Liverpool fail to inspire

2010-09-30 22:03

Paris - Liverpool's stuttering season yielded another forgettable performance on Thursday when the English giants were held to a 0-0 draw at Dutch side FC Utrecht in the Europa League.

Roy Hodgson's side came close to conceding on numerous occasions, with Jan Wuytens seeing a first-half effort chalked off for a foul and Dries Mertens drawing a sharp save from Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina in the 39th minute.

Liverpool were lucky to escape early in the second period when Raul Meireles had to head off the line from skipper Michael Silberbauer after Reina came for the ball at a corner and missed.

Fernando Torres produced another subdued performance and was denied by home keeper Michel Vorm after being teed up by Utrecht old boy Dirk Kuyt.

Jacob Mulenga spurned a late sight of goal for the hosts, poking across goal and fractionally wide after exploiting hesitancy from Reds left-back Martin Kelly.

In the group's other game, Napoli hit back from conceding three goals in the first 16 minutes at Steaua Bucharest to snatch a 3-3 draw, with Uruguayan Edinson Cavani notching the equaliser in the eighth minute of added time.

The results mean Liverpool top Group K and have a two-point lead over Napoli and Utrecht.

Napoli's fellow Serie A representatives Sampdoria won 1-0 at home to Hungarian side Debrecen in Group I, thanks to an 18th-minute penalty by Giampaolo Pazzini.

Sampdoria share the lead in the group with PSV Eindhoven, who won 2-0 at Ukraine's Metalist Kharkiv.

Gregorio Manzano's first game in charge of Sevilla saw his new charges win 1-0 at in-form Borussia Dortmund in Group J.

A goal in first-half injury-time from on-loan Napoli midfielder Luca Cigarini was the difference between the teams, while Marcel Schmelzer was dismissed for the German side after being shown a second yellow card for diving.

Paris Saint-Germain top the group after a 2-0 win at home to Karpaty Lviv gave them six points from a possible six.

Later on Thursday, big-spending Manchester City will look to enhance their credentials as a new power in the European game when they host Juventus in Group A, while defending champions Atletico Madrid tackle Bayer Leverkusen.


  • Shankly's Kin - 2010-10-01 12:41

    What's going on? When the 2nd string played in Europa, at least we won. Spearing and Mereiles in the middle worked out fine. The fringe players appeared to have more hunger in the last game. Now they play Mereiles on the right when clearly Babel should have been played there, even against Sunderland. They play Poulsen again, when clearly he is useless (Jay Spearing does a much better job). They leave out Ngog, who scores for fun in Europa. They don't let Pacheco start. Hodgson promised the fringe guys that Europa was their tournament, now he makes a u-turn? Roy is starting to lose plot here. Promised Ryan more game time, and yet I haven't seen him play in 2-3 weeks. Hodgson is full of hot air. He should just go back to coaching mid-table teams. Coached Inter to mid-table finishes (albeit he rescued them from relegation), same with Fulham. He's the caliber of manager we need for the level we supposed to be on. It's sheer luck that we did not lose last night. Everyone was poor. This is really starting to tick me off. I knew I'd miss Rafa once he'd left, but I never knew I'd miss him this much. King Kenny should have taken the reigns when he left. As simple as that. The board just wanted their "Yes" man, and they got him. The sooner those American twats, Purslow and the board leaves, the better. Dismantling one of the greatest footballing institutions ever. The big guns in our squad are definitely not staying on longer if this mess continues. Roy can say what he wants, but the whole ownership thing is defo playing on the minds of the players. On paper, they should be brilliant. Yet they continuously churn out lethargic performances as if they don't feel like playing.

  • N.Loggenberg - 2010-10-01 13:58

    Our style of of play is terrible and doesn't suit Liverpool.When would some fans and Roy learn this? It's fairly clear that only midtable teams play so deep, not even against United or a tough team. We are mediocre at best. Whenever the opponent gain possession our attacking players run straight back to defence, giving opponents 30-40 yards in our own half to play the ball.We were lucky to get out of this match with a point and I can only think of one attempt on target.1 win in 6 matches is pathetic. The recent good Liverpool team/squad had Xabi Alonso, Mash, a younger Carragher who was still quick enough to nick the ball from opponent's foot, a fit Torres, a highly motivated Gerrard, a not-yet-confused Agger et al. Now, the 2 world-class MFs had left, a player with some flair i.e. Benayoun was snapped up by Chelsea, replaced by a on-the-way-downhill Joe Cole, an uncertain Poulsen and Meireles who appears OK but is played out of position. Torres is not fit & ready and doesn't get enough supply from a patchy supporting cast (as Gerrard -tried as he might be- was thus far playing way too deep). And Carragher is no longer young. Hence, I gotta agree with Steve McMahon, ex-Liverpool now pundit at ESPNStar that Liverpool is genuinely in trouble this season. The owners are to be blamed and so is the manager whom he thinks isn't good enough. Hodgson has had a look at his squad, doesn't think they are more than a top 6 outfit and is playing accordingly. We Liverpool fans are still spoilt by the glory years of 2 decades ago and need to get real. Torres' form is always in and out - his career has been this way from the beginning - anyone who watched Spanish football would know this. His body language is a result of his frustration with himself - his form won't magically reappear if he pulls on a Barca shirt. It was much the same (his body language) when playing for his country at the world cup where it certain he wasn't thinking 'get me outta here'. Some of Liverpool's other playing staff e.g. Lucas, Babel, Maxi R and Ngog are average players and should be motivated to perform to get the best out of them Reina, Carragher (At the time) Mach, Alonso, Gerrard, Torres constituted far more than two men. No however we seem to be a no man team. Dark days ahead indeed.They should get rid of Roy asap and install King Kenny immediately Liverpool have managed one decent title challenge in years. Surely the 2nd place season was an inspiration to continue in that way and challenge for the title. Whats also true is we were comfortably in the top 4 for 5 years. So what's happened then?

  • Never Walk Alone - 2010-10-22 07:26

    Roy playing a more subdued version of the negative tactics that Benitez ingrained in the players, prior to his departure ! The Benitez seal of disapproval and American ownership hangover still evident at LFC for all to see. Very dark days indeed at LFC while dithering Roy and the likes are there! We need a manager who can bring back the best in the good players - and will have the balls to toss out the rubbish - the likes of the Lucas's etc. Strange days indeed. Come January - Torres and Gerrard will be on their bike to brighter shores - if Rooney can walk out of a successfull club, dont think for one minute that these 2 will not do the same to salvage their careers - it's all about money and winning - and LFC is offering their players neither ! THERE NO LONGER IS THE PRIDE AND HUNGER TO WEAR THE LIVERPOOL SHIRT - AND THIS ALONE IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER !!

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