After The Match






UEFA CUP - round 4, leg 1                   Thursday  Feb 20                Kick-off: 20.45cet

Result: 0-1 (0-0)
Goals: Hyypia (73)
LFC Team:

Carragher  Hyypia  Henchoz  Traore
Diouf  Murphy  Gerrard  Riise
Owen  Heskey

Subs: Diao (Henchoz 68), Baros (Owen 91)
Not used: Arphexad, Babbel, Cheyrou, Biscan, Hamann
Booked: Diouf (68)
Sent off: None
Referee: Massimo De Santis


On target:
Off target:
Yellow cards:
Red cards:  


Auxerre boss rues result

Sporting Life

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 quarter-finals.

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 Auxerre.

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 players.

"We know Sami can score goals with his feet - and it was at the end of a good move."

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 our best."

Hyypia punishes Auxerre

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 pre-Christmas blip.

Nearly an hour had passed before either goalkeeper had to make a serious save.

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 attacking invention.

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 Heskey.

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.


Thor Zakariassen