Utecht 0-0 Liverpool: Utrecht Can't Take Advantage Of Reds' Mistakes

Neri Stein@neristeinFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2010

Fernando Torres looked sharp for the Reds despite missing two chances he likely would've put away last season.
Fernando Torres looked sharp for the Reds despite missing two chances he likely would've put away last season.Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Liverpool lead Group K with four points after two matches in the Europa League after Steaua Bucharest and Napoli drew 3-3 and the Reds escaped Holland with a point. 

Even though the match ended goalless, it was one of the feistier 0-0 draws you'll see as both teams were putting in pretty harsh tackles. The Reds had difficulty creating decent chances throughout while Utrecht wasted the many opportunities gifted upon them by Liverpool. 

Pepe Reina once again stood out for Liverpool, save one shaky moment, making a handful of good saves after his defense fell apart in front of him, but his opponents weren't necessarily ruthless.

In the 40th minute, Tim Cornelisse had a free header at the near post but sent it straight out for a goal kick. Late in the game, Jacob Mulenga was quick enough to get the better of Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel when Reina had already come off his line, but the striker's shot went nowhere near the Reds' goal. 

Reina showed a slight chip in his armor just before the hour when he completely missed the ball off a corner which forced Raul Meireles to head the ball off the line. Seconds later Fernando Torres had the ball in Utrecht's penalty box, but this time he only managed to produce a good save out of Michel Vorm in the Utrecht goal. It's a chance Torres would've likely scored last season. He had a chance a few minutes before when he was unmarked in the penalty box, but the ball wouldn't fall for him and his shot sailed over. A good sign for Liverpool fans was that he did have several decent chances at goal and was not far off from at least one goal, and he was also involved in winning the ball back in the middle of the field several times. 

For much of the game Liverpool caused its own problems by getting out hustled in the middle of the pitch, sending passes astray and getting bullied off the ball far too easily around its own penalty box. Luckily for Liverpool though, Utrecht wasted its best chances and Reina was in superb form the rest of them.

Joe Cole had a relatively poor game as he never had any time on the ball and had little impact. Meireles on the other hand was impressive in his determination and linked up nicely with Glen Johnson several times. However, it was clear once again that Liverpool's lack of width is a real problem because it's too easy for teams to get the ball away when everything is going up the middle.