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Kiev tonic for Houllier

Liverpool overcame the absence of manager Gerard Houllier to become the first British side ever to win in Kiev.

Goals from Danny Murphy and Steven Gerrard gave Houllier the perfect boost as he recovers in hospital after open heart surgery.

Victory leaves Liverpool top of Group B in the Champions League and just one win away from qualifying for the second stage following Boavista's defeat in Dortmund.

Match facts
43mins - Danny Murphy puts Liverpool in front
59mins - Tiberi Ghioane levels for Kiev
67mins - Steven Gerrard grabs the winner

Houllier had settled on his team before being taken ill on Saturday and adopted his usual cautious approach in Europe with Emile Heskey starting on his own up front.

But the visitors found life difficult early on against a Kiev side that needed a victory to have any chance of going through.

Assistant manager Phil Thompson, who has taken temporary charge of the side, saw keeper Jerzy Dudek called into action on a number of occasions.

The Pole reacted smartly to turn over a Olexander Khatkevich free-kick in the 13th minute after Stephane Henchoz had brought down the lively Florin Chernat.

He then gathered a Olexander Melashchenko shot before twice denying Valentyn Belkevich in the 22nd minute.

At the other end Heskey worked hard to put pressure on the Kiev defenders and Vladimir Smicer found space on the left but Liverpool created little in the way of chances.

That all changed moments after Chernat had curled a free-kick just wide of Dudek's goal.

Gerrard picked up possession wide on the right and played in a perfect ball for Murphy who beat Vitaly Reva with a nonchalant side-foot finish from six yards.

Kiev came out strongly after the break and drew level just before the hour mark when a high ball hoisted in to the box found Tiberi Ghioane unmarked at Dudek's back post

Stoppage time

It was the first real mistake the Liverpool defence, marshalled superbly by Hyppia, had made, but it was not to prove too costly.

Just eight minutes later Smicer's header from Patrick Berger's ball found Gerrard who fired in a left-foot shot that clipped off Goran Gavrancic and into the far corner of the net.

Liverpool were content to sit back after that and Kiev struggled to break them down.

Cernat found the net in stoppage time but his effort was ruled out for offside and Houllier's side were left celebrating a performance that was testimony to the drive and desire of their manager.

Copyright - BBC

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