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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 21:34 GMT
B Leverkusen 1-3 Liverpool
Liverpool win 6-2 on aggregate

Luis Garcia
Luis Garcia scored twice as Liverpool produced a brilliant away performance to beat Bayer Leverkusen and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The Reds never looked like losing their 3-1 first-leg lead and went in front as Garcia tucked home Steven Gerrard's right-wing cross in the first-half.

The Spaniard soon made it two as he diverted Igor Biscan's header past Leverkusen keeper Hans-Joerg Butt.

Milan Baros' drive made it three before Jacek Krzynowek's late consolation.

Liverpool made a mockery of the ominous predictions about a traumatic night against a team who had seen off Real Madrid, Roma and Dynamo Kiev at home in this season's Champions League.

Leverkusen were wretched and their fortunes were summed up by half-chances for Landon Donovan and Franca who both kicked air when well-placed inside the box.

And that was as much threat as the German side mustered in the first half.

In contrast, Liverpool were flying. Gerrard, excellent all night, forced a fine save from Butt with a powerful drive before the Reds took the lead in the 28th minute.

The England midfielder was the architect as he sent in a low cross from the right and Garcia was too sharp for the static Diego Placente as he nipped in to divert the ball past Butt.

Leverkusen's faint hopes of a comeback were killed as Garcia doubled Liverpool's lead shortly afterwards.

Again Gerrard was involved as his corner from the right was headed goalwards by Biscan.

The livewire Spaniard again reacted quickest to touch the ball in from close range.

Garcia would have completed a remarkable 10-minute hat-trick had Butt not reacted well to tip his left-foot shot over on 37 minutes as Liverpool surged forward again.

The interval brought little respite for Leverkusen and Liverpool almost grabbed a third as Gerrard rampaged down the left and send in a deflected cross which Garcia eventually sent wide.

For Leverkusen, Franca forced Jerzy Dudek into his first real save on the hour mark, a fine reaction stop from close range.

Gerrard almost grabbed a deserved goal moments later as he drilled in a low shot which Butt could only parry, and the midfielder recovered to to divert the rebound to Baros who mis-kicked.

But the Czech Republic striker was soon celebrating as he latched on to John Arne Riise's pass which deflected off Clemens Fritz and rifled past Butt from the edge of the area.

Leverkusen finally struck with three minutes remaining with Krzynowek's drive, but it was a mere consolation.

  • The quarter-final draw will take place on Friday 18 March. Any team can be drawn against another and the two legs will be played on 5/6 and 12/13 April.

    Bayer Leverkusen: Butt, Schneider, Callsen-Bracker, Ramelow (Castro 70), Placente, Babic, Bierofka, Krzynowek, Donovan (Fritz 53), Franca, Berbatov (Voronin 32).
    Subs Not Used: Starke, Ozturk, Dum, Rottger.

    Booked: Bierofka.

    Goals: Krzynowek 88.

    Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan (Nunez 74), Hyypia, Carragher (Welsh 70), Warnock, Luis Garcia, Hamann (Smicer 62), Biscan, Riise, Gerrard, Baros.
    Subs Not Used: Carson, Le Tallec, Raven, Potter.

    Goals: Luis Garcia 28, 32, Baros 67.

    Agg (2-6)

    Att: 23,000

    Ref: Alain Sars (France).

    Report: BBC Five Live's Conor McNamara

    Interview: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez

    Liverpool 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen
    22 Feb 05 |  Europe

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