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Liverpool 2, Bordeaux 1: First Thoughts

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Some sloppy decision-making and a referee intent on calling to the letter of the law made for a nervy start, but in the end Liverpool pulled away and secured their place in the Europa League knockout rounds.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Liverpool 2 Milner 38’ (pen), Benteke 45+1’
Bordeaux 1 Saivet 33’

  • Pre-match: Lineup shakes out as expected for Liverpool, with Benteke leading the line, Can given a break, and Toure pairing with Lovren in defence. The big surprise is on the bench, where a new foot injury means Daniel Sturridge is left out of the squad entirely. Which maybe isn’t actually a big surprise.
  • After some early Bordeaux pressure and a Liverpool half-chance, the best early opportunity falls to Bordeaux 12 minutes in when a lazy Allen backpass puts Lovren and then Mignolet in trouble. Caught out of his box, Mignolet tries to head clear. It’s the right decision but he gets terrible contact. Fortunately, Toure blocks the subsequent effort on goal.
  • Goal but not quite on 30. Benteke is clear and slots it past the ‘keeper but the flag is up. Liverpool had beaten Bordeaux’s offside trap a number of times but the one time it ends up in the goal, Bordeaux stepped up in time.
  • GOAL Bordeaux awarded an indirect free kick in the penalty area after Mignolet holds the ball too long. They pass it off and blast into the roof of the goal. He did hold it a long time—replays showed nearly 20 seconds—but that’s not something you expect to ever actually see given.
  • GOAL And the referee giveth. Contact on Benteke in the box but an English official lets that go. Milner converts.
  • GOAL The referee didn’t have a hand in this one. Benteke brings down a Clyne cross with his toe. Bordeaux give him the space he needs to turn, shape, and rifle the half-volley. The ‘keeper never had a chance.
  • Halftime: The referee calling to the letter of the law gifted Bordeaux their goal, but Liverpool were similarly fortunate for the leveller. They were the better side on balance, though, and deserved Benteke’s late strike to go ahead. Questions will rightly be asked of Mignolet and Allen.
  • All Liverpool to start the second half, and Benteke should have his second as a juggling Allen plays in Firmino who squares to Benteke, but he doesn’t get clean contact with his weak foot and balloons it over.
  • It’s in the goal again for Liverpool but waved off. Allen, who turned things around in the second, plays in Milner this time who crosses to Benteke. He scores but the referee signals he shoved the Bordeaux defender to get clear. It’s a very, very soft call.
  • Liverpool remained the better side as Can and Lallana came on for Allen and Firmino with Klopp looking to manage minutes—all will be expected to start against Swansea on the weekend
  • Bordeaux had a few half-chances in the later stages of the second half—their best coming off a free kick in the first minute of stoppage time that Mignolet got a hand to—but never put a great deal of pressure on Liverpool’s defence in their search for an equaliser.
  • Full time: Liverpool are through to the knockout rounds with a victory, and it’s fully deserved, even if Bordeaux—and a referee who seemed to think he was the star of the show—made it difficult at times.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.