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Liverpool go top after a 2-0 win over PSV (

23 nov 2006 - Source:

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Liverpool and PSV are assured of going through to the UEFA Champions league knockout round, but Liverpool are in on top in group C, after second half goals from Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch secured a 2-0 win over PSV at Anfield. Compact defenceBoth teams had already qualified for the knockout round, but the hosts wanted to entertain the 42, 000 home fans and make up for the disappointing results in the Premier League. The atmosphere was tremendous and the crowd wildly cheered on their favourite team, singing and chanting. Liverpool dominated the game, but PSV held on, playing a compact defence. PSV did not put in a convincing display and go out for victory at all costs. They cannot break their record of playing eight games in a row without conceding any goal any more. PSV usually have a great many midfield options, but tonight they had to do without Cocu and Mendez, in the closing stages. Moreover Culina and Väyrynen were not available, either, so the Eindhoven outfit did not start a great many flowing movesCsaba FehérLiverpool took most initiatives in the Champions League fifth group stage game. They played a high-tempo game, attempting to unlock the compact PSV defence. The visitors kept their composure, hoping to start counter attacks, but Liverpool enjoyed most possession of the ball. PSV coach Koeman played Timmy Simons and Csaba Fehér as holding midfielders. Fehér deputised for Cocu, who, feeling slightly ill with flu, started on the bench. The Liverpudlians played attacking football, but were hit by two injuries. Xabi Alonso sustained an injury after 21 minutes and former PSV player Boudewijn Zenden came on as a substitute. Fifteen minutes afterwards Mark Gonzalez, who had torn his hamstring, was also taken off the pitch on a stretcher and Luis García left the bench to replace him. Liverpool threatened a few times before the break and PSV, who did not take any risks, did not create one single chance. Farfán and his strike partner Koné were hardly ever found. Gerrard goalAfter the break the game continued in more or less the same vein. Liverpool attacked and PSV held on, but the deadlock was broken after all on 65 minutes. Dirk Kuyt evaded Alex and singled out Steven Gerrard, who placed the ball beyond goalkeeper Gomes; 1-0. Farfán had a shot on goal and Koeman took off holding midfielder Fehér for winger Tardelli. Alex son earned a chance, but he was adjudged to have been offside. Arouna Koné got an opportunity and after Koeman had also brought on Roy Beerens, who replaced Mendez, PSV played three forwards. Tardelli got a great opportunity, but Reina did well to save with his feet. Crouch had already put the result beyond doubt. Kuyt also set up the second goal of the night, extending Garcia’s cross to Peter Crouch. The tall striker simply headed home at the near post from close range on 89 minutes.PSV will fly home on Thursday. They will be next in action on Saturday night, when they play host to FC Utrecht in the Philips Stadium.