Stewart Downing ensured that Brendan Rodgers' first match in
charge of Liverpool ended in victory as he scored the only goal
against Gomel in a Europa League third qualifying round first leg
tie in Belarus on Thursday.
Downing's 25-yard effort midway through the second half was
enough to give the Reds the edge going into the second leg match
at Anfield next Thursday.
Gomel dominated most of the game and the Merseysiders were lucky
to leave with the win after the hosts missed a string of chances.
Also playing under new coaches, French side Marseille, under Elie
Baup, were held 1-1 at Turkish club Eskisehirspor, while Guus
Hiddink's big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala won 2-0 at
home against Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem.
Andre-Pierre Gignac had put Baup's side ahead four minutes after
the break when he picked up a Morgan Amalfitano cross, but the
hosts pulled level after 62 minutes through Austrian striker
Nuhiu almost claimed a second ten minutes later but the
injury-depleted visitors held on for a draw, with a home leg in
their Velodrome stadium to look forward to next Thursday.
"There are lessons to be learnt but everything remains to be
played for," said Baup. "We have to get to work and refocus. This
Turkish team has quality, they are very dangerous. We made too
many mistakes for my liking."
Elsewhere, Romanian side Rapid Bucharest have an uphill task in
their home leg after falling 4-0 at Dutch club Heerenveen as
Dynamo Moscow were held 2-2 at Dundee United with the Scottish
club denied a famous win by a deflected injury-time strike.
Keith Watson looked to have earned United the advantage after he
bundled home from close range following a 75th-minute corner but
Alexander Kokorin silenced Tannadice with a 25-yard strike that
looped home off a United defender for a 2-2 draw.
Italy's Inter Milan are poised to advance after a comfortable 3-0
victory at Croatian club Hajduk Split, but Irish side St
Patrick's are staring at Europa League elimination after
suffering a 3-0 defeat at home in Dublin to Hannover.