FC Liverpool’s England World Cup winger JOE COLE cooly converts his chance and scores his first-ever goal for the Reds in the opening minute against Steaua Bucharest at Anfield. (Ian Hodgson/dailymail.co.uk)
UEFA Europa League
4 – FC Liverpool (ENG) —————— Cole 1′, Ngog pen 55, 90+1′, Lucas 81′
1 – FC Steaua Bucharest (ROM) —— Tanase 13′
A strong second half from what was effectively manager ROY HODGSON’s second team saw FC LIVERPOOL overpower visiting Romanian side FC STEAUA BUCHAREST 4-1 on the opening matchday of play in Group K for the UEFA Europa League.
Hodgson’s troops took the lead in the opening minute when England World Cup winger JOE COLE intercepted a timid back pass from Steaua Bucharest defender OCTAVIAN ABRUDAN and calmly finished. The lightning strike was the first-ever Liverpool goal for Cole, a free transfer from defending Premier League champions Chelsea this summer. The goal was also the quickest ever scored by the Reds in their long and illustrious history of European competition.
Steaua Bucharest did respond rather quickly via club captain and Romania international midfielder CRISTIAN TANASE with a ball played into space by Romania international striker BOGDAN STANCU in the 13th minute.
Liverpool, who held a commanding 15-4 edge in shots-at-goal for the game, took control of the match in the second half for good thanks to a brace from French forward DAVID NGOG, who now counts five goals in five UEFA Europa League matches this term, and Brazilian international midfielder LUCAS, a second half substitute sent on for defensive purposes.
FC LIVERPOOL : Reina ; Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Agger, Konchesky ; Spearing, Meireles, Rodriguez (Pacheco 85′), Cole, Babel (Lucas 78′) ; Ngog
FC STEAU BUCHAREST : Tatarusanu ; Emeghara (Nicolita 20′), Abrudan, Alves, Latovievici ; Radut (Surdu 73′), Angelov (Eder 52′), Bicfalvi, Tanase ; Stancu, Kapetanos