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Home > Sports > Football > Reuters > Report

Liverpool go into Champions group stage

August 29, 2007 10:32 IST

Dirk Kuyt

Dutchman Dirk Kuyt struck twice in the dying minutes as Liverpool cruised into the group stage of the Champions League with a 4-0 win over Toulouse on Tuesday.

Five times champions Liverpool won the third qualifying round tie 5-0 on aggregate after earlier goals by striker Peter Crouch and defender Sami Hyypia in the second leg at Anfield.

Crouch was at the far post to prod home Kuyt's right cross in the 19th minute and double the aggregate advantage with his eighth goal 10 Champions League appearances for Liverpool.

Finn Hyypia scored with a free header from a corner four minutes into the second half to virtually make the tie safe for Liverpool before Kuyt's late brace - a low cross shot inside the far post from the right and a neat chip past the keeper.

Liverpool dominated the game and should have scored more with Crouch guilty of missing three good chances while Kuyt saw a deflected shot hit the bar.

Before the game there was a moving remembrance for Liverpool boy Rhys Jones, who was tragically shot dead last week.

His parents and brother stood pitch-side as the crowd sang Liverpool terrace anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" and applauded the theme from the TV series Z Cars, a song associated with the boy's favourite club, cross city rivals Everton.

Despite his side's dominance, Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said he was anxious about the result until Hyypia scored the second goal.

"I was a little bit worried in the first half because we kept giving the ball away and they caused problems on the counter attack," he told reporters.

"We needed to be awake and alert and needed the second goal to kill the game off and then we started enjoying our football.

"It is important to be in the group stage. These kind of games you must treat with caution and now I'm pleased to be looking forward to see the draw and see how far we can go."

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