Two sent off as Liverpool implode

 

Substitutes Steven Gerrard and Neil Mellor were sent off as Liverpool lost 2-1 in a bad-tempered match against Galatasaray in the Amsterdam tournament this evening.

Mellor was given a straight red card for a dreadful mistimed tackle on Gabriel Tamas only minutes after coming on late in the match. And England midfielder Gerrard also saw red, apparently for dissent in the wake of Mellor's dismissal, after also being booked his part in a second-half flare-up involving several players.

It had been sparked by Igor Biscan's poor challenge on Berkant Goktan but Gerrard was enraged by the angry reaction of Hakan Sukur.

Liverpool had fallen behind when former Blackburn striker Sukur's through-ball allowed Brazilian midfielder Joao Batista to slot the ball past Chris Kirkland and into the corner of the net.

Two of Liverpool's most impressive pre-season performers, Vladimir Smicer and Emile Heskey, then combined to level for the Reds. Michael Owen laid the ball off for the Czech to cross and England striker Heskey powered home a fine header.

But another Brazilian, Cesar Prates, left Kirkland flailing again when he scored directly from a free-kick. Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier said of the sendings-off: "They lost a bit of their cool. It damaged the atmosphere and we couldn't play well after that."

Elsewhere in today's pre-season friendlies, Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven beat Tottenham 2-0 at White Hart Lane.