Liverpool defeat PSV

With a three-goal, first-leg lead, and facing a weak PSV Eindhoven, Liverpool didn't need a super-human effort to reach European Champions League semis.

updated: April 13, 2007 17:13 IST
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With a three-goal, first-leg lead, and facing a weakened PSV Eindhoven, Liverpool didn't need a super-human effort to reach European Champions League semifinals.

A 1-0 victory at Anfield Road on Wednesday was enough.

It won't have it so easy against English Premier League rival Chelsea in a rematch of their 2005 clash.

"We know Chelsea is a very good team," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said. "In the last five years, they have spent big money on players and have a very good squad."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho still disputes Luis Garcia's winning goal two years ago for the Reds, who went on to beat AC Milan in the title match.

Peter Crouch scored the only goal Wednesday, but Liverpool had wrapped up the quarterfinal with a 3-0 win in the Netherlands.

Crouch scored into an open net in the 67th minute to give Liverpool a 4-0 aggregate win and make it the third English team to reach the last four. Manchester United advanced Tuesday by routing AS Roma.

"Now he has the confidence all strikers need," Benitez said. "I hope he can keep scoring goals until the end of the season."

Benitez felt confident enough to rest captain Steven Gerrard, who scored in the first leg, and Jamie Carragher.

That lack of urgency was reflected as the Reds played at a leisurely pace, despite Benitez repeatedly warning his team against complacency.

"It was a strange game," Crouch said. "All the lads were up for it and if it had stayed at 0-0 you would have seen more urgency."

PSV goalkeeper Gomes made a save moments before Crouch's goal, but he couldn't recover in time to stop the England striker from scoring off a pass from Robbie Fowler.

But the visitors came close to scoring in the third minute. Jefferson Farfan forced a save out of Pepe Reina when he headed in a cross from Phillip Cocu.

Liverpool lost Craig Bellamy in the 17th when the Wales forward fell awkwardly while fighting off Csaba Fehe's attack. He was replaced by Robbie Fowler.

Liverpool didn't threaten PSV goalkeeper Gomes until the 26th when Crouch clipped in a cross from Jermaine Pennant.

Two minutes before the break, Boudewijn Zeden curled a free kick narrowly wide, and in the 55th, Crouch flashed across the face of goal.

PSV _ weakened by injuries _ had its task made harder in the 64th when 18-year-old Dirk Marcellis was expelled in his debut match for a right-footed lunge at Zeden.

"It was a fair tackle and at most it was a yellow," PSV coach Ronald Koeman said. "You don't understand much about football if you give a red."

Pennant was denied twice in succession by Gomes in the 90th.

PSV has not won in seven straight games.