Lille 1-0 Liverpool
Europa League, Last 16, First Leg
Liverpool slumped to their second defeat in just four days as Lille took the advantage in the first leg of this Europa League tie in France.
The pressure continues to mount on Rafa Benitez as hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League fade back home and now the Reds are left with work to be done in the return leg at Anfield next Thursday.
In a lacklustre game with very few chances or exciting football by either team, it was Eden Hazard’s free-kick from the left that was crossed in, beating everyone – including Pepe Reina to give the hosts the victory five minutes from time.
The Reds go back to England now for a Monday night must-win Premier League clash at Anfield against bottom of the table Portsmouth, before Lille again three days later.
Team Line-ups and Substitutions
Lille: Landreau, Emerson, Beria, Rami, Balmont, Cabaye (Dumont 73), Obraniak (Toure 83 yellow card), Chedjou Fongang, Mavuba, Hazard,Frau (Aubameyang 77).
Subs not used: Butelle, Vandam, Souare, Souquet.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Insua, Carragher, Gerrard, Mascherano, Lucas, Torres, Kuyt (El Zhar 88), Babel (Riera 73).
Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Kelly, Aquilani, Ngog.
Ref: Alan Larsen