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UEFA Europa League

  • 2 August 2012
  • • 23:30
  • • Stadyen Central'ny, Homel' (Gomel)
  • Referee: I. Kružliak
  • • Attendance: 13800
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Live Commentary

  • That's it, Liverpool have won in Belarus and take a one-goal lead into the return leg which takes place at Anfield next week thanks to Stewart Downing's super strike. Gomel dominated much of the first-half and will rue their missed opportunities as they spurned several chances including when the hit the post in the second-half. But it's still all to play for next week.
  • 90'
    SubstitutionSergey Kozeka Aleksey Timoshenko
  • 89'
    Gomel are trying to press forward again but are being met by some stubborn Liverpool defending, as the Reds look to be closing in on a win and a crucial one-goal lead in the tie.
  • 88'
    Yellow CardBradley Jones
  • 86'
    CHANCE!!! So close to a Gomel equaliser and it was Alumona who nearly got his side level with a rasping volley from outside the area but unfortunately for the home side his strike went just past the post.
  • 84'
    SubstitutionArtur Levitski Vadim Demidov
  • 82'
    Liverpool seem quite content to sit back on their lead now and take their advantage into the next leg. That away goal could turn out to be crucial in a week's time.
  • 79'
    Raheem Stirling has played well since coming on for Joe Cole in the first-half and he's just shown good pace raiding down the left and knocking a dangerous ball into the area but no Liverpool player was around to pounce on it.
  • 75'
    Liverpool look a lot better defensively in this half, they're more compact and Gomel are struggling to find space. Lucas has come on and is sitting in front of the back four with Spearing and both are doing a good job of stealing the ball before the home side can bring Alumona into play.
  • 74'
    SubstitutionTomasz Nowak Nikolay Lipatkin
  • 72'
    There's a lot more space available for Liverpool now and they nearly make this count as Borini turned in the box and looked to find Gerrard but his pass was slightly over-hit and the England captain wasn't able to reach the ball.
  • 69'
    That is a crucial away goal for Liverpool if slightly against the run of play but take nothing from Downing that was a great goal. Will this open things up for the Reds as Gomel look for an equaliser.
  • 68'
    GoalStewart Downing
    GOALLL!!!!! Liverpool take the lead and it's Downing with the goal and it's an absolute cracker. He picked up the ball on the right hand side of midfield cut inside on his left-foot and drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net from 30 yards. A great finish and Gomel have been made to pay for their missed chances.
  • 65'
    SubstitutionJordan Henderson Lucas Leiva
  • 64'
    OFF THE POST!!!!! Oh Gomel were so close to a goal there as Kozeka hits the post with a great effort from outside the area, his shot had beaten Jones but smacked the woodwork. Platonov still had a great chance to knock the ball in on the rebound but he somehow missed the target from six yards. A real let off fro Liverpool.
  • 61'
    Nearly an opening for the Reds. Rodgers' side patient bulid-up play nearly pays off as Henderson looked to thread a ball into Sterling but Kirilchik did well to cut the ball off before the midfielder could reach it.
  • 59'
    Liverpool are starting to creep into the game, the energy that Gomel showed in the first-half is just starting subside, as they're sinking deeper into their half and allowing the Reds onto them.
  • 55'
    CHANCE!!! Nearly an own goal from Levitski after Gerrard curled a dangerous free-kick into the penalty area, the Gomel midfielder tried to clear the ball but couldn't make good contact and the ball went just past the post. Very close.
  • 53'
    Liverpool are knocking the ball around at the back, looking for an opening but are struggling when they try to move forward. Gerrard and Henderson are dropping deep to pick up the ball but that isn't helping matters for the Reds.
  • 51'
    Yellow CardAleksandr Alumona
  • 49'
    Opening for Liverpool and it's Fabio Borini who broke behind the Gomel defence after latching onto a through ball from Enrique but the former Roma man has no support and his cross is easily gathered by Bushma.
  • 47'
    Gomel are straight on the attack again as a long ball over the top of the Liverpool defence nearly falls for Platonov but he can't bring it down. Another warning for Rodgers' side.
  • 46'
    SubstitutionGlen Johnson Martin Kelly
  • 46'
    We're back underway in Belarus. Liverpool have made one change with Martin Kelly replacing Glen Johnson at right-back.
  • Half-time in Belarus and the home side should be at least two goals in front as they've been all over the Reds. A combination of excellent last ditch defending and some poor finishing are the only reason Liverpool are still level, and they'll need to perform much better if they want to get anything out of this game. Gomel may rue their missed opportunities but if they play like they did in the first-half, more chances will come.
  • 45'
    Yellow CardJordan Henderson
  • 44'
    The Reds are slowing the tempo of the game and boy do they need to as the home side have been all over them for the past five minutes. Brendan Rodgers will happy to hear the half-time whistle to get his side in the dressing room to regroup after a tough opening period.
  • 41'
    A great saving tackle by Jamie Carragher saves a certain goal as a miscommunication between Jones and Skrtel creates an opening for Platonov who squares for Alumona but the skipper is there with a fantastic tackle to prevent the striker getting his shot away.
  • 39'
    Chance again!! Liverpool are struggling here, and should be at least two behind now as this time Matveychik heads just over the bar after latching onto Kilmovich's cross.
  • 38'
    CHANCE!!!! Great play by Alumona, as he used his pace and strength to beat Skrtel to ball over the top, he raced into the penalty area but he couldn't beat Jones from a tight angle as the keeper made a good save after rushing out to meet the striker.
  • 36'
    Gomel have had a lot of opportunities to put test Brad Jones but haven't forced him to work too hard. They may rue these missed chances later in the game.
  • 33'
    Liverpool are not clicking in the final third of the pitch and it's causing them problems as Gomel are hitting them on the counter attack , fortunately for the Reds Levitski can't find a team-mate after finding space on the left.
  • 29'
    CHANCE!!! Another chance for Gomel as Alumona beats the challenge of Spearing but can't get a powerful effort at goal and it's well saved low down by Brad Jones. The Reds are living dangerously.
  • 28'
    Liverpool are struggling going forward at the minute as they haven't found a rhythm, if anyone is looking likely to score it's the home side.
  • 25'
    CHANCE!!! Voronkov should have put Gomel in the lead, but he's managed to head over from just six yards out, after being left unmarked by Henderson and Enrique. Platonov had done well down the left to create the opening beating Gerrard before putting a dangerous ball into the area.
  • 23'
    SubstitutionJoe Cole Raheem Sterling
  • 23'
    Bad news for Liverpool and Joe Cole as that knock he took early on has forced him off. Hopefully it's just a precaution. He's been replaced by youngster Raheem Sterling.
  • 19'
    Almost an opening for Gerrard the first time the Reds have made a real forray into the Gomel box. Henderson lifts a through ball over the defence but the England skipper just can't reach it. Better from Rodgers side.
  • 16'
    Scappy period of the game, right now as neither midfield can get a grip on the game. Liverpool look slightly off the pace particularly Downing and Henderson so far who haven't really got into the match at all.
  • 14'
    Joe Cole is down for Liverpool and it doesn't look good for the midfielder. After spending last season on loan at Lille he was looking to force his way back into the Reds team under Rodgers. Hoepfully for his sake the injury isn't too serious.
  • 11'
    Liverpool are starting to get into the game, as Gerrard has begun to see more the ball. They're using the overlap with Cole and Enrique down the left to good effect but it's yet to yield a chance.
  • 9'
    Levitski should do better as he found himself in a good position on the edge of the box, with team-mates around him he opted to shoot which proved to be the wrong decision as his effort was easily blocked by Skrtel.
  • 7'
    It's a very hostile atmosphere in the ground for the Reds in Belarus almost every touch from a Liverpool player is met with whistles and boos.
  • 5'
    Good play by Steven Gerrard sets up a Liverpool attack as he wins the ball in midfield with a crunching challenge. The ball goes out on the left to Enrique but he wastes the opening by hitting his cross straight at Bushma.
  • 3'
    Yellow CardDmitri Klimovich
  • 3'
    Close!! Voronkov picks up the ball and midfield and runs at the Reds defence, he shoots from 25 yards and the ball goes just over Brad Jones' bar.
  • 2'
    Early chance for FC Gomel to put Liverpool under pressure from a free-kick but Carragher rises highest in the area to head clear the danger.
  • 1'
    We're underway in Belarus.
  • Liverpool subs: Subs: Gulacsi, Lucas, Adam, Shelvey, Kelly, Robinson, Sterling.
  • FC Gomel Subs: Sakovich, Palomeque, Yevseysenko, Timoshenko, Lipatkin, Demidovich, Sheraykov.
  • Glen Johnson comes back into the team at right-back while Brad Jones continues in goal after featuring in the pre-season game against Tottenham. Joe Cole and Stewart Downing are set to occupy the slots on the wing in an expected three pronged attack with Borini down the middles. Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Jay Spearing will play in the centre of midfield.
  • Fabio Borini makes his Liverpool debut in boss Brendan Rodgers first competitive game in charge of the Reds. Jamie Carragher will captain the side, on a one-off basis to honour his 700th appearance for the Merseysiders.
  • Team News: Liverpool: Jones; Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique; Henderson, Spearing; Downing, Gerrard, Cole; Borini.
  • Team News: FC Gomel: Bushma; Mateychik, Kirilchik, Kashevski, Kilmovich; Voronkov, Kozeka, Levitski; Nowak, Platonov; Alumona.
  • Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! commentary of tonight's Europa League clash between Liverpool and FC Gomel from Belarus. I'm Simon Sinclair and I'll be taking you through all the action as it happens.