Anzhi edge weakened Liverpool

Liverpool were usurped at the top of their Europa League group by Anzhi Makhachkala after an under-strength side lost 1-0 in Moscow.

Last Updated: 28/11/12 at 09:08 Post Comment

Lacina Traore: Matchwinner for Anzhi Makhachkala

Lacina Traore: Matchwinner for Anzhi Makhachkala

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Lacina Traore's fine individual goal in first-half stoppage-time was enough to send Guus Hiddink's oligarch-backed side to the top of Group A and leave the visitors' hopes of reaching the knockout stage in the balance.

Brendan Rodgers left the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez at home with one eye on Sunday's trip to Chelsea but though his inexperienced side toiled keenly, they too rarely threatened Anzhi's goal.

In near-freezing temperatures and in front of a palty crowd - the match played 1,000 miles from Makhachkala for security reasons - it hardly promised to be a classic and there were scant early thrills to reward anyone's journey.

Rasim Tagirbekov found space down the left, only to watch Brad Jones easily claim his weak shot, while 6-foot-8 Traore lingered with intent and almost muscled his way onto a clever through-ball.

A stodgy midfield battle ensued on the patchy turf before Jonjo Shelvey inspired some Liverpool rhythm but promising build-up play fizzled out, John Flanagan dragging a shot well wide, before Jordan Henderson opted for a cut-back that went to waste when the shot was on.

Samuel Eto'o soon had a better chance, his rising strike headed for the top corner until Jones pushed it behind, but Anzhi looked there for the taking until Traore's flash of brilliance.

Mbark Boussoufa's clip forward carried danger but this was about two touches of real quality: a flick over the top of Sebastian Coates and a sidefoot lob over the outrushing Jones.

Rodgers soon sent on the fresh legs of Suso and Dani Pacheco, though departing teenagers Adam Morgan and Conor Coady displayed plenty of endeavour, but Anzhi began to press higher up the pitch and Liverpool struggled to craft real openings.

Traore prowled at the other end but lashed horriby wide of an upright and then headed into Jones' hands from eight yards as Hiddink glowered in the dugout.

Suso had added impetus and forced Vlad Gabulov to parry late on but Joe Cole - disappointing again - saw his shot from an angle blocked and the chance of parity probably undeserved had gone.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho happy to manage another English club in the future

Jose Mourinho would be prepared to take charge of another English club if Chelsea decide to replace him.

Carlton Cole doesn't know if he will stay at West Ham next season

West Ham striker Carlton Cole revealed he still does not know where his future lies beyond this season.

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United despite speculation linking him with Real Madrid.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company