Player Ratings: Liverpool 1-0 Unirea Urziceni

Ngog strike seals win for nervy Reds

By Neil Jones at Anfield

LIVERPOOL

Pepe Reina - 6 - Untested, though handled immaculately when needed.

Jamie Carragher - 7 - Recovered from a groin strain to play, and had a fairly easy ride at right-back. One piece of skill drew the loudest cheer of the night.

Daniel Agger - 6.5 - Frustrated by the lack of options for him when he strode from defence, but he defended with class and composure.

Martin Skrtel - 6.5 - Solid in the air and untroubled on the ground. Headed a presentable chance over the bar.

Fabio Aurelio - 6 - Delivery from wide was poor at times. Drew a fine save from Arlauskis in the second half

Alberto Aquilani - 5 - Took a little time to find his feet, and his passing radar was suspect again. Failed to complete the game, as he was replaced by Pacheco on 75 minutes.

Javier Mascherano - 6.5 - Crunched into tackles to get the crowd going, and spread the play well. Booked harshly for a tangle with Apostol.

Dirk Kuyt - 6 - Created an early chance for Gerrard, and tested Arlauskis soon after. Usual combination of hard work and commitment

Steven Gerrard - 7 - Went close within a minute, and tried to offer a link between midfield and attack. Headed wide in the second half, and was inches away with a brilliant 25-yarder late on.

Albert Riera - 4 - Had a very poor first half, seeing plenty of the ball but doing very little with it. Did not improve after the break and was swiftly replaced by Babel.

David Ngog - 7 - Rather isolated at times, though did reasonably well when the ball was played up to him. Had a couple of sniffs of goal in the second half, and finally opened the scoring with a close range header on 80 minutes.

Substitutes

Lucas Leiva - N/A - Late replacement for Ngog.

Ryan Babel - 7 - Replaced the abysmal Riera and immediately got the crowd roaring with some direct running. His cross created the goal.

Daniel Pacheco - 7 - Given 15 minutes to add some zest, the little Spaniard created the opening goal for Ngog with a superb knock down.

UNIREA URZICENI

Giedruis Arlauskis - 8 - Good save to deny Gerrard in the opening minute, and then another from Kuyt soon after. Turned Aurelio's shot wide in the second half, denied Gerrard again, and was the standout performer of the match.

Vasile Maftei- 7.5 - Got the better of Riera time and again, and used the ball pretty well.

George Galamaz - 7 - Unirea's captain marshalled the back-line well.

Bruno Fernandes - 6.5 - Booked for a foul on a marauding Gerrard.

Pablo Daniel Brandan - 5.5 - No sign of the energetic forward bursts promised, and produced perhaps the worst set-piece ever seen in the first half. Booked for a trip on Gerrard, and was lucky not to pick up a second yellow after an unpunished foul on Mascherano.

Ion Sorin Paraschiv - 6 - Was almost bypassed by the game, but played an important destructive role.

Daniel Marius Onofras - 5 - Made a few poor decisions when counter-attacking, and was replaced by Marinescu.

Razvan Paduretu - 5 - Unable to establish himself in the game, he slashed Unirea's best chance well wide on his left foot.

Iulian Catalin Apostol - 6 - Saw very little of the ball, and had no real impact. Curled a hopeful effort wide late on.

Sorin Frunza - 6 - Unable to link with Brandan effectively from the left.

Marius Ioan Bilasco - 6.5 - Very much the isolated frontman, he was soaked up by Agger and Skrtel, despite plenty of hard work.

Substitutes

Laurentiu Marinescu - 5 - Replaced Onofras late on. No impact.

Ricardo Vilana - N/A - Late sub.

Raul Rusescu - N/A - Last minute substitute.