Associated Press

Liverpool, January 12:

Steven Gerrard scored in the 56th minute on Tuesday to lift Liverpool over Watford 1-0 in the first leg of the League Cup semi-finals, giving the Reds the edge going into the second leg in two weeks. Watford controlled most of the play in the first half, but Gerrard’s goal — his eighth of the season — gave Liverpool the edge in the second half at Anfield before 6,000 travelling Watford fans. The winner faces either Manchester United or Chelsea on February 27 in the final in Cardiff.

On Saturday, Liverpool faces Man United in the Premier League. Liverpool fielded a full-strength team with only defender Sami Hyypia missing with the flu. Coach Rafa Benitez left striker Milan Baros on the bench in the first half, but inserted him in the second and his speed immediately troubled Watford.

Baros and Florent Sinama-Pongolle helped set up the winning goal. Watford plays in the League Championship — the old first division — and is in 16th place, only seven points above relegation.

Copa del Rey

MADRID:

Two second-half penalties by Julio Baptista gave Sevilla a 2-0 victory at second-division Recreativo Huelva in a third-round, first-leg game of the Copa del Rey. In the other game, third-division Gramenet upset second-division Lleida 2-0 and also mo-ved closer to a place in the quarter-finals of Spain’s knockout competition.