Auxerre boss Guy Roux was pleased with his players'
performance despite their 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Cup fourth
round first leg and has not given up hope of progressing to the
The French side produced an excellent performance but a goal from
Liverpool skipper Sami Hyypia in the 73rd minute settled the match.
"I cannot say I am happy after performing such a match and losing 1-0 but
I am satisfied with the game my players displayed," said Roux, whose
managerial stint at the Stade Abbe Deschamps began in 1961.
"We played the match as we had to, the best we could and with the best
team we had. We unsettled them, varied our play and used the flanks well,
but they had an iron defence."
Auxerre travel to Anfield next Thursday for the second leg.
"This will be another match," Roux added in L'Equipe. "Despite our goal
deficit we will go there with the desire to turn the situation to our
advantage. We will have to play like in the first leg and try to score."
Houllier happy with Reds performance
Gerard Houllier was impressed with the way Liverpool
stuck to their task to put them in control of their Uefa Cup tie with
Sami Hyypia's 73rd-minute goal was the difference between the teams,
giving the Reds an important advantage to take back to Anfield.
Houllier told Channel Five: "I felt we could have played some better
football at times - but we had a plan and the boys showed a lot of
discipline, team spirit and character.
"I thought we had a solid, strong performance in terms of defending
because we knew they would make hard for us. I'm pleased and proud of the
"We know Sami can score goals with his feet - and it was at the end of a
Hyypia said: "To come here and play against a quality team and come off
with a 1-0 win - it's a great result.
"I'm happy to but it's going to be a hard game at Anfield.
"We're not yet through. There are another 90 minutes to come but we'll do
BBC Sport Online
Sami Hyypia popped up to emerge as Liverpool's
unlikely match winner as the Finn's cleverly taken goal gave Gerrard
Houllier's side a narrow Uefa Cup fourth-round first-leg win over Auxerre.
Hyypia calmly slotted home following a series of quick passes involving
Michael Owen, Salif Diao and Danny Murphy to give Liverpool the win as
well a crucial away goal.
That a defender should decide the game summed up a match where defences
were on top for much of the time as well as providing evidence of a
continuing lack of confidence in Owen and Emile Heskey in front of goal.
Now with just one goal in 15 appearances Owen could at least claim he was
denied by some brave goalkeeping by Fabien Cool.
Less so Heskey, whose first touch continues to let him down.
Liverpool's performance was also marked by a couple of superb one-handed
saves from Jerzy Dudek, who looked back to his best after his
Nearly an hour had passed before either goalkeeper had to make a serious
Dudek made it - a superb one-handed stop from a Yann Lachuer shot.
Liverpool's workmanlike performance was typified by El-Hadji Diouf, who up
against a couple of his Senegalese international colleagues and on his
first return to French football, gave a hugely committed performance.
The opening period was marked by defensive excellence rather than
Jean-Alain Boumsong intervened to deny Heskey and soon after Philippe
Mexes was equally alert to thwart Owen.
Liverpool also had to produce a number of last-ditched tackles to remain
on level terms.
Diouf tracked backed diligently to concede a corner when his Senegalese
international teammate Khalilou Fadiga broke clear.
Jamie Carragher also did well not to be shrugged off by Lionel Mathis,
whose shot was hurried by the attentions of the England international.
On the other flank Djimi Traore had to clear after Yann Lachuer, Mathis
and Benjani Mwaruwari combined to pierce the Liverpool defence.
A minute before the interval Owen ghosted away from Mexes and Johan Radet,
but his cross was cleared by Jean-Sebastien Jaures before it reached
Soon after the restart Heskey went one-on-one with Cool, but the England
international's poor first touch let him down.
Hyypia showed how it shoud be done when he stroked the ball home after
Murphy's pass opened up the Auxerre defence.
Almost immediately Dudek had to come to Liverpool's rescue when he got
down quickly to stop Benjani's fierce shot.