ANFIELD is renowned for its famous European nights.

This wasn’t one of them.

The floodlights were on but there was a different feel to it all.

Even the theme tune seemed out of place.

For any Liverpool supporters still living in denial, the harsh reality of Europa league football finally bit in a tepid affair.

It’s been six years since Liverpool last took part in the competition. Although there are more esteemed opponents further down the line – assuming the Reds progress – few will be wishing to get too familiar with the Champions League’s poor relation.

A late David Ngog goal was the difference on paper. In terms of possession though, there was only one team in it.

It was Liverpool’s failure to break the stubborn visitors down however that added to what was always likely to be frustrating night here.

With Lucas on the bench, Alberto Aquilani was handed a first start for a month while Fabio Aurelio came in for Emiliano Insua.

It was a strong Liverpool line up as Rafa Benitez backed up his pre-match claims that all at Anfield will be taking the competition seriously.

In keeping with that, it took just 25 seconds for Liverpool to spell out their intent. A slick passing move eventually saw Steven Gerrard played in by Dirk Kuyt, the captain forcing a save from Giedrius Arlauskis.

Kuyt then flashed a shot across the face of goal before an Aurelio freekick saw Arlauskis scurrying to his left, the shot ending up the wrong side of the upright.

For Urziceni, Marius Bilasco cut an isolated figure playing as lone striker. Anything aimed in his direction was easily cut out by Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel who will have few easier nights than this.

That was as much to do with the Romanian’s defensive tendency’s. they rarely troubled Pepe Reina’s goal.

As Liverpool continued to spray the ball around the pitch, Javier Mascherano found Riera wide on the left whose cross picked out Gerrard, only for the ball to skid off the skipper’s forehead and wide.

It took 25 minutes for Unirea to muster a shot on goal. Even then Sorin Frunza’s speculative freekick was gathered easily by Reina.

Read the article on Liverpool Daily Post

Liverpool 1, Unirea Urziceni 0: David Ngog gives Reds slender Europa League advantage

ANFIELD is renowned for its famous European nights.

This wasn’t one of them.

The floodlights were on but there was a different feel to it all.

Even the theme tune seemed out of place.

For any Liverpool supporters still living in denial, the harsh reality of Europa league football finally bit in a tepid affair.

It’s been six years since Liverpool last took part in the competition. Although there are more esteemed opponents further down the line – assuming the Reds progress – few will be wishing to get too familiar with the Champions League’s poor relation.

A late David Ngog goal was the difference on paper. In terms of possession though, there was only one team in it.

It was Liverpool’s failure to break the stubborn visitors down however that added to what was always likely to be frustrating night here.

With Lucas on the bench, Alberto Aquilani was handed a first start for a month while Fabio Aurelio came in for Emiliano Insua.

It was a strong Liverpool line up as Rafa Benitez backed up his pre-match claims that all at Anfield will be taking the competition seriously.

In keeping with that, it took just 25 seconds for Liverpool to spell out their intent. A slick passing move eventually saw Steven Gerrard played in by Dirk Kuyt, the captain forcing a save from Giedrius Arlauskis.

Kuyt then flashed a shot across the face of goal before an Aurelio freekick saw Arlauskis scurrying to his left, the shot ending up the wrong side of the upright.

For Urziceni, Marius Bilasco cut an isolated figure playing as lone striker. Anything aimed in his direction was easily cut out by Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel who will have few easier nights than this.

That was as much to do with the Romanian’s defensive tendency’s. they rarely troubled Pepe Reina’s goal.

As Liverpool continued to spray the ball around the pitch, Javier Mascherano found Riera wide on the left whose cross picked out Gerrard, only for the ball to skid off the skipper’s forehead and wide.

It took 25 minutes for Unirea to muster a shot on goal. Even then Sorin Frunza’s speculative freekick was gathered easily by Reina.

Read the article on Liverpool Daily Post

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