Thursday, September 25, 2008

Liverpool edge past Crewe Alexandra in Carling Cup tie

Fernando Torres enjoys second-half run-out as the Reds seal League Cup win with goals from Daniel Agger and Lucas Leiva

Fernando Torres came on as a second-half substitute in the Reds 2-1 win over Crewe Alexandra. The Spanish striker came close to stretching his team’s lead in the final minutes, but a combination of bad luck and good goalkeeping kept the Liverpool number ‘9’ at bay.

The Anfield manager made several changes from the side that drew at home to Stoke City in the Premier League by bringing in keeper Diego Cavalieri, Daniel Agger, Phillip Degen and French striker David Ngog. The Liverpool number ‘9’ was on the bench alongside fellow striker Robbie Keane.

After some early pressure from the home side, Liverpool took the lead at Anfield just before the quarter hour mark. The Merseysiders gained a free-kick in a dangerous position as Ngog was brought down on the edge of the Crewe penalty area. Daniel Agger showed his dead-ball skils by leaving Collis in the Crewe goal no chance by placing a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.

The Merseysiders’ lead though did not last long, as Crewe Alexandra drew level within ten minutes. Diego Cavalieri did well to keep out Bailey’s first effort following a corner, but the rebound fell to O'Connor who had the simple task of stroking the ball into the unguarded net.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva regained the lead for the home side with a well-placed header in the 58th minute.

Fernando Torres was brought on in the 66th minute as Liverpool looked to make the game safe. The Spaniard almost grabbed his side’s third of the night with his first attack. Torres sped past three Crewe players, but his low shot was brilliantly blocked by Collins.

Crewe almost equalised at the death but Tom Pope failed to meet Carrington’s cross-shot to the relief of the home fans. The Reds defended their lead to book their place in the draw for the next round.

Following Liverpool’s against Crewe, all attention now turns to the first Merseyside derby of the season on Saturday.

Match Stats: Liverpool 2–1 Crewe Alexandra

Liverpool: Cavalieri, Degen (Carragher,73), Hyypia, Agger, Insua, Pennant, Leiva Lucas, Plessis, El Zhar (Keane, 88), Babel, Ngog (Torres, 66).

Goals: Agger, 15, Leiva, 58

Crewe: Collis, Woodards, Baudet, O'Donnell, Jones, Moore, Bailey, O'Connor, Carrington (Grant, 82), Zola, Pope (Elding, 87)

Goals: O’Connor, 25

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