Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Battling Leeds toppled by Ngog strike

Sports - Football - Carling Cup Third Round

Leeds United 0-1 Liverpool

Young French striker David Ngog spared Liverpool's blushes at Elland Road with a fine left-foot finish to Javier Mascherano's low mis-kick off a corner, the only goal of the match, in the 66th minute.

It could have been so different: Leeds started brightly, showing clear intentions they would not give their guests an easy ride. The League One side pressed forward against their Premier League opposition, who gave away posession too easy and clumsy at times.

Leeds' midfielder Michael Doyle put a free header wide and seconds later their striker Jermaine Beckford was cruely ruled as offside after Lubomir Michalik guided the ball over the line for Leeds, past Liverpool goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri, who looked to have gotten the last touch before he let the ball through.

The Reds scraped through the opening 15 minutes, lucky not to be 2-0 behind. The game continued evenly poised after that, Ryan Babel and Albert Riera missing fine chances. The prior ended his breaking run with a disappointing wide shot, the latter's point-blank header was sharply saved by an aware Shane Higgs.

Beckford came close again in the second half, drawing saves and blocks from Cavalieri, Jamie Carragher and Sotirios Kyrgiakos. A clever hook-shot over his shoulder cleared just over the crossbar. It was just not meant to be for Leeds.

Just moments after Mascherano was lucky to get away with lashing out at a Leeds player, his low mishit volley on the edge of the box found Ngog who swivelled the ball around and fired it past Higgs.

Leeds pressed on, but to no avail. Fabio Aurelio nearly piled more misery onto the Yorkshire side late on, his low-left lightning-free kick deflecting just over the crossbar.

Liverpool will be happy with their youngster's display, Jay Spearing impressing in all areas and connecting well with Ngog. Riera and Babel pressed on wide but gave away the ball away too often.

Leeds will feel unlucky and hard-done-to after they dominated play but saw nothing from it. Nothing went their way and instead they were punished for it with a defeat, to the Scouser's relief as they progress to the last 16.

Leeds United Higgs; Crowe, Kisnorbo, Michalik, Doyle (Showunmi 88); Howson, Johnson, Hughes (Kilkenny 78), Beckford; Becchio (Grella 81), Snodgrass. Subs not used Ankergren, Naylor, Prutton, Robinson. Bookings Crowe 43.

Liverpool Cavalieri; Dossena, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Degen (Johnson 71); Riera, Spearing, Mascherano, Aurelio, Babel (Skrtel 90); Ngog (Gerrard 78). Subs not used Reina, Plessis, Torres, Voronin. Bookings Kyrgiakos 41.

1st half stats: Leeds Utd - Liverpool
Attempts: 3-5
On target: 0-2
Offsides: 1-0
Corners: 3-4
Free kicks: 5-3

2nd half stats: Leeds Utd - Liverpool
Attempts: 9-6
On target: 2-2
Offsides: 0-3
Corners: 0-2
Free kicks: 2-7

Referee: Alan Wiley

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a strange old game and I was very impressed by Leeds - surely they'll go up this season.

Liverpool were as disjointed as you would expect under the circumstances, but we got the win we needed and an excellent goal from Ngog.

My match report can be read here: