LIVERPOOL 3 - 1 PSV EINDHOVEN
Wednesday 01 October 2008 19:45 , Champions League Group Phase
KEANE OFF THE MARK IN PSV ROMP
Robbie Keane scored his first goal for Liverpool and Steven Gerrard joined the 100 club as the Reds marked Rafael Benitez's 250th match in charge with a comfortable 3-1 win over PSV Eindhoven.
The Ireland international's first-half strike was upstaged by Stevie's century in what proved to be a routine victory against the Dutch outfit with Dirk Kuyt also on target.
It means Liverpool remain level with Atletico Madrid at the top of Group D and will approach their double-header with the Spanish side in buoyant mood having taken maximum points from their opening two group fixtures for the first time ever.
Ahead of the match Benitez had suggested he would keep with faith with the players who had served him so well in the opening 10 games of the season, and he was true to his word.
Fabio Aurelio's return to action in place of Andrea Dossena was the only change from the team that beat Everton so convincingly at the weekend and it was a policy that would serve the Reds boss well.
Indeed, he didn't have long to wait for his reward with Kuyt firing the Reds in front after just four minutes of the contest.
A corner from the right was met on the volley by Fernando Torres and although Andreas Isaksson did brilliantly to deny the Spaniard, Kuyt was on hand to drill the rebound into the corner via the keeper's hands.
It was Liverpool's 100th goal in the European Cup under Rafa Benitez and it set the tone for a night that would be littered with significant milestones.
A second goal prior to the interval seemed inevitable, such was Liverpool's superiority, and the only surprise was that it didn't arrive sooner.
First Keane was denied a penalty after he appeared to be tripped in the area before Torres powered a towering header from Steven Gerrard's corner just wide.
The front duo were looking particularly sharp and on 35 minutes the home side finally doubled their advantage when they combined for Keane's first goal for the club.
Torres ghosted into space down the right hand side of the penalty area before crossing low for his strike partner who met the ball first time with a superb side-footed effort.
So often this season the 28-year-old has seen the ball bounce just wide or into the grateful arms of a goalkeeper - but not on this occasion as he expertly guided it into the far corner of the net.
Cue a trademark celebration from the Irishman, whose finish was greeted by the biggest cheer of the night.
It already seemed like it would be a damage limitation exercise for Huub Stevens' men but they gave the home side a scare on 59 minutes when Nordin Amrabat smashed a 25 yarder inches wide of Pepe Reina's right-hand post.
It was rare foray forward for the visitors and the remainder of the match followed the same pattern that had preceded that attempt - with Liverpool in the ascendancy.
Keane went close to doubling his tally with a flicked header from Aurelio's free-kick before Torres saw a clipped effort bounce just wide after a burst of pace had sent him surging in on the left-hand side of the area.
On an evening where his teammates had been stealing the limelight with significant goals, Steven Gerrard had been surprisingly quiet.
The skipper is so often the man for the big occasion and he wasn't about to let it pass him by without notching his 100th for the club.
On 76 minutes the Reds were awarded a free-kick in front of the Kop and as the midfielder raced on to Aurelio's touch-off there was only one place the ball was destined to land.
It was typical Gerrard - an exquisite drive that gave the keeper absolutely no chance and how fitting the goal came at the Kop end.
The scoreboard read 3-0 and perhaps the Reds were on cruise control as they allowed substitute Danny Koevermans to steal in and stab home a consolation just two minutes later.
It mattered not, however, as both Keane and Gerrard were granted standing ovations by their manager on a night that will go down as a significant moment in the duo's Liverpool careers.
Liverpool: Reina, Aurelio, Carragher, Skrtel, Arbeloa, Riera, Gerrard (captain), Alonso, Kuyt, Torres, Keane. Subs - Benayoun, Babel, Leiva, Dossena, Cavalieri, Mascherano, Agger
PSV Eindhoven: Isaksson, Salcido, Culina, Brechet, Kromkamp, Mendez, Simons (captain), Marcellis, Wuytens, Amrabat, Bakkal. Subs - Ramos, Nyland, Rodriguez, Dzsudzsak, Zonneveld, Pieters, Koevermans
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
Man-of-the-Match: Robbie Keane
Goals Video Clip : LIVERPOOL 3 - 1 PSV EINDHOVEN
Download : Dirk Kuyt (4') | Rapidshare
Robbie Keane (33') | Rapidshare
Steven Gerrard (76') | Rapidshare
Danny Koevermans (78') | Rapidshare
Highlights Video : LIVERPOOL 3 - 1 PSV EINDHOVEN
Download : 1st Half | 2nd Half
Full Match Video : LIVERPOOL 3 - 1 PSV EINDHOVEN
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