Benfica 1-0 Liverpool

This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.

On a night when a goalless draw seemed a poor result for Liverpool, Anderson Luisao scored a late header to ruin Rafael Benitez’s evening.

The Liverpool manager was left fuming as the giant Benfica defender brushed aside Sámi Hyypia and sent a 84th minute header flying past a stranded Claudio Reina.

For much of the game the Portuguese side failed to deliver anything of any class to challenge Liverpool. Aside from one clever link-up between former Newcastle and Portsmouth player Robert and Simao, Benfica rarely threatened.

Much criticism had been thrown at the quartet of strikers at the Anfield club of late and tonight did nothing to ease this. Starting with Fowler and Morientes up front, Benitez hoped the goal draught could be broken, but the first half saw little in the way of clear cut chances.

After the break Fowler was withdrawn to make way for Cisse, who added nothing more than a spark to Liverpool’s lethargic play. This was largely due to an uninspired midfield, clearly missing the presence of Steven Gerrard, who sat on the bench until late in the second half due to injury.

Even the England international’s presence failed to add much creativity, with Liverpool not creating a single clear goal scoring chance throughout the whole game.

There was no surprise then as Benitez’s face turned bright red with anger as Luisao nodded in the winner.

For Liverpool to turn around this tie in the second they will simply need to create more chances, with the likes of Kewell and Garcia performing rather than prancing on the pitch.