Final, 1-0 Rangers: McCullough's goal is the difference between the two teams as the final whistle sounds. Travelling LFC supporters had to be expecting more when they set sail for Scotland. The squad players showed how badly they needed game action in this contest.
Positives are that Johnson, Aurelio and Agger played significant minutes and emerged unscathed. Negatives are Doni's injury and a game's worth of scatterbrained defending and punchless attacking.
90th minute, 1-0 Rangers: It looks like the result will hold in this not-so-classic encounter. The Liverpool regulars have made it a little more interesting, but Rangers seem content to kill off the game.
86th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Carroll's penalty appeal is denied after he intercepts back pass. He's in alone on Alexander but heavy touch rolls away as he falls after slight contact with the Rangers 'keeper.
82nd minute, 1-0 Rangers: Liverpool attack coming to life with several regulars on the field. Henderson's deflected volley wide of goal. Carroll heads the ensuing corner just wide. He's good for one of those eache game.
77th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Ortiz off, Healy on for Rangers. McCullough removed for McCabe. Liverpool sending on Henderson, Enrique and Skrtel. Maxi, and Agger head to the bench still waiting to hear who the third removal was.
68th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Lafferty chips over Hansen, but hits the top of the crossbar. Game is opening up in second half. Weir Volleys over the bar. Yes, David Weir volleys from outside the area. It was not too far off either.
65th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Kerka and Bendikson on for Rangers. Kuyt and Adam take the field for the Reds, replacing Kuyt and Bellamy. Flanagan also relieves Johnson at right back. Adam get's a nice applause at the club he used to call home.
58th minute, 1-0 Rangers: The problem is still a lack of leadership in the defense. A largely silent (Boston College product) Alejandro Bedoya was able to ward off two defenders in the Liverpool box before laying off to an open Lafferty. Slack marking and poor tackling on display from the Reds.
56th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Lafferty hits the near post from close range and Doni picks it off the line. It's a major problem for the Brazilian 'keeper though. He's hit his hand against the post and has to leave the game because of injury. It could be a break or dislocation.
50th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Bellamy combines with Maxi and fires wide. The Welshman is the most likely source for a Liverpool goal so far today.
48th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Aurelio, seeing his first action since Aug., has taken up a more central position — next to Lucas and Spearing. Dalglish must be imploring Wilson to get forward on the left against his former team.
46th minute, 1-0 Rangers: No subs for Liverpool, but McMillan, Alexander, Flack and Lafferty are on for Rangers.
46th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Pepe Reina must be simply outstanding in training(practice), based on the performance of his backup, Doni. The Brazilian is prepared, composed and confident. The Scottish club could easily be ahead 3-0. But there's only a goal between the teams as action resumes.
Halftime, 1-0 Rangers: Want to know who showed well in the first 45? Doni, Doni and Doni. Bellamy was energetic, but never got the ball in dangerous positions.
With this largely lifeless going to the break, how about a little (shameless) self-promotion? Have questions about the first half this Friendly? Send them via twitter to @NESNsoccer.
If you've got questions about anything — and I mean anything else — send them to the Liverpool Mailbag and check back Friday to see if your question has been answered.
42nd minute, 1-0 Rangers: Carroll comedically whips his cross into the crowd. As we wrote earlier, he must stay in central channels and stop drifting wide. It's "Rafa's Plan" to save the lumbering striker.
41st minute, 1-0 Rangers: Games like these are a great reminder of continuity in this sport. Liverpool has well over £100 million in talent on the field, but their performances have fallen far short of expectation. Passing and movement has lacked sharpness (and purpose) since the opening whistle. Energy and determination are lacking as well.
35th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Rangers playing a high line and dangerous game against the Reds. Weir is pushing 60 and "Broadfoot" is Scottish for "slow." Carroll springs Bellamy, but the linesman bails them out.
30th minute, 1-0 Rangers: They may say, "It's only a friendly," but the first 30 minutes have been discouraging for LFC. Defense is out of sorts, midfield overrun and the the attack … what attack? Liverpool trails 1-0. At least it can't get any worse from here.
25th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Doni with a point-blank save and follow-up clearance. Whittaker whips cross in to McKay who heads from 7 yards out. Doni parries into the air then clears. Liverpool's defense is almost nonexistent here. Doni the hero so far.
20th minute, 1-0 Rangers: Lee McCullough puts Rangers ahead. Corner kick flighted in and Liverpool's defense can't get ahold of or clear the ball. Johnson's the culprit, as he shanks his attempted clearance. It falls in the box to the ex-Wigan man, who hits it low and to the corner.
19th minute, 0-0: Whittaker gets forward, beating Coates's challenge and his shot is saved by Doni.
18th minute, 0-0: First shot on goal by Jelavic. It's the home team that's showing the attacking impetus in the early goings. The Reds haven't settled into a passing rythmn. Lucas and Spearing must get control of the middle of the field.
15th minute, 0-0: Sensing a little bit of inbalance in the Liverpool team. Wilson and Aurelio are manning that side and seem to lack the forward thrust — understandably — that Enrique and Downing provide.
12th minute, 0-0: So much for the atmosphere Dalglish and Clarke promised us. It's awfully quiet at Ibrox.
10th minute, 0-0: Liverpool defense is asleep as Ortiz passes to himself (offside confusion) and gets to the byline. Coates is there to sweep away the danger and the corner is wasted.
Sixth minute, 0-0: The early part of this one is being played at a liesurely pace. Avoiding injuries seems to be the order of the day from both managers.
Third minute, 0-0: We're underway at Ibrox. Carroll, Lucas and Bellamy — who is on the receiving end of boos because of his spell at Celtic — are the regulars in this unseasonably strong team Dalglish has fielded in Scotland.
2 p.m. ET: Here are the lineups
Doni (32), goalkeeper
Glen Johnson (2), right back
Daniel Agger (5), center back
Sebastian Coates (16), center back
Danny Wilson (22), left back
Lucas (21), midfielder
Jay Spearing (20), midfielder
Maxi Rodriguez (11), midfielder
Fabio Aurelio (6), midfielder
Craig Bellamy (39), forward
Andy Carroll (9), forward
Pepe Reina (25), goalkeeper
Martin Hansen (41), goalkeeper
Martin Skrtel (37), defender
Jose Enrique (3), defender
Jon Flanagan (38), defender
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Stuart Downing (19), midfielder
Charlie Adam (26), midfielder
Dirk Kuyt (18), forward
Allan McGregor (1), goalkeeper
Lee Wallace (12), left back
David Weir (3), center back
Kirk Broadfoot (4), center back
Steven Whittaker (16), left back
Juan Manuel Ortiz (17), midfielder
Matt McKay (20), midfielder
Lee McCulloch (6), midfielder
Steven Davis (8), midfielder
Alejandro Bedoya (21), forward
Nikicia Jelavic (9), striker
Neil Alexander (25), goalkeeper
Jordan McMillan (23), defender
Ross Perry (32), defender
Thomas Kind Bendiksen (33), midfielder
John Fleck (10), striker
Kyle Lafferty (11), striker
David Healy (15), striker
Salim Kerkar (28), striker
12 a.m. ET: Liverpool makes a quick return to action Tuesday afternoon when it travels to Glasgow, Scotland for a glamour friendly against Rangers.
Ibrox stadium is the scene for the contest between historic giants of English and Scottish soccer. These two teams last met in an August 2008 preseason game that saw the Reds triumph 4-0. No points are on the line for either club, but each will strive for victory.
Rangers are currently leading the Scottish Premier League. A win over a big English club will serve notice to their domestic competition that they have no intention of surrenduring their status as the top team in the country.
Liverpool will use the game to get a look at squad players and those that are returning to fitness. Expect to see the likes of Jay Spearing, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy suit up for the Reds.
Games like this are one of the few chances these players will have to impress Kenny Dalglish and stake their claim for increased playing time in competitive games.
Join us Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET for NESN.com’s live blog of Liverpool-Rangers. It will not be televised, but we will have all the action for you in this space.
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