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UEFA Europa League
23 August 2012
• Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh
Referee: F. Meyer
• Attendance: 15965
Heart of Midlothian
A. Webster 78' (own goal)
Shots on Target
Anyway, that's all from me tonight, check out goal.com for all the post-match reaction and news. Goodnight!
The Reds had the two best chances of the game. Borini missed the best one, but his run across the goal for their winner led to Webster turning it into his own goal. He was a bit unlucky there, but the ball into the box was very good
Brendan Rodgers will be delighted to get a win under his side's belt after their poor performance against West Brom at the weekend and ahead of their tricky meeting with Manchester City at the weekend.
So the Reds secure a first leg lead, and you have to believe that they will comfortably progress to the competition proper. They were made to work hard for their win tonight though, Hearts gave it their all and can be proud of their efforts
FULL TIME. Liverpool win 1-0 through an Andy Webster own goal.
90' + 2'
Liverpool make their third and final change. Borini, who earlier missed a sitter, but played a big part in their goal, is replaced by youngster Adam Morgan
90' + 2'
Patterson has the final chance of the evening for Hearts, but his drive from distance is wide of Reina's post
Three minutes of injury time...can Hearts grab an equaliser?
Reina is forced to make one of the better saves of the evening in the dying stages. Callum Patterson finds space on the right side of the area and is powerful drive looks to be heading for the opposite corner, but Reina is at full strength to push it clear
Scott Robinson comes on for Darren Barr in the Jam Tarts final substitution
Substitute Driver has Hearts' best chance of the half. He wriggles some space in the area but his shot on the turn lacks power and is easily saved by Reina
17-year-old Dale Carrick comes on for another lively attacker, with Arvidas Novikovas coming off
Sterling has another effort on goal, cutting in from the left his effort with the right foot is high and wide of the opposite post
Since their goal Liverpool have kept the ball well, with Hearts beginning to look a little tired now
I guess that shows the difference in quality between the two sides. There hasn't been to much between them this evening, but when it counted, Liverpool created a really dangerous opening and capitalised on it
The lively David Templeton is replaced by Andrew Driver
Own Goal Andy Webster
GOAL!!!! Liverpool score the first goal of the evening, and it looks like a mix of an Andy Webster own goal and Fabio Borini.
Martin Kelly found himself in space on the right flank and had time to whip in a dangerous cross that Borini made a good run at but missed and instead the ball went in off the unfortunate Webster who was not so quick to react
15 minutes to go and we're still without a goal, will either side be able to grab a decisive winner? A goal for Hearts would be a massive boost before the second leg at Anfield
Sterling is having, well a Sterling game for Liverpool tonight. He has looked brave on the ball, and confident when breaking down the left flank. Looks like he suits Rodgers' system too
Ryan McGowan breaks down the right flank well and zips a cross into the area but it evades everyone
Adam has another effort at goal, but his shot from the edge of the area is easily saved by MacDonald via a few deflections from the mass of defenders in front of him
Jay Spearing comes off for Liverpool's £15million summer signing Joe Allen. I think Spearing has done well in an understated way tonight. Has kept the ball moving well in a deep lying role.
Charlie Adam wins another foul in the middle of the park, he seems to have been the most fouled player of the pitch tonight
Stewart Downing has joined the play, he's replaced youngster Jack Robinson. Hearts fans beware the former Middlesbrough man, or perhaps not, he's not really pulled up any trees in his time on Merseyside
An hour played and we're still goalless at Tynecastle. No away goal, but no deficit for the home side. Who will stick and who will twist?
Novikovas unleashes a powerful shot at goal after a decent run but his effort is well over Pepe Reina's goal
Adam has history in this competition - he was an unused substitute when Rangers (the old one) reached the final in 2008. Blimey, how things change eh...
Adam has a good chance for Liverpool. He wins the ball around 30 yards away from goal, but his right footed effort is wide of the left post
Callum Patterson has the home side's first chance of the half, but his effort from a tight angle on the right is well over
Sterling goes down in the area but MacDonald is judged to have claimed the ball at the wingers feet cleanly and fairly
Liverpool are kncoking the ball around well and confidently at the moment, and it seems to have taken the sting out of the crowd for the time being
More good work from Sterling as he takes on his full back and drives towards goal winning his side a corner. He looks a real talent.
Jonjo Shelvey, who has a had a few decent touches and generally looked near and tidy plays in a good ball for Borini but the Italian is flagged for offside
Hearts have started the second half in much the same way that they finished the first, but you have to wonder how much longer they will be able to maintain this high tempo, high energy level
Hearts get the second half under way
They'll no doubt be happy to go into the break goalless, particularly as at this stage against Tottenham last season they were 3-0 down
Fellow Scottish side Motherwell are not faring quite as well as the Edinburgh side - they're trailing 1-0 at home to Getafe at half time
That said a goal for Liverpool would be unfair on Hearts who have played with energy, courage and tempo throughout the half.
That miss from Borini is the last action of the half - and it is undoubtedly the best opportunity of the game for both sides. The Italian will be kicking himself for such a glaring miss.
Fabio Borini misses an absolute sitter. Sterling breaks forward with real pace after intercepting a cross-pitch pass from a Mehdi Taouil, squares the ball for Borini but with the goal at his mercy he hits the post. Terrible miss.
Charlie Adam wins a corner for his side as he picks up the ball wide and moves the ball onto his right foot but his cross is blocked
Hearts have another penalty claim after the ball strikes Carragher's hand. His back was turned however, and it would have been a harsh decision, although it did block the ball's path to goal
David Templeman has been one of Hearts more lively attacking threats this evening and he drives forward well again, causing problems for the Liverpool defence
Five minutes to the break, and as it stands Hearts will go into the break very happy with their first half showing
Borini is flagged offside following a monster header forward by central defender Jamie Carragher. Don't see that very often...
Hearts win a few free kicks but fail to do much with them
Liverpool have the best chance of the game so far, and Jordan Henderson picks out an unmarked Borini in the box the Italian fails to connect with his cross. Best chance of the game so far.
Fabio Borini gets his first choice of the evening as Shelvey plays a ball through to him on the right side of the penalty area, but he is well shackled by a Hearts defender and the ball goes out for a corner which is wasted by the away side
A penalty shout there for the home side, but the German referee rules out their claims
I know its premature, but Sterling seems quite similar in style to Scott Sinclair, the Team GB player that Rodgers made so successful during his time at Swansea - could he do the same with Sterling?
Raheem Sterling again looks good as he cuts in from the left flank. This time his effort is on target and punched clear by Hearts keeper MacDonald
Liverpool are coming back into the game a bit more now, but still haven't been able to muster any real openings
Yellow Card Darren Barr
Darren Barr gets the first caution of the game for a cynical foul on a Liverpool midfielder Adam.
A Hearts defender very nearly turns the ball into his own goal, but fortunately his backpass goes just wide of the goal
Debutant Raheem Sterling gets his first real run with the ball and gets a decent shot off. He cuts in on the left flank and lashes a shot towards goal with his right foot but it is blocked by the defender.
Hearts are having more of the efforts on goal, but so far are yet to force a really clear-cut opening, with several shots being blazed wide from tight angles.
This might prove to be a good test of Brendan Rodgers passing philosophy and how well it has been adopted by his new players. Hearts' tempo and readiness to close down the ball across the field is putting them under pressure.
Hearts are doing well here, their energy and pace is forcing mistakes from Liverpool
John Sutton makes it 2-1 on chances to Hearts as he picks up the ball on the edge of the area, but his shot is wide of the left hand post
Novikovas gives Reina a fright with a terrific shot from the right side of the area that the Liverpool keeper has to jump across goal to grab.
The home side win their first corner of the game, but they take it short, and make a right mess of it
A series of corners comes to nothing for the away side
Charlie Adam has the first shot of the game and MacDonald gets down to palm his left foot shot from 25 yards wide of the goal
Jamie Carragher very nearly handed a huge advantage to the home side. His backpass to Reina was slow, and the Spaniard had to be quick off his line to ensure Hearts forward John Sutton couldn't capitalise
Both sides are just finding their way into the game here, with Liverpool more content to pass out from goalkeeper Pepe Reina
Liverpool have started off the more comfortable, and are keeping the ball in the opening stages
Quirky happening here, both sides are wearing their away kits as all three of Liverpool's jerseys clash with Heart's maroon outfit.
Fabio Borini and Jonjo Shelvey begin the game, and the ball is lumped forward and into the arms of Hearts keeper MacDonald.
The pleasantries have been exchanged, and we're ready for kick-off. Liverpool will get us under way
What are your score predictions for tonight? I can't see beyond an away win myself - although with the buzzing atmosphere inside the stadium tonight I expect Hearts to cause a few problems
The players are in the tunnel, and the atmosphere is building inside a busy Tynecastle stadium
Andy Carroll doesn't even make the bench tonight, has he played his last game for Liverpool?
We're five minutes away from kick-off in the Scottish capital
Brendan Rodgers has shuffled his pack in light of Saturday's disappointing loss to West Brom, with Jamie Carragher picking up the captaincy in the absence of the rested Steven Gerrard. Youngster Raheem Sterling makes his debut for the Reds.
Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas is fit to start after suffering a dead leg in the Jam Tarts weekend draw with Inverness. Former England under-21 cap Andrew Driver is on the bench.
And the visitors: Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Robinson, Henderson, Adam, Spearing, Shelvey, Borini, Sterling. Subs: Jones, Coates, Downing, Lucas, Allen, Flanagan, Morgan.
To begin with, I'll run you through the two teams this evening, starting with the hosts. Hearts: MacDonald, Ryan McGowan, Webster, Zaliukas, Grainger, Paterson, Barr, Taouil, Novikovas, Templeton, Sutton. Subs: Enckelman, Robinson, Driver, Gordon Smith, Dylan McGowan, McHattie, Carrick.
I'm Rhys Turrell and will be taking you through tonight's action at Tynecastle.
Good evening all and welcome to goal.com's coverage of tonight's Europa League clash between Hearts and Liverpool.
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