After The Match 


STEAUA BUCHAREST-LIVERPOOL 1-1 (0-1)  Thu Nov 6  UEFA Cup 2r-1l  
Goals: Traore (23)          Raducano (68)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Biscan, Traore, Gerrard, Murphy, Riise, Kewell, Diouf, Heskey
Subs: Le Tallec (Diouf 57)
Not used: Kirkland, Diao, Henchoz, Hamann, Smicer, Pongolle
Yellow: Diouf (19), Murphy (88)          Falemi (54), Pitu (73)
Red: None
Referee: Stefano Ferrina

                                                              FIXTURES & RESULTS
On target:
Off target:





"Their fighting spirit
was outstanding."

                 Gerard Houllier

0611: Reds' fighting spirit delights Houllier
0611: Liverpool draw in rainy Romania


Reds' fighting spirit delights Houllier


Gerard Houllier hailed his side's fighting spirit after Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Steaua Bucharest in the Uefa Cup second-round first leg.

The Anfield boss revealed that the crucial score by Djimi Traore was a repeat of an identical training ground goal the youngster had scored 24 hours earlier.

Houllier said: "We only had about 15 minutes training on the pitch yesterday, and Djimi scored the exact same goal from the same spot at the same end in our practice match."

If Houllier is looking for omens, that surely is one. As is the fact that they won in Bucharest - against Rapid - in their first match on the way to winning this trophy three seasons ago.

But Houllier could not have experienced a more demanding match or a better team spirit.

He said: "Their fighting spirit was outstanding. They combined resilience and skill and I am pleased and proud of them.

"They came off the awful pitch knowing they had done a great job. We had more chances, we had three great ones in each half and it should have been sewn up before they equalised.

"But when they did, it meant they had the last 20 minutes really going for it, but we held on in fine style."

Steaua equalised through Claudiu Raducanu and that meant Houllier's players had to fight even harder.

"There were heroes everywhere, but none more so than Emile Heskey who sacrificed himself for the team with a marvellous display of effort and work up front," said Houllier.

"The draw was the minimum we deserved, and had Harry Kewell scored when he was clean through, that surely would have been the end of it.

"But they showed they are a good team with some fine players by the way they came back at us, and the second leg will be an equally intriguing match."

Houllier's assistant Phil Thompson had to return home before the game after his mother was taken ill.

Liverpool draw in rainy Romania

Soccer Age

Liverpool have claimed a 1-1 draw away to Steaua Bucharest in the first leg of their Uefa Cup second round tie. Gerard Houllier's will gladly accept the result having been forced to play in horrendous conditions and on an atrocious pitch.

Djimi Traore gave the visitors the lead and a valuable away goal after 23 minutes, but Raducanu's 69th minute goal ensured Steaua preserve their unbeaten record this season and are still in the tie ahead of the second leg.

It was unclear if the match would finish given the state of the pitch at kickoff and it was no surprise that the opening stages were scrappy as Liverpool in particular acclimatised to the conditions.

Danny Murphy and El Hadji Diouf were both guilty of bad fouls as a result of the slick surface but Liverpool survived and took the lead midway through the first half. Djimi Traore scored his first goal for the Reds and in a style that suggested he'd been scoring all his career. The French defender curled the ball around the keeper and in at the far post from outside the penalty area.

Liverpool could have gone in at half time with a larger lead as Harry Kewell had a superb chance to make it two just three minutes after Traore's opener. The Australian rounded the keeper, but his goalbound shot was cleared by a sliding interception from the impressive Radoi.

Riise also had a presentable chance but headed wide, while at the other end Raducanu and Aliuta were denied by saves from Jerzy Dudek.

The second half was end to end stuff as the wet conditions meant it was impossible to play cautiously and mistakes were plentiful by both teams.

Steaua survived a couple of headed chances for Riise early on in the second half and also had a great chance of their own to score, but a through ball was just out of Raducanu's reach.

Liverpool had yet more chances before Raducanu finally got his name on the scoresheet after missing the home teams best chances. The striker took advantage of woeful defending from Liverpool by calmly slotting the ball past Dudek.

The final twenty minutes were fairly open as both teams went for a win. Mutica saw a cracking volley hit the crossbar, while Steven Gerrard forced Hamutovski into a diving save at the other end of the pitch.

Liverpool may look back on the chances they had but didn't take but will be thankful they didn't pick up any injuries on the worst pitch they will play on this season and have to be fancied when the teams meet again at Anfield.

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Thor Zakariassen