Europa League: Liverpool held by Sparta Prague

Soccer News by on 02-17-2011 filed under UEFA Europa League

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Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool did not impress in their first European match but remain well placed to pass for the Europa League’s last 16.

Sparta Prague bossed early possession, but failed to create any significant chances as Sparta’s Manuel Pamic went close on couple occasions. Glen Johnson also had a shot at goal, but was just wide after half-time but Liverpool, without injured captain Steven Gerrard, never looked like scoring today.

Midfielder Joe Cole was brought in for injured Fabio Aurelio in the 36th minute before nearly setting up Ngog, but his shot was blocked by former West Ham centre-back Tomas Repka. Both Repka and Ngog were awarded yellow cards for a needless clash on the touchline, though the punishment for Ngog appeared harsh.

With 15 minutes remaining and a goalless draw looking like a good result to take into the second leg, Reina showed superb anticipation to make smart low save from Kweuke’s spin-and-shot from 10 yards. Keeping a clean sheet was essential for Liverpool at this stage as centre back Martin Skertl replaced Ngog late on.

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