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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 20:36 GMT 21:36 UK
Bordeaux 0-1 Liverpool
By Chris Bevan

Liverpool celebrate their winner against Bordeaux
Liverpool players congratulate Crouch on his winner in Bordeaux
Liverpool moved a step closer to the knockout stages of the Champions League by beating Bordeaux in France.

Peter Crouch scored the Reds' winner when he rose above the Bordeaux defence to head home Craig Bellamy's corner.

Crouch had earlier been wasteful when he volleyed another Bellamy cross wide while unmarked and then scuffed his shot after Xabi Alonso sent him clear.

Otherwise Liverpool created little but held off a late Bordeaux surge to claim their first away win of the season.

The French side's forward line of ex-Sunderland striker Lilian Laslandes and former Nottingham Forest frontman Jean-Claude Darcheville did little of note during their time playing in England - and even less here.

But Bordeaux's deficiencies did little to mask Liverpool's own problems in front of goal early on.

Rafa Benitez's side had not scored in their last four away games in any competition before this match and their prevous Champions League goal on the road came almost a year ago.

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With Steven Gerrard injured, Benitez had picked what appeared to be an attacking line-up with Bolo Zenden joining Alonso in midfield and Crouch partnering Bellamy up front.

But the Reds failed to spark early on apart from the lively looking Bellamy and it was down to Bordeaux to threaten through Johan Micoud's header.

Only before half time did Liverpool begin to wake from their slumber but Crouch failed to take either of the golden chances that came his way.

First he volleyed wide after Bellamy picked him out at the far post - then soon after he took the ball past Franck Jurieth from Alonso's pass but did not make proper contact with his shot.

Things did not improve after the break until Crouch's goal finally broke the deadlock, just as the striker was about to be replaced by Dirk Kuyt.

Crouch rose above the challenge of Joseph Enakarhire to send a powerful downward header into the centre of the net.

That should have brought a strong response from the home side but they have not won a Champions League game for seven years and their lack of class told.

The closing stages saw Bordeaux pour forward and camp in the Liverpool half but they were still unable to seriously threaten Jose Reina's goal.

Stephen Warnock should have made it safe for Liverpool late on but shot straight at Ulrich Rame - and his side did not need a second goal in any case.

The win leaves the Reds sitting comfortably at the top of Group C alongside PSV who also have seven points.


Bordeaux: Rame, Jurietti, Henrique, Jemmali, Wendell, Alonso (Faubert 63), Mavuba, Menegazzo, Laslandes (Chamakh 63), Micoud, Darcheville (Perea 71).
Subs Not Used: Valverde, Ducasse, Enakarhire, Marange.

Booked: Jurietti, Rame.

Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Luis Garcia, Alonso, Zenden, Gonzalez (Sissoko 68), Crouch (Kuyt 65), Bellamy (Warnock 87).
Subs Not Used: Dudek, Pennant, Paletta, Peltier.

Booked: Zenden, Kuyt.

Goals: Crouch 58.

Att: 33,000

Ref: Tom Ovrebo (Norway).

SEE ALSO
Liverpool match reaction
18 Oct 06 |  Europe


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