Liverpool 1 Steaua Bucharest 0 (agg 2-1)
Man of the match Steven Gerrard hoped Liverpool’s progression into the third round of the UEFA Cup would provide a platform from which the side could build their whole season around.
Harry Kewell’s second-half header gave the Reds a 1-0 victory against Steaua Bucharest on the night and a 2-1 success on aggregate and the skipper felt the result could be crucial for the team’s immediate future.
“I think any win in is very important but as the next round doesn’t come till February we can forget about the UEFA Cup for now and concentrate on the league,” he told Five.
“They are very good side, are comfortable on the ball and very good technically, but we have kept another clean sheet, which is very important, and hopefully we can build on this and get another win on Sunday (against Birmingham in the Premier League).”
Manager Gerard Houllier agreed with the views of his captain.
“It was important to keep the run in Europe because it is always exciting,” he said.
“We have beaten a good team. They could pass a ball well. I don’t think that they had a lot of chances but on the whole it is a deserved victory.”
The game saw Germany international Dietmar Hamann start for the first time since May and complete 90 minutes and although England striker Michael Owen came off shortly before full-time, Houllier said there was no cause for concern.
“Michael felt his calf was a bit tight but I think – I hope – it is nothing much,” he added.
“It was a first game for Didi since early May so it was good to see him back.”