TRABZONSPOR (1) V/S LIVERPOOL (2)
LIVERPOOL forward Dirk Kuyt pledged his future to the club after his goal helped them to a comeback win and a place in the Europa League group stage.
The Reds, missing star trio Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano, looked in for a difficult night when Teofilo Gutierrez scored for Trabzonspor and levelled the tie.
But fears eased when Giray Kacar’s own goal put Liverpool back in front on aggregate and Kuyt made sure of the win two minutes from time.
The Holland star has this week been linked with a move to Inter Milan, where he would be reunited with former Anfield boss Rafael Benitez.
But Kuyt said: “My future is at Liverpool. I’m 30 years old and I wanted to know if any club in the world showed any interest in me. The club spoke to me and explained everything. They said I was really important for Liverpool and that made me a really proud person. At that point I focused my thoughts on Liverpool.”
Reds manager Roy Hodgson added: “I have said all along, there has been no offer for Dirk Kuyt, Dirk Kuyt is not for sale, so excuse me for not really understanding the speculation or being particularly happy now that he’s said he is staying, because I have never doubted he was staying.”
English teams will discover their group stage opponents today when the draw is made.
CITY BONUS | BLUES CRUISE
ENGLAND winger Shaun Wright-Phillips scored as Manchester City cruised past Timisoara 2-0 and into the Europa League group stage. Belgian youngster Dedryck Boyata headed his first for the club as City won 3-0 on aggregate.