Gerrard predicts away-day joy

13:33, February 20, 2010      

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LIVERPOOL, England: Steven Gerrard insists Liverpool will find Unirea Urziceni much easier opponents when they travel to Romania next week.

Roni Levy's side made life difficult for the Reds at Anfield here on Thursday with Liverpool only winning 1-0 in the first leg of their last 32 Europa League tie thanks to David Ngog's goal nine minutes from time.

Having been knocked out of the Champions League in the group phase, Liverpool were expected to coast past Unirea.

But Liverpool captain Gerrard is adamant that the Romanian champions' need to be more positive in the return leg will play into the Merseysiders' hands.

And the England midfielder reckons Liverpool can go all the way in the competition and lift their first trophy since 2006.

"They were very stubborn but we expected that," Gerrard said. "Maybe we needed to be a bit more clinical but we'll get more joy away from home against them.

"We had to be patient but the breakthrough came. Away from home they'll have to come out and we'll kill them off.

"Teams have come out of the Champions League into this tournament, top sides from across Europe.

"It'll be tough but we're confident we can go all the way."

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is also sure his team will find Unirea easier to break down in the return leg.

The Spaniard fielded a full-strength side in an attempt to end the tie as a contest at the halfway stage.

Yet despite a narrow victory, and with an important trip to Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday to come, Benitez is happy enough with Liverpool's position.

"We were waiting for the goal and we were really pleased when we scored," Benitez said.

"They have to attack so maybe we'll have more space and maybe we can play in a different way."

Source: China Daily/Agencies
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