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By Sam Lyon
2155: Right, that's it from me tonight, why not fill the undoubtedly massive void in your lives my departure will leave by reading Mark Ashenden's
match report? Paul Fletcher is your man tomorrow for what promises to be a couple of intriguing
with Tottenham in the Champions League and Manchester City, Aston Villa and now Liverpool in the Europa League. Make sure you're back here next Wednesday for that England-Hungary friendly, before the serious business of the Premier League gets under way three days later. I'll see you all for both of those. Football - man, how I've missed you.
Spence on 606:
"As an Arsenal fan I just have to say the football played tonight was a huge improvement on Rafa's hoofball style, wasn't it?"
2148: Jamie Carragher, asked about Roy Hodgson's impact at Liverpool so far: "Well we've only played two games under him - I'm sure that's a question that will need to be asked at Christmas or at the end of the season. We've said goodbye to Rafa and wish him well at Inter Milan, but Roy has come in with his ideas and we're enjoying ourselves. There's definitely a bit of a buzz about the place."
Europa League Danny: "Full-times. Motherwell 3-0 Aalesunds (4-1 agg). Hibernian 2-3 Maribor (2-6 agg). Cliftonville 1-2 CSKA Sofia (1-5 agg). Bangor City 1-2 Maritimo (3-10 agg). So congratulations to Motherwell who join Liverpool (and many more) in Friday's Europa League play-off draw in Nyon."
2145: Joe Cole, clearly exhausted after getting through a full match for the first time in ages: "I would have loved to have got a goal tonight, but I'm just pleased to get 90 minutes under my belt and for us to have got the win. I enjoyed it out there and it made a change not to get stick from the Anfield crowd! I really want to push on now, get fitter, and show these great fans what I can do."
Jonny in Belfast via text: "I'm really looking forward to the new season now, just hope Liverpool can get new owners and a couple more quality signings. With that I reckon we can push for the title under Roy!"
Masarn1 on 606:
"As a Chelsea fan, the longer I watched that game, the more I thought that Ancelotti made a major mistake in letting Joe Cole go."
2135: Well, that will do for Liverpool. They could - and probably should - have scored more against a very poor Rabotnicki side, but they still did more than enough to book their place in Friday's Europa League play-off draw. That draw gets started in Nyon, Switzerland at around 1230 BST.
More from Europa League Danny: "Cliftonville collapse. They concede two late goals against CSKA Sofia and they've slipped 2-1 down on the night, 5-1 on aggregate."
Europa League Danny: "Flourish. Jonathan Page scores in the 89th minute for Motherwell and they're 3-0 up on Aalesund on the night, 4-1 on aggregate. They'll be joining Liverpool et al in the play-off draw. Hibs won't, despite Edwin De Graaf's 89th-minute goal. They're 2-3 down on the night, 6-2 on aggregate."
FULL TIME: Liverpool 2-0 Rabotnicki (agg 4-0)
90+2 mins: Liverpool break, but it comes to nothing when Dani Pacheco's shot is blocked.
90 mins: It's a barnstorming finish - and it's from Rabotnicki. First Martin Kelly is forced into a desperate clearance five yards out with Marcio inches away from nodding a consolation, and then from the resulting corner Filip Petkovski rattles the post with a half-volley from 10 yards out. The Macedonians' best two chances of the night - and both in injury time.
89 mins: Penalty shout for Rabotnicki as the Macedonians break, but Gjorgi Mojsov is booked for falling over Martin Skrtel's challenge.
88 mins: Another half chance for Joe Cole, the playmaker this time taking a neat touch inside the area before seeing his shot deflected up and over the bar.
86 mins: Half-chance for Joe Cole, but Martin Kelly's cross is a touch behind him and the new-boy can only head over the bar.
Europa League Danny: "Full-time - Bangor City 1-2 Maritimo (3-10 aggregate). Never a chance for the Welsh side, but a much better second leg from them."
redandblackT on 606:
"An attendance of 30K-plus for the visit of a club that sounds like it's named after an 80's disco group is pretty impressive."
BREAKING TRANSFER NEWS: West Ham have signed New Zealand international defender Winston Reid for an undisclosed fee. Accumulating quite a few players under the radar this summer aren't they, the Londoners?
81 mins: He should have had a penalty awarded against him a moment ago, but that's cracking defending from Egzon Belica, the defender getting across brilliantly to block Maxi Rodriguez's goalbound shot from eight yards out.
Jamieroser on Twitter:
"Despite the opposition, the performances tonight and last week have given me new confidence for the season. Liverpool can challenge for 4th."
79 mins: The Anfield crowd number is in - 31,202. By no means a sell-out, but a decent night's viewing for those in attendance nonetheless.
Europa League Danny: "Unlucky Shamrock. The Dublin side held out for 74 minutes at Juventus, but a certain Alessandro Del Piero has put the Italian side 1-0 up on the night. It's 3-0 on aggregate. Meanwhile, Marcos Tavares' second of the night makes it Hibernian 1-3 Maribor - that's 6-1 on aggregate and it's a miserable evening at Easter Road."
77 mins: Rabotnicki look a touch lucky not to concede their second penalty of the night when Egzon Belica pulls on David Ngog's arm and shirt inside the box, referee Peter Sippel giving the defender the benefit of the doubt.
76 mins: There's something of a pre-season friendly feel about this match now, with Liverpool comfortable and looking to score the perfect goal. Rabotnicki, high in passion, low in quality, just look relieved to have kept the score down.
73 mins: Liverpool make their third and final substitution, local youngster Jay Spearing - captain of the Youth Cup-winning side of 2007 - replacing Lucas in the home midfield.
71 mins: Roy Hodgson is loving this - the Liverpool manager's smile is wider than the Mersey pitch-side. His mood isn't even tempered by another missed chance by David Ngog, the Frenchman sending a header unmarked wide from Glen Johnson's pinpoint cross.
Europa League Danny: "All hope extinguished. Dejan Mezga's penalty puts Maribor 2-1 up at Hibernian. Their aggregate lead is 5-1 and there are 23 minutes left."
68 mins: Chance for Dani Pacheco inside the area from Joe Cole's lay-off, but it's well blocked. A minute later, Cole himself bursts into the box himself but his snap-shot is saved well at his near post by Martin Bogatinov.
66 mins: Another flowing move and another Milan Jovanovic cross, but David Ngog fails to get enough on his header and Rabotnicki clear. Soon after the Serb is replaced by Maxi Rodriguez.
65 mins: Martin Kelly, pretty quiet this evening at left-back, gets forward, cuts inside, but sends his right-foot effort wide of the far post.
rontykok on Twitter:
"Joey finally looks fit and hungry... not seen that look in him since his Hammer days. Carlo (Ancelotti) bottled him up at Chelsea."
62 mins: That's your lot from Steven Gerrard tonight, the midfielder making way for Italian playmaker Alberto Aquilani.
61 mins: Super stuff from Liverpool, the hosts stroking the ball around with aplomb to leave Rabotnicki chasing shadows. Possession football.
Europa League Danny: "Some joy for Hibs as Edwin de Graaf makes it 1-1 on the night against Maribor. But the home side still need another four goals if they're not to exit the competition."
59 mins: Pot-shot from Dani Pacheco - wide.
58 mins: There's a few hardy Rabotnicki fans at Anfield tonight by the look of things. I suggest a visit to The Cavern Club to save their evening.
54 mins: Another glimpse at goal for Joe Cole, the Liverpool new-boy turning past a Rabotnicki defender and into the box and forcing a low save from Martin Bagatinov at his near post. A shot of England assistant coach Franco Baldini in the crowd, there - I wonder how impressed he is with Cole tonight? England are in action against Hungary next Wednesday, lest we forget.
52 mins: Cracking reception from the Kop as Steven Gerrard trots over to take a corner, but the midfielder's whipped cross is cleared. Joe Cole then helps clean up a Rabotnicki attack by back-tracking and nicking the ball in defence. Work ethic.
Europa League Danny: "The dream is over. Marquinho scores for Maritimo and they're now 2-1 up on Bangor, 10-3 on aggregate. They can probably start planning for the play-off stage."
49 mins: He's looked good as well tonight, Milan Jovanovic, and the Serb forces the first save of note of the half, his left-footed long-ranger forcing Rabotnicki keeper Martin Bogatinov to scramble the ball behind.
46 mins: Liverpool pick up where they left off, although it's perhaps a touch fortunate, Joe Cole's attempted back-post cross drifting goalwards and ricocheting off the Rabotnicki bar.
2045: Liverpool get us back under way.
2045: The teams are back out, no changes to either side by the look of things.
PhilMcHugh on Twitter:
"It's all Royght on the night! Get in my (Hodg)son!!" It really can be that easy to get on this page, folks.
Yet more Europa League Danny: "Comeback of all time ever is off - Adilson scores for Maritimo to restore their six-goal aggregate advantage over Bangor City. It's 1-1 on the night, 3-9 on aggregate."
Europa League Danny: "Match of the night - FC Timisoara 3-3 MyPa (5-4 aggregate). Finland's MyPa raced into a 3-0 lead inside 25 minutes. Micea Axente's goal looked like a mere consolation - until the Romanians only went and smashed in two more in the last 10 minutes and went through 5-4 on aggregate. Contact the club if you want to try to get the DVD."
Liverpool fan, Cambridge, via text: "We're not getting carried away! We know full well that we might have to settle for second in the league this season. Maybe even third..."
2039: Now then, there are two ways of looking at that first half. One side of the fence might argue Liverpool looked delightful, especially going forward, with Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard and Milan Jovanovic serving warning of their potential as a three-man attack behind the front man. The other side might argue that Rabotnicki, not even Macedonia's best side, would make the Dog and Duck pub team look good on this showing. I'd find it hard to disagree with either.
Europa League Danny: "Good work from Cliftonville - Liam Boyce puts them 1-0 up against CSKA Sofia at Windsor Park and they now trail 3-1 in the tie. One more for the home team and that'll get very interesting. And a word for Shamrock Rovers who are 0-0 at half-time away to Juventus. Still 2-0 down on aggregate though."
heynige on Twitter:
"We are not playing Barcelona, yes, but you can feel the difference already, thank you Roy!"
Eddpowell on Twitter:
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves, Liverpool are playing the runners-up from the Macedonian league! Wait till the first weekend of the Premier League season."
2031: HALF-TIME Liverpool 2-0 Rabotnicki (agg 4-0)
44 mins: Deary me, David Ngog. Does any other player go from the sublime to the ridiculous as often? That's probably harsh, but that's not great from him. Dani Pacheco does well on the edge of the box after yet more good play by Joe Cole and slips Ngog in, but the Frenchman - rather than shooting at goal - attempts to cut it back for Steven Gerrard, underhits it, and the chance is gone.
Anon via text: "Before any Liverpool fans get carried away, Fulham won 6-0 on aggregate at this stage in last season's Europa League." And went on to the final. Fair point, though, Rabotnicki are certainly doing their best to make Liverpool look like world-beaters here.
Liverpool goal. It's soft, but deserved. Fernando Lopes clumsily hauls David Ngog over in a crowded box, and Steven Gerrard steps up to slip home his 35th European goal for Liverpool. Pipe and slippers time.
40 mins: GOALFLASH Liverpool 2-0 Rabotnicki (agg 4-0) (Gerrard pen)
39 mins: PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL
38 min: Liverpool content to move the ball about patiently at the moment, with Joe Cole and Steven Gerrard pulling all the strings. Rabotnicki, looking a little like a rabbit in the headlights, are just trying to hang on.
34 mins: Rabotnicki, who are being given a lesson on their Anfield debut, enjoy a rare spell of possession that ends with Fabio Silva gaining half a yard in the Liverpool box. Jamie Carragher closes that particular door quickly, though.
Alex from Northampton: "Joe Cole already looks to be the signing of the season." I like it. You've gone early, you've gone big. Nice.
29 mins: Joe Cole is enjoying the freedom of Anfield right now - and the home fans are absolutely loving him for it. He collects the ball 25 yards out in acres of space, but can only curl his shot high and wide.
Typical Southampton on 606:
"The floodgates look like they're going to open any moment. Liverpool look like a different team to last season."
26 mins: Liverpool are playing some rather lovely stuff at times here - though the Robots are not making it too difficult for them - and moments after Lucas's cross just evades the head of Milan Jovanovic, David Ngog just fails to collect another ball into the box from Joe Cole with the goal at his mercy six yards out.
Europa League Danny: "Bad times for Hibernian - Marcos Tavares puts Maribor 1-0 up at Easter Road, and that's now 4-0 on aggregate. Hibs need five."
Liverpool goal: Steve Gerrard forces the corner with a low long-ranger that is tipped wide, and it leads to Liverpool's opener - Joe Cole the provider with an inch-perfect cross and David Ngog making no mistake this time with a firm header in off the bar. It's been coming, and might that prompt a hatful?
21 mins: GOALFLASH Liverpool 1-0 Rabotnicki (agg 3-0) (Ngog)
19 mins: Rabotnicki's Ze Carlos is the first man into the book, the German referee taking exception to his attempts to cuddle Martin Kelly at a free-kick. Quite right too. He's a good looking lad is Kelly, but that's too much.
17 mins: Glorious ball over the Rabotnicki defence from Joe Cole - who is having a nice couple of minutes here - but Dani Pacheco cannot collect and keeper Martin Bogatinov again gets out to clear. Signs of Liverpool going through the gears, though.
Europa League Danny: "Great start for Motherwell - Jamie Murphy and John Sutton put them 2-0 up against Aalesund early on and they're 3-1 up on aggregate. Elsewhere - is the greatest football fightback there has ever been on? Bangor City are 1-0 up on Maritimo thanks to Alan Bull, and they only trail 3-8 on aggregate now. Meanwhile, you might like to know that Ricky van Wolfswinkel is among the scorers for FC Utrecht tonight."
14 mins: Great move, shocking finish. Joe Cole and Steven Gerrard combine beautifully around the Rabotnicki box and the latter slips David Ngog clear on goal, only for the Frenchman to dally as he attempts to round the keeper, allowing Martin Bogatinov to get down and clear. That's why he can be so frustrating.
12 mins: A rare shot on goal - and it comes from the Robots. Nikola Gligorov tries his luck with a free-kick but its easily held by the Liverpool keeper.
10 mins: Joe Cole is digging into his big bag of tricks, but the results are patchy at best at the moment. For every backheel that finds a team-mate, there's a flick that only gifts possession back to Rabotnicki. Fortunately for Reds fans, the Macedonian side look more than out-matched by the Merseysiders, even during these early stages.
7 mins: I tell you what, that's a close call. Glen Johnson breaks through a couple of tackles as he bursts infield from the right and he slips David Ngog in on goal inside the area - only for the Frenchman to be flagged offside. He was, but only just.
6 min: Wahey! Foul throw by Liverpool. Ahem. Sketchy start at Anfield, I think it's safe to say, with the Reds finding their feet a touch.
3 mins: Rabotnicki, no doubt mindful that they have it all to do to come from 2-0 down after the first leg, look to get an early shot in on goal, but Wandeir's long-ranger is tame and well wide. Liverpool bounce and Joe Cole gets on the ball, but his pass - like Jovanovic's before him - is overhit and the attack breaks down.
1 min: Milan Jovanovic gets his first touch at Anfield - and it's an overhit cross that eludes everyone and goes behind. Anti-climax-tastic.
1945: No messing about, then, we're up and running.
1944: When I say the Anfield crowd are finding their voice, I mean they've got the place positively rocking. Perhaps they're all reading this live text. Welcome to you all. We're moments away.
1943: The teams are in the tunnel, the Anfield crowd is finding its voice nicely, and we are about to get under way. I'm so excited, I might revisit my dinner.
1940: However much you might have missed me, trust me I've missed this boy more. Here he is folks, it's Europa League Danny: "There is interest elsewhere in the home nations tonight. Motherwell have a good chance of progress. They host Norway's Aalesunds FK and it's all to play for with the score 1-1. Hibernian have a tough home task as they attempt to overturn a 3-0 deficit against NK Maribor of Slovenia. And it's the same for Cliftonville, who trail Bulgaria's CSKA Sofia 3-0 in their home leg at Windsor Park. Bangor City of Wales need a miracle. They're currently 8-2 down against Portugal's Maritimo."
1937: What an impact Roy Hodgson appears to be enjoying at Anfield already thus far. He already looks to have convinced Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard to stay at the club, he's brought in Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic and Danny Wilson as a trio of impressive signings, and now he's at the helm as a whole host of potential bidders fight over the right to succeed Tom Hicks and George Gillett as the club's new owners. It might not have looked it a couple of months ago, but these look exciting times for a Liverpool fan, am I right?
GJLittler on Twitter:
"Spent the summer watching other live texts: Golf, tennis etc, but it's just not the same. It really isn't!"
1934: LIVERPOOL v RABOTNICKI TEAMS Liverpool: Cavalieri, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Kelly, Gerrard, Lucas, Pacheco, Cole, Jovanovic, Ngog. Subs: Gulacsi, Aquilani, Kyrgiakos, Maxi, Wilson, Spearing, Eccleston. Rabotnicki Kometal: Bogatinov, Dimovski, Belica, Fernando Lopes, Adem, Tuneski, Gligorov, Todorovski, Ze Carlos, Da Silva, Wandeir. Subs: Kandikijan, Sekulovski, Marcio, Mojsov, Roberto Carlos, Petkovski, Sinkovic. Referee: Peter Sippel (Germany)
Rainey187 on Twitter:
"I'm so glad Pacheco is getting a chance. Hopefully it's a sign for this season. He has always looked promising."
Tim via text: "It's been a quiet four weeks. The season is back and live texts grace our screens once more. Sam, I bow to your benevolence and generosity in bringing this back and delighting us once more." Stop it people, I'm filling up.
1929: Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson: "This is our only game before the Arsenal (Premier League) tie on the 15th so this is my only chance to play what at the moment is our strongest line-up, fitness-wise at least. It would make no sense for me not to pick our best players in those circumstances. Fernando Torres is not here, obviously, but I'm delighted - though not surprised - he's committed his future to this club. As for reports today linking us with (Juventus midfielder) Christian Poulsen - let me just say some links are correct sometimes, and others are not so correct."
dougmiestergen on Twitter:
"Sam, thank you for bringing updates back to my screen. The last four weeks have been empty! I'm now warm inside!" Feel the love in the room.
1925: LIVERPOOL v RABOTNICKI TEAM NEWS So Liverpool's new midfield signing Joe Cole is handed his competitive debut, while fellow England internationals Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson are all brought back into the line-up having sat out last week's win. Centre-back Daniel Agger misses the match because of an injury, but Milan Jovanovic makes his first appearance at Anfield and Dani Pacheco his first start, while Danny Wilson is named as a substitute.
1921: As always, I'm desperate for your input, and the usual channels are once again open for your chat-like business. The ball is already rolling on
you can text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with FOOTBALL before your message, or tweet me on that there
1918: Yep, the Football League and Premier League campaigns might not yet be up and running, but Liverpool's season is already a week old. Their first competitive action of the 2010-11 season saw them come away from Macedonia with a 2-0 thanks to a David Ngog double last Thursday, and that marks them out as firm favourites to win through to the round-that-precedes-the-group-stages tonight. And as if that wasn't excitement enough - Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher all start tonight. Let's get this puppy cooking.
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