Reds snatch late draw
Gerrard penalty saves Liverpool
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: 04/11/08 10:32pm
Gerrard: Fires home penalty
A controversial injury-time penalty from Steven Gerrard earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at Anfield.
Atletico had looked on course for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League as they led 1-0 courtesy of Maxi Rodriguez's first-half goal.
But in the 95th minute captain fantastic Gerrard fired home from the penalty spot.
The spot-kick was awarded as Marian Pernia jumped with Gerrard in the box - but it was deemed an illegal manoeuvre by Swedish referee Martin Hansson and his assistant.
Gerrard did not need asking twice as he slotted home to seal a 1-1 draw, a repeat of the previous match between the two sides in Madrid.
With Marseille beating PSV Eindhoven, the winner of the match at Anfield would have booked their place in the next round - but instead the outcome in Group D remains undecided, although Atletico and Liverpool remain in control, five points clear of the other two.
Fernando Torres was deemed not yet fit to return against his former club as he recovers from a hamstring injury, so the Spain striker watched from the directors' box at Anfield.
He almost saw the Reds score within the first minute, but Atletico goalkeeper Leo Franco was able to gather Dirk Kuyt's close-range effort following a Gerrard corner.
Gerrard went close himself soon after, and then Robbie Keane was inches wide with a volley from the edge of the area.
Simao fired over at the other end with the visitors' first real chance, but Liverpool were soon on the attack again with Javier Mascherano curling an effort wide and the Atletico defence scrambling to prevent Gerrard and Keane getting shots away.
But then, with 37 minutes on the clock, Atletico scored completely against the run of play. Antonio Lopez cantered down the right wing before cutting the ball inside to Maxi who was lurking in the box, and the Argentina international finished with a shot across Pepe Reina and into the far corner of the net.
Liverpool came out determined to find an equaliser after the break, but Keane was struggling to find space up front.
However, they should have had a penalty on 50 minutes when Atletico's Colombia defender Luis Amaranto Perea clearly handled in the area - but referee Hansson failed to spot the offence.
The Reds continued to press, with Daniel Agger twice squandering good opportunities from set pieces, but had to be wary of a Madrid counter-attack.
The ever-dangerous Aguero was introduced for Atletico, while Liverpool threw on David Ngog and Ryan Babel.
With eight minutes to go, Agger spurned another good chance, heading wide of the far post, and Jamie Carragher also forced Franco to punch his curling shot from long range over the bar.
As the game entered the final minute of stoppage time Liverpool were granted a life-line as the referee adjudged Pernia to have fouled Gerrard in the box, leaving the Reds captain to grab a draw for his side from the spot.
|Liverpool||Team Statistics||Atlético de Madrid|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|7||Shots on Target||2|
|11||Shots off Target||2|
UEFA Champions League
Tue 4th Nov - Group C
Barcelona1 - 1Basel
Sporting1 - 0Shak Donetsk
Tue 4th Nov - Group D
Marseille3 - 0PSV
Liverpool1 - 1A Madrid
Tue 4th Nov - Group B
W Bremen0 - 3Panathinaikos
Anorthosis Fama3 - 3Inter
Tue 4th Nov - Group A
Cluj1 - 2Bordeaux
Roma3 - 1Chelsea
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H