. That was in contrast to Liverpool's two wide defenders, with Glen Johnson, back in his more familiar right-sided role, and Danny Wilson, a centre-back playing on the left, rarely getting the opportunity to go forward. Pamic gave Johnson problems in the first half and almost capitalised to great effect in the 17th minute. Martin Abena slid a pass inside the England defender and Pamic raced into the penalty area to drill a low shot from a narrow angle which Reina parried to safety. Even the normally unflappable Spain international was not immune to the general untidiness which littered Liverpool's play and when he could only parry Kusnir's deep cross into the path of Pamic he was relived to see the defender blaze over with his weaker right foot. Sotirios Kyrgiakos was next to the Reds' rescue, putting in a diving block to halt former Reading midfielder Marek Matejovsky's shot as it travelled goalwards. With a lack of central midfielders, having left Gerrard and expectant father Christian Poulsen at home, the last thing Dalglish needed was to see Fabio Aurelio forced off with an injury in the first half. It prompted a reshuffle with Raul Meireles withdrawn from his advanced role, from where he had scored five goals in six previous matches, to allow Joe Cole to come on. The second half was little different from what had gone before except for Liverpool enjoying slightly more possession. But the successful passing game which had been so evident in their six-match unbeaten Barclays Premier League run never really got going. Sparta continued to pose the greater threat, however, and Leony Kweuke headed just wide from range on the hour. Liverpool's best chance came with 20 minutes to go when Lucas Leiva's lofted pass picked out Johnson on the right of the penalty area. He weaved inside but instead of shooting with his left foot - with which he has scored some screamers from range - he opted for the outside of his right and poked the ball past the far post. The match was held up for a couple of minutes after a flare let off by Sparta fans behind Reina's goal clouded the pitch in thick smoke and there would have been few complaints had it blanked out the rest of the game. When play did resume Reina had to be alert to stop Kweuke's shot on the turn from a corner, while Matejovsky's 25-yard effort curled just wide of the goalkeeper's right-hand post. Dalglish switched to a back three for the last six minutes, with Slovakian Martin Skrtel receiving a predictably hostile welcome from the Czech crowd when he replaced Ngog. Kamil Vacek almost snatched a winner with a long-range strike which whistled past the upright but Liverpool held on for a clean sheet which makes life slightly easier for them in a week's time.

possession


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