Football

Simao strike denies Reds

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Liverpool were denied a three-point haul from their Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid after conceding a late equaliser to Simao Sabrosa, a player once targeted by Reds boss Rafael Benitez.

The unmarked Simao drilled home a low shot with seven minutes remaining to cancel out Robbie Keane's early opener for Liverpool as the two sides, having each won their first two games, remained unbeaten in Group D.

Liverpool controlled the first half and held a deserved lead at the break but Atletico, who had been unbeaten in their previous six home meetings with English opposition, fought back to salvage a point which could ease the pressure on under-fire coach Javier Aguirre.

Keane's goal came not long after young Atletico midfielder Ignacio Camacho had headed over the first chance of the match following a Simao free-kick.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard created the chance with a superb pass through for Keane, who beat the Atletico offside trap before coolly slotting low past Leo Franco.

Keane again escaped the attentions of his markers to get on the end of Gerrard's right-wing cross, but the Irishman attempted an ambitious flick and ended up missing the ball.

The hosts came close to an equaliser soon after the break when Maniche pick up a pass from Diego Forlan on the far side of the area before firing in a shot that flew into the far corner of the net, but it was flagged for offside.

From an almost identical position moments later Simao then drilled in a shot which Reina brilliantly helped onto the post and then gathered at the second attempt as Liverpool rode their luck.

Reina could do little about the goal that brought Atletico back on level terms in the 83rd minute however. Simao was left in acres of space on the far side of the area and he drilled a low left-footed shot past the diving Reina to level the scores up at 1-1.

Liverpool could have silenced the home crowd in the 89th minute though when substitute Ryan Babel sent a diving header just wide of the Atletico goal from close range, but the match would end up finishing all-square.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Robbie Keane
European News
Ryan Babel
Football
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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