Holders Liverpool FC advanced to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League despite being held to a draw by Real Betis Balompié at Anfield.
Liverpool dominated - amassing 28 shots on goal - but squandered a series of chances as Betis held on for a share of the spoils. The holders nevertheless remain top of Group G, one point clear of Chelsea FC, whom they face on Matchday 6.
Betis, for whom Xisco Muñoz continued to deputise for the injured Dani Martín, needed a win to maintain their hopes of qualification and started brightly. As early as the second minute impressive winger Joaquín Sánchez found himself through on goal, only for the ball to skid off the greasy surface and into the grateful arms of José Manuel Reina.
Liverpool were struggling to create clear-cut openings and a full 24 minutes had elapsed before they had their first serious effort - but then Peter Crouch came close on four occasions in as many minutes to hitting his first Liverpool goal.
First, his ambitious half-volley was well saved by Antonio Doblas, then he did well to hold off David Rivas on the edge of the area before turning and getting a shot on target. From the resulting corner the centre-forward nodded just over and a minute later Crouch's diving header went the wrong side of the post after captain Steven Gerrard had swung in a tempting cross from the right.
Betis were a threat on the counterattack and ten minutes before the interval, Xisco was given a free header in the Liverpool box but his tame attempt went straight at Reina. At the other end, Gerrard fired in a long-range drive that stung the palms of Doblas before Mohamed Sissoko lifted a shot over the crossbar. With half-time approaching Gerrard created another opportunity, this time for Fernando Morientes, but the Spanish international clipped his finish wide from close range.
Liverpool upped the tempo after the restart and Morientes should have put them in front within seconds when he was played through, but Rivas effected a great block to deny the former Real Madrid CF striker. Six minutes later, Sami Hyypiä, playing his 55th consecutive European match for Liverpool without missing a minute of play, flicked over from a corner.
However, Liverpool had a lucky escape on 54 minutes when they got the benefit of a tight offside decision as Arzu García raced beyond the Reds' central defenders. At the other end, Crouch was continuing to trouble the Betis back line with his height and close control but he could not find the telling touch in front of goal.
He nodded wide on the hour, then saw his goal-bound shot blocked by Rivas four minutes later. The English international turned provider moments after, using his head to cushion the ball into Morientes's path, but he volleyed wide under pressure. That was Morientes's last contribution, with Djibril Cissé coming on.
Cissé immediately impressed with a run down the right and Liverpool came close three more times in the final minutes. Gerrard's shot from Crouch's flick was saved, Cissé headed straight at Doblas and Gerrard spurned perhaps the best chance of all in the last minute when he shot low at Doblas when clean through.
Nonetheless, the stalemate was enough to see Liverpool through to the knockout rounds while the point for Betis confirmed a place in the UEFA Cup.