Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Eredivisie Giants, PSV, Got Nothing Againts Mighty Reds

PSV manager Huub Stevens missed the injured likes of playmaker Ibrahim Afellay and right back Jan Kromkamp, while Danny Koevermans wasn't fit enough to play the entire match and started from the bench.

Liverpool Down PSV In Eindhoven
The PSV boss opted to start in an attacking 4-4-2 formation, with Nordin Amrabat and Balazs Dzsudzsak as the starting wingers to provide strike duo Ottman Bakkal and Danko Lazovic with some crosses from the wings.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez missed the injured attackers Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres, while defenders Philipp Degen, Martin Skrtel and Fabio Aurelio were all unavailable, too.

Liverpool started in a 4-4-2 formation, with David N'Gog and Robbie Keane starting up front. Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso all started on the bench to get some much needed rest.

First Half

The guests started the match the better side of the two and got their first chance after only three minutes. Lucas played a free kick to Andrea Dossena, who sent in the cross towards Albert Riera. However, the Spaniard failed to get his header on target.

The Reds created some more danger after eleven minutes via Ryan Babel and Robbie Keane. The Dutch international went by his opponent before cutting the ball back to Keane. Nevertheless, the former Spurs star tripped over the ball and the chance went begging.

PSV almost grabbed the lead after fifteen minutes. Hungarian winger Balasz Dszudszak flew in a cross which was cleared by Alvaro Arbeloa. The loose ball fell to holding midfielder Timmy Simons, but his long range effort was parried by Liverpool shot stopper Diego Cavalieri.

Babel caused PSV defender Carlos Salcido all kinds of trouble and went by the Mexican international after 25 minutes of play before reaching tricky winger Riera on the far post. His cross troubled PSV goalie Andreas Isaksson, but the Swede managed to clear the danger with an awkward punch.

The referee awarded the guests another free kick around the half hour mark after Simons's foul on Keane. Brazilian midfielder Lucas reached Riera from the set piece, but his first time volley went wide of the goal.

PSV grabbed the lead in the 36th minute after a corner kick. Javier Mascherano failed to clear the cross and the ball deflected off the back of Dirk Marcellis into the feet of Serbian striker Danko Lazovic, who slotted home through Cavalieri's legs into the back of the net.

Liverpool leveled the score in the dying minutes of the first half and did so after yet another free kick. Once again Brazilian youngster Lucas sent in a dangerous cross and former Ajax star Ryan Babel silenced the home crowd with his perfect header, leaving Isaksson not a chance to save his attempt.

Second Half

Liverpool stepped up their game in the minutes after the break and caused the PSV defence some serious trouble. However, crucial interventions from Dirk Marcellis and Timmy Simons prevented the guests from grabbing the lead.

Quick winger Ryan Babel could have scored his second goal of the match only ten minutes after the break after a nice solo effort. Nevertheless, the Dutchman aimed too high and his shot sailed over the bar.

It was all Liverpool in the first fifteen minutes after the interval, but highly rated midfielder Ottman Bakkal still managed to unleash a ferocious drive after escaping the offside trap. However, Cavalieri pulled off a superb save to deny Bakkal.

The hosts almost restored their lead around the hour mark. Tricky winger Nordin Amrabat sent in a dangerous cross and Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa hit the sidenetting with his attempt to clear the ball with his head.

Liverpool grabbed the lead in the 69th minute. Spanish winger Albert Riera got possession in PSV's half and unleashed an amazing strike from about 35 yards. PSV goalie Isaksson never saw the shot coming and the ball ended up in the top corner.

PSV came really close to equalizing only minutes later. Young defender Dirk Marcellis fired in a shot from a narrow angle and almost surprised Cavalieri. Nevertheless, the young goalie was saved by the post.

David N'Gog added his name to the score sheet with about fifteen more minutes remaining. Robbie Keane set up the French youngster and N'Gog calmly placed the ball in the back of the net to gift his side a two goal lead and end PSV's European dream.

Substitute Danny Koevermans almost pegged one back for the home side after 85 minutes after he latched onto a loose ball. Nevertheless, the towering forward aimed inches wide and his shot ended up in the sidenetting.


PSV: Isaksson; Culina, Salcido, Marcellis, Br?chet; M?ndez (Manco/80), Simons, Bakkal (Nijland/83); Dszudszak, Lazovic, Amrabat (Koevermans/72)

Liverpool: Cavalieri; Dossena, Agger, Carragher (Kelly/81), Arbeloa (Darby/69); Mascherano, Lucas, Riera (Spearing/76), Babel; Keane, N'Gog

Yellow Cards: Simons, Mendez (PSV); Riera, Arbeloa, Dossena (Liverpool)

Red Cards:


1-0, Lazovic 36'
1-1, Babel 45'
1-2, Riera 69'
1-3, N'Gog 77'

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