Premier League - Liverpool held by Valerenga

Mon, 01 Aug 20:00:00 2011

Liverpool were held to a 3-3 draw by a spirited Valerenga side in Olso in the Premier League side's penultimate pre-season friendly match.

Premier League - Liverpool draw in Olso

The home team have played 16 games in Norway's domestic league and their sharpness showed in the opening 18 minutes as they constructed a 2-0 lead against a visiting side lacking the necessary sharpness.

Lars Iver Strand slipped the ball home from eight yards on 13 minutes after a lovely pass by Havard Nielsen.

Fegor Ogude netted the second from the penalty spot on 18 minutes after Charlie Adam had been harshly penalised for a foul on Yssouf Kone as Pepe Reina guessed right, but failed to keep the ball out as he dived to his right.

Liverpool - with new signings Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson making their first starts - reduced the deficit on 43 minutes when Andy Carroll popped up to volley into the net from Downing's delightful cross a couple of minutes before the break.

Daniel Agger powered home a header seven minutes from time courtesy of substitute Albert Aquilani's corner as Liverpool suddenly sensed an unlikely victory.

Agger looked to have won the match for Kenny Dalglish's side on 88 minutes when he thumped a volley into the net after Dirk Kuyt had nodded on another Aquilani corner despite a suspicion of pushing off the ball in the area by the Liverpool central defender.

Valerenga grabbed the draw their efforts merited when Mohammed Fellah deceived Reina by ramming a swerving shot down the middle of the goal as the Liverpool keeper dived to his left three minutes into five added on.

Liverpool conclude their pre-season friendly programme when they face Valencia at Anfield on Saturday before they host Sunderland on August 13 in their opening match of the Premier League campaign.

With plenty of Liverpool fans in the 25,000 crowd, the visiting side did not lack support, but were found wanting at the back as Reina stopped Kone from making it three by standing tall to make a timely block on 19 minutes.

Liverpool did not threaten until the 27th minute when Carroll met Downing's corner. Glen Johnson clipped the ball over home keeper Lars Hirschfeld only for a flurry of white shirts to crowd him out as he prepared to pull the trigger.

Captain Jamie Carragher was forced to dash back to deny Kone a clear run on goal around the half-hour mark. The game continued to swing from end to end in the second period.

Adam drove in a couple of decent shots while Valerenga substitute keeper Gudmund Taksdal Kongshavn was forced to make several eye-catching stops as the usual rash of substitutes in these games seemed to boost Liverpool's general play in the closing moments.

Sidoine Oussou could have put the home side 3-1 up seconds after coming on in 77 minutes. He did well to give Agger the slip only to drive the ball straight at Reina when it looked easier to score.

Eurosport

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