Liverpool Beat Boro 14-13 On Penalties

anfield-245x165Liverpool had to come through an epic penalty shoot-out to get the better of Sky Bet Championship side Middlesbrough at Anfield and book their place in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.

Teenage debutant Jordan Rossiter put the Reds in front after just 10 minutes, despatching a low finish from outside the box, but Boro grew into the game and equalised through Adam Reach’s 62nd-minute header.

Home goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was forced into some smart saves and the Teessiders almost snatched victory when Adam Clayton hit the post in the 85th minute.

Liverpool Face Financial Fair Play Penalty?

We've Won It 5 Times - cover (part one)Liverpool are ‘very relaxed’ amid suggestions they may have almost £7million of Champions League prize money withheld due to breaches of UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations.

Liverpool are due to receive the money next month, after qualifying for the first time in five years – but in order to meet Financial Fair Play regulations clubs must not lose more than £35.4m over a period of two seasons.

Manchester City and Paris St Germain both exceeded that figure and suffered significant penalties.

Liverpool’s losses for the 2012-13 financial year were £49.8m, plus £41m losses for the 10-month period through to May 2012.

Rodgers Defends Stevie G

GerrardFACupBrendan Rodgers has defended Steven Gerrard’s form and fitness, insisting the veteran Liverpool captain does not need to be rested more often.

Gerrard, 34, has played every minute so far this season, including three games in a week that saw Liverpool lose to Aston Villa and West Ham in the Premier League while stumbling to a Champions League win over the Bulgarian outsiders from Ludogorets when he scored a last-minute penalty.

Rodgers and his coaching staff are understood to be concerned that in both league games Gabriel Agbonlahor and Stewart Downing were successfully deployed to stifle Gerrard and stop him distributing the ball from deep.

BR Post Match Reaction: Reds Not Up To Standard

br-liverpoolLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits his side have yet to reach the standard they set themselves last season but was relieved to open their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 victory.

Mario Balotelli’s first goal for the club eight minutes from time looked to have won the game only for Ludogorets substitute Dani Abalo to roll in a 90th-minute equaliser for the Bulgarians.

However, captain Steven Gerrard scored an even later penalty after Javier Manquillo was brought down by goalkeeper Milan Borjan to ensure Liverpool’s return to Europe’s elite club competition after a five-year absence did not fall flat.

Liverpool Must Learn To Break Down Defensive Teams Says Owen

liverpool-kopFormer Liverpool striker Michael Owen believes the Reds must learn to break down defensive-minded teams, as they kick off their first Champions League campaign for five years against Ludogorets Razgrad.

Liverpool host the Bulgarian champions at Anfield tonight and hope to bounce back from their 1-0 home loss against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Their most recent Champions League match before tonight was in 2009 against Fiorentina, who won 2-1 on English soil with a last-gasp strike from Alberto Gilardino.

Owen believes Brendan Rodgers and his players have a relatively comfortable return to Champions League life, but also said they may be frustrated by their opponents.

BR On Villa Defeat

br-liverpoolLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, shorn of the attacking pace of injured Daniel Sturridge and opting to drop Raheem Sterling to the bench, admitted his side struggled to break down the visitors.

“It is disappointing. We started slowly, gave away a poor goal, picked up the tempo after that and the players gave everything but we lacked that bit of quality and the final ball,” said the Northern Irishman

“You have to give Aston Villa credit, they defended well once they got the goal, kept their lines tight in a low block and we couldn’t get the final pass so it was really frustrating for us.

Liverpool Stunned At Home By Villa

lfc-dressing-roomIf Liverpool needed any needed a reminder how tough life will be without last season’s two leading goalscorers, it was provided by Aston Villa.

Paul Lambert’s side grabbed an early lead in the Premier League match through Gabriel Agbonlahor and then clung on for a 1-0 success as their hosts struggled to create clear-cut chances.

With Daniel Sturridge sidelined for up to three weeks with a thigh injury – for which manager Brendan Rodgers has still not forgiven England – it meant Liverpool started a game without him or Luis Suarez, a summer departure to Barcelona, for the first time since December 2012.

Rodgers questions England’s handling of Sturridge injury

SturridgeLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claims Daniel Sturridge’s thigh injury could have been prevented had England managed him differently.

The Reds’ forward picked up the knock while training with the national side, and missed the Three Lions’ 2-0 victory against Switzerland on Monday night.

But Rodgers believes the Three Lions’ coaching and medical staff got things wrong with the way they approached the situation, and the injury could have been avoided had the 25-year-old’s recovery from training been handled properly..

Player Focus – Raheem Sterling

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