Reds earn narrow win over Hearts

Andy Webster's own goal earned Liverpool a narrow 1-0 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle in their Europa League play-off on Thursday night.

Last Updated: 23/08/12 at 22:48 Post Comment

Borini: Celebrates after Webster's own goal condemned Hearts to a 1-0 defeat

Borini: Celebrates after Webster's own goal condemned Hearts to a 1-0 defeat

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

The Edinburgh side impressed for much of the tie before suffering a late blow against their Barclays Premier League visitors, who made the trip across the border without a number of star players.

The result was far more credible than Hearts' 5-0 thrashing against Tottenham at the same venue last season and at least provides some hope ahead of the second leg at Anfield next week.

Andy Carroll failed to make the Reds squad for tonight's clash - despite his presence at the stadium - as a question mark remained over his Liverpool future, with the £35million striker linked with a return to Newcastle.

Boss Brendan Rodgers opted instead for the goal threat to come from Fabio Borini and Raheem Sterling.

Daniel Agger also started following his red card in the 3-0 defeat at West Brom, but Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson were all left on Merseyside ahead of Sunday's visit of champions Manchester City.

Goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald was between the sticks for Hearts - agreeing to play after his partner gave birth to a baby girl yesterday - meaning Peter Enckelman had to settle for a place on the bench rather than his Jambos debut.

The home side was boosted further by the news that skipper Marius Zaliukas was able to start after recovering from a dead leg.

The first chance fell to Liverpool when Charlie Adam embarked on a surging run that took him to the edge of the box before unleashing a low drive that was blocked by MacDonald.

At the other end, Hearts had a decent chance of their own to open the scoring when a long range effort from Arvydas Novikovas forced a great save from Pepe Reina.

John Sutton then dragged his shot inches wide of the post and David Templeton fired just over the crossbar as the home side continued to threaten in front of goal.

After the flurry of chances for Hearts, Liverpool gradually came back into the game without causing too many problems for the defence, until a swerving shot from Sterling was punched to safety by the goalkeeper.

The visitors looked dangerous again when Jordan Henderson delivered an inviting cross from the right into the box but Borini just failed to connect in front of goal.

Hearts then claimed Jamie Carragher handled a Templeton corner in the box but the pleas for a penalty were ignored by referee Florian Meyer.

Liverpool should have been ahead just before the break when Mehdi Taouil was dispossessed by Sterling and he set up Borini for a shot that appeared net-bound but crashed off the post instead.

Hearts, bolstered by their performance so far, were not too far away after the restart when Callum Paterson's powerful angled drive dipped just over the crossbar.

Adam then had another go at goal but he was off-target and succeeded only in smashing his shot off the advertising hoardings.

The breakthrough came with 12 minutes to go and Hearts fell behind in cruel circumstances when an excellent Martin Kelly ball from the right was missed by Borini but came off the shin of Webster and into the back of his own net.

Substitute Andy Driver could have snatched a leveller a couple of minutes from time but his effort was smothered by the goalkeeper.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 24 July 2014
20:15
Hafnarfjordur 2-0 Neman Belcard  
Stjarnan 3-2 Motherwell  
20:05
SKN St Polten 2-0 Botev Plovdiv  
19:45
Crusaders 1-1 Brommapojkarna  
St J'stone 1-1 Luzern  
19:30
Diosgyor VTK 1-2 Litex Lovech  
FK Jagodina 0-1 Cluj  
Ferencvaros 1-2 Rijeka  
Koper 0-2 Neftchi  
Nova Gorica 1-1 Molde  

Footer 365

Premier League: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech doesn't want to be on the bench

Petr Cech has warned Jose Mourinho he does not want to be second-choice goalkeeper at Chelsea next season.

Transfer News: Sunderland striker Danny Graham expected to move on

Gus Poyet has confirmed that it is going to be 'very difficult' for Danny Graham to be part of his Sunderland squad.

Premier League: Ryan Giggs compares Louis van Gaal to Sir Alex Ferguson

Ryan Giggs has hailed Louis van Gaal's early impact and has acknowledged the similarities with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Mail Box

It Isn't Easy Supporting Spurs, You Know

We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...

Pre-Season Obviously Isn't Meaningless

The debate over the importance of pre-season continues, including a league table from last season for stats fans. Plus travelling to watch your team and Blackpool...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property