Henderson guides Liverpool to last 32
Udinese 0 Liverpool 1:Midfielder Jordan Henderson’s maiden Europa League goal saw Liverpool progress to the last 32 as Group A winners with victory over 10-man Udinese in Italy.
It was only his third strike for the club – and his first since May 8th – but he would have had another had it not been for a brilliant reaction save from former Liverpool goalkeeper Daniele Padelli.
But with Young Boys beating Anzhi the goal was the difference between the Reds reaching the knockout stages for the ninth time in 11 attempts and crashing out. In finding the net Henderson joined a small but illustrious club of Michael Owen, Fernando Torres and Phil Neal to score for Liverpool in Italy.
It was not all plain sailing, however, as Liverpool’s game plan had to be altered in just the 12th minute when Nuri Sahin was forced off with a bloody nose after getting caught in the face, meaning an early introduction for Jonjo Shelvey.
Luis Suarez’s first shooting chance came from a free-kick 20 yards out but he drilled it into the wall. Henderson, however, took full advantage of his first sight of goal. Stewart Downing’s 24th-minute corner dropped to Suarez and although his header only reached Suso, the young Spaniard had the presence of mind to lay the ball back for Henderson to drill a shot past Padelli.
Henderson must have thought he had doubled his tally in the 65th minute but his side-foot volley from Jose Enrique’s cross was tipped over by Padelli. The goalkeeper also produced two stunning saves from Suarez.
However, a red card for Giovanni Pasquale for a second bookable offence killed off any chance of a Udinese equaliser.