Pre-season 2010: Kaiserslautern 1-0 Liverpool - Germans coast past uninspiring Reds

Important Europa League qualifier next for Hodgson's men...
Fritz Walter Stadion, Kaiserslautern
Kick-Off 15.15 BST

Kaiserslautern 1-0
Liverpool
Micanski 31'





Roy Hodgson chose a fairly weak squad for the final warm-up before Liverpool’s opening Europa League qualifier against Macedonian outfit FK Rabotnicki, with the only first-team players featuring being Sotirios Kyrgiakos, David Ngog and captain for the day Lucas Leiva, with a starting debut for summer signing Milan Jovanovic.

Ngog seemed to give a statement of intent when he broke through the Kaiserslautern defence with less than 30 seconds on the clock, but he directed his shot wide.

However, the next half-an-hour passed without incident until a long ball down the right flank found Kaiserslautern's Chadli Amri, who went past Daniel Ayala with ease, and delivered a clever ball straight across the six-yard box for Ilian Micanski to knock home to put the German team 1-0 up.

The goal seemed to give the newly-promoted Bundesliga team more confidence and 10 minutes later new signing Ivo Ilicevic brought down another long ball just inside the penalty area, but failed to keep his shot down and saw it whistle over Diego Cavalieri’s bar.

Hodgson understandably seemed unimpressed with what he saw in the first 45 minutes, with strikers Ngog and Nathan Eccleston finding chances limited in the final third of the pitch, and Jovanovic deeply ineffective.

Liverpool pressed more in the second half, with Lucas impressing in the midfield enforcer role, before being replaced by Jonjo Shelvey, but the English outfit still failed to conjure up a single meaningful effort on target.

Meanwhile Ilicevic ran the show for Kaiserslautern, coming close on a number of occasions to add to the goal tally. First he turned Kyrgiakos inside out to test Cavalieri at his near post, then he set up second-half substitute Oliver Kirch for a volley just inside the area which the Liverpool goalkeeper had to watch past his post.

Kaiserslautern calmly played out the final 10 minutes for the 1-0 win they deserved, with the game asking many questions of the Liverpool players on show ahead of the vital Europa League qualifier on 29 July, especially after Hodgson’s announcement that he would not be risking any players who were involved in the World Cup for the match.

Liverpool: Cavalieri, Kelly, Ayala, Kyrgiakos, Darby, Jovanovic (Degen), Spearing (Palsson), Lucas (Shelvey), Amoo (Robinson), Ngog (Dalla Valle), Eccleston (Ince).



Watch Ilian Micanski's winner below...
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