UEFA Champions League

September 27, 2006

Full-time

Liverpool

3 - 2

Galatasaray

Group A

18:45 +00:00, September 27, 2006

Anfield, England

  • 93'

    What a game and what an escape for Liverpool. They were 3-0 up at home but contrived to let Galatasaray back into it. The visitors battled hard and showed they are not a bad side; but gave themselves too much to do after being shellshocked in the first half.

  • 93'

    Full time!

  • 92'

    Luis Garcia collides with the ref, but play goes on as Sas flings a ball towards Suker - but he can't decide whether head it or chest it and in the end does neither!

  • 92'

    The Turks shout for a penalty - but the ref is not bothered

  • 92'

    Gonzalez and Alonso try to hold the ball up in the corner bu Sabri and Ilic work it free and Galatasaray break

  • 91'

    Another corner to Liverpool - they are squeezing the life out of the game

  • 91'

    Bellamy makes an instant nuisance of himself - winning a freekick thanks to his considerable pace

  • 90'

    Three minutes of added time to be played

  • 89'

    Crouch leaves the pitch to a standing ovation - he is replaced by Craig Bellamy

  • 89'

    Corner for Liverpool - they are in no rush to take it!

  • 88'

    A poor punch from Reina, but the keeper is lucky that it falls to Finnan who hooks clear

  • 87'

    Challenges flying in as Liverpool try to wrest control of the game and ensure they don't throw the points away

  • 87'

    Yellow card for Finnan

  • 86'

    There's a certain irony here: Liverpool won the European Cup in Turkey after being 3-0 down. Tonight Liverpool went 3-0 up against Turkish opposition and nearly threw it away... Ok, so it's not irony, but you see the point... maybe. I'll shut up.

  • 85'

    Five minutes to go for Galatasaray to steal a point

  • 84'

    Aurelio hits a freekick into the wall

  • 83'

    Gonzalez limping - looks to have tweaked his hamstring

  • 83'

    Yellow card for Sas after he almost touched Sissoko. Weak.

  • 83'

    Hasan Sas clips a nice ball into the Liverpool area but it is headed clear and Liverool break

  • 82'

    Alonso gets a booking for a late charge on Arda to halt a promising move

  • 81'

    The Turkish team not beaten yet as we move towards the final act of the game

  • 80'

    Now Sabri and Ilic combine to carve Liverpool open

  • 80'

    Sas links up with Suker - looking good

  • 79'

    Suker puts the ball wide - only a half chance

  • 78'

    You have to wonder why Liverpool didn't bring on Sissoko when they were cruising at 3-0 and the game was in the bag, but getting too open in the centre?

  • 77'

    A change for Liverpool - goodnight Pennant, hello Sissoko

  • 76'

    Arda robs Finnan and breaks up a decent move from Liverpool

  • 75'

    Agger hooks a ball out for a throw rather than risk controlling it and letting Suker in; percentage football.

  • 74'

    Crouch and Song are taking treatment after clashing heads in the area - both look a little groggy but should be ok

  • 73'

    Liverpool fail to make the most of two quick crosses into the box: The first came from Aurelio was a peach.

  • 73'

    The noise in Anfield is being whipped up - not by the Kop, but the hitherto silenced travelling fans

  • 72'

    Gonzalez and Gerrard try to link up a training ground set play with the corner: The ball was knocked towards the edge fo the area for Gerrard to lash home... only the ball was over hit leaving Gerrard with no chance and the ball to almost go out for a corner

  • 71'

    Song gives away a corner after catching the ball full in the face

  • 70'

    Liverpool must be furious to have thrown such a good start and dominant position away. The Reds are nervous - and the game should be deda nd buried!

  • 69'

    Agger earns his money with a great header to clear the danger from another great ball from Sabri, who has been superb all night

  • 68'

    Ilic nearly threads aball through to Karan - danger for Liverpool

  • 68'

    Garcia flicks the ball into the path of Gerrard who fires a shot across the goal

  • 67'

    Why has Rafa brought on a striker when the problem is in midfield? Surely with Galatasaray back in the game and threatening the integrity of the Liverpool middle brining on Sissoko would make more sense?

  • 66'

    Gonzalez is on in place of Kuyt

  • 65'

    Suker, Ilic and Sabri combine to create another goal for Umit Kahn - he evaded Agger and Carragher to head home and make it 3-2. Game on!

  • 64'

    Goal to Galatasaray!

  • 63'

    Looks like Benitez is going to bring on Mark 'Speedy' Gonzalez

  • 62'

    A communication breakdown between Reina and Finnan leads to a throw-in for the visitors - concentrate chaps!

  • 61'

    Will Rafa think about a change? With a tird of the game still to go and Galatasaray on a high perhaps a change in formation or personel might stymie the Turkish side's attacking intent

  • 60'

    The goal has given Galatasaray belief - they feel the game is not beyond them, Liverpool have to be careful that they don't make any mistakes

  • 59'

    3-1 to Liverpool - it's not over yet. Umit Karan, a halftime sub for the visitors headed home a cross from the left wing to give the Turks hope

  • 58'

    Goal for Galatasaray!

  • 57'

    At the other end Suker is in the area trying to hold up play - the game is very open

  • 57'

    What a game! Kuyt hit's the post and Gerrard is unlucky to fail to hammer home the rebound!

  • 56'

    In the scramble after Sabri's freekick there were calls for a penalty with Galarasaray claiming a handball; I did'nt see it and nor did the ref!

  • 55'

    Sabri whips his freekick around the wall and hits the post - Suker is on hand to fire the rebound on goal but it is blocked

  • 54'

    Freekick to Galatasaray in a central position 35 yards out.

  • 53'

    The crowd amazed by the skill of Crouch, it was a wonder goal!

  • 52'

    Finnan delivered a great ball from the right wing and found the striker unmarked in the area. Crouch kept his eye on the ball before performing a perfect, acrobatic scissors-kick leaving Mondragon with no chance - Brilliant goal!

  • 51'

    Goal to Liverpool - amazing goal from Peter Crouch!

  • 50'

    Song clatters into Gerrard - clumsy foul

  • 49'

    And of course Liverpool won the European Cup at the Ataturk Stadium to seasons ago, so they'll be happy to return there

  • 48'

    It's not a bad idea, but the hostile atmosphere is often an 12th man for Galatasaray on European nights, much like the Anfield fans are for Liverpool

  • 47'

    Liverpool will be spared a trip to 'Hell', the ever-so sweet name the Galatasaray fans give to their Ali Sami Yen Stadium; their Champions League games are being played at the Ataturk Stadium to make more money from tickets

  • 46'

    Finnan and Pennant try to cook something up down the right wing, but the final ball is no good

  • 45'

    Liverpool start the second half with the same attacking intent as they did the first

  • 45'

    Back underway at Anfield

  • 45'

    Keep it here to find out how these two side approach the second half.

  • 45'

    Two early goals from Liverpool threatened a deluge, but the home team eased back in an effort to protect their lead. As a result Galatasaray grew in confidence as the half wore on, Sabri particularly find some joy down the right.

  • 45'

    Liverpool 2-0 up at halftime.

  • 45'

    Galatasaray waste the last chance of the half - a freekick was hopefully dropped into the Liverpool area and easily cleared.

  • 44'

    Brilliant defending from Finnan; winning two headers in a row and running 20 yards to do so. Not spectacular stuff, but tireless working and comfortably done

  • 44'

    Suker drops Agger and is just inches away from connecting with a Ayhan cross from the left

  • 43'

    More energetic work down the right from Sabri - Galatasaray's best player so far this evening

  • 42'

    Credit where it's due: Galatasaray have grown in confidence and are back in the game, albeit because Liverpool have taken a pragmatic approach to the game after taking a 2-0 lead

  • 41'

    Sabri tries his luck with a snap-shot - Suker waves his arms in frustration that no cross came. It was a decent shot and given the lack of chances from decent crosses so far you can't blame Sabri for chancing his arm

  • 40'

    Pennant looks a little sluggish tonight - he just failed to get by a lumbering centre-half when he really ought to have skipped by him

  • 39'

    The Galatasaray midfield almost paid the price for allowing Gerrard to rampage unchecked through the centre of the pitch - not a great idea!

  • 38'

    Mondragon saves from a Gerrard piledriver - the shot from range swerved dangerously but the keeper turned the ball away with his arm; good swerve

  • 37'

    Arda, Suker and Sabri link-up well and create an interesting opening for Galatasaray - sadly for them no striker gambled on the cross and Liverpool escape

  • 35'

    A very silly backwards header from fomer Liverpool man Rigobert Song nearly leads to chance for Kuyt, but keeper Mondragon was quick to race off his line and clear the danger

  • 34'

    Not content with being booked Ayhan has a few words in the referee's ear, and is lucky not to get a second booking for his troubles - frustration creeping into the Galatasaray side?

  • 34'

    Yellow card for Ayhan Akman for a silly though not malicious foul.

  • 33'

    Pennant finds Alonso who chips a ball to Kuyt who lays the ball to Garcia who fires a shot high and wide with the outside of his boot - a nice move

  • 32'

    Sabri takes and Gerrard clears to Pennant who forges forward

  • 31'

    Cihan and Sabri find a gap in the Liverpool defence and win a corner

  • 30'

    Liverpool are allowing the Turkish side to enjoy a spell of possession, but are pressing them back and not allowing them to probe any dangerous areas

  • 29'

    Garcia concedes a foul after taking a liking to Sasa Ilic's shirt - the collar almost ended up as a souvenier after the Liverpool man refused to let go!

  • 28'

    Aurelio makes up for the freekick with a spirited run and dangerous ball across the front of goal which neither Crouch nor Kuyt read quickly enouch

  • 27'

    Aurelio fails to deliver a good ball from a freekick deep in the Galatasary half - unliek teh cross for the opening goal

  • 26'

    It could be that Liverpool have taken their foot off the gas after taking such a commanding early lead - a risky ploy

  • 25'

    Sabri looking lively - grabbing the ball and moving it around with menace

  • 24'

    Suker looks to the skies after a poor cross means that a decent attacking move down the left wing comes to naught - signs that Galatasaray are finding their feet in the game

  • 23'

    A lucky escape for Liverpool and Garcia. The goal-scorer lost concentration and allowed Cihan Haspolatli to ghost behind him and run in on goal before unleashing a low shot which Reina parried

  • 22'

    For the neutral the game needs a decent spell or shot from the visitors otherwise the game could become a procession

  • 21'

    The Galatasaray fans are strangely quiet - the two goals seem to have shut them up.

  • 20'

    Liverpool respond with a lightening paced counter-attack which end with kuyt failing to control with his chest a difficult, deep cross

  • 19'

    Decent move by Galatasaray ends without a serious threat on goal - just a warning there that they are capable

  • 17'

    The Kop sing the name of 'Steve Gerrard, Gerrard' - they are in fine voice, and at 2-0 up against a supposedly tricky opponent you can see why

  • 16'

    If Galatasaray expect to get anything out of this game the need to dig themselves back into things; at the moment that seems unlikely as Liverpool pick them apart

  • 15'

    The Galatasaray team look a little shell-shocked. After a decent spell of possession Liverpool ripped the Turks to bits with ease. A truly woeful clearance led to the goal, and you sense more moments like that could yet be in store.

  • 14'

    Pennant made the goal by clipping a little ball back from the by-line and finding Garcia unmarked at the back post where he heading comfortably home.

  • 14'

    2-0 Liverpool - Garcia on target!

  • 13'

    Pennant does well to win a throw after Gerrard hit a heavy pass to the winger

  • 12'

    Galatasaray work the ball to Sabri on the right wing, the midfielder then loops in a dangerous ball, but Hakan Suker was just too slow to react and Liverpool clear.

  • 11'

    This is the first time in the game some of the Turkish players have touched the ball as they keep possession and try to find a way through the Liverpool middle

  • 10'

    Stung by the goal Galatasaray start to move the ball about with some purpose and vigour

  • 9'

    Pulling the strings Steven Gerrard spread play to the left wing and Fabio Aurellio. The Brazilia ran down the flank before delivering a grerat cross which Crouch met with his foot to beat the keeper. Great move, great goal.

  • 8'

    Goal for Liverpool - and it's that man Peter Crouch!

  • 7'

    Slightly wasteful play by Pennant who failed to thread a pass to Finnan who had run 70 yards to offer support - instead Pennant tried to beat another man, much to Finnan's frustration!

  • 6'

    The build-up to Garcia shot was very neat, with Gerrard finding Crouch with a probing ball before the striker laid it of to the Spaniard

  • 5'

    Agger jumps highest to meet the corner, but the direction was lacking and the visitors can breathe easily

  • 5'

    Liverpool waste the first corner, but quickly win another as the pressure builds

  • 4'

    Corner for Liverpool after a good shot from Luis Garcia is spilt by the keeper

  • 4'

    Respite for Galatasaray as they get two throw-ins in the Liverpool half

  • 3'

    Topa; just just enough to prevent Gerrard from unleashing a shot on goal after a neat link up with Kuyt.

  • 2'

    Liverpool seem intent on playing an expansive, attaking game tonight - the defenders are taking a very high line, pressing the midfield and forwards into advanced positions.

  • 1'

    A very positive opening from Liverpool who benefit from the kind of home support only on offer from the Anfield fans on a European night

  •  

    Alonso and Gerrard play it short before clipping a ball in aimed at the lanky frame of Crouch

  •  

    An early corner for Liverpool

  •  

    Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo blows his whistle and we are underway at Anfield.

  •  

    And for Galatasaray: Mondragon, Haspolatli, Tomas, Song, Ak, Sarioglu, Topal, Akman, Turan, Ilic, Sukur. And keeping the bench warm: Elmas, Buruk, Sas, Carrusca, Asik, Kabze, Karan.

  •  

    Here's the Liverpool squad for tonight's game: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Pennant, Alonso, Gerrard, Luis Garcia, Kuyt, Crouch. On the subs bench: Dudek, Hyypia,Riise, Gonzalez, Bellamy, Sissoko, Zenden.