Reds cut it fine but deservedly go through

Udinese 0-1 Liverpool

 0-1 Henderson (23)

 So through but phew we nearly lost it at the end with Di Natale’s dying second shot over the bar. However, it was a determined performance and particularly where it needed to be, in defence.

 After the game BR tried to big things up

“There was no margin for error. We knew we had to win because we were in a difficult group with a Champions League team and one of the richest teams in the world. The desire of the team to win the game was very strong and that is good for the future”

 Agree or disagree but we should not forget that this was the game that need not have been. However, we failed to capitalise on our advantage at home against Young Boys and now it was time to face the consequences of that. Thankfully there was no carelessness this time as we finally made to the last 32 and on top of the group.

 BR’s line up emphasised the need to get a result. Gerrard and Agger were ill and although it wasn’t his first eleven, it was a strong enough side.

 As one would expect from the home team and their performance at Anfield, Udinese started well Ranegie, with a header, and Pereyra, via a nice chip, could have made life very difficult for us however, once we went ahead, much of the fight went out of the hosts and like the crowd their contribution was sparse but still worrying enough to feel that perhaps one goal would be too close for comfort?.

 Our goal came from an unlikely source. Jordon Henderson claims he has been improving over the last month. Those who remain to be convinced by these claims will now be presented with the evidence of his first European goal. As ever Suarez was involved peeling away from his marker to meet Downing’s corner and nod to Suso who simply knocked it back presenting Henderson with an easy, though not particularly confident, finish through the keeper’s legs into the far corner of the net. A set piece? It looked like it although I suspect Suarez didn’t know too much about the destination of his header!

 As the game progressed you always thought another goal would be needed however, we reverted back to type and, despite dominating for long periods, simply couldn’t manage it. Just before the break Suarez went close twice. Firstly there was an ambitious, off balance effort with ended up over the bar when perhaps a cross would have been a better option? Next there was a terrific over head kick that was well saved by ex red  Padelli (look it up!) in the Udinese goal which also, as the players trooped off for their oranges, sparked a heated debate as to whether in executing the “shot” the Uruguayan had used his elbow.

 In the second half we were again in charge without making it tell even though Udinese went close via another Ranegie header that just cleared the bar. Suarez produced a tired attempt that flew over the bar. Henderson could have got his second only to see his volley, from Enrique’s cross, well saved by Padelli. The keeper produced again to deny Suarez after his salaaming run into the area. At the end, despite Pasquale seeing red, we nearly paid for it however thankfully Di Natale, on for Ranegie, had left his shooting boots on the bench.

 So the knock out bit and a game against Rafa at some stage? Who would not bet on it? Fate and all that!!!

 Udinese: Padelli, Danilo, Faraoni, Pasquale Dismissed after an earlier booking, Armero, Heurtaux, Agyemang Booked, Pinzi (Benatia – 46′ ), Ranegie (Di Natale – 85′), Fabbrini Booked, Pereyra, Substitutes: Brkic, Benatia (Reinthaler – 65′),  Berra, Marsura, Reinthaler, Frison, Di Natale.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Carragher, booked Skrtel, Sahin (Shelvey – 12′), Henderson, Downing, Allen Booked, Suarez, Suso Booked (Sterling – 71′ ) Substitutes: Jones, Coates, Wisdom, Cole, Sterling, Shelvey, Assaidi

 Att: 12,000

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