The official website for European football

Sparta and Liverpool draw a blank

Published: Thursday 17 February 2011, 23.51CET
AC Sparta Praha 0-0 Liverpool FC
On a chilly Prague night clear-cut chances were at a premium as both sides seemed to miss respective departed spearheads.
by Paul Saffer
from Stadion Letná

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Published: Thursday 17 February 2011, 23.51CET

Sparta and Liverpool draw a blank

AC Sparta Praha 0-0 Liverpool FC
On a chilly Prague night clear-cut chances were at a premium as both sides seemed to miss respective departed spearheads.

AC Sparta Praha and Liverpool FC cancelled each other out to ensure their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie hangs in the balance ahead of next Thursday's Anfield return.

Despite the game efforts of right-backs Ondřej Kušnír and Glen Johnson to inject spark up the flanks, neither goalkeeper was frequently tested. Sparta and Liverpool appeared to be coming to terms to life without departed spearheads Wilfried Bony and Fernando Torres, but nevertheless both remain in contention.

Sparta, playing their first competitive game since the 1-1 home draw against PFC CSKA Moskva on 15 December, fielded newly-signed midfielders Martin Abena and Andrej Keric, who threatened with an angled 13th-minute shot. Liverpool, without Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger and Christian Poulsen, had began the brighter but were now being pegged back, Abena setting up Manuel Pamić to force Pepe Reina into a diving save.

The home side were happy to soak up Liverpool possession then counter at pace, the livewire Kušnír going close in a 35th-minute attack. Sotiris Kyrgiakos also bravely blocked a Marek Matějovský effort. Kenny Dalglish, managing Liverpool in Europe for the first time, sent on Joe Cole for Fábio Aurélio but chances remained rare.

That pattern remained in the second half, though Kamil Vacek's 63rd-minute cross was headed not far wide by Sparta's lone forward Leony Kweuke. At the other end, Johnson was pushing up the right and ran on to a long ball, cut into the box past two defenders and shot narrowly off target.

Reina proved his worth again when Kweuke turned and struck from close range. Matějovský and Vacek had attempts from distance in the dying minutes and there was a late Sparta debut for Tomáš Pekhart, but the deadlock remained.

Last updated: 27/11/12 10.29CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles
Related match
  • SSI Err

http://www.uefa.com/news/newsid=1593205.html#sparta+liverpool+draw+blank

UEFA.com features

Bulgarian keepers' best European displays
  • Bulgarian keepers' best European displays
  • Jelić soaring after five-star debut for Rad
  • Newcomers Eibar make coach Garitano proud
  • Balzan ambition helping Malta
  • Shaw's Spanish journey aids Perth
  • Bundesliga preview ... are Bayern beatable?
  • Who are  FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk?
  • Kazakh clubs' greatest European nights
  • See your favourite Steaua moments
  • The rapid rise of Rúben Neves
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.