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

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

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

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Footer 365

Premier League: Crystal Palace beat Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park

Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Everton 3-2 and pick up their first win of the Premier League campaign.

Premier League: Frank Lampard haunts Chelsea as he earns Manchester City earn 1-1 draw

Frank Lampard stepped off the bench to score against his former club and salvage a 1-1 draw for Man City at home to Chelsea.

Premier League: Frank Lampard has mixed emotions after scoring against Chelsea

Frank Lampard was almost speechless after scoring the equaliser for his Manchester City side in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Mail Box

Liverpool Aren't Even Exciting This Season

Liverpool fans are seemingly resigned to slipping back into mediocrity, which in September isn't exactly ideal. Plus better Arsenal, Allardyce praise and an excited Saint...

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

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