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Page last updated at 21:58 GMT, Thursday, 17 March 2011

Liverpool   0 - 0   Braga (agg 0 - 1)

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll (right) sends a header wide against Braga
Carroll heads wide for a Liverpool side lacking creativity against Braga

By Mandeep Sanghera

Liverpool were dumped out of the Europa League as they failed to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit as Braga held them to a goalless draw at Anfield.

Striker Andy Carroll made his first start for the club since signing from Newcastle and carried his side's greatest threat - twice heading wide.

But the Reds lacked creativity and struggled for a breakthrough.

Raul Meireles headed horribly high and Martin Skrtel had a late chance saved as the Reds tamely bowed out.

It was an inauspicious full debut for Carroll as he progressed from two substitute appearances to start his first game for Liverpool since his £35m January move.

He had last started a match on 28 December for Newcastle and, although he was not lacking in effort or commitment, he and the Liverpool team could not find a way through the resilient rearguard of Braga.

Invention and inspiration were missing for the Merseysiders and the man who usually provides it, captain Steven Gerrard, had to watch agonisingly from the stands as he recovers from a groin injury.

Liverpool supremo John Henry was at Anfield as the Merseysders made their Europa League exit
Reds supremo Henry watched the Reds produce a disappointing display

The prospect of failing to qualify for European competition next season is now also a stark reality for Liverpool.

Winning the Europa League represented the club's best chance of qualifying for a 12th successive campaign of continental competition next term.

Only fifth place in the Premier League will now be good enough to book a Europa League spot and, with the Reds in sixth and six points behind Tottenham - who have a game in hand - that now seems unlikely.

The disappointment of limping out against Braga will be exacerbated as Liverpool made a promising opening.

Liverpool have been waiting for Joe Cole to come to the fore and he looked in the mood to banish a troublesome time at the club since his move to Anfield from Chelsea last summer, although it ultimately proved a false dawn.

The playmaker was showing an increased energy and industry and linked with Carroll as both players almost hauled the Reds level on aggregate early on.

Cole ran on to a knock-down from the towering striker and had an angled shot saved, with Carroll seizing on the loose ball to send a deflected shot wide.

From the resulting corner, Carroll headed just wide at the far post before Braga settled and subdued a Liverpool side who quickly ran out of ideas.

Braga midfielder Alan caused young Reds left-back Danny Wilson all sorts of problems.

And, when the Brazilian's shot struck Skrtel's arm, the Liverpool centre-back was given the benefit of the doubt that it was ball to hand rather than the other way around.

Braga lost 6-0 at Arsenal earlier this season in the Champions League group stages and had not beaten an English side away in Europe in four attempts.

They did not have to win at Anfield but, after Meireles headed frustratingly over from a Dirk Kuyt cross, the visitors almost took the lead in fortuitous circumstances.

A deflected shot fell to Alan in front of goal and, even though he appeared offside, the midfielder poked a shot wide.

A goal would have been a bonus for a Braga side more intent keeping a clean sheet, which the Reds tried to threaten with a late rally only to fall short.

A goalbound Carroll header was blocked by team-mate Cole and, when Skrtel broke through on goal, Braga keeper Artur came out and blocked the ball away as Liverpool went out forlornly.

Live text and stats

 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Europa League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Liverpool 0-0 Braga FT
(HT 0-0)(agg 0-1)

      Liverpool

      Substitutes

      Braga

      • 01 Artur
      • 02 Alberto Rodriguez
      • 03 Paulao yellow card
      • 15 Miguel Garcia
      • 28 Silvio
      • 25 Leandro Salino (Mossoro 89)
      • 45 Hugo Viana
      • 88 Vandinho yellow card (Kaka 73)
      • 09 Paulo Cesar
      • 18 Lima (Meyong 84)
      • 30 Alan

      Substitutes

      • 42 Cristiano ,
      • 04 Kaka,
      • 43 Dani,
      • 08 Mossoro,
      • 46 Peterson,
      • 10 Helder Barbosa,
      • 19 Meyong
      Ref: RocchiAtt: 37,494
      LIVERPOOL
      BRAGA

      Possession

      • Liverpool 67%
      • Braga 33%

      Attempts on target

      • Liverpool 5
      • Braga 4

      Attempts off target

      • Liverpool 8
      • Braga 5

      Corners

      • Liverpool 6
      • Braga 3

      Fouls

      • Liverpool 14
      • Braga 12
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+4:08 The referee signals the end of the game.
      • 90:00+3:31 The ball is swung over by Claudio Kaka.
      • 90:00+2:14 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Wilson by Osorio Alan. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
      • 90:00+0:42 Sa Peraira Silvio challenges Raul Meireles unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Raul Meireles.
      • 90:00+0:20 Shot by Albert Ze Meyong from a long way out goes over the crossbar.
      • 89:20 Dirk Kuyt is ruled offside. Miguel Hugo Viana takes the direct free kick.
      • 88:28 Unfair challenge on Albert Ze Meyong by Martin Skrtel results in a free kick. Miguel Hugo Viana restarts play with the free kick.
      • 88:28 Substitution Marcio Mossoro on for do Carmo Leandro Salino.
      • 86:33 Martin Skrtel fouled by Albert Ze Meyong, the ref awards a free kick. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.
      • 86:14 Martin Skrtel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on do Carmo Leandro Salino. Miguel Hugo Viana takes the free kick.
      • 85:02 The assistant referee flags for offside against Dirk Kuyt. Free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 83:44 Corner taken by Raul Meireles, Andrew Carroll takes a shot. Martin Skrtel takes a shot. Blocked by Guilherme Artur Moraes. Junior Paulao gets a block in.
      • 83:44 Substitution (Braga) makes a substitution, with Albert Ze Meyong coming on for Rodrigo Lima.
      • 83:11 The ball is swung over by Dirk Kuyt, Alberto Rodriguez manages to make a clearance.
      • 82:47 Booking Raul Meireles is cautioned by the ref for dissent.
      • 79:46 Long range shot by Jay Spearing goes wide right of the target.
      • 79:27 Outswinging corner taken by Raul Meireles, clearance by Alberto Rodriguez.
      • 78:40 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
      • 78:33 Dirk Kuyt delivers the ball, Alberto Rodriguez manages to make a clearance.
      • 77:21 David Ngog takes a shot. Save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 76:15 The ball is sent over by Danny Wilson, Andrew Carroll has a headed effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
      • Correction - 75:20 Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with David Ngog coming on for Joe Cole.
      • Correction - 75:20 Substitution Jay Spearing comes on in place of Rodriguez Maxi.
      • 75:20 Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with David Ngog coming on for Joe Cole.
      • 75:20 Substitution Jay Spearing comes on in place of Rodriguez Maxi.
      • 72:33 Substitution Claudio Kaka comes on in place of Vanderson Vandinho.
      • 71:58 Booking Vanderson Vandinho goes into the book.
      • 71:39 The ball is crossed by Glen Johnson, save made by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 70:27 Martin Skrtel concedes a free kick for a foul on do Carmo Leandro Salino. Strike on goal comes in from Miguel Hugo Viana from the free kick, brilliant save by Jose Reina.
      • 70:27 Booking Booking for Martin Skrtel for unsporting behaviour.
      • 68:05 The official flags Dirk Kuyt offside. Indirect free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 66:22 The assistant referee flags for offside against Andrew Carroll. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.
      • 65:14 Unfair challenge on Rodriguez Maxi by Angelo Miguel Garcia results in a free kick. Danny Wilson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 63:42 The ball is crossed by Sa Peraira Silvio.
      • 63:08 Foul by Raul Meireles on Osorio Alan, free kick awarded. Vanderson Vandinho takes the free kick.
      • 61:48 The assistant referee flags for offside against Andrew Carroll. Guilherme Artur Moraes takes the free kick.
      • 61:18 Junior Paulao gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrew Carroll. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Raul Meireles from right channel, Junior Paulao makes a clearance.
      • 60:57 Effort from outside the penalty box by do Carmo Leandro Salino goes wide left of the target.
      • 60:16 Shot by Osorio Alan from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.
      • 59:40 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Miguel Hugo Viana played to the near post, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.
      • 59:05 Raul Meireles gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Osorio Alan. Miguel Hugo Viana takes the direct free kick.
      • 57:40 Headed effort from inside the area by Raul Meireles misses to the left of the target.
      • 56:19 Foul by Vanderson Vandinho on Rodriguez Maxi, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.
      • 55:26 Jamie Carragher concedes a free kick for a foul on Rocha Paulo Cesar. Rodrigo Lima produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Raul Meireles gets a block in.
      • 53:06 Rodriguez Maxi has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
      • 52:44 Joe Cole sends in a cross, clearance by Alberto Rodriguez.
      • 51:28 Unfair challenge on Alberto Rodriguez by Andrew Carroll results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 51:28 Booking Booking for Junior Paulao.
      • 51:22 Booking Andrew Carroll booked.
      • 49:16 The referee blows for offside against Andrew Carroll. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.
      • 46:46 Joe Cole crosses the ball, Angelo Miguel Garcia makes a clearance.
      • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+2:14 The half-time whistle blows.
      • 45:00+1:52 Rodriguez Maxi concedes a free kick for a foul on Osorio Alan.
      • 45:00+1:20 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Raul Meireles by Rocha Paulo Cesar. Raul Meireles takes the direct free kick.
      • 44:36 The ball is sent over by Rodriguez Maxi, Andrew Carroll produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
      • 41:58 Inswinging corner taken by Raul Meireles, save made by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 39:32 Rodrigo Lima gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Raul Meireles. Jamie Carragher restarts play with the free kick.
      • 38:24 Andrew Carroll gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Guilherme Artur Moraes. Free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 35:19 Sa Peraira Silvio crosses the ball, Danny Wilson makes a clearance.
      • 34:15 Leiva Lucas concedes a free kick for a foul on Rocha Paulo Cesar. Do Carmo Leandro Salino crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Glen Johnson.
      • 33:05 Dirk Kuyt produces a cross.
      • 29:57 Inswinging corner taken by Miguel Hugo Viana from the right by-line, Close range header by Osorio Alan misses to the right of the target.
      • 29:41 Osorio Alan takes a shot. Blocked by Glen Johnson.
      • 26:22 The ball is delivered by Raul Meireles, save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 25:57 Unfair challenge on Joe Cole by Alberto Rodriguez results in a free kick. Raul Meireles takes the direct free kick.
      • 25:34 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Miguel Hugo Viana from the right by-line, save made by Jose Reina.
      • 25:13 Osorio Alan crosses the ball, clearance by Jamie Carragher.
      • 23:23 The assistant referee signals for offside against Dirk Kuyt. Junior Paulao takes the indirect free kick.
      • 20:30 Outswinging corner taken by Raul Meireles from the right by-line, Foul by Andrew Carroll on Vanderson Vandinho, free kick awarded. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.
      • 19:53 Long range effort from Osorio Alan misses to the left of the target.
      • 18:21 Do Carmo Leandro Salino challenges Rodriguez Maxi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Raul Meireles takes the direct free kick.
      • 17:28 The ball is sent over by Danny Wilson, save made by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
      • 16:26 Sa Peraira Silvio delivers the ball, Jose Reina makes a save.
      • 14:45 Rodrigo Lima takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
      • 13:40 The ball is crossed by Miguel Hugo Viana, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.
      • 12:00 The offside flag is raised against Andrew Carroll. Guilherme Artur Moraes takes the indirect free kick.
      • 10:43 Unfair challenge on Junior Paulao by Andrew Carroll results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Junior Paulao.
      • 9:21 Corner taken by Raul Meireles from the right by-line to the near post, Shot by Andrew Carroll from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
      • 8:49 Foul by do Carmo Leandro Salino on Rodriguez Maxi, free kick awarded. Raul Meireles delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance made by Miguel Hugo Viana.
      • 8:08 Corner taken by Raul Meireles, Effort from the edge of the box by Andrew Carroll goes wide of the right-hand upright.
      • 7:24 Joe Cole takes a shot. Guilherme Artur Moraes makes a save. Andrew Carroll takes a shot. Blocked by Angelo Miguel Garcia.
      • 5:32 Andrew Carroll is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.
      • 4:11 Foul by Danny Wilson on Angelo Miguel Garcia, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by do Carmo Leandro Salino.
      • 2:53 Foul by Angelo Miguel Garcia on Rodriguez Maxi, free kick awarded. Raul Meireles takes the direct free kick.
      • 1:57 The referee blows for offside against Dirk Kuyt. Guilherme Artur Moraes takes the indirect free kick.
      • 1:24 A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson, Miguel Hugo Viana manages to make a clearance.
      • 0:16 Unfair challenge on Rodrigo Lima by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick. Miguel Hugo Viana crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, save by Jose Reina.
      • 0:00 The match begins.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Europa League results

      17 Mar 2011 23:59 UK



      see also
      Lack of flair cost us - Dalglish
      17 Mar 11 |  Liverpool
      Braga 1-0 Liverpool
      10 Mar 11 |  Europe
      Europa League as it happened
      17 Mar 11 |  Football
      Thursday's football photos
      17 Mar 11 |  Football


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