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Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 21:38 UK

Liverpool   1 - 2   Lyon

Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun puts his side ahead against Lyon
Benayoun put Liverpool ahead but Lyon eventually equalised

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Anfield

Lyon deepened the sense of crisis surrounding Liverpool and manager Rafael Benitez as Cesar Delgado's injury-time winner left their Champions League ambitions hanging in the balance.

As the Reds slumped to a fourth successive defeat, their worst sequence since April 1987, boss Benitez was given a rare taste of the anger and frustration inside Anfield as their damaging slump continued.

And to add to the air of despair, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard limped off midway through the first half with a recurrence of a groin injury.

The injury will make him a doubt for Sunday's meeting with champions Manchester United at Anfield, a game that now assumes huge significance for Benitez and his players.

FOOTBALL BLOG
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty

Liverpool initially rallied after the departure of Gerrard and looked on course to arrest their recent slide when Yossi Benayoun put them in front as half-time approached.

But once Lyon substitute Maxime Gonalons scrambled home the equaliser after 72 minutes, Liverpool's resolve wilted and Delgado's close-range finish gave the French side a victory their late supremacy just about merited.

And it was Benitez who felt the full force of Anfield's displeasure when he contentiously replaced goalscorer Benayoun with Andriy Voronin in an attempt to snatch victory with five minutes remaining.

Loud jeering greeted the decision, and the move looked even more ill-judged when Lyon swept forward to snatch victory.

The one bright spot on a bitterly disappointing night for Liverpool was the excellent performance of young defender Martin Kelly, in for Glen Johnson, who was ruled out by a groin injury.

Liverpool gave Anfield little else to cheer, although they did show commendable spirit in their attempt to recover from the loss of Gerrard and the absence of Fernando Torres.

Cesar Delgado is a picture of joy after earning Lyon a win against Liverpool
Delgado left Liverpool shattered with his winner

For all the effort the home side put in, they just did not have the weapons to hurt Lyon when they required that crucial second goal, and a central midfield partnership of Lucas and Javier Mascherano may be many things, but creative it is not.

Benitez now faces a huge task to resurrect his side's shattered morale before the champions come to Anfield.

They also know that defeat in Lyon in a fortnight would leave them battling against the odds to reach the last 16 of the Champions League - an outcome that would have devastating financial as well as footballing consequences.

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett was present at Anfield, and he will not relish the prospect of the club he is touting for sale falling at the group stage of Europe's elite competition.

Benitez was forced into a late reshuffle when Johnson was ruled out. It gave youngster Kelly the opportunity to shine and it was one he took with relish in the opening half.

Lyon, watched from the Anfield directors' box by their former coach and one-time Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, made a lively opening and should have taken the lead after only nine minutes.

The menacing figure of Aly Cissokho provided an inviting cross for Lisandro Lopez, and while Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina did well to block his header, the striker should have done much better.

Liverpool's attempt to recover from a mini-slump suffered a major blow after 24 minutes when Gerrard, who had been a subdued figure, was forced off and walked disconsolately down the tunnel to be replaced by Fabio Aurelio.

The departure of Gerrard galvanised The Kop, who recognised Liverpool were up against it, and also a home side who had previously struggled to exert their authority on Lyon.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (left) was taken off injured by manager Rafael Benitez
Gerrard was forced off through injury against Lyon

They almost made the vital breakthrough after 35 minutes when Lucas retrieved an overhit cross from Kelly. The Brazilian's ball caused confusion in the Lyon box and keeper Hugo Lloris was forced to make a crucial save from David Ngog.

Liverpool had to survive a further scare before breaking the deadlock, however, when a stretching Sidney Govou could not connect properly with Kim Kallstrom's raking pass.

Benayoun brought Anfield to its feet as the under-strength Reds took the lead four minutes before the interval.

Aurelio's cross evaded everyone in the area, and the Israel international took his time before sliding a composed finish beyond Lloris.

And Aurelio should have doubled the home side's lead on the stroke of half-time when he flew in on the end of a wonderful delivery from Kelly, only to see his header spectacularly turned over the bar by Lloris in front of an expectant Kop.

Benayoun was posing a real threat and he almost grabbed his second after 55 minutes with a header from Dirk Kuyt's cross that dropped just the wrong side of an upright.

Kelly was delighting a Liverpool support only too keen to encourage homegrown talent, and he was the provider again with another cross that did not get the finish it deserved from Ngog.

Liverpool were walking a fine line as they failed to extend their lead, and they were punished when substitute Gonalons, on for the injured Cris, equalised with 18 minutes left.

As mass confusion reigned in the Liverpool penalty area following a corner, Reina saved from Jeremy Toulalan and then Jean Makoun before Gonalons headed in at the third time of asking.

Benitez then made a change that was, to put it charitably, mystifying when he replaced the lively Benayoun with Voronin.

Liverpool looked likely to secure an unsatisfactory point as the game entered stoppage time - but they were even deprived of even that.

Miralem Pjanic played in Govou and he set up Delgado to arrive at the far post and turn in a goal that delivered a devastating blow to their Champions League ambitions.

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Liverpool 1-2 Lyon FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Benayoun 41
  • Gonalons 72
  • Delgado 90+1

Liverpool

Substitutes

Lyon

  • 01 Lloris
  • 03 Cris yellow card (Gonalons 42)
  • 13 Reveillere yellow card
  • 20 Cissokho
  • 06 Kallstrom
  • 08 Pjanic
  • 10 Ederson (Gomis 61)
  • 17 Makoun
  • 28 Toulalan
  • 09 Lopez (Delgado 86)
  • 14 Govou yellow card

Substitutes

  • 30 Vercoutre,
  • 02 Clerc,
  • 07 Michel Bastos,
  • 41 Gonalons,
  • 18 Gomis,
  • 19 Delgado,
  • 39 Belfodil
Ref: Undiano MallencoAtt: 41,562
LIVERPOOL
LYON

Possession

  • Liverpool 50%
  • Lyon 50%

Attempts on target

  • Liverpool 6
  • Lyon 6

Attempts off target

  • Liverpool 6
  • Lyon 6

Corners

  • Liverpool 6
  • Lyon 5

Fouls

  • Liverpool 11
  • Lyon 7
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:29 The referee ends the match.
  • 90:00+0:26 Assist by Sidney Govou.
  • 90:00+0:26 GOAL - Cesar DelgadoLiverpool 1 - 2 Lyon Cesar Delgado finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-2 Lyon.
  • 89:51 Javier Mascherano takes a shot. Hugo Lloris makes a save.
  • 89:32 Fabio Aurelio restarts play with the free kick.
  • 89:32 Booking Anthony Reveillere booked for unsporting behaviour.
  • 89:24 Anthony Reveillere challenges Emiliano Insua unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 87:08 David Ngog is adjudged to have handled the ball. Maxime Gonalons takes the direct free kick.
  • 85:06 Substitution (Lyon) makes a substitution, with Cesar Delgado coming on for Lisandro Lopez.
  • 84:39 Fabio Aurelio takes the outswinging corner, Martin Skrtel produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
  • 83:55 Substitution Andriy Voronin joins the action as a substitute, replacing Yossi Benayoun.
  • 83:42 Headed effort from inside the area by Dirk Kuyt misses to the right of the goal.
  • 82:04 Dirk Kuyt produces a cross, save by Hugo Lloris.
  • 80:51 Unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Lisandro Lopez results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 79:54 Yossi Benayoun challenges Jean Makoun unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jeremy Toulalan takes the free kick.
  • 78:45 Miralem Pjanic fouled by Leiva Lucas, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jean Makoun.
  • 78:13 Free kick awarded for a foul by Bafetimbi Gomis on Daniel Agger. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Agger.
  • 77:24 The ball is sent over by Emiliano Insua, Jean Makoun makes a clearance.
  • 77:16 The ball is swung over by Jamie Carragher.
  • 73:32 Substitution Martin Skrtel comes on in place of Martin Kelly.
  • 71:18 GOAL - Maxime GonalonsLiverpool 1 - 1 Lyon Maxime Gonalons finds the back of the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Liverpool 1-1 Lyon.
  • 70:55 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Kim Kallstrom, Jose Reina makes a save.
  • 70:47 Anthony Reveillere produces a cross, clearance by Javier Mascherano.
  • 68:23 Sidney Govou is caught offside. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
  • 66:39 Corner taken by Miralem Pjanic from the left by-line to the near post, Javier Mascherano manages to make a clearance.
  • 66:01 Foul by Dirk Kuyt on Aly Cissokho, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Miralem Pjanic, clearance by David Ngog.
  • 62:20 Kim Kallstrom gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yossi Benayoun. Martin Kelly takes the direct free kick.
  • 60:32 Substitution Bafetimbi Gomis replaces Honorato Ederson.
  • 60:10 Corner from right by-line taken by Fabio Aurelio.
  • 59:49 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save made by Hugo Lloris.
  • 58:18 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Kim Kallstrom from the right by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Jean Makoun goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
  • 57:45 David Ngog produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 56:40 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 56:31 Aly Cissokho sends in a cross.
  • 56:00 Kim Kallstrom takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Leiva Lucas.
  • 55:02 Headed effort from inside the area by Yossi Benayoun misses to the right of the target.
  • 54:36 Fabio Aurelio crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Maxime Gonalons.
  • 54:36 Booking Sidney Govou goes into the referee's book.
  • 54:03 Sidney Govou challenges Emiliano Insua unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 50:38 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Honorato Ederson by Yossi Benayoun. Kim Kallstrom restarts play with the free kick.
  • 50:09 Honorato Ederson is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Martin Kelly.
  • 49:24 Effort on goal by Anthony Reveillere from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 48:50 Long range shot by Honorato Ederson goes wide right of the target.
  • 48:21 David Ngog challenges Honorato Ederson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.
  • 46:18 Miralem Pjanic takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Emiliano Insua.
  • 46:09 A cross is delivered by Aly Cissokho, clearance made by Daniel Agger.
  • 45:57 Honorato Ederson crosses the ball, clearance by Daniel Agger.
  • 45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+5:33 The first half comes to an end.
  • 45:00+3:09 Jeremy Toulalan takes the free kick.
  • 45:00+3:09 Booking David Ngog receives a yellow card.
  • 45:00+2:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Ngog on Jeremy Toulalan.
  • 45:00+2:13 Effort from inside the area by Fabio Aurelio misses to the left of the goal.
  • 45:00+1:57 Emiliano Insua produces a cross, clearance by Jeremy Toulalan.
  • 45:00+1:28 Inswinging corner taken by Fabio Aurelio from the right by-line, save by Hugo Lloris.
  • 44:56 Inswinging corner taken by Fabio Aurelio from the left by-line.
  • 44:40 Fabio Aurelio takes a shot. Save by Hugo Lloris.
  • 43:11 Lisandro Lopez takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.
  • 41:59 Substitution Maxime Gonalons joins the action as a substitute, replacing Cristiano Cris.
  • 40:17 GOAL - Yossi BenayounLiverpool 1 - 0 Lyon Yossi Benayoun finds the net with a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Liverpool 1-0 Lyon.
  • 38:18 Sidney Govou produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.
  • 37:50 Miralem Pjanic takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a comfortable save.
  • 35:06 David Ngog takes a shot. Hugo Lloris gets a block in.
  • 33:31 Fabio Aurelio delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, save by Hugo Lloris.
  • 33:31 Booking Cristiano Cris receives a caution.
  • 31:04 Cristiano Cris concedes a free kick for a foul on Dirk Kuyt.
  • 29:54 Dirk Kuyt produces a right-footed shot from a long way out which goes wide right of the goal.
  • 29:24 Sidney Govou is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 26:44 Javier Mascherano concedes a free kick for a foul on Kim Kallstrom. Free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.
  • 23:51 Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.
  • 23:51 Substitution Fabio Aurelio joins the action as a substitute, replacing Steven Gerrard.
  • 23:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Agger by Lisandro Lopez.
  • 22:11 Emiliano Insua concedes a free kick for a foul on Sidney Govou. Free kick taken by Cristiano Cris.
  • 19:06 The assistant referee flags for offside against David Ngog. Free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.
  • 17:32 Kim Kallstrom produces a left-footed shot from 35 yards and went wide right of the target.
  • 16:13 Leiva Lucas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Honorato Ederson. Direct free kick taken by Jeremy Toulalan.
  • 14:38 Jamie Carragher produces a cross, free kick awarded for a foul by Dirk Kuyt on Aly Cissokho. Direct free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.
  • 9:36 A cross is delivered by Aly Cissokho, Lisandro Lopez takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
  • 9:15 Kim Kallstrom takes a shot. Jamie Carragher gets a block in.
  • 9:01 Aly Cissokho produces a cross, Daniel Agger makes a clearance.
  • 8:29 Dirk Kuyt produces a cross, save made by Hugo Lloris.
  • 6:22 Shot from long distance by Jeremy Toulalan misses to the left of the goal.
  • 5:01 Centre by Aly Cissokho, save made by Jose Reina.
  • 3:56 Emiliano Insua gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jeremy Toulalan. Free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.
  • 3:41 Inswinging corner taken by Leiva Lucas.
  • 3:17 The ball is delivered by Leiva Lucas, Anthony Reveillere gets a block in.
  • 3:04+5:19 Leiva Lucas takes a inswinging corner.
  • 2:54 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Blocked by Anthony Reveillere.
  • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Champions League results

20 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
AZ 1-1 Arsenal R
Barcelona 1-2 Rubin Kazan R
Debrecen 3-4 Fiorentina R
Inter Milan 2-2 Dynamo Kiev R
Liverpool 1-2 Lyon R
Olympiakos 2-1 Standard Liege R
Rangers 1-4 Unirea Urziceni R
VfB Stuttgart 1-3 Sevilla R

see also
Benitez stays defiant after loss
20 Oct 09 |  Liverpool
Tuesday football as it happened
20 Oct 09 |  Football
Champions League photos
20 Oct 09 |  Europe
Sunderland 1-0 Liverpool
17 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Benitez shrugs off bizarre goal
17 Oct 09 |  Liverpool
Fiorentina 2-0 Liverpool
29 Sep 09 |  Europe
Liverpool 1-0 Debrecen
16 Sep 09 |  Europe


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