UEFA Champions League

November 1, 2005

Full-time

Liverpool

3 - 0

Anderlecht

Group G

19:45 +00:00, November 1, 2005

Anfield, England

  • 92'

    FULL-TIME: Job done for Liverpool. Slick and professional, and some confidence-boosting goals for two of their mis-firing strikers.

  • 91'

    So, Liverpool's passage to the knock-out stages seems all-but complete. The defence of their trophy will be a prolonged one.

  • 90'

    "You'll never walk alone" rings out from the terraces. It has been a very professional performance from the home side tonight.

  • 89'

    The crowd are delighted with Cisse's strike; the young Frenchman seems to have become an Anfield favourite since his return from the horrific injury he suffered at the start of last season.

  • 88'

    GOAL! Cisse makes it 3-0 as he sprints on to Kewell's pass and slides the ball under Proto as the keeper came out to meet him. Game over.

  • 87'

    SHOT! Cisse cuts inside from the left and fires in a low, right-foot shot, but Proto gets down quickly to save to his right.

  • 86'

    BLOCK! Zewlakow exchanges passes with Wilhelmsson inside the penalty area, but Carragher flies across to put in a superb block as the Anderlecht man tried to send over a low cross.

  • 82'

    Kewell skips round two challenges as he approaches goal, through the middle. The Aussie tries to slide a pass in to the feet of Cisse, but the off-side flag stops the Frenchman in his tracks.

  • 81'

    SUB: Bassegio replaces Mpenza. Anderlecht use their final change, a striker for a striker.

  • 80'

    Carragher brings down Mpneza out on the left wing. Free-kick.

  • 79'

    Liverpool have got in to a lot of good positions in wide areas in the second half, but have been fairly unproductive.

  • 78'

    GREAT CROSS! Superb cross from Zenden on the left wing, across the six-yard box. Cisse and Garcia slide in at the far post, but combine to send the ball wide.

  • 77'

    SUB: Gerrard off, Kewell on. Benitez takes the chance to rest his captain as the result seems under little threat. Kewell gets his first outing of the season at Anfield as he attempts to come back from injury.

  • 76'

    What seemed to happen was that Sissoko and Jestrovic barged each other in a challenge. As the Anderlecht striker trotted away, he seemed to say something to the Liverpool midfielder that was heard by the referee, who promptly showed him the read card.

  • 75'

    Jestrovic was mystified as to why he had been shown the red card. A committee of Anderlecht players surrounded Kim Milton Nielsen after the decision; they were as confused as the rest of us.

  • 74'

    OFF! Very strange. Jestrovic, the substitute who has only been on the field for a couple of minutes, is sent off. Replays suggest it must have been for something he said to Sissoko after the pair came together in midfield.

  • 73'

    HIGH! Gerrard and Risse swap cross-field balls before the Liverpool captain lays a pass in to the path of Alonso. The Spaniard, who scored last week, skies a shot high and wide from 25 yards.

  • 72'

    Cisse's introduction will be an attempt to exploit the space that Anderlecht will leave at the back as they press for a way back in to the match.

  • 72'

    Cisse's first contribution is to win his side a corner when he breaks down the right and tries to cut in to the penalty area.

  • 72'

    SUB: Crouch off, Cisse on. Crouch is warmly applauded as he leaves the field, and he shows his appreciation by clapping his thanks to the crowd.

  • 71'

    Zenden is found in some space down the left channel; he only has Garcia to aim for inside the penalty area, but his cross is too deep and runs out for a goalkick.

  • 70'

    SUB: Pujol replaces Vanderhaeghe; Jestrovic replaces Serhat. Two attacking changes from the visiting side as they bid to get back in to this game.

  • 69'

    And they almost did get sloppy; Zetterberg sends a good ball over the top of a rather static Liverpool back four, and it needs a strong Riise challenge on MPenza to prevent a shot on goal.

  • 68'

    Reina has kept 10 clean sheets in 17 games before tonight, and there is every chance he'll add to that unless Liverpool get sloppy.

  • 67'

    There is something of a party feel inside the stadium tonight now that the result seems comfortable.

  • 66'

    ...Gerrard plays the ball low to outside the penalty area where Alonso is coming from deep; the Spanish play-maker takes the shot first time, but slices it a few yards wide.

  • 66'

    Riise wins the home side a corner when his attempted volley-cross is deflected behind...

  • 65'

    NICE MOVE! Garcia and Gerrard swap passes inside the Anderlecht penalty area, although Juhasz's boot prevents the Liverpool captain getting a shot on goal.

  • 65'

    A Crouch goal would really cap Liverpool's night; everyone at the club is desperate to see the former Southampton man end his drought.

  • 64'

    Garcia finds himself in some space deep in the Anderlecht penalty area, but he seems to get caught between shooting and trying to chip the ball to Crouch inside the six yard box.

  • 63'

    Surely Garcia's goal will be enough for Liverpool; they can relax now, and simply try and improve their goal difference.

  • 62'

    It really was a clever, well-directed header from the Spanish midfielder; he had plenty to do, but got just the right amount of elevation on his header to flick over the keeper.

  • 61'

    SUPERB GOAL! Finnan sends over a cross from deep on the right flank. Garcia steals in front of his marker and flicks a great header in to the far corner from 12 yards out.

  • 60'

    Still no sign of a change from Anderlecht, despite the fact that a defeat tonight would end their participation in this year's Champions League.

  • 59'

    The Anderlecht full-backs have been worked hard tonight, with almost all of Liverpool's attacking play coming down the flanks.

  • 58'

    Morientes is sitting with an ice-pack on his leg on the Liverpool bench; evidently his withdrawal was because of a slight injury.

  • 57'

    Alonso and Gerrard combine to spread the play out to Riise on the left wing, though the full-back just shows enough of the ball to Juhasz and the defender wins it back.

  • 55'

    Anderlecht have barely got out of their own half since the break; they look utterly insipid when they have the ball.

  • 52'

    Although Crouch isn't enjoying his best night, the Liverpool fans haven't got on his back; they seem to be desperate for the lanky striker to get his first competitive game for the club.

  • 51'

    Liverpool's full-backs have got forward and caused a lot of problems to Anderlecht in this match; Riise and Finnan have overlapped superbly and swung over plenty of testing crosses.

  • 50'

    Garcia and Gerrard will push forward a little further now that Zenden has come on to bolster the midfield, with Alonso sitting a little deeper, directing operations.

  • 49'

    The home side have made a change early on, with Zenden replacing Morientes. The Spanish striker has worked hard tonight, and got a confidence-boosting goal for his trouble.

  • 48'

    Liverpool have started the second period brightly. Again, their main threat seems to come from getting the ball wide and sending over crosses for Morientes and Crouch to feed on.

  • 47'

    Hopefully now the technical problem has been resolved and we can concentrate on the second half of this match.

  • 46'

    Many apologies if some of you have only been able to read trunkated comments on the live commentary so far this evening.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME: Liverpool manage to comfortably see out the half after Morientes' excellent strike put them a goal-up. Unless Anderlecht can conjure something extraordinary, Liverpool will seal another comfortable European victory here tonight.

  • 43'

    Liverpool will be perfectly content to see out the remainder of this half and go in at the break a goal to the good; Anderlecht haven't looked like getting a goal whatsoever.

  • 41'

    Carragher has enough strength to hold off Serhat as the striker attempted to get on the end of Wilhelmsson's ball down the left channel.

  • 40'

    Goor is down on the turf holding his ankle. The referee stops play to check he's okay, at which point he springs to his feet and trots back towards his own goal.

  • 39'

    Alonso is forced to make a crucial interception inside his own penalty area after Wilhelmsson had got to the by-line and attempted to cut the ball back.

  • 38'

    Riise seems to be having a little trouble with his right ankle; he is hobbling, and looks in a little pain. I'll keep an eye on him for you, readers...

  • 37'

    Sissoko fouls Tihinen on the edge of the Anderlecht penalty area. He needs to be a little bit careful after being booked earlier in the half.

  • 36'

    Crouch and Morientes look like they could be a good partnership; they are trying to combine, but it just isn't coming off at the moment.

  • 36'

    ...Gerrard sends the ball over to the far post, but Anderlecht have got everyone back defending and they manage to see out the danger.

  • 35'

    Finnan again sends over a dangerous cross, this time with his left foot. Crouch jumps highest, but the ball flicks off the head of Tihinen and Liverpool win a corner...

  • 34'

    Liverpool probably deserve to be in front; they have dominated possession and Anderlecht haven't threatened at all thus far.

  • 33'

    GOAL! Morientes smashes home a great shot from the right corner of the penalty area. A great finish inside the far post.

  • 32'

    It really was a great chance for Morientes; he was only six yards out but could only plant his effort straight at the keeper.

  • 31'

    CHANCE! SAVE! Finnan finds himself in some space out on the right wing. He sends over the perfect cross, but Morientes can only send his volley straight at Proto, who makes a fine save.

  • 31'

    Crouch picks up on a loose ball 30 yards out, and does well to beat a couple of men as he approaches goal but his shot is blocked on the edge of the penalty area.

  • 30'

    ...the home side: Betis 1-0 Chelsea; Dani has put the Spanish side in front.

  • 29'

    There has a been a goal in the other match in this group, between Real Betis and Chelsea. And it has gone to...

  • 28'

    ...But the European champions screw it up when they attempt an elaborate passing move in an effort to work Riise in to a crossing position.

  • 27'

    Liverpool win a free-kick out on the left wing...

  • 26'

    Liverpool have had almost all of the possession in the first quarter of the game, but have really only created a couple of half-chances.

  • 25'

    Gerrard has suddenly popped up on the left wing; he has switched with Garcia, who now moves out to the right in a cunning attempt to confuse the Anderlecht defenders.

  • 24'

    ALMOST! Crouch, Garcia and Morientes almost combine with some beautiful one-touch football on the edge of the Anderlecht area, although a defensive boot finally ends the move.

  • 23'

    Gerrard drives a long cross-field ball towards Garcia, sprinting down the left wing, but the ball skips of the greasy turf and goes out for a goalkick.

  • 22'

    Crouch is yet to score a competitive goal for Liverpool, though he doesn't look too short of confidence; he is working very hard and getting plenty of the ball.

  • 21'

    OOOOH! Finnan slides a superb pass inside the full-back to Gerrard, who sends over a low ball to Crouch; the striker sticks out a long leg, but can only deflect the ball wide of the near post.

  • 20'

    Sissoko is the first player to go in to the referee's notebook after a crude foul on Wilhelmsson.

  • 19'

    Liverpool have coped quite well with anything Anderlecht have come up with as they try to work an opening; Hyypia and Carragher look very solid.

  • 18'

    Gerrard is fouled as he tries to turn Deman, forty yards out. Riise attempts an unlikely shot, but is doesn't trouble the goalkeeper.

  • 17'

    ...Gerrard plays the ball short before collecting the pass and whipping a dangerous cross in to the six yard box. Sissoko seems to get to the ball first, though he can only flick it high over the bar.

  • 16'

    A swift counter attack from the home side ends when Riise's attempted cross from the left is deflected out of play...

  • 15'

    Hyypia isn't impressed as Willhelmsson tumbles to the ground after trying to pass the giant Fin. He motions for the Swedish striker to get to his feet.

  • 14'

    ...Goor attempts to deceive Reina by going for goal, though his left-foot shot flies a foot or so over the crossbar.

  • 13'

    Anderlecht win a free-kick in a dangerous spot, on the right corner of the Liverpool penalty area...

  • 12'

    CROUCH! Riise swings over a cross from the left wing, but the England striker can't direct his header goalwards and Proto watches the ball fly over his crossbar.

  • 12'

    Gerrard and Alonso combine well in front of the Anderlecht defence, but Garcia's cross is blocked as the ball is worked out to the left.

  • 11'

    Morientes runs at the half of the Anderlecht defence and slides a little through ball in to the path of Crouch, though Roland Juhasz out-paces the lanky striker and the visitors clear.

  • 10'

    Liverpool win a throw, deep in the Anderlecht half. Sissoko works the ball in to Morientes, who loses possession after a sloppy touch.

  • 9'

    Liverpool win a fortunate off-side decision as Willhelmsen breaks down the left channel; replays show that Riise was playing the Anderlecht striker on-side.

  • 8'

    Zetterberg was one of Anderlecht's most impressive players in the reverse fixture a couple of weeks ago, though he has barely had a touch so far tonight.

  • 7'

    Anderlecht have lost their last ten Champions League matches, and defeat tonight would leave them with no chance of qualification to the group stages this year.

  • 6'

    Liverpool's game plan, perhaps unsurprisingly given the height of their front two, seems to centre around throwing plenty of high crosses in to the opposition area.

  • 5'

    Morientes nods back Gerrard's deep cross, though it is a yard behind Crouch, who was waiting eight yards out.

  • 5'

    Gerrard appears to have been given license to come off the right touchline; he is doing a fair bit of roaming in midfield in these early stages.

  • 4'

    Wilhelmsson gets on the end of a good ball through the middle, but Hyypia is alert enough to get a toe on the ball and prod it back to Reina.

  • 3'

    Liverpool have started very brightly; they are knocking the ball about crisply in midfield, and have started with a good deal of confidence.

  • 2'

    A moment of confusion as Alonso's pass bicepts Riise and Garcia and runs out for a throw.

  • 1'

    Willhelmson shows some good skill down the Anderlecht right as he nutmegs Garcia, though Riise is quickly in to put the ball out of play.

  •  

    HEADER! Finnan combines with Gerrard on the right. The full-back sends over a good cross, which Crouch heads a couple of yards wide. A promising start from the home side.

  •  

    The visitors kick us off. They wear an all-navy strip; Liverpool are, of course, in their traditional red.

  •  

    The teams are emerging from the tunnel at Anfield. There is a great atmosphere inside the stadium.

  •  

    Team news: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez replaces Djibril Cisse with Peter Crouch, meaning skipper Steven Gerrard will continue on the right-side of midfield.

  •  

    Hi, and welcome to coverage of Liverpool's fourth Group G match in this year's Champions League - a home fixture against Anderlecht of Belgium.