Liverpool 3-0 FC Gomel (Agg 4-0): Borini scores first Reds goal as Suarez & Gerrard impress in comfortable Europa League win
Brendan Rodgers' side were fully in control of proceedings against the Belarusian outfit, maintaining their winning start upon their return to European competition this term
By James McManus
|Bet:||Returns:||Liverpool £12.50||Draw £70.00||QPR £130.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Liverpool £12.90||Draw £50.00||QPR £120.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Liverpool £12.86||Draw £55.00||QPR £110.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Liverpool £12.50||Draw £70.00||QPR £120.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Liverpool £12.50||Draw £55.00||QPR £120.00|
Brendan Rodgers’ sole signing of the summer, Fabio Borini, scored his first competitive goal for the club, driving home from inside the box to beat the goalkeeper at his near post.
Their second goal of the game came just minutes before the half-time whistle, with Luis Suarez turning his man inside out before laying it on a plate for Steven Gerrard to tap home into an empty net.
In a quieter second half, Glen Johnson scored the goal of the game, adding the icing on the cake in what represented a fine return to European football for the club on home soil, as he volleyed home with a sweetly hit left-foot strike from the edge of the box.
Rodgers rang the changes from the side that emerged victorious from the first leg, naming a strong starting eleven, with Pepe Reina returning in goal in place of Brad Jones and Daniel Agger taking Jamie Carragher's spot at the back.
Elsewhere, Lucas got his first competitive start since December in place of Jay Spearing while Jonjo Shelvey came into the middle of midfield instead of Jordan Henderson, with Luis Suarez taking the place of the injured Joe Cole out wide.
Liverpool began the game at a lively tempo as they sought to put the game to bed early on but, despite dominating possession, they failed to carve open many clear cut opportunities in the opening stages, with only a Steven Gerrard punt from the edge of the box to show for their efforts.
With FC Gomel struggling to get out of their own half, Suarez pinched the ball off Kuzmyanok's toes before racing in on goal, but with the angle against him, goalkeeper Vladimir Bushma stood up well and tipped his low drive behind for a corner.
However, the home side didn't have to wait too long for the first goal, and Borini was the main to break the deadlock. Suarez displayed some fabulous footwork on the touchline to turn his marker before sending the ball in to allow the former Roma man to rifle in a shot into the bottom left-hand corner on the 20-minute mark.
In a rare forward foray, just after the half hour mark, Dmitri Platonov stung the palms of Reina with a fierce effort from a narrow angle, before the ball was hacked clear away by Skrtel with the referee waving away weak claims for a penalty in the process.
With Lucas and Shelvey controlling the tempo of the game from the middle, Gerrard was afforded the time to venture forward and get on the scoresheet following more good work from Suarez to beat his man.
The second half started much in the same way that first ended, with the hosts bossing the game even if the tempo had dropped off slightly.
Rodgers’ side looked full of purpose as they chased a third a goal and it took an excellent save from Bushma, diving low to his right, to prevent Suarez from opening his account for the season.
With the visitors seemingly content to sit deep and to try and threaten on the break, Liverpool found it more difficult to get in behind the Belarusian side's defence in the second half.
Suarez went close once again shortly after the hour mark with a free kick from the edge of the box which curled just over the bar with Bushma well beaten.
Liverpool managed to add a third in the 72nd minute, though, when Johnson ran onto a bouncing ball thirty yards from goal, before chesting it down and volleying home into the top right-hand corner on his weaker left foot for a stunning strike.
With the result all but academic, a raft of substitutions only served to disrupt the pace of the game and the two sides played out an entertaining fixture, with the interplay between Suarez, Gerrard and Borini in particular standing out.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|Sign up today with BetVictor and get a £25 FREE BET!|
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- Goal.com Rating
- Goal.com Man of the Match
- Goal.com Flop of the Match
- Top & Flop Global Ranking
- Fans' Man of the Match
- Fans' Flop of the Match