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
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue