Bore Draw Ensures Liverpool Top The Group
The defender was impressive again...
We knew it wasn't going to be a thriller yesterday but my word it was difficult to keep my eyes open towards the end. In fact the only thing keeping me awake was the possibility of Kyrgiakos scoring and winning me 20 quid. I can't begin to think how bored the thousands of kids who got in for free were.
A shadow of a regular Reds side was fielded by Roy Hodgson who unfortunately didn't start Fernando Torres after saying that he would earlier in the week. Apparently this was due to advice from medical staff.
Not even Pepe Reina was in goal for this one, the man who tends to never miss out on a game had a seat in the stands instead so it was Brad Jones' chance to shine between the sticks.
Martin Skrtel was captain on his 26th birthday and Babel with young starlet Nathan Eccleston lead the line.
The Utrecht fans arguably provided more entertainment than their own side as they continued to supply an atmosphere throughout the 90minutes.
Liverpool's game never really had an exciting section but i think it's important to highlight some more impressive performances from the likes of Kelly, Wilson and Shelvey. Not to mention Eccleston who was packed full of confidence up front and will no doubt have relished his time on the field last night.
Kelly once again was super impressive for me and it makes me feel that maybe in this case it won't be the old "he plays a few games for the Reds then gets loaned out" he truly to me looks like he could be the next Gerrard or Carragher in terms of inspiration and lifting the team and i feel in time, he may even match them on talent. Best of luck to the lad, fully behind him.
Liverpool's best chance of the game came in the first half when Milan Jovanovic found himself in some space and took a shot from distance. The powerful drive was stopped only by the crossbar and The Kop arose with the sound of sucking in air.
For Utrecht the first half ended with an unfortunate injury to their star man Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, an awkward fall saw him break his collar bone and the forward had to be stretchered off.
Kyrgiakos entered the field of play for the second half replacing Skrtel and again was top quality in his aerial battles and i thought he handled his captain's armband well instructing youngsters Kelly and Wilson whilst also helping out Brad Jones.
Pacheco also came on in the second half replacing Eccleston. It was great to see Pacheco again as this boy is certainly something special. His talent worries me that he'll be snapped up by a foreign side but for now i think we should all enjoy his time in a Red shirt and should he choose to stay on at Liverpool, he might just be the next big thing.
Finally Dirk Kuyt was brought on by Roy Hodgson, the Dutchman spent a long time with Utrecht so both sets of fans were happy to see him come on for the final 20minutes or so.
Despite substitutions and some stages of threat, neither side was able to break the deadlock. An extremely hard game to watch for the neutral no doubt but also frustrating for us Liverpool fans who were screaming "Attack! Attack! Attack, Attack, Attack!" constantly in order for the game to be livened up.
Hodgson had already set up how he wanted to though and i think we knew from the onset that this game if it were to include a goal was not going to be coming from open play.
Nevertheless, i'm not one to sit on negatives when we have a positive to go by, off we trot to the knockout stages...