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  • Date:15 Dec 2010
  • Kick-off:20:05
  • Venue:Anfield
Goal!

Live Commentary

93:03 +3.03

Adam Sarota takes a shot. Brad Jones makes a save.

92:18 +2.18

The ball is delivered by Dries Mertens, clearance made by Danny Wilson.

91:56 +1.56

Corner taken by Dries Mertens from the left by-line to the near post, Martin Kelly manages to make a clearance.

89:21

Fabio Aurelio delivers the ball, save made by Michel Vorm.

88:27

Joe Cole takes a shot.

87:34

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Cole by Jan Wuytens. Jonjo Shelvey takes the direct free kick.

86:50

Michael Silberbauer has an effort at goal from a long way out that goes wide of the right-hand upright.

86:02

Dries Mertens delivers the ball, Sotirios Kyrgiakos makes a clearance.

83:29

Adam Sarota is brought on as a substitute for Barry Maguire.

82:28

Joe Cole takes a shot. Sander Keller gets a block in.

82:18

The ball is delivered by Fabio Aurelio, clearance by Mihai Nesu.

80:36

Tommy Oar delivers the ball, clearance by Fabio Aurelio.

78:50

Centre by Tommy Oar, Daniel Pacheco makes a clearance.

78:05

Gianluca Nijholt takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Danny Wilson.

77:38

Centre by Tommy Oar, clearance by Fabio Aurelio.

76:54

Tommy Oar produces a cross, clearance by Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Dries Mertens produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.

76:20

The ball is sent over by Martin Kelly, save by Michel Vorm.

75:32

Leon de Kogel fouled by Fabio Aurelio, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Sander Keller.

75:13

A cross is delivered by Joe Cole.

73:59

Unfair challenge on Gianluca Nijholt by Jonjo Shelvey results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mihai Nesu.

73:35

Corner taken by Fabio Aurelio from the right by-line to the near post, Jan Wuytens makes a clearance.

72:51

(Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Dirk Kuyt coming on for Milan Jovanovic.

71:09

Tommy Oar crosses the ball.

70:23

Tommy Oar joins the action as a substitute, replacing Edouard Duplan.

68:07

Martin Kelly crosses the ball.

67:05

Gianluca Nijholt concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Pacheco. Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes the free kick.

66:02

Corner taken by Barry Maguire from the left by-line played to the near post, Danny Wilson makes a clearance.

64:03

Free kick awarded for a foul by Christian Poulsen on Dries Mertens. Free kick crossed by Barry Maguire, clearance made by Danny Wilson.

63:36

Joe Cole challenges Barry Maguire unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Silberbauer.

61:38

The ball is sent over by Dries Mertens, save by Brad Jones.

61:24

Daniel Pacheco takes a shot. Save by Michel Vorm.

60:36

Ryan Babel challenges Tim Cornelisse unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sander Keller takes the free kick.

60:14

Leon de Kogel takes a shot. Comfortable save by Brad Jones.

59:08

Fabio Aurelio takes a shot. Tim Cornelisse gets a block in.

57:22

The ball is sent over by Martin Kelly.

56:14

Christian Poulsen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Edouard Duplan. Sander Keller takes the free kick.

56:06

The ball is delivered by Ryan Babel, clearance by Jan Wuytens.

55:31

(Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Daniel Pacheco coming on for Nathan Eccleston.

55:11

Ryan Babel has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

53:42

The ball is delivered by Mihai Nesu.

53:16

Christian Poulsen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Silberbauer. Free kick taken by Tim Cornelisse.

52:37

Long range shot by Leon de Kogel goes wide right of the target.

51:05

Barry Maguire takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post.

49:24

Dries Mertens takes a shot. Brad Jones makes a comfortable save.

46:20 +1.20

The ball is crossed by Jonjo Shelvey.

45:01

Sotirios Kyrgiakos on for Martin Skrtel.

45:00

Ryan Babel is ruled offside. Leon de Kogel comes on in place of Ricky van Wolfswinkel. Michel Vorm restarts play with the free kick.

44:43

A cross is delivered by Fabio Aurelio, Michael Silberbauer manages to make a clearance.

44:38

The ball is sent over by Martin Kelly, clearance made by Michael Silberbauer.

38:44

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Silberbauer by Joe Cole. Sander Keller restarts play with the free kick.

35:58

Corner taken by Barry Maguire from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Jonjo Shelvey.

34:47

Tim Cornelisse delivers the ball, clearance made by Danny Wilson.

32:37

Ryan Babel takes a shot. Blocked by Sander Keller.

31:13

The ball is swung over by Fabio Aurelio, clearance made by Jan Wuytens.

29:50

Unfair challenge on Martin Kelly by Ricky van Wolfswinkel results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Christian Poulsen.

25:09

Martin Kelly crosses the ball.

24:28

Corner taken left-footed by Fabio Aurelio to the near post, Jan Wuytens manages to make a clearance.

24:09

Ryan Babel sends in a cross, Tim Cornelisse manages to make a clearance.

23:14

Michael Silberbauer concedes a free kick for a foul on Nathan Eccleston. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Fabio Aurelio from left wing, clearance by Sander Keller.

21:46

Jonjo Shelvey takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Danny Wilson has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.

21:39

The ball is delivered by Fabio Aurelio, Jan Wuytens makes a clearance.

20:19

Ricky van Wolfswinkel delivers the ball, save by Brad Jones.

19:58

Ricky van Wolfswinkel takes a shot. Danny Wilson gets a block in.

18:43

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gianluca Nijholt on Milan Jovanovic. Direct free kick taken by Martin Skrtel.

15:54

Foul by Mihai Nesu on Ryan Babel, free kick awarded. Strike on goal comes in from Fabio Aurelio from the free kick.

13:52

Foul by Ryan Babel on Mihai Nesu, free kick awarded. Mihai Nesu restarts play with the free kick.

10:32

Christian Poulsen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Barry Maguire. Direct free kick taken by Jan Wuytens.

7:35

Effort from 25 yards by Milan Jovanovic.

5:57

The referee shows Nathan Eccleston a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

4:34

Martin Kelly concedes a free kick for a foul on Dries Mertens. Mihai Nesu takes the direct free kick.

The referee gets the game started.

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

The half-time whistle blows.

The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

Match Preview

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is set to spring a surprise and name a relatively strong squad for tomorrow's final Europa League clash at home to Utrecht, despite having already qualified as Group K winners.

Goalkeeper Jose Reina will start while forwards Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt and defender Glen Johnson are all likely to feature.

Captain Steven Gerrard has still not recovered from a hamstring injury sustained on England duty last month and remains a doubt for Saturday's Barclays Premier League visit of Fulham.

Striker David Ngog is unlikely to be risked after sustaining a cut to his face in the defeat to Newcastle while left-back Paul Konchesky rests a minor knock.

Meanwhile, Hodgson does not fear for his job and is confident owners New England Sports Ventures will back him as he tries to turnaround the club's recent decline.

The 63-year-old has been under almost constant scrutiny since replacing Rafael Benitez in July as early results left the Reds in the Premier League's bottom three for several weeks.

Things have picked up in recent weeks but Saturday's defeat at Newcastle did not help. In a fans' phone-in on Monday night principal owner John Henry describing results as "unacceptable" and that was interpreted by some as a thinly-veiled warning to the manager.

However, Hodgson said he was in total agreement with Henry's assessment but was not concerned about his future and was confident the situation would improve, given time and the necessary investment.

"I don't have any fears, worries or concerns," he said.

"But if you put it to me 'You feel there is no chance whatsoever of you getting sacked' then I would be in a minority of one in that respect.

"It happened to Chris Hughton, it happened to Sam Allardyce, Martin O'Neill resigned - we are all in that situation. But as someone who prides himself as a professional, who knows his job and is comfortable with doing his job, then you would excuse me for not going down the route you want me to go down in terms of 'Who can we get rid of next?'.

"Because basically speaking unless there is a major inflow of cash into the club and the team is going to be changed from one moment to the next then whoever takes my place will be doing a similar job with similar players.

"The owners have made it perfectly clear they are in it for the long term and they are going to be patient; they realise it is going to take time.

"They realise we can't turn things around overnight and they also realise that the team I am working with is not the team I put together.

"You don't turn things around overnight and they are aware of the magnitude of the task but they are very focused on what needs to be done and I am convinced they will help me get it done."

Hodgson, speaking at a press conference ahead of the Utrecht clash, was quizzed at length about his position at the club. He became increasingly frustrated at the line of questioning, although he accepted it was something he had become used to during his short time at the club.

"Once again I come here to do a European press conference, playing Utrecht when we are top of the table, and I find myself answering questions about owners and whether I am safe - it is a sad situation," he added.

"I came here to do a European press conference, which I am forced to do for UEFA, when really and truly I am doing a phone-in with you

"That is the nature of the game, it seems to be the major preoccupation of the mass media because they want to see change.

"It doesn't bother me because I can't do more than I am doing, I can't work harder, I can't work better. I have great confidence in my ability, I don't think there is any reason not to have.

"I know the players are working as hard as they can to win matches for Liverpool and therefore me as manager. But if you have situations like last night when you have phone-ins to the owners you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know how that is going to go because we are not top of the league.

"Had we been top of the league it might have been different but we are not, we are ninth and we are Liverpool Football Club. You don't have to be Albert Einstein to work out more people will be unhappy with that than are happy with it."

Formation:442Manager: Roy Hodgson

Liverpool

Formation: 4411Manager: Ton du Chatinier

FC Utrecht

  • Brad Jones
  • Martin Kelly
  • Martin Skrtel
  • Danny Wilson
  • Fabio Aurelio
  • Milan Jovanovic
  • Christian Poulsen
  • Jonjo Shelvey
  • Joe Cole
  • Nathan Eccleston
  • Ryan Babel
  • SUBS
  • Martin Hansen
  • Glen Johnson
  • Raul Meireles
  • Fernando Torres
  • Daniel Pacheco
  • Sotirios Kyrgiakos
  • Dirk Kuyt

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Match Report

Dire stalemate at Anfield Liverpool may have given children free tickets for the Europa League tie against Utrecht at Anfield but even they will have felt short-changed by the disappointing goalless draw against Utrecht at Anfield. Manager Roy Hodgson had pledged to play his one fit star name, Fernando Torres, but had a last-minute change of heart after being persuaded otherwise by his medical staff. With the Reds already qualified for the last 32, it led to a turgid and uninspiring night which highlighted the lack of depth in the squad. Hodgson had initially planned to give Torres pitch time to rediscover his goalscoring touch - goalkeeper Jose Reina was also expected to start but he was left out of the squad altogether - but was forced to watch the entire 90 minutes from the bench instead. There was some semblance of logic behind the idea but to play the striker in a game which was a dead rubber, with Liverpool already through as group winners, was always going to be a risk. "I had a change of heart [on starting Fernando Torres]," admitted Hodgson prior to kick-off. "I was seriously considering giving him a start but I had a talk with our fitness people and they convinced me it may not be the wisest move." Torres' absence robbed Liverpool of their one genuine attacking threat and, as a result, the first half was not one which will live long in the memory of those young fans who benefited from the club's generous ticket offer. The one piece of excitement they witnessed was when Milan Jovanovic, who scored against Steaua Bucharest in Romania a fortnight ago, rattled the crossbar with an eighth-minute long-range shot. Aside from that the home side never established a rhythm, which was partly down to the fact Hodgson made 10 changes to the team which lost to Newcastle at the weekend with only Martin Skrtel, captaining the team on his 26th birthday, surviving. The team still contained the likes of Joe Cole, Ryan Babel, Jovanovic, Christian Poulsen and Fabio Aurelio but also included 19-year-old Nathan Eccleston, making his first start, and 18-year-old Danny Wilson on only his second appearance. It contributed to a disjointed performance which very rarely rose above mediocre. Utrecht, for their part, arrived at Anfield knowing they could not qualify for the last 32 but even with that freedom they too could not muster a display to excite their 4,000-strong travelling contingent. And they suffered a blow just before half-time when top scorer Ricky van Wolfswinkel left the pitch on a stretcher and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone after falling awkwardly. Hodgson made a change at the interval but it was not the one the crowd were wanting, with Sotirios Kyrgiakos replacing Skrtel. Babel was first to threaten 10 minutes after the restart when his run to the edge of the penalty area saw him fire wide of Michel Vorm's right-hand post. Eccleston then departed to allow another promising youngster, Dani Pacheco, to enter the fray. But Babel was looking Liverpool's most likely goalscorer and he came within inches of connecting with Kelly's low cross into the six-yard box. Hodgson's final substitution had more than a touch of sentimentality about it, giving Dirk Kuyt a run-out for the final 18 minutes against his former club when he replaced Jovanovic. It posed the question quite why Torres was included in the match squad at all. Late on Cole looked certain to score but had his low shot charged down by Keller after Vorm had spilled Aurelio's cross. That summed up the England midfielder - and Liverpool's - night. endM

possession


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