Liverpool 1-0 Augsburg

James Milner’s penalty handed Liverpool a 1-0 win against FC Augsburg at Anfield to book their place in the Europa League last 16.

Match Reports: Liverpool 1-0 AugsburgMatch Reports: Liverpool 1-0 Augsburg

The two sides played out a goalless first-leg draw in Germany a week ago and it was another close-fought affair on Merseyside, with Milner’s early spot-kick the difference.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had to battle throughout the remainder of the tie to deny Augsburg an away goal which would have taken them through.

But they held on to progress and also pick up a morale-boosting win ahead of Sunday’s Capital One Cup final against Manchester City.

Liverpool had an early scare in the second minute when Caiuby surged through and hit a rising shot just over the bar from the edge of the area.

However, two minutes later the hosts were awarded a penalty when the referee spotted a handball by Dominik Kohr as he tried to get up to head a cross clear.

Milner stepped up and fired his fifth-minute spot-kick just beyond the reach of Augsburg goalkeeper Marwin Hitz, who guessed correctly and dived away to his left.

On 20 minutes, Daniel Sturridge went close but sent his header over the top at the back post although the offside flag would have denied him had he converted.

Two minutes later Hitz pulled off a fine save to deny Philippe Coutinho inside the area after he exchanged passes with Sturridge.

Reds keeper Simon Mignolet had to make his first meaningful save on 25 minutes when Kostas Stafylidis tested him with a left-foot strike from outside the area which he got down well to and pushed it away.

Liverpool responded with an attack down the left and Hitz again pulled off a great stop to push over Roberto Firmino’s first-time effort in the box after he was teed up by Alberto Moreno.

Lucas almost gifted Caiuby an equaliser on 35 minutes with a sloppy back pass, but Mignolet raced out to narrow the angle and Mamadou Sakho was covering behind him to see his subsequent shot out of play at the front post.

Sturridge spurned a great chance early in the second half when he got into the area and cut inside the defender before firing a right-foot effort inches past the post with the goal at his mercy.

Both sides kept pressing but it was Augsburg who went close in the 70th minute when Tobias Werner picked up the ball on the edge of the area, but Mignolet had spotted the danger and raced out to block his effort.

Hitz was called into action again two minutes later when he dived to his right to parry a cross-shot back into the middle of the area before Coutinho’s follow-up strike was blocked and looped over the bar.

On 77 minutes Jordan Henderson missed a great chance to seal the win when he got between the two central defenders inside the area, but his effort was straight at Hitz.

Augsburg had a last-minute free-kick just outside the area which Stafylidis curled over the wall, but it dropped inches wide as Liverpool held on through five minutes of stoppage time to progress.

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