2 August 2012 23:27
Brendan Rodgers’ managerial career at Liverpool began with a fortunate 1-0 win away to FC Gomel in a third-round Europa League qualifier.
Liverpool looked well off the pace in the first half on Thursday, with the Belarusians’ greater fitness and match practice showing, and the home side had a number of good chances to score, especially through striker Aleksandr Alumona.
The second period continued in a similar vein, with Gomel creating chances but failing to convert, and they were made to pay by Stewart Downing, who let fly with a superb long-range shot to give Liverpool a precious win and away goal.
Liverpool selected an experienced side, captained by Jamie Carragher to commemorate his 700th appearance for the club, and also including Steven Gerrard and new signing Fabio Borini up front.
In other first-round, first-leg qualifiers, Inter Milan had goals from Wesley Sneijder, Yuto Nagatomo and Philippe Coutinho to thank for their 3-0 win over Hadjuk Split in Croatia, while Dutch outfit Twente were 2-0 winners at home against Czech club Mlada Boleslav.
Vitesse Arnhem were not so fortunate, going down 2-0 in Russia against Anzhi Makhachkala.
Another Eredivisie side, Heerenveen, took a 4-1 win at home over Rapid Bucuresti, while Scottish side Dundee United were held to a 2-2 draw by Dinamo Moscow, who had a 90th-minute strike from Alexnader Kokorin to thank for keeping them level ahead of the second leg in Russia.
There were mixed fortunes for the Belgian sides in action, with Racing Genk winning 2-1 at home against Kazakhstan club Aktobe Lento, gut Gent went down 1-0 away to Hungarian outfit Videoton FC Fehervar.
Turkish side Bursaspor were upset 1-0 in Finland by KuPS Kuopio, while last season’s Champions League surprise packets from Cyprus, Apoel Nicosia, enjoyed a 2-1 victory at home over Norwegians Aalesund.
Ligue 1 club Marseille drew 1-1 away to Turks Eskisehirspor K, while Hannover cruised to a 3-0 in Dublin over St Patricks.