Liverpool 2 Balotelli 82, Gerrard PEN 90+3
PFC Ludogorest Razgrad 1 Abalo 90+1
Kick-of 19:45 (GMT)
Date Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Competition UEFA Champions’ League Group Stage – Group B
There was a series of free-kicks at the start of the match, before Alex Aleksandrov of Ludogorets was shown the first yellow card after 5 minutes.
There were still plenty of fouls after that, before Ludogorets’ Virgil Misidjan shot with his right foot, which was blocked.
The 21st minute saw two blocked shots from Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli, and one saved one from Adam Lallana of the home side.
More through balls were attempted, and more offsides were seen, as the game went forwards to the half-hour mark.
Balotelli then had a go at goal on the 34th minute, but his shot misses just narrowly to the left, before Alberto Moreno blasted the ball over the bar a minute later.
Two minutes later, Anicet of the visitors shot with his left foot after a pass from Junior Caicara, but missed to the right.
The Reds’ Adam Lallana had two bites on the cherry for a go at goal on the 38th minute, both of them being blocked.
A minute later, Dejan Lovren’s header from Steven Gerrard’s corner was a bit too high.
A series of fouls were played, before the whistle for half-time blew, as the teams went in being still drawn 0-0.
Half-time resumed, and two minutes after the restart, Liverpool attacked through Philippe Coutinho, as his shot was saved in the bottom left corner by goalkeeper Milan Borjan, before Jordan Henderson’s shot had the same result.
Three fouls in total from both sides ended when Ludogorets’ right-back Caicara shot from long range, which was saved in the bottom right corner by Simon Mingolet.
Raheem Sterling had a go for the Anfield side when his shot from the left side of the box was blocked after 56 minutes.
Two minutes later, the other end of the pitch saw Misidjan shoot from outside the penalty area, but missed to the right.
Liverpool’s Balotelli had two shots in four minutes, starting from the first one on the hour mark, where his shot from the centre of the box was blocked, before his right-footed shot from the same place was too high after Javier Manquillo delivered a cross.
Mihail Aleksandrov of the away side had a go a minute after that when his shot from the right side of the penalty area was close, but missed to the top right corner.
Substitutions for Liverpool then followed, with Fabio Borini and Lucas Leiva replacing Lallana and Coutinho respectively.
Fabio Borini got straight into action two minute after he came on as Manquillo’s cross found him but his header from the centre of the area was saved in the top centre of the goal by Borjan, and was tipped over for a corner, which lead to Gerrard taking it and Sakho heading it, but his attempt at goal was blocked.
The 71st minute saw Mario Balotelli shoot with his weaker left foot which was blocked, before two attempts from Ludogorets came, the first from Roman Bezjak, who nearly scored as well, but hit the post, before Yordan Minez’s shot from outside the penalty area missed to the right.
On the 73rd minute, Dani Abalo replaced Misidjan for Ludogorets.
After 74 minutes, Henderson of Liverpool headed the ball from an Alberto Moreno cross, but missed to the right.
Lovren had a headed attempt on goal as well, but he missed to the left, on the 77th minute, which was created by a Henderson set-piece.
Substitute Lucas Leiva had a try, but his shot from outside the box blasted well over.
The 82nd minute saw the first goal of the game scored, when Alberto Moreno drove in a cross from the left wing, found Balotelli, and the Italian striker shot with his right foot, and into the bottom right corner.
The 84th minute saw Marcelinho strike a free-kick from outside the box directly at goal for the Bulagarian side, but was too high.
Balotelli had a go again on 5 minutes before the 90 minutes was up, as his shot was saved in the centre of the goal, and his try was following the substitution made by Ludogorets as Fabio Espinho replaced Svetoslav Dyakov.
A minute later, another substitution was made by the away team, with Hamza Younes replacing Roman Bejzak.
And it was on the first minute of 5 60 seconds of stoppage time of the second half when substitute Younes passed a through ball into substitute Abalo, whose shot from the right side of the box forced an error from goalkeeper Mingolet, as the ball made its was to the bottom right corner and in.
But just a minute after that, goalkeeper Milan Borjan gave away a penalty after a foul in the box on Javier Manquillo.
Steven Gerrard took the penalty a minute after the incident, and converted it with his right foot into the bottom corner on the 93rd minute.
Ludogorest did win a corner on the 94th minute, but time was up, and after a dramatic and tense match, Liverpool came out as eventual winners by just a one-goal margin.
GK Simon Mingolet (E)
LB Alberto Moreno (A)
LCB Mamadou Sakho
RCB Dejan Lovren
RB Javier Manquillo
LM Philippe Coutinho (Lucas Leiva 68)
CM Steve Gerrard (GP)
RM Jordan Henderson
LW Raheem Sterling
ST Mario Balotelli (G, MOTM)
RW Adam Lallana (Fabio Borini 67)
GK Bradley Jones
DEF Emre Can
DEF Glen Johnson
DEF Jon Flanagan
DEF Jose Enrique
DEF Kolo Toure
MID Lazar Markovic
FW Daniel Sturridge
FW Rickie Lambert
GK Milan Borjan (P, Y)
LB Yordan Minev (Y)
LCB Cosmin Moti
RCB Alex Aleksandrov (Y)
RB Junior Caicara (Y)
LM Virgil Misidjan (Dani Abalo 72 (G))
RCM Svestoslav Dyakov (Fabio Espinho 85)
RM Mihail Aleksandrov
RS Roman Bezjak (HW) (Hamza Younes 86 (A))
GK Emil Gospodinov
GK Ivan Cvorovic
GK Vladislav Stoyanov
DEF Brayan Angulo
DEF Georgi Terziev
MID Hristo Zlatinski
Guide: G Goal OG Own Goal PM Penalty Miss GP Goal – Penalty PS Penalty Save (Only for goalkeepers) HW Hit Woodwork MOTM Man of the Match A Assist T Last-Man Tackle C Clearance Off The Line
For more statistics, go to Whoscored.com.