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Liverpool down Monaco 2-0

September 16, 2004 12:16 IST

French striker Djibril Cisse struck his first goal at Anfield and a solo effort by substitute Milan Baros gave Liverpool a 2-0 win over last season's finalists Monaco in their opening Champions League Group A match.

Cisse, who joined the English Premier League club from AJ Auxerre in July, latched on to an opening created by Luis Garcia and Steven Gerrard to drive home from 12 metres in the 22nd minute on Wednesday.

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Baros replaced Cisse in the 70th minute and five minutes from time he sealed the points for the home side.

The Czech international controlled a long ball and deftly took it past Sebastien Squillaci before firing into the net with his left foot.

"We could have scored a lot more goals, it was a good game for us," Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez told Skysports.

"The two forwards scored in this game which is good for the team. The second goal relaxed the team and it's important that we kept a clean sheet."

Liverpool lead the standings with three points after Deportivo Coruna and Olympiakos drew 0-0 in the other game in Group A.

A lacklustre Monaco discovered the difficulty they face in this year's competition as they failed to reproduce the form that took them to the final against Porto last May.

"We did not have many chances, actually we did not play," said France defender Squillaci.

"We were not really there from the start and they made us pay for it.

"We need to start our games much better. From a psychological point of view, we were not at our best."


Monaco keeper Flavio Roma had to be in top form to keep the scoreline down as Liverpool dominated the tie.

Close season transfers meant that Monaco manager Didier Deschamps only fielded five of the side that started last season's final. He was further hampered by injuries and suspensions that kept out players such as Javier Saviola and Shabani Nonda.

The lack in depth was exploited most by Garcia, who came close to increasing Liverpool's lead on several occasions.

The Spanish international's low shot was well saved by Roma in the 28th minute and his header just seconds before the break was also tipped round the sidebar by the Monaco keeper.

Monaco's Emmanuel Adebayor forced Jerzy Dudek into a flying save with a header from Douglas Maicon's corner with 20 minutes to go -- the French side' s only clear chance.

Garcia then embarrassingly pulled a powerful shot wide of the target after Steve Finnan's knock down left him with time in front of goal.

An exhilarating late cameo by Euro 2004 top scorer Baros secured the win.

He controlled Josemi's long punt from deep on his chest, shrugged off two defenders and then stepped away from Roma before shooting home.

Jeremy Butler
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