Ngog gets Hodgson off to a flyer

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David Ngog struck twice as Roy Hodgson began his reign as Liverpool manager with a comfortable 2-0 Europa League victory over FK Rabonicki.

The Frenchman found the net in each half as an under-strength Liverpool side overcame the Macedonian outfit with little alarm in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie.

With 17 days still to go before their Premier League opener, Liverpool were without 10 of their World Cup players but their blend of youth and experience coped well in a game of little drama.

Rabotnicki had the first opportunity but Ze Carlos' optimistic shot from a 40-yard free-kick was blocked by Lucas.

However, the visitors took the lead in the 17th minute when Ngog raced through a static Rabotnicki defence to reach a Lucas free-kick.

The Frenchman ran into the box unchallenged and clipped the ball past a half-hearted attempt at a save from Martin Bogatinov.

Brazil-born Ze Carlos found space as Rabotnicki tried to respond but shot tamely at Cavalieri from distance.

David Amoo showed a glimpse of his potential early in the second half as he set off on a run down the right after a neat turn on halfway. The 19-year-old Londoner cut inside to beat one man and then went outside another but his cross was too long.

Liverpool doubled their advantage just before the hour as Ngog volleyed in a fine second. Kelly found space on the right and whipped in a ball which the striker nimbly turned in.

Liverpool eased to walking pace and the real final whistle eventually came to signal a winning start to the Hodgson era.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Europa League
David Ngog
Premier League

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