Liverpool win thriller, Spurs and Newcastle left goalless
PARIS (AFP) - Liverpool almost paid the price for fielding a near second-string side for their Europa League opener with Swiss side Young Boys in Bern on Thursday, but held on to win a thrilling match 5-3.
The Merseyside giants were the only English winners on the night with Newcastle held 0-0 at Maritimo in Portugal and Tottenham also left goalless at home to Lazio.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, goalkeeper Jose Reina, striker Luis Suarez, first-choice defenders Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Welsh international midfield playmaker Joe Allen all remained behind on Merseyside for Thursday's trip to Switzerland.
And Brendan Rodgers' decision seemed it might backfire against a doughty Swiss side in a match with goal-scoring opportunities galore. Liverpool, in their 100th Uefa Cup and Europa League match, went 1-0 up after just four minutes thanks to a most bizzare Juhani Ojala own goal.