Liverpool 1-0 Besiktas: Motta gifts Reds victory [divider]
Liverpool beat Beşiktaş 1-0 at Anfield in the Europa League Round of 32 first-leg.
Slaven Bilic fielded a strong side featuring Demba Ba and Ramon Motta both of whom were injury doubts.
The Black Eagles pressed well in midfield and held Liverpool to a goalless draw in the first-half although Ba had a great chance to put Beşiktaş ahead.
Ba had another chance to open the scoring in the second half when Emre Can’s misplaced pass played the Senegalese striker in on goal.
Liverpool also had chances to open the scoring early soon after the break. Pedro Franco and goalkeeper Cenk Gönen collided to allow Adam Lallana in on goal just six-yards out however, the England international blazed the ball over the bar.
Veli Kavlak and Atiba Hutchinson did not allow Liverpool a lot of space in midfield and worked assiduously to make interceptions and tackles – 14 tackles and assists between them.
Gökhan Töre was impressive on the attacking front and got into a number of dangerous positions down the right-flank. The Turkish international completed 7 successful dribbles and was given a Whoscored rating of 7.50.
The Beşiktaş away chants grew louder and louder as the minutes wore on and the Eagles looked like they would hold the Reds to a goalless draw until Motta recklessly brought down Ibe in the penalty area.
Mario Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge threw handbags over who would take the spot kick but the Italian international justified his insistence to take the penalty when he converted on 85 minutes.
Liverpool take on Beşiktaş next Thursday at the Atatürk Olympic stadium for the return-leg.
Liverpool – Beşiktaş
Stadium: Anfield Road
Referee: Szymon Marciniak
Liverpool: Mignolet, Sakho, Moreno, Skrtel, Emre Can, Allen, Coutinho, Henderson, Lallana, Ibe, Sturridge
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Beşiktaş: Cenk, Serdar, Franco, Ersan, Motta, Veli, Hutchinson, Gökhan, Sosa, Olcay, Demba Ba
Manager: Slaven Bilic