Gerrard hat-trick gives Liverpool easy win

Associated Press

Liverpool, July 14:

Steven Gerrard began Liverpool’s defence of its Champions League title with three goals as Rafa Benitez’ team strolled to a 3-0 victory over Welsh champion Total Network Solutions.

Three saves by TNS goalkeeper Gerard Doherty kept Liverpool to a 2-0 halftime lead and should ease any worries by Benitez about next week’s second leg. Gerrard scored in the eighth and 21st minutes at Anfield. He added the third with a minute to go with a low, left-footed strike. Other results were FC Haka (Finland) 1, Pyunik (Armenia) 0; F91 Dudelange (Luxembourg) 0, Zrinjski (Bosnia-Herzegovina) 1; Glentoran (Northern Ireland) 1, Shelbourne (Ireland) 2; Gorica (Slovenia) 2, KF Tirana (Albania) 0.