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PSV loses at home to Liverpool by 3-0
Latest Updated by 2007-04-04 15:02:20
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Dutch soccer champions PSV Eindhoven lost 3-0 to Liverpool at the first leg of the European Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday evening.

Although PSV's Mika Vayrynen made an aggressive attempt to knock the door of Liverpool at the third minute, the host team finally failed to defend its own base.

Both teams started cautiously until Liverpool took the lead over PSV at around the 27th minute when Jamie Gerrard, the captain, made the score. The England midfielder drove into the box to planta header from a Steve Finnan cross into the far corner, giving PSV's goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes no chance.

The five-time European champion Liverpool doubled the visitors' advantage with a stunning long-range effort after 49 minutes. Collecting a half-clearance from Timmy Simons, Riise controlled the ball on his chest before unleashing a left-footed strike that swerved and dipped past Gomes.

Liverpool sealed the victory about a quarter later by Peter Crouch's third goal. The England striker headed a Finnan cross past Gomes and scored his fifth European Champions League goal, all of which had come this season.

Chinese defender Sun Xiang was included in the list of PSV, but not in the starting line-up. Following half time interval, PSV head coach Ronald Koeman replaced Jefferson Farfan with the Chinese soccer player, making Sun Xiang the first Chinese player to compete at the European Champions League quarter-finals.

It was the first change of the players in the field. Sun Xiang, who just recovered from knee injury after two-week rest, played the whole second half as the left midfielder, but landed no goals.

Koeman was obviously disappointed with the result, admitting his team could go no further into the Champion Leagues.

"We have no chance now," Koeman told reporters after the game, "If I can make my players believe we can still go through I don't belong on this planet."

The easy victory for Liverpool was no surprise since PSV lost backbones to injuries. The host team's key defender Alex was out with a hamstring injury, and striker Arouna Kone sidelined with a groin problem. The midfielder Ibrahim Afellay, who turned 21 on Monday, also failed to pass a late fitness test for recovery of a hamstring strain ahead of the game.

PSV, the 1988 European Cup champions, fell into a lackluster form recently in its national league competition and has not won a match since defender Alex injured on March 11 against the Dutch league team Excelsior Rotterdam.

Liverpool, which won the European champion title five times, is one of three English teams attempting to reach the semifinals of Europe's top club competition. The other two teams Chelsea and Manchester United are facing separate quarterfinal tests Wednesday.

"We know we are closer (to the semi-finals) now, but in football you need to play every game and really focus and concentrate," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said at a news conference after the match.

Tuesday's game was held at PSV's base Philips Stadium in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which was a sea of flags.

In order to enhance moral, PSV handed out a special flag, in the red and white colors, to all fans before the game. But fans' waving flags and yelling did not save PSV. Its painful loss at home gave Liverpool a comfortable advantage ahead of next week's return game in the two-match quarterfinals.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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