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Christian Poulsen was full of praise for the young players who battled hard to earn Liverpool FC "a good draw" at SSC Napoli.
Roy Hodgson's men were under pressure for much of the UEFA Europa League meeting at the Stadio San Paolo, but held firm to earn a point that keeps the Reds two clear of the Serie A club and FC Utrecht in Group K.
Jamie Carragher and Pepe Reina were the only first-team regulars in the starting lineup as Hodgson decided to give the likes of Jay Spearing, Martin Kelly and Jonjo Shelvey some European experience. Poulsen believes his team-mates came through with flying colours. "
Our young players battled well and you couldn't tell there was a lot of inexperience out there," the midfielder told UEFA.com.
"I think they had a really good game and it shows we have a strong squad at Liverpool. Napoli have a lot of good players but I thought we played clever, tried to stick to the game plan and in the second half we had one or two good chances to score.
"It was a good draw, because it was a tactical game away from home and it's very difficult to win here," continued the former Juventus man. "I've played here two or three times in the past and never come away with a point so we're satisfied with this one, especially as we're still top of the group. It's a pretty good result and hopefully we can reach the knockout stages now."
Napoli midfielder Ezequiel Lavezzi was not quite as upbeat after the Partenopei's third successive draw in the section. The Argentinian international had a fine game himself, posing the visitors constant problems, most notably teeing up Edinson Cavani early in the second half after leaving four Liverpool players trailing in his wake. Yet the 25-year-old struggled to shake the belief that this was a missed opportunity.
"We weren't great tonight," Lavezzi said. "We were unable to impose our game on them.
You didn't see the real Napoli tonight, but we are still unbeaten and in the running to qualify. Liverpool are a great side but when you play these games you have to forget about the opposition, remember that it's just 11 against 11, that anyone can win the game. I'm disappointed with the draw but I suppose it could have been worse: at least we didn't lose."
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