After The Match 


Trabzonspor-Liverpool 1-2 (1-0)  Agg: 1-3        26.8.10        EL
Goals: Kacar (84 og), Kuyt (88)      Gutierrez (4)
Team: Reina, Johnson, Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Aurelio, Lucas, Poulsen, Kuyt, Cole, Ngog
Subs: Pacheco (Aurelio 77), Babel (Ngog 86)
Not used: Gulacsi, Spearing, Shelvey, Skrtel, Eccleston
Yellow: Gülselam (39), Yilmaz (41), Korkmaz (72)
Red: None
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Attendance: 21,065
Shots on target: 4-3
Shots off target: 3-5
Blocked shots: 4-2
Fouls conceded: 11-7
Corners: 6-3
Offsides: 1-3
Possession: 46.7-53.3
Yellow: 3-0

HEADLINES "Quite frankly we should have had
the game sewn up long before we did."
Roy Hodgson
2708: Hodgson reiterates stance on Kuyt
2608: Kuyt: I'm staying at Liverpool
2608: Reds roar back to go through


Hodgson reiterates
stance on Kuyt


Roy Hodgson said after Liverpool's win over Trabzonspor that he sees Dirk Kuyt as a key member of the team and has no intention of selling him.

On Wednesday Kuyt's agent claimed he wanted to join former Reds boss Rafael Benitez at Inter Milan.

However, the 30-year-old showed no sign of that on Thursday night, scoring the second goal in the Reds' 2-1 Europa League play-off second leg victory over Trabzonspor.

After the match he said: "As far as I know my future is at Liverpool. I've had a great time so far and I hope my future will be great here.

"All I want is to win trophies with Liverpool."

It was something Hodgson welcomed but did not think was necessary.

"Dirk Kuyt is not for sale so excuse me for not understanding the speculation of being happy now he has said he is staying because I never doubted he was staying," said the Reds boss.

"Dirk is an important part of Liverpool, I've made it clear we don't welcome any offers for him and he's not for sale.

"As far as I'm concerned he is someone I believe in, someone I count on, and it is important we improve the team around the Steven Gerrards, Fernando Torres's, Jose Reinas and the Kuyts and not sell them and start all over again."

Hodgson said there had been no movement on Javier Mascherano's situation, who is a target for Barcelona, and dismissed suggestions Inter Milan had entered the bidding with a faxed offer to the club.

"I saw a fax the other day but I think it was sent tongue-in-cheek to be honest," he revealed.

"The offer was so unbelievably far from a valuation it seemed to me the sporting director was putting the fax in to maybe satisfy people at the club.

"We didn't even bother to answer it, that is how ridiculously far from a serious offer it was."

Hodgson admitted his side were "looking down the barrel" against Trabzonspor before a late comeback secured their passage.

Trailing to Teofilo Gutierrez's fourth-minute strike, the Reds secured a 3-1 aggregate scoreline and passage into the group stages thanks to a late Remzi Kacar own goal and a tap-in from Kuyt.

It was Liverpool's first victory over Turkish opposition in Turkey, having famously become European champions for the fifth time in Istanbul in 2005.

"We were looking down the barrel here coming to Trabzon," said the 62-year-old.

"They were fresh off a win over Fenerbahce here, they are last season's champions, they don't lose at home and we beat them at home.

"To get a result here was something quite important and will stand us in good stead for plenty of other matches.

"We had the toughest possible start but I thought we got over it and throughout the game played well.

"Quite frankly we should have had the game sewn up long before we did.

"But I was relieved."

Trabzonspor coach Senol Gunes was disappointed his side could not pull off a shock.

"I am really upset but I think we had a positive game and our players tried their best.

"Until the last 10 minutes we tried to control the midfield but we were really tired in the last few minutes.

"But I am grateful to our players and supporters."

Kuyt: I'm staying at Liverpool

By Paul Hassall - LFC Official Website

Dirk Kuyt has quelled speculation surrounding his future by insisting: "I'm staying at Liverpool."

The Dutch forward struck a late winner in the Reds' 2-1 Europa League success over Trabzonspor on Thursday night and then revealed that he plans to remain on Merseyside.

"Everyone has said a lot about my future but as far as I know my future is at Liverpool," he said.

"I've had a great time so far and I hope my future here will be great as well and I can win trophies with Liverpool."

On an evening plagued by difficult weather conditions, Roy Hodgson's side had looked in trouble when Teofilo Gutierrez struck an early opener.

However, an improved second-half showing eventually paid dividends courtesy of an own goal and Kuyt's late tap-in.

It means Liverpool have now progressed to the Europa League group stage and Kuyt insists it is a competition they are taking very seriously.

"It was a very disappointing first half and it was difficult to play on that pitch," he said. "It rained all day. After we went 1-0 down we fought back, we were patient and waited for our chances. Obviously, we are very happy about the result.

"It's important for us to stay in Europe. We want to challenge for trophies and this is another competition we want to do well in."

Reds roar back to go through

By Mike Barton - Sky Sports

Liverpool booked their place in the group stages of the Europa League after coming from behind to beat Trabzonspor 2-1 in Turkey.

The Reds had never beaten Turkish opposition on their patch and struggled to build for large parts of the game without star men Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

They could not have got off to a worse start when Teofilo Gutierrez put the hosts in front to level the tie 1-1 after three minutes.

From there on in, the game failed to take any real rhythm, with pressure from Trabzonspor sporadic and Liverpool's threat almost non-existent in the first half.

However the Reds came back strongly in the second period, creating much of the better chances and looking far more dangerous.

They got their reward late into the game to kill the tie off with an away goal thanks to an own goal form Remzi Kacar, before Dirk Kuyt won the game with three minutes remaining.

Liverpool had the chance to put the tie to bed in the first leg but taking a 1-0 lead to Turkey was never going to ensure a comfortable night.

And despite finding themselves under huge pressure in the opening 45 minutes they should have wrapped things up a lot sooner than they eventually did.

David Ngog missed two second-half chances which Fernando Torres, the man he was standing in for with the Spaniard resting back on Merseyside, would probably have buried.

Prior to that Sotirios Kyrgiakos - one of five changes from Monday's Manchester City defeat - could have scored in only the second minute but he directed a weak downward header from Fabio Aurelio's corner straight at Onur Kivrak.

Trabzonspor made no such mistake two minutes later when Kuyt gave the ball away and Gustavo Colman's intended shot sliced open the heart of Liverpool's defence and Gutierrez side-footed past Jose Reina.

The enthusiastic Trabzonspor support did not need encouragement to ratchet up the volume as Liverpool's task suddenly looked a whole lot more difficult.

A quick counter-attack from an Aurelio corner almost brought a second for Trabzonspor with Jamie Carragher deflecting Ibrahima Yattara's shot behind and then Colman drilling in a low effort which Reina turned around his left-hand post.

The Liverpool goalkeeper was receiving some unwanted attention from a fan with a laser pen and Croatian referee Ivan Bebek instructed the UEFA delegate to put out a warning that the game could be stopped as a result.

Hodgson's side struggled to gain a foothold in the game and spent the remainder of the first half under pressure.

That continued after the break as Burak Yilmaz burst through on goal three minutes after the restart but was flagged offside.

In the 52nd minute Ngog should have given Liverpool some much-needed breathing space when Cole stood up a cross to the far post but the Frenchman headed wide from close range when it seemed easier to score.

Ngog then turned his marker inside-out on the edge of the penalty area but, faced with a clear shot at goal, rolled his effort wide.

Liverpool were, however, growing in confidence as Trabzonspor began to drop deeper and deeper.

But the longer it went without a goal, the more pressure they put on themselves.

Hodgson made his first change with 13 minutes to go when he sent on Dani Pacheco for Aurelio.

But the breakthrough eventually came eight minutes from time when pressure by Ngog forced an own goal.

Johnson's run and cross down the right was turned in by Kacar via the near post.

And things were wrapped up late on as Kuyt tapped in after Kivrak could only parry out Cole's shot.

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Thor Zakariassen ©