After The Match 

            


LEVSKI S.-LIVERPOOL 2-4 (2-3)   Wed March 3.   UEFA Cup 3. round-2. leg
Goals: Gerrard (6), Owen (10), Hamann (43), Hyypia (67)
Ivanov (27), Simonovic (40)
Team: Kirkland, Finnan, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Gerrard, Kewell, Cheyrou, Murphy, Owen
Subs: Biscan (Finnan 57), Baros (Cheyrou 69),
Le Tallec (Kewell 80)
Not used: Dudek, Traore, Diouf, Heskey
Yellow: Henchoz (90)     Topuzakov (64), Markov (80)
Red: None
Referee: Peter Frojdfeldt (Sweden)
Attendance:

                                                              FIXTURES & RESULTS
TEAM STATS
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Yellow:
Red:

 

 

 

HEADLINES

"Credit to the fans
too - they travelled
a long way in
the cold and they
supported us."

                Gerard Houllier

0303: Houllier lauds Euro win
0303: Reds cruise past Levski

 

MARCH 3
Houllier lauds Euro win

Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier was delighted to see his Liverpool side record a comfortable 4-2 win in Levski Sofia - and was especially happy to see Michael Owen hit the net.

The Reds came flying out of the traps and went 2-0 up inside 11 minutes through Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen.

Houllier was delighted to see Owen hit the target for the first time in five matches - and paid tribute to his star striker.
  Dietmar Harmann takes the plaudits after
 scoring a rare goal against Levski Sofia in Bulgaria.
 
(Photo: The Times)

"I was pleased because Michael was great today. He worked extremely well for the team. He is not only a star player; he is a team player," Houllier told Channel Five.

"Credit to the fans too - they travelled a long way in the cold and they supported us."

Despite the Bulgarians levelling the match at 2-2 at one stage - Owen was always confident of progressing given the aggregate score.

"We got off to a great start - and even though they gave us a fright, those away goals really killed them," said Owen.

"We were always confident we were going to qualify, and when Didi scored just before half-time it meant they had to score four.

"I've never seen a side score four in the second half against Liverpool, and it would have been a miracle if they had done that."


MARCH 3
Reds cruise past Levski

By Paul Higham - Planet Football/Sky Sports

Liverpool strolled into the last 16 of the Uefa Cup with a comfortable 4-2 victory over Levski Sofia in Bulgaria to register a 6-2 win on aggregate.

Gerard Houllier's men started on fire with Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen putting them 2-0 ahead within 11 minutes.

Levski fired back with goals from Georgi Ivanov and Sasha Simonovic but headers from Didi Hamann and Sami Hyypia ensured that Liverpool cruised into the next round with a great deal of comfortable.

A packed Vassil Levski Stadium was looking for their side to pile forward from the off in search of the goals they needed to overturn Liverpool's 2-0 lead.

Liverpool were just looking to keep the crowd quiet and they did that in perfect fashion by taking the lead after just seven minutes when Gerrard benefited from a poor backpass from Iliyan Stoyanov before rounding keeper Dimitar Ivankov and slotting in coolly from a tight angle.

Levski looked shell-shocked, and the visitors took advantage of their defensive frailties by doubling their lead on the night after 11 minutes as Owen sprung clear and curled delightfully past Ivankov.

With the aggregate score at 4-0, there seemed no way back for Levski, but that did not stop them attacking and they pulled a goal back on 26 minutes when Steve Finnan made a mess of his clearance to allow Georgi Ivanov to slot past Chris Kirkland from the edge of the box.

The Bulgarians made few chances after the goal, but then drew level on the night out of nowhere when Sasha Simonovich twisted on the edge of the box and, once Stephane Henchoz had stumbled, curled the ball beyond Kirkland.

A frantic opening half was brought to a close with a fifth goal that put The Reds back in front as Didi Hamann was allowed space for a free header from Gerrard's corner and had no problem hitting the back of the net.

Liverpool were allowed to stroll through the second 45 minutes without too much trouble - and added a fourth goal on the night through Finnish defender Sami Hyypia.

The former skipper rose well for another Gerrard corner and the ball bounced in the far corner with the post unguarded by Levski.

Owen, Kewell and substitute Milan Baros could all have added to the tally but in the end Liverpool cruised into the last 16 of the competition with a comfortable 4-2 win in Sofia - and a 6-2 aggregate score.


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Thor Zakariassen