Liverpool not very hungry in Hungary

Tuesday, 24 November 2009 ·

Liverpool stutter to a 1-0 win over Hungarian champions, Debrecen. Needing Lyon to produce a result in Florence because of terrible results in games against both teams, is no way to compete in a campaign but they were off to a great start after just 4 minutes, when a well-worked corner fell to Ngog to tap in at the far post. The next fifteen minutes saw Liverpool press and pass the ball quickly retaining possession well and carve out chances but found the Debrecen goalkeeper, Poleksic, in fine form, stopping Ngog and Steven Gerrard. The remainder of the first half was laboured from Liverpool, whose midfield of Lucas-Mascherano intent on slowing down the game and a far-from-fit Aurelio providing no attacking threat from the left, produced very little of quality.
The second half produced more of the same with an obvious lack of quality passes and vision from central midfield despite the willing running of the ever-improving Ngog. Ever-improving yes, but can they really rely on an untested and unproven youngster to carry all of the goalscoring threat? As the game wore on it became more-and-more obvious that the attacking threat and vision of Acquilani was desperately needed in place of the, at times, absent Lucas but it took Benitez until the 75th minutes to make a subsitution, bringing on Benayoun for an obviously tired Ngog. The Debrecen defence proved admirably capable of stopping the predictable Liverpool attack, with the only moment of tension coming with a Steven Gerrard burst into the burst that Meszaros was able to brilliantly block.
For all of Liverpool's attacking impotency, Debrecen found themselves threatening more and more as the game wore on with the main threat coming from the sublime touches of Rudolf. Liverpool hearts were in their mouths in stoppage time as the substitute, Coulibaly, hitting tamely straight at Reina from six yards.
As it was, Lyon could not produce the result Liverpool so desperately needed with a first half penalty enough to see Fiorentina through at Liverpool's expense.

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