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Jul 25, 2013   |  2:56AM AET

Liverpool edge brave Victory

Liverpool edge brave Victory

Liverpool have defeated a plucky Melbourne Victory 2-0 with the English Premier League club’s two main men, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez, making the difference at the MCG.

Liverpool have defeated a plucky Melbourne Victory 2-0 with the English Premier League club’s two main men, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez, making the difference at the MCG.

Gerrard started the game and scored Liverpool’s opener, while Suarez came off the bench for the final 20 minutes and set up the visitors’ second in the last minute of the match.

But although Victory failed to get on the scoreboard, the hosts were far from disgraced and gave their more-fancied opponents plenty to think about throughout the 90 minutes.

The crowd of 95,446, a record attendance for a football match in Australia, provided one of the highlights of Wednesday night with a spine-tingling rendition of Liverpool’s famous anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ before the game.

And with the vast majority at the MCG wearing red, the roar for Gerrard’s goal may have been heard at Flinders St Station in the centre of Melbourne.

Ironically, Melbourne had one of their best periods in the lead-up to the opening goal as they dominated possession for almost five minutes but once they lost the ball, the visitors pounced.

Gerrard stepped over the ball in the middle of the park and let it run to Allen, which shifted Liverpool’s attack up a gear and the Welsh midfielder burst forward, before sending a diagonal pass to his skipper, who struck a first-time shot into the top corner of the net.

The goal gave Liverpool the lead at half-time but Victory head coach Ange Postecoglou would have been pleased with his team’s performance at the break.

Despite missing key players Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan, plus new signing Mitch Nichols, who are all away with the Socceroos at the East Asian Cup, Victory opened up Liverpool’s defence on a number of occasions.

Andrew Nabbout was Melbourne’s most dangerous attacker in the first half with the 20-year-old skipping past Jose Enrique in the 20th minute and forcing Liverpool’s Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones into a sharp save down low.

Most of Liverpool’s shots in the first half came from outside the area but Allen would have been disappointed with his effort when he weaved his way through the box only to shoot tamely at Victory gloveman Nathan Coe, while Gerrard wasted an opportunity for his second goal just before half-time, stabbing the ball over the bar.

Liverpool almost doubled their lead just after the break but Coe tipped Martin Skrtel’s header over the bar, while on the hour mark, Connor Pain, who was lively all night, got in behind Glen Johnson and hit a scorching shot, which Jones could only palm away.

As the half wore on, the crowd started to chant for Luis Suarez to be put on the field and they got their wish in the 72nd minute with Brendan Rodgers substituting 10 players at the one time.

Suarez, whose future with Liverpool is in doubt, produced a couple of moments of brilliance, including a smart turn before crossing for Iago Aspas to tap home.

But in general, Suarez was subdued and did not celebrate the goal, which will only add to speculation he will leave Liverpool.

Melbourne Victory 0
Liverpool 2 (Gerrard 36′, Aspas 90+3′)

Crowd: 95,446 @ MCG