I put this in the wrong place so in here it goes.
The perfect 10.
Liverpool FC aim for perfect 10 - how 2-0 first leg leads usually lead to European success for Reds
BY DAVID PRENTICE
The Reds have taken a 2-0 first leg lead into a European second leg nine times before Thursday - and a 100% record
It’s called the most dangerous lead in football.
But for Liverpool, Thursday night’s 2-0 Europa League lead taken over Manchester United was the perfect result.
Because the Reds have taken a 2-0 first leg lead into a European second leg nine times before Thursday – and they have a 100 per cent record of qualification.
In fact the closest squeak came the very first time the Reds defended a 2-0 lead, way back in 1966 – and that was only because the away goals rule still hadn’t been introduced.
Here we look at Liverpool’s history of 2-0 leads in Europe.
European Cup 1st round - 1966
The Romanians proved stubborn visitors to Anfield in the Reds’ second foray into the European Cup – but late goals from Ian St John and Ian Callaghan built a solid lead to take nehind the Iron Curtain a fortnight later.
It was needed.
Virgil Dridea pulled a first half goal back in the second leg, but Roger Hunt’s 50th minute strike appeared to have eased Liverpool’s progress into the second round.
But nine minutes later Alexandru Boc made it 2-1 on the night, and when Mircea Dridea added a third in the 65th minute the scores were tied on aggregate.
The away goals rule was still five years away so a replay on neutral territory was needed – Heysel Stadium in Brussels , and this time Liverpool had the tie sewn up by half-time with goals from Ian St John and Peter Thompson.
Fairs Cup 1st round – 1967
The 2-0 lead Liverpool established in the first round of the following season’s Fairs Cup enjoyed a crucial difference to their Petrolul experience – the Reds won 2-0 in Sweden.
Tony Hateley scored both goals to make the home leg a stroll. Ron Yeats and Roger Hunt added further goals at Anfield before Dag Szepanski scored a late consolation to give the Swedes some solace on the flight back.
UEFA Cup 1st round – 1972
Liverpool were given a tough draw in the first round of the 1972/73 UEFA Cup – which ultimately became their first European trophy success – against an Eintracht Frankfurt side containing future World Cup winner Jürgen Grabowski.
Kevin Keegan scored the early goal Anfield craved but it wasn’t until 15 minutes from time that Emlyn Hughes added a decisive second.
The Reds shut up shop for the second leg in West Germany and a 0-0 draw, featuring a debut as a sub from young Trevor Storton, was enough to clinch the tie.
UEFA Cup quarter-finals – 1973
According to contemporary reports Dynamo Dresden started like a house on fire at Anfield in the quarter-finals of the competition – but this was Bill Shankly’s relentless Reds and they wore down the East Germans to score goals through Brian Hall and Phil Boersma.
“Only the unrivalled brilliance of Ray Clemence denied the Germans,” reported Horace Yates – and the Reds anticipated a tough second leg.
Instead “in their nine consecutive years on the Continent Liverpool can rarely have played so magnificently as they did last night,” reported the Echo’s Chris James. Kevin Keegan scored the only goal of the game against a Dresden team “reckoned to be the best club team ever to come out of East Germany and have not lost a home game in any competition for three years.”
UEFA Cup 3rd round – 1991
It was almost 20 years before Liverpool had a 2-0 first leg lead to defend in Europe once again – but this time it was a comfortable affair.
Dean Saunders scored both goals as Liverpool won in the picturesque Austrian resort against Swarowski Tirol – having plundered four goals in an earlier round against Kuusysi Lahti.
And he added a hat-trick in a 4-0 stroll in the second leg.
UEFA Cup 4th round – 2001
Michael Owen was at his predatory peak when Liverpool went to the Olympic Stadium in Rome for a UEFA Cup tie.
The Reds had twice won the European Cup on the same venue – and Owen’s double gave them a historic hat-trick of triumphs.
Both goals were necessary. Guigou scored the only goal of the second leg as Liverpool survived a frenzied Italian fightback to claim a place in the quarter-finals.
UEFA Cup 3rd Rd – 2003
Two superb strikes in four second half minutes – from Steven Gerrard and Harry Kewell – gave the Reds an advantage ahead of what was expected to be a testing trip to Bulgaria.
It didn’t pan out that way.
Goals inside 10 minutes from Gerrard again and Michael Owen effectively sealed the tie. The Bulgarians did level on the night after 40 minutes, but Didi Hamann almost immediately restored Liverpool’s lead on the night and then Sami Hyypia made it 4-2 – and 6-2 on aggregate.
Champions League last 16 – 2008
A late goal rush broke down a redoubtable defensive action by the Italians after former Everton defender Marco Materazzi had been dismissed after barely half-an-hour.
The Italians did what they do best, and defended with discipline – but the loss through injury of key defender Ivan Cordoba cost them dear.
Dirk Kuyt scored an 85th minute icebreaker, then three minutes later Steven Gerrard did his swashbuckling thing and made it 2-0.
It undermined Inter to such a degree that they were never wholly convincing in the San Siro second leg and Fernand Torres scored a stunning breakaway goal to seal Liverpool’s place in the quarter-final.
Europa League 3rd Qualifying round first leg – 2010
David N’Gog got Roy Hodgson’s managerial tenure off to a flier with both goals in a 2-0 win in Macedonia.
N’Gog also opened the scoring in the second leg before a Steven Gerrard penalty sealed Liverpool’s latest comfortable defence of a 2-0 first leg victory.
Now time for a perfect 10?