Europa League review

Benfica beat ten-man Reds

April 2, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Ten-man Liverpool were undone by two harsh penalty decisions and an at-times shambolic refereeing display as they lost 2-1 to Benfica in a hostile Europa League quarter-final first leg in Lisbon.

Oscar Cardozo celebrates one of his spot-kicks
APOscar Cardozo celebrates one of his spot-kicks

•  Benitez blasts ref
• Hodgson delighted with win
• Agger goal crucial for Reds
• Europa League gallery

Daniel Agger gave his side the perfect start in the ninth minute but things took a turn for the worse when Ryan Babel was dismissed on the half-hour for thrusting a hand in Luisao's face.

Oscar Cardozo wasted numerous chances before converting two spot-kicks but with an away goal Rafael Benitez's side still have hope for the return leg.

Fulham moved one step closer to a fairytale Europa League semi-final after they recorded a 2-1 win over German champions Wolfsburg at Craven Cottage.

A late goal from Alexander Madlung tainted the night for Roy Hodgson's side, who had taken the lead thanks to two second half goals from Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff.

Zamora's 18th of the season was followed by a controversial cupped-ear celebration aimed at the home fans before the striker played in Duff for Fulham's second.

The Cottagers looked set for a two goal victory margin before Madlung rose to beat Mark Schwarzer just before the death to leave the tie finely poised going into next week's second leg in Germany.

Hamburg kept alive their dreams of playing in the Europa League final at their home stadium by edging their quarter-final first leg against Standard Liege 2-1.

The Belgian side took the lead after 31 minutes through Dieumerci Mbokani but Mladen Petric equalised from the spot for HSV three minutes before the interval and Ruud van Nistelrooy completed the turnaround on the stroke of half-time.

Spanish rivals Valencia and Atletico Madrid produced an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Mestalla to leave all to play for in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie.

All the goals were scored in the second half, with Atletico twice going ahead through Diego Forlan and Antonio Lopez, and Valencia equalising each time thanks to goals from Manuel Fernandes and David Villa.