Kenny Dalglish happy with first European win with Liverpool

Kenny Dalglish had a late Dirk Kuyt header to thank for his first European win as Liverpool manager last night.

Kuyt powered home the only goal of a tricky Europa League tie against Sparta Prague with just five minutes of the second leg remaining at Anfield.

The 1-0 aggregate win secured a place in the last 16 and a clash against Portuguese side SC Braga.

It was Dalglish's first taste of continental victory as Reds boss having not competed on the European stage during his first spell in charge from 1985-91 due to a ban on English clubs.

Dalglish, appointed until the end of the season after the departure of Roy Hodgson seven weeks ago, said: "I had never done it before and I quite enjoyed it.

"It's a fantastic football club and I was lucky enough to be asked to come back.

"But I'm only here managing a football club in the Europa League because of the work that was done before me by the players and Roy.

"It is a great honour for me to be sitting here in charge of this football club but an even bigger honour to be here on a European night and also winning."

Both sides squandered numerous chances to win a scrappy encounter at Anfield but persistence eventually paid off for Liverpool.

David Ngog, Joe Cole, Raul Meireles and Lucas had all gone close before the hard-working Kuyt connected with a Meireles corner.

Dalglish said: "They were a good strong side and it was a difficult game for us across two legs but I thought we deserved to win.

"I think the boys deserve great credit for the way they went about their work - for their determination and their effort - to get a result.

"They were superb and the pride they took in themselves and the club was rewarded in the end with a goal."

Liverpool did not risk captain Steven Gerrard due to a groin injury while Glen Johnson also missed out with an Achilles problem.

Defenders Martin Kelly and Daniel Agger were both forced off and Sotirios Kyrgiakos ended the game with a nasty cut above the eye which required bandaging.

Veteran Jamie Carragher had been left on the bench but came on at right-back for the second half after the exit of Kelly, therefore making a British record 137th appearance in Europe.

Dalglish said of the 33-year-old: "He has been a magnificent servant to the football club. He has been here since he was about 12.

"I'd rather have him with us than against us. He is a great credit to himself, the football club and professional football in general."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence