Europe provides no respite for Liverpool

Last Updated: Friday, October 1, 2010 - 09:51

London: Liverpool`s domestic woes followed it
all the way to the Netherlands and a 0-0 draw with Utrecht in
the Europa League, while Manchester City drew 1-1 with
Juventus.

A disjointed Liverpool display relied on goalkeeper Pepe
Reina`s saves to secure a point, which kept the Reds top of
Group K as Napoli drew 3-3 away to 10-man Steaua Bucharest
yesterday.

"I thought it was a good point," Liverpool manager Roy
Hodgson said. "Utrecht did well, they were determined,
aggressive and committed, so we knew we had to be at our best
defensively to keep them out and fortunately we did."

Juventus is still winless in Group A after Adam Johnson`s
36th-minute goal for Manchester City canceled out Vincenzo
Iaquinta`s early strike for the Italian visitors.

Atletico Madrid earned the first point of its title
defense by drawing 1-1 with Group B leader Bayer Leverkusen.

Stuttgart, which is bottom of the Bundesliga with just
three points from its first six games, is top of Group H with
a perfect record after beating Odense 2-1.

CSKA Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg, Paris St. Germain,
Porto and Besiktas also recorded second successive wins.

Such a feat never looked likely for Liverpool, which is
more accustomed to playing in the European Cup it has won five
times.

With captain Steven Gerrard missing, Liverpool lacked
creativity in midfield. Utrecht had the ball in the net in the
25th minute when Jan Wuytens` shot powered past Reina, but the
referee ruled it out for a foul.

Among Reina`s many saves, he dived to keep out Edouard
Duplan`s powerful shot from close range and used his legs to
block Dries Mertens` effort at the far post.

The best of Liverpool`s chances saw defender Martin
Skrtel head against the post midway through the second half.

All the Group K drama came in Romania. Edinson Cavani
struck in the eighth minute of stoppage time to earn Napoli a
3-3 draw, completing an Italian comeback after conceding three
times in the opening 16 minutes. But Pantelis Kapetanos was
sent off shortly after scoring Bucharest`s third.

There were also six goals in the Group G meeting between
Zenit St. Petersburg and AEK Athens, which the Russian side
won 4-2 against managerless visitors. Anderlecht is bottom
after being condemned to a second successive loss as Ante
Vukusic struck deep into stoppage time to secure Hadjuk
Split`s 1-0 win.

PSG remains top of the toughest group, with Christophe
Jallet`s 30-meter strike and Brazilian playmaker Nene`s sixth
goal in his last six matches securing a 2-0 victory over
Karpaty Lviv. Sevilla earned its first points of Group J by
beating 10-man Borussia Dortmund 1-0.

Porto is ahead of Besiktas on goal difference in Group L
after beating CSKA Sofia 1-0. Besiktas came from behind to
beat Rapid Vienna 2-1.

In Group H, goals from Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Martin
Harnik gave Christian Gross` Stuttgart a lift by securing the
victory over bottom-place Odense, while David Degen`s double
gave Young Boys a 2-0 win over Getafe

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, October 1, 2010 - 09:51

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