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PSV’s Champions League campaign has come to an end (

12 apr 2007 - Source:

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PSV’s tenth successive Champions League campaign has come to an end after they slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night. Liverpool will meet Chelsea in the semi-finals of the tournament, thanks to a second half goal from Peter Crouch.
Liverpool did not have to exert themselves in front of a 41, 500 crowd to book a place to the semi-finals. They rested star Steven Gerrard, while PSV had realised beforehand they could never make amends for the 3-0 defeat they had suffered in the first leg. PSV were not outclassed, but Ronald Koeman’s slipped to defeat after all when Liverpool scored a goal in the second half. PSV’s hopes of getting a fair result had faded even more, after the referee had very, very controversially shown Dirk Marcellis a straight red card and they were reduced to ten men for the final 27 minutes. This season’s European adventure may be over, but PSV will look back with satisfaction at a fine campaign. After four group stage games they had already secured a place in the knock-out rounds in which they beat last year’s Champions League finalists. One week ago Liverpool proved to be a few sizes too big for PSV, who have to draw comfort from having reached the final sixteen twice in three years. PSV handed a Champions League debut to Young PSV defender Dirk Marcellis, who started at right back. Koeman played Csaba Fehér as left back, while Eric Addo partnered Carlos Salcido in the heart of defence, with Timmy Simons in a role as holding midfielder. Mika Väyrynen tried to support Arouna Koné and Jefferson Farfán, the two strikers up front, but PSV could not create any openings against the compact, well-organised defence of the Reds. Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez had decided to rest a great many players, among whom captain Gerrard, Mascherano and international Carragher. Craig Bellamy had to be taken off after fifteen minutes, when he injured himself going in for a block tackle and was replaced by Robbie Fowler. PSV had already had a great opportunity to score an early goal after only three minutes, but Farfán headed straight at goalkeeper Reina. Liverpool took things easy, with a 3-0 lead from the first game, allowing PSV plenty of possession. The Eindhoven outfit comfortably held on, although Peter Crouch came close to scoring, but Gomes superbly saved the tall striker’s header. Liverpool gradually piled up the pressure and PSV were unable to start any meaningful moves. Carlos Salcido was cautioned by the referee on the stroke of half time for a foul on Fowler and the Mexican will consequently miss the next Champions League game. Boudewijn Zenden curled the resulting free kick just wide.
After the break Farfán created another chance, but Ronald Koeman’s could never really impress at Anfield. On the hour mark Patrick Kluivert was brought on in his 100th appearance in a UEFA Club competition for Farfán and Fehér was replaced by the Chinese Sun. On 64 minutes Dirk Marcellis slid in on Zenden. He was a bit late, but to the disbelief of everybody, including the Liverpool fans, referee Roberto Rosetti showed the 18-yar-old defender a straight red card. PSV were flabbergasted and three minutes later the hosts broke the deadlock. Fowler set up Peter Crouch, who tapped home from close range; 1-0. Koeman then took off Koné, in view of Saturday’s crucial domestic game against FC Twente and handed a debut to 19-year-old defender Rens van Eijden. It obviously made no difference whatsoever as the game had already been beyond PSV after the first leg. When the final whistle had gone, the players shook hands. Liverpool will meet Chelsea and PSV will turn their attention to the clash with FC Twente.