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Liverpool have edged a step closer to a place in the Europa League by winning the away leg of their play-off game against Scottish side Heart of Midlothian 1-0 on Thursday night. The only goal of the game came in the 78th minute and sadly for Hearts was off the boot of their own defender Andy Webster, who was unable to deal with an excellent cross from full-back Martin Kelly.
The match was a competitive affair with Hearts giving Liverpool's second string unit a real workout. Fabio Borini, who started up front on his own due to an injury to Andy Carroll, had the best of Liverpool's chances and was unfortunate not to see his name up in lights when he was denied by the woodwork after some terrific work by Raheem Sterling had set up the Italian striker.
Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina had a busy night and denied Arvydas Novikovas early in the contest and Callum Paterson in the second half. Reina was needed late in the game to deny Hearts substitute Andy Driver, who had a great chance to give the Scottish side a share of the spoils on the night.
The result means that Hearts will have their work cut out for them when they make their visit to Anfield for the return leg next Thursday.
The other English team in action on Thursday, Newcastle United were held to 1-1 draw in Athens by Greek side Atromitos. A Ryan Taylor free-kick earned them a share of the spoils after Denis Epstein had put Atromis ahead in the 24th minute.
The winners of the return legs will go into the Group Stage draw on Friday.
File Photograph Copyright: Barry Zee
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