Liverpool progress in Europe

Reds make it to last-32 despite goalkeeper Pepe Reina’s howler.

Afp December 03, 2010

PARIS: Liverpool reached the Europa League last-32 with a 1-1 draw at Steaua Bucharest, while a blunder by Spanish goal-keeper Pepe Reina allowed the Romanians to claim a point which also put them into the knockout round.

Milan Jovanovic headed Roy Hodgson’s team ahead after 19 minutes from a Ryan Babel cross but Eder Bomfim equalised on the hour mark when his header slipped under Reina’s dive. Sotirios Kyrgiakos almost claimed all three points for a Liverpool side showing eight changes from their last outing, but his header hit the crossbar.

Reina admitted he had been at fault for Steaua’s goal.

“I thought one of their players was offside for the goal but I have watched replays and come to the conclusion that it is my fault,” Reina told ESPN. “It’s my mistake and I have to handle that and get through it. I should have reacted much better than I did. I will handle the mistake and improve.”

The Spaniard also praised Liverpool’s new look side which saw youngsters like Martin Kelly, Danny Wilson, Dani Pacheco and Jonjo Shelvey given rare outings.

“We have to give them credit because we made a great effort. We have players out there with not much experience and they showed great character and helped us get the point we needed.”

Utrecht and Napoli drew 3-3 in the other Group K game which guaranteed qualification for Liverpool and Steaua ahead of next week’s final batch of pool games.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2010.


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