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Page last updated at 19:50 GMT, Thursday, 24 February 2011

Liverpool   1 - 0   Sparta Prague (agg 1 - 0)

Dirk Kuyt (centre) gets mobbed by team-mates after his winner for Liverpool against Spart Prague
Kuyt (centre) gets mobbed by team-mates after his winner

By Mandeep Sanghera

A late Dirk Kuyt header booked Liverpool's place in the last 16 of the Europa League as the Reds overcame a stubborn Sparta Prague at Anfield.

Kuyt guided in an 86th minute Raul Meireles corner as the home side finally converted one of their chances.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos had earlier been denied for Liverpool when keeper Jaromir Blazek clawed away his header.

Meireles blazed over and David Ngog had an effort saved for the Reds before Kuyt provided the finish needed.

Joe Cole raced clear and could have put the gloss on the victory as Sparta left spaces at the back in search of a leveller but the playmaker put his shot wide with just Blazek to beat.

Nevertheless, Liverpool prevailed to provide manager Kenny Dalglish with victory in his first European game in charge of the club at Anfield and set up a last 16 encounter against Portuguese outfit SC Braga.

Dalglish, however, will feel his side's progress should have been confirmed much earlier at a sell-out Anfield.

Following an uneventful goalless first leg, both teams showed more ambition this time around and the increased sense of urgency, blended with some sloppy play, made for an entertaining spectacle.

The Reds might have had a penalty as early as the opening minute when a Meireles free-kick bounced on to Manuel Pamic's hand, with the home side's appeals for handball being waved away.

The visitors hit back when a long throw fell for Libor Sionko and he poked an effort high as he was quickly closed down by Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina.

Vaclav Kadlec shot over and also had a powered header saved within the first 15 minutes as Sparta strived for an away goal which would have given them the upper hand.

The warning signs were heeded by Liverpool and a guided header by Kyrgiakos from a Meireles corner almost crept in before Blazek scrambled across to save.

This last 32 tie has come during the winter break in Sparta Prague's domestic season and their lack of action might have been behind Sionko and Kadlec failing to take a gilt-edged opening.

The pair appeared to get in each others way as a corner fell to them at the far post following Reina missing an attempted punch clear.

Liverpool had little excuse for their failure to take their chances as Meireles, who has been on such a rich goalscoring vein, blazed a half-volley high from a Martin Kelly cross.

Cole cut inside and had a shot blocked away by Blazek before Sparta right-back and ex-West Ham defender Tomas Repka's mistake opened the door for the Reds.

Kuyt got in behind Repka and pulled the ball back for Ngog, whose disappointing shot was straight at Blazek.

Lucas fizzed a 25-yard shot just wide of the Sparta goal and, while Ngog was working tirelessly, he could not find the finish to reward his play as he was again denied by the visiting keeper.

The prospect of an away goal late on to leave Liverpool with little time to respond would have caused anxiety among the home fans but that was all relieved when Kuyt got on the end of a Meireles corner as extra-time loomed.

Live text and stats

 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Europa League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Liverpool 1-0 Sparta Prague FT
(HT 0-0)(agg 1-0)
  • Kuyt 86

    Liverpool

    Substitutes

    Sparta Prague

    • 29 Blazek
    • 02 Repka
    • 21 Brabec
    • 38 Abena (Pekhart 78)
    • 03 Pamic yellow card (Keric 90)
    • 07 Sionko (Podany 73)
    • 08 Matejovsky yellow card
    • 13 Kusnir
    • 25 Vacek
    • 09 Leonard Kweuke yellow card
    • 14 Kadlec

    Substitutes

    • 01 Zitka,
    • 15 Kladrubsky,
    • 27 Husek,
    • 05 Podany,
    • 22 Zeman,
    • 40 Keric,
    • 41 Pekhart
    Ref: Milorad MazicAtt: 42,949
    LIVERPOOL
    SPARTA PRAGUE

    Possession

    • Liverpool 48%
    • Sparta Prague 52%

    Attempts on target

    • Liverpool 10
    • Sparta Prague 4

    Attempts off target

    • Liverpool 10
    • Sparta Prague 5

    Corners

    • Liverpool 7
    • Sparta Prague 5

    Fouls

    • Liverpool 15
    • Sparta Prague 20
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:09 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
    • 90:00+2:29 Handball decision goes against Tomas Pekhart. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
    • 90:00+2:08 Effort from inside the area by Joe Cole misses to the right of the goal.
    • 90:00+1:21 Kamil Vacek delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, save made by Jose Reina.
    • 90:00+1:21 Booking Caution for Leiva Lucas.
    • 90:00+1:10 Leiva Lucas concedes a free kick for a foul on Andrej Keric.
    • 90:00+0:53 David Ngog takes a shot. Jaromir Blazek makes a save.
    • 89:17 Substitution (Sparta Prague) makes a substitution, with Andrej Keric coming on for Manuel Pamic.
    • 86:37 Dirk Kuyt is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Tomas Repka restarts play with the free kick.
    • 86:13 Handball by Tomas Pekhart. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
    • 85:03 The assist for the goal came from Raul Meireles.
    • 85:03 GOAL - Dirk KuytLiverpool 1 - 0 Sparta Prague Dirk Kuyt scores a headed goal from close range. Liverpool 1 (1)-(0) 0 Sparta Prague.
    • 85:01 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Raul Meireles from the left by-line,
    • 83:22 Raul Meireles has an effort direct from the free kick.
    • 83:22 Substitution Martin Skrtel replaces Daniel Agger.
    • 83:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Ngog by Tomas Repka.
    • 81:40 Corner taken left-footed by Jakub Podany to the near post, Headed effort from close range by Erich Brabec goes wide left of the goal.
    • 80:12 Dirk Kuyt produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
    • 79:06 Free kick awarded for a foul by Leonard Kweuke on Daniel Agger. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.
    • 78:49 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save by Jaromir Blazek.
    • 77:20 Substitution Tomas Pekhart is brought on as a substitute for Martin Abena.
    • 74:34 The ball is delivered by Dirk Kuyt, clearance by Erich Brabec. David Ngog takes a shot. Jaromir Blazek makes a save. Corner taken right-footed by Raul Meireles from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Tomas Repka.
    • 73:45 Dirk Kuyt delivers the ball, blocked by Manuel Pamic. Raul Meireles takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Ondrej Kusnir manages to make a clearance.
    • 72:46 Substitution Jakub Podany joins the action as a substitute, replacing Libor Sionko.
    • 72:32 Dirk Kuyt delivers the ball.
    • 70:00 The referee blows for offside. Jaromir Blazek takes the free kick.
    • 69:29 A cross is delivered by Manuel Pamic.
    • 68:50 Corner taken right-footed by Libor Sionko, clearance made by Dirk Kuyt.
    • 67:06 Joe Cole has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
    • 66:54 The ball is swung over by Raul Meireles, Ondrej Kusnir makes a clearance.
    • 66:44 Dirk Kuyt sends in a cross, clearance by Tomas Repka.
    • 65:51 The ball is swung over by David Ngog.
    • 65:35 Martin Abena gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Cole. Leiva Lucas takes the direct free kick.
    • 64:41 Foul by Raul Meireles on Kamil Vacek, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Manuel Pamic.
    • 63:43 Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes the direct free kick.
    • 63:43 Substitution Jay Spearing comes on in place of Christian Poulsen.
    • 63:43 Booking Leonard Kweuke receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 63:36 Leonard Kweuke challenges Sotirios Kyrgiakos unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 62:41 Erich Brabec challenges David Ngog unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Christian Poulsen.
    • 61:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Agger by Leonard Kweuke. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Raul Meireles from left channel, clearance made by Manuel Pamic.
    • 60:48 Kamil Vacek challenges Dirk Kuyt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Christian Poulsen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 60:22 Joe Cole takes a shot. Save by Jaromir Blazek.
    • 59:46 A cross is delivered by Ondrej Kusnir, save made by Jose Reina.
    • 58:13 Direct free kick taken by Tomas Repka.
    • 58:13 Booking Booking for Jamie Carragher for unsporting behaviour.
    • 58:05 Jamie Carragher challenges Martin Abena unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 57:10 Centre by Kamil Vacek, Martin Abena produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 56:52 Outswinging corner taken by Kamil Vacek from the right by-line played to the near post, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.
    • 53:17 Unfair challenge on Leonard Kweuke by Sotirios Kyrgiakos results in a free kick. Strike comes in from Marek Matejovsky from the free kick.
    • 51:26 Inswinging corner taken by Kamil Vacek, save by Jose Reina.
    • 50:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Raul Meireles on Kamil Vacek. Jaromir Blazek takes the direct free kick.
    • 48:45 Effort from outside the penalty area by Raul Meireles goes wide left of the target.
    • 48:25 Manuel Pamic handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Sotirios Kyrgiakos restarts play with the free kick.
    • 47:18 Unfair challenge on Vaclav Kadlec by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick. Manuel Pamic takes the direct free kick.
    • 45:47 Centre by Ondrej Kusnir, save by Jose Reina.
    • Correction - 45:01 Substitution Martin Kelly leaves the field to be replaced by Jamie Carragher.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
    • 45:01 Substitution Jamie Carragher joins the action as a substitute, replacing Martin Kelly.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:13 The first half comes to an end.
    • 45:00+1:35 Leonard Kweuke challenges Raul Meireles unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
    • 44:53 Leiva Lucas has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 44:25 Vaclav Kadlec takes a shot. Blocked by Daniel Agger.
    • 43:54 Leiva Lucas concedes a free kick for a foul on Vaclav Kadlec. Erich Brabec takes the direct free kick.
    • 42:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Christian Poulsen on Marek Matejovsky. Erich Brabec restarts play with the free kick.
    • 41:15 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marek Matejovsky by Raul Meireles. Free kick taken by Tomas Repka.
    • 39:37 Daniel Agger takes the direct free kick.
    • 39:37 Booking Marek Matejovsky is shown a yellow card.
    • 39:28 Leiva Lucas fouled by Leonard Kweuke, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 38:56 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Raul Meireles from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Martin Abena.
    • 38:38 Martin Kelly crosses the ball, Kamil Vacek makes a clearance.
    • 37:58 The assistant referee signals for offside against David Ngog. Indirect free kick taken by Jaromir Blazek.
    • 35:45 David Ngog takes a shot. Jaromir Blazek makes a save.
    • 34:42 Long range shot from David Ngog misses to the left of the goal.
    • 33:59 Booking Christian Poulsen goes into the referee's book.
    • 33:03 Leonard Kweuke concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Agger. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Agger.
    • 32:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by Libor Sionko on Raul Meireles. Free kick taken by Daniel Agger.
    • 31:11 The free kick is delivered right-footed by Raul Meireles from right wing, clearance by Leonard Kweuke.
    • 31:11 Booking Manuel Pamic booked.
    • 31:03 Manuel Pamic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Ngog.
    • 29:34 Free kick crossed right-footed by Kamil Vacek.
    • 29:34 Booking The referee books Martin Kelly for unsporting behaviour.
    • 29:30 Martin Kelly gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Libor Sionko.
    • 27:40 A cross is delivered by Erich Brabec, save by Jose Reina.
    • 27:10 Sotirios Kyrgiakos challenges Vaclav Kadlec unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marek Matejovsky restarts play with the free kick.
    • 26:18 Foul by Leonard Kweuke on Sotirios Kyrgiakos, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
    • 24:31 Joe Cole takes a shot. Jaromir Blazek makes a save.
    • 23:21 Leiva Lucas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Abena. Marek Matejovsky takes the direct free kick.
    • 21:22 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kamil Vacek, Libor Sionko takes a shot. Clearance made by Danny Wilson. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Cole by Ondrej Kusnir. Danny Wilson takes the direct free kick. Raul Meireles produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
    • 20:11 Martin Kelly produces a cross, Joe Cole has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.
    • 19:42 Leonard Kweuke concedes a free kick for a foul on Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Free kick taken by Daniel Agger.
    • 18:54 Corner taken right-footed by Raul Meireles from the right by-line, David Ngog takes a shot. Comfortable save by Jaromir Blazek.
    • 18:24 Martin Kelly produces a cross, Tomas Repka manages to make a clearance.
    • 16:48 Corner taken by Raul Meireles from the right by-line, Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes a shot. Save made by Jaromir Blazek. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Raul Meireles, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Daniel Agger misses to the left of the goal.
    • 16:14 Vaclav Kadlec challenges Daniel Agger unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes the free kick.
    • 15:15 David Ngog fouled by Kamil Vacek, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Raul Meireles, Leonard Kweuke manages to make a clearance.
    • 12:46 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Ngog by Erich Brabec. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Daniel Agger.
    • 12:33 Vaclav Kadlec takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
    • 11:27 Shot from just outside the area by Vaclav Kadlec goes over the bar.
    • 11:19 David Ngog is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Erich Brabec.
    • 10:02 Kamil Vacek crosses the ball, Header on goal by Libor Sionko from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 9:31 Unfair challenge on Vaclav Kadlec by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick. Kamil Vacek takes the direct free kick.
    • 8:51 Effort on goal by Raul Meireles from inside the box misses to the right of the target.
    • 7:02 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Raul Meireles by Marek Matejovsky. Free kick crossed left-footed by Daniel Agger, Vaclav Kadlec makes a clearance.
    • 6:44 Danny Wilson delivers the ball, Erich Brabec makes a clearance.
    • 5:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Leiva Lucas on Vaclav Kadlec. Kamil Vacek crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save by Jose Reina.
    • 4:27 The ball is delivered by Joe Cole.
    • 3:28 Libor Sionko has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide right of the target.
    • 2:25 Foul by Joe Cole on Kamil Vacek, free kick awarded. Erich Brabec takes the free kick.
    • 0:48 David Ngog fouled by Tomas Repka, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Raul Meireles, Libor Sionko makes a clearance.
    • 0:00 The match begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Europa League results

    24 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

    • Ajax2-0Anderlecht
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    • Bayer Leverkusen2-0FC Metalist Kharkiv
      FT (agg 6-0)
    • Braga2-0Lech Poznan
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    • Dynamo Kiev4-0Besiktas
      FT (agg 8-1)
    • FC Twente2-2Rubin Kazan
      FT (agg 4-2)
    • Liverpool1-0Sparta PragueFT (agg 1-0)
    • Man City3-0Aris SalonikaFT (agg 3-0)
    • Paris SG0-0BATE Borisov
      FT (agg 2-2) PSG win on away goals rule
    • PSV Eindhoven3-1Lille
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    • Spartak Moscow1-1Basle
      FT (agg 4-3)
    • Sporting2-2RangersFT (agg 3-3) Rangers win on away goals rule
    • VfB Stuttgart0-2Benfica
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    • Villarreal2-1Napoli
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    • Zenit St P'sbg3-1Young Boys
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    see also
    Dalglish pays tribute to Hodgson
    24 Feb 11 |  Liverpool
    British trio set for testing ties
    24 Feb 11 |  Europe
    Europa League as it happened
    24 Feb 11 |  Football
    Thursday's football photos
    24 Feb 11 |  Football
    Sparta Prague 0-0 Liverpool
    17 Feb 11 |  Europe
    Carroll 'not yet ready for debut'
    23 Feb 11 |  Liverpool


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