FC Slovan Liberec held UEFA Cup holders Sevilla FC to a creditable goalless draw on the opening night of action in Group C - and they might even have come away with all three points from a game of few chances. The Czech champions enjoyed the better of the opportunities that were created with Jiří Bílek striking the crossbar midway through the first half and Petr Papoušek failing to make the most of a decent opening after the interval.
Sevilla coach Juande Ramos made five changes to the side that lost 3-1 to FC Barcelona last weekend but the alterations seemed to have little impact as the home side matched their more illustrious opponents in the opening exchanges. With 20 minutes on the clock a good run and cross from the left by Peter Šinglár found Bílek, but the Liberec midfielder could only watch as his drilled effort beat goalkeeper Andrés Palop and cannoned back off the crossbar.
Pospěch shoots over
As the first half wore on, the game became gridlocked in the midfield area. However, it was the home side who again might have gained the initiative with some neat interplay just before the break giving Zbyněk Pospěch a clear sight of goal. The forward could only fire his shot over the crossbar, however, when he might have done better.
The second period offered much of the same, with neither side willing to overcommit, although Liberec might have snatched a famous win midway through the half when Papoušek saw a close-range effort well kept out by Palop. The Czech side will hope to build on this positive start when they travel to Portugal on 2 November to face an SC Braga side beaten by AZ Alkmaar on Matchday 1. Sevilla, meanwhile, have to wait four weeks for their next match in the group and a meeting with Braga at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.