Liverpool overwhelm Olimpija

Liverpool comfortably advanced into the Uefa Cup second round after overcoming Slovenia's Olimpija as Anfield glimpsed its first real sight of French teenager Anthony Le Tallec.

The 18-year-old Le Tallec scored on his full Anfield debut to give Liverpool the lead and soon afterwards Emile Heskey added a second.

Within two minutes of the restart those two goalscorers combined to set up Harry Kewell, who volleyed home sweetly to score the goal of the game.

Le Tallec's goal capped a memorable performance but it was the Frenchman's vision and ability to pick a pass that really stood out, notably his reverse pass to Heskey early on in the game.

Olimpija had looked to frustrate Liverpool and then attack on the break through the midfield guile of Mladen Rudonja and the pace of lone striker Jusufbegovic.

It was a tactic that almost gave Olimpija an early lead when Jusufbegovic drew a fine save from Jerzy Dudek after the Bosnian was released by Rudonja's pass.

Later in the first half, more intelligent running from Jusufbegovic saw him again break clear only for Igor Biscan to make a fine saving tackle.

30 mins: Le Tallec opens the scoring for Liverpool
37 mins: Smicer crosses for Heskey to score
47 mins: Kewell scores with a fine volley
78 mins: Maric saves Diouf's penalty

In between the visitors' sporadic attacks Liverpool had peppered the Olimpija goal with a series of shots and headers but were denied by a series of fine saves by Borut Mavric.

The pick of those was his reaction save to thwart Kewell after the Australian had swivelled to arrow a low half-volley goalwards.

Just before the half-hour Maric's luck ran out when he dived to save El Hadji Diouf's cross only to spill the ball into the path of Le Tallec, who calmly slotted home.

Heskey's goal followed a sweeping Liverpool move that released Vladimir Smicer, who crossed allowing the England international to touch the ball past Maric.

The second half had only just started when Liverpool added a third.

Le Tallec released Heskey into space down the right and his cross to Kewell was sidefooted home by the Australian on the volley.

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier then withdrew the 18-year-old Frenchman, replacing him with Florent Sinama Pongolle, who arrived with Le Tallec from Le Havre during the summer.

In the closing stages Liverpool should have made it four but Maric saved Diouf's penalty after Steve Finnan had been brought down by Marko Kmetec.

Copyright - BBC

Article links

  • 3 - 0 Olimpija Ljubljana


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