Two penalties down ten-man Liverpool

Two second half penalties saw Liverpool lose 2-1 at Benfica in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final.
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Two second half penalties saw Liverpool lose 2-1 at Benfica in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final.

Daniel Agger gave Liverpool the best possible start after only nine minutes, cleverly flicking home Steven Gerrard's low free-kick.

But just past the half four mark the Reds were reduced to ten men as Ryan Babel got his marching orders.

Luisao's awful challenge on Fernando Torres had already earned him a yellow when Babel pushed his hand in the Benfica defender's face in front of the referee.

The Portuguese side made their numerical advantage count in the second half courtesy of two penalties.

Oscar Cardozo scored his first from 12 yards after Emiliano Insua was penalised for a challenge on Pablo Aimar.

Torres then contrived to miss a sitter for the visitor’s before the Paraguay international striker was handed another opportunity from the penalty spot with eleven minutes remaining.

This time Jamie Carragher handled Angel Di Maria's cross and Cardoza casually sent Jose Reina the wrong way.

Despite the disappointment of the result Agger's away goal could yet prove crucial for the Reds in next week’s second leg at Anfield.

 
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