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Page last updated at 18:49 GMT, Thursday, 30 September 2010 19:49 UK

FC Utrecht   0 - 0   Liverpool

By Mandeep Sanghera

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres shows his frustration after missing a chnace during the goalless draw at Utrecht
Torres shows his frustration after missing a chance for Liverpool

Liverpool lived a charmed life as they earned a hard-fought draw at Utrecht in a Europa League Group K tie.

Keeper Pepe Reina kept out an angled shot from Dries Mertens before Raul Meireles headed a Michael Silberbauer effort off the Liverpool goal-line.

Fernando Torres almost punished Utrecht only to have a close-range shot saved.

Jacob Mulenga steered an effort just wide for Utrecht and Mertens was denied a late penalty shout after a Jamie Carragher challenge.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson may take solace in a clean sheet for his side and the fact they remain top of their group but their slow rate of progress will be a concern.

Hodgson's urgency for his stuttering Reds to start improving had meant he abandoned his policy of picking a weakened side for Europa League games.

Torres had started in a bid to rediscover his goalscoring form, while Utrecht's home record of six wins in as many games so far this season was also part of the reasoning behind Hodgson's decision most of his first-team stars.

But, despite the visitors showing early glimpses of developing the understanding and fluency they are seeking, promising early moves would too often break down.

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Meireles was employed on the right of midfield as opposed to his more preferred central position and it was apparent he looked uncertain.

Although, when the Portugal international did drift into the middle, he had a long-range shot comfortably saved before guiding a free header from a Glen Johnson cross straight at keeper Michel Vorm.

The Reds were feeding on scraps in attack, with Joe Cole unable to have any influence on the game, and Utrecht set about exposing a Liverpool defence which has conceded seven goals in the last three games.

Carragher crucially beat Utrecht striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel to a Mulenga cross and another threatening delivery from the right was spilled by Reina before Martin Skrtel cleared.

Torres curled a shot just wide from 22 yards at the other end but Utrecht's Jan Wuytens had a goal disallowed for a foul in the build-up play before the home side again went close as Liverpool's sloppiness gave them added encouragement.

Reds striker Dirk Kuyt, who started his career at the Dutch side, dallied in clearing a ball and was robbed of possession by Mertens, who had an angled drive blocked by Reina.

An unmarked Tim Cornelisse put a near-post header from the resultant corner wide before the visitors almost buckled.

Utrecht skipper Silberbauer thought he had scored when he side-footed a corner at the Reds goal only for Meireles to head clear off the goal-line.

Liverpool almost made the most of their desperate defending as a long goal-kick from Reina found Kuyt and he crossed for Torres, who failed to convert the type of near-post chance he would have put away in his pomp.

The visitors survived a late chance when Mulenga put a shot narrowly wide after Martin Kelly failed to intercept a Van Wolfswinkel flick-on as Utrecht maintained their pressure.

But, after a penalty scare for the Reds when Mertens fell to ground as he and Carragher challenged for a cross, it all ended even at the Stadion Galgenwaard.

Live text and stats

 

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Europa League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
FC Utrecht 0-0 Liverpool FT
(HT 0-0)

      FC Utrecht

      • 01 Vorm
      • 02 Cornelisse
      • 03 Nesu
      • 17 Schut
      • 08 Silberbauer
      • 11 Mertens
      • 20 Lensky (Nijholt 82)
      • 29 Wuytens
      • 07 Duplan (Maguire 69)
      • 09 van Wolfswinkel
      • 24 Mulenga

      Substitutes

      • 19 Sinouh,
      • 22 Keller,
      • 25 Vorstermams,
      • 14 Van Der Maarel,
      • 18 Maguire,
      • 27 Nijholt,
      • 12 Demouge

      Liverpool

      Substitutes

      Ref: GomesAtt: 23,662
      FC UTRECHT
      LIVERPOOL

      Possession

      • FC Utrecht 58%
      • Liverpool 42%

      Attempts on target

      • FC Utrecht 3
      • Liverpool 5

      Attempts off target

      • FC Utrecht 7
      • Liverpool 5

      Corners

      • FC Utrecht 5
      • Liverpool 2

      Fouls

      • FC Utrecht 11
      • Liverpool 14
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+2:24 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
      • 90:00+1:57 Ricky van Wolfswinkel concedes a free kick for a foul on Glen Johnson. Raul Meireles restarts play with the free kick.
      • 84:33 Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Save made by Michel Vorm.
      • 82:34 Jacob Mulenga has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
      • 81:33 Substitution Gianluca Nijholt comes on in place of Jacob Lensky.
      • 81:33 Rodriguez Maxi produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
      • 79:56 Michel Vorm takes the direct free kick.
      • 79:56 Substitution Rodriguez Maxi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Joe Cole.
      • 79:56 Michael Silberbauer takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina. Fernando Torres challenges Jacob Lensky unfairly and gives away a free kick.
      • 79:14 Corner taken by Dries Mertens from the right by-line.
      • 77:01 The ball is delivered by Jacob Mulenga, save made by Jose Reina.
      • 75:19 Long range shot by Dries Mertens goes wide right of the goal.
      • 73:21 Ricky van Wolfswinkel fouled by Jamie Carragher, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jan Wuytens.
      • 72:01 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Alje Schut. Christian Poulsen takes the free kick.
      • 71:23 Michael Silberbauer produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
      • 70:57 Fernando Torres concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Silberbauer. Free kick taken by Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
      • 68:25 Substitution Edouard Duplan leaves the field to be replaced by Barry Maguire.
      • Correction - 67:57 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Kelly by Jacob Mulenga. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.
      • 67:57 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Kelly by Jacob Mulenga. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.
      • 67:07 Joe Cole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tim Cornelisse. Michel Vorm takes the free kick.
      • Correction - 62:03 Foul by Alje Schut on Fernando Torres, free kick awarded. Raul Meireles delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel. Martin Skrtel is caught offside. Free kick taken by Michel Vorm.
      • 62:03 Unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Alje Schut results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Raul Meireles from right channel. The official flags Dirk Kuyt offside. Free kick taken by Michel Vorm.
      • 61:49 Dries Mertens delivers the ball, comfortable save by Jose Reina.
      • 60:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Jan Wuytens. Joe Cole takes the direct free kick.
      • 59:50 The ball is sent over by Dries Mertens, Shot from inside the area by Alje Schut clears the bar.
      • 59:50 Booking The referee shows Martin Kelly a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
      • 59:46 Martin Kelly challenges Jacob Mulenga unfairly and gives away a free kick.
      • 58:35 Ricky van Wolfswinkel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Kelly. Christian Poulsen takes the free kick.
      • 57:52 Corner taken by Raul Meireles played to the near post, clearance made by Michael Silberbauer.
      • 57:18 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dries Mertens on Dirk Kuyt. Raul Meireles takes the direct free kick.
      • 55:58 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save by Michel Vorm. Unfair challenge on Jacob Mulenga by Martin Kelly results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Tim Cornelisse.
      • Correction - 55:10 Corner taken by Dries Mertens from the left by-line, Michael Silberbauer takes a shot. Raul Meireles manages to make a clearance.
      • 55:10 Corner from the left by-line taken by Dries Mertens, Jacob Mulenga takes a shot. Clearance made by Jamie Carragher.
      • 54:10 The free kick is swung in right-footed by Dries Mertens, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.
      • 54:10 Booking Raul Meireles receives a caution.
      • 54:06 Raul Meireles challenges Dries Mertens unfairly and gives away a free kick.
      • 53:10 The referee blows for offside. Martin Skrtel takes the free kick.
      • 52:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Silberbauer on Leiva Lucas. Direct free kick taken by Christian Poulsen.
      • 52:07 Glen Johnson delivers the ball. Fernando Torres takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.
      • 50:03 Glen Johnson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dries Mertens. Dries Mertens takes the direct free kick.
      • 46:01 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Kelly by Jacob Mulenga. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.
      • 45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+0:07 The referee calls an end to the first half.
      • 44:28 Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Kelly on Ricky van Wolfswinkel. Free kick taken by Michael Silberbauer.
      • 44:20 The ball is crossed by Martin Kelly, comfortable save by Michel Vorm.
      • 41:21 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save by Michel Vorm.
      • 38:11 Dries Mertens takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a save. Outswinging corner taken by Dries Mertens from the right by-line played to the near post, Header from close range by Tim Cornelisse misses to the right of the goal.
      • 37:36 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Dries Mertens, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.
      • 34:02 Tim Cornelisse restarts play with the free kick.
      • 34:02 Booking Leiva Lucas goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
      • 34:01 Unfair challenge on Edouard Duplan by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick.
      • 33:18 Free kick awarded for a foul by Christian Poulsen on Edouard Duplan. Free kick taken by Michael Silberbauer.
      • 31:33 Fernando Torres produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
      • 30:37 Mihai Nesu concedes a free kick for a foul on Raul Meireles. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 29:10 Tim Cornelisse delivers the ball, save made by Jose Reina.
      • 26:41 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Raul Meireles from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Mihai Nesu.
      • 24:15 Corner taken by Dries Mertens from the right by-line, Jacob Mulenga challenges Glen Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.
      • 24:09 Jacob Mulenga delivers the ball, clearance made by Glen Johnson.
      • 22:24 Glen Johnson sends in a cross, Raul Meireles takes a shot. Save by Michel Vorm.
      • 21:34 The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson.
      • 20:16 The ball is sent over by Dries Mertens, save by Jose Reina.
      • 18:23 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Edouard Duplan by Christian Poulsen. Dries Mertens crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, clearance by Glen Johnson.
      • 17:53 Christian Poulsen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jacob Mulenga. Direct free kick taken by Tim Cornelisse.
      • 17:04 Christian Poulsen sends in a cross, Michel Vorm makes a comfortable save.
      • 16:04 Jacob Mulenga has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
      • 14:42 Joe Cole produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
      • 11:33 Leiva Lucas has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses left.
      • 10:37 Unfair challenge on Ricky van Wolfswinkel by Christian Poulsen results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Silberbauer.
      • 9:16 Raul Meireles takes a shot. Save made by Michel Vorm.
      • 8:09 The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson.
      • 6:10 Edouard Duplan produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.
      • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Europa League results

      30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      • AA Gent1-1Lille
        FT
      • Atletico Madrid1-1Bayer Leverkusen
        FT
      • BATE Borisov4-1AZ Alkmaar
        FT
      • Borussia Dortmund0-1Sevilla
        FT
      • CSKA Moscow3-0Sparta Prague
        FT
      • CSKA Sofia0-1FC Porto
        FT
      • FC Metalist Kharkiv 0-2PSV Eindhoven
        FT
      • FC Sheriff Tiraspol2-0Dynamo Kiev
        FT
      • FC Utrecht0-0LiverpoolFT
      • Hajduk Split1-0Anderlecht
        FT
      • Lech Poznan2-0SV Salzburg
        FT
      • Man City1-1JuventusFT
      • Odense BK1-2VfB Stuttgart
        FT
      • Palermo1-0Lausanne Sports
        FT
      • PAOK Salonika1-0Dinamo Zagreb
        FT
      • Paris SG2-0Karpaty Lviv
        FT
      • Rapid Vienna1-2Besiktas
        FT
      • Rosenborg2-1Aris Salonika
        FT
      • Sampdoria1-0Debrecen
        FT
      • Sporting5-0Levski Sofia
        FT
      • Steaua Bucharest3-3Napoli
        FT
      • Villarreal2-1Club Bruges
        FT
      • Young Boys2-0Getafe
        FT
      • Zenit St P'sbg4-2AEK Athens
        FT

      Europa Group A table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Lech Poznan 2 2 4
      2 Man City 2 2 4
      3 Juventus 2 0 2
      4 SV Salzburg 2 -4 0

      Europa Group B table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Bayer Leverkusen 2 4 4
      2 Aris Salonika 2 0 3
      3 Rosenborg 2 -3 3
      4 Atletico Madrid 2 -1 1

      Europa Group C table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Sporting 2 6 6
      2 Levski Sofia 2 -4 3
      3 AA Gent 2 -1 1
      4 Lille 2 -1 1

      Europa Group D table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 PAOK Salonika 2 1 4
      2 Dinamo Zagreb 2 1 3
      3 Villarreal 2 -1 3
      4 Club Bruges 2 -1 1

      Europa Group E table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 BATE Borisov 2 3 4
      2 FC Sheriff Tiraspol 2 1 3
      3 AZ Alkmaar 2 -2 3
      4 Dynamo Kiev 2 -2 1

      Europa Group F table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 CSKA Moscow 2 6 6
      2 Palermo 2 0 3
      3 Sparta Prague 2 -2 3
      4 Lausanne Sports 2 -4 0

      Europa Group G table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Zenit St P'sbg 2 4 6
      2 AEK Athens 2 0 3
      3 Hajduk Split 2 -1 3
      4 Anderlecht 2 -3 0

      Europa Group H table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 VfB Stuttgart 2 4 6
      2 Getafe 2 -1 3
      3 Young Boys 2 -1 3
      4 Odense BK 2 -2 0

      Europa Group I table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 PSV Eindhoven 2 2 4
      2 Sampdoria 2 1 4
      3 FC Metalist Kharkiv 2 3 3
      4 Debrecen 2 -6 0

      Europa Group J table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Paris SG 2 3 6
      2 Borussia Dortmund 2 0 3
      3 Sevilla 2 0 3
      4 Karpaty Lviv 2 -3 0

      Europa Group K table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Liverpool 2 3 4
      2 Napoli 2 0 2
      3 FC Utrecht 2 0 2
      4 Steaua Bucharest 2 -3 1

      Europa Group L table snapshot

      As it stood on 30 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 FC Porto 2 4 6
      2 Besiktas 2 2 6
      3 CSKA Sofia 2 -2 0
      4 Rapid Vienna 2 -4 0

      see also
      Hodgson dampens Liverpool expectations
      30 Sep 10 |  Liverpool
      Hodgson defends misfiring Torres
      30 Sep 10 |  Liverpool
      Liverpool 4-1 Steaua Bucharest
      16 Sep 10 |  Europe
      Beware the Wolfswinkel
      29 Sep 10 |  Europe


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