Liverpool drew 0-0 with Sion on Thursday evening, in one of the least memorable games you are likely to see. The Reds did at least top their Europa League group.
Sion 0–0 Liverpool
Europa League – Stade Tourbillon – Thursday 10th December 2015
Jurgen Klopp made six changes to the side the disappointingly lost 2-0 to Newcastle last Sunday, with the German clearly having one eye on this weekend’s Premier League clash at home to West Brom.
Kolo Toure, Brad Smith, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi all came into the team, with Martin Skrtel, Alberto Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen, Jordon Ibe and Christian Benteke making way.
It was captain Henderson’s first start under Klopp, while Smith made his full debut in a Liverpool shirt.
Just a draw was needed against Sion to ensure the Reds finished top of their Europa League group.
It was a positive start from the visitors, with Origi almost pouncing at the back post and Can firing well over the crossbar. Roberto Firmino also fired harmlessly at Andris Vanins from distance.
Smith was enjoying a particularly impressive performance down the left, whipping dangerous crosses in, while Henderson’s influence in the middle of the park was evident.
Origi sent a swerving strike a yard or two wide of Vanins’ goal after 18 minutes, as Klopp’s men continued to look the more threatening of the two sides. Edimilson Fernandes shot wide from range for the hosts.
The game went a little flat as the half progressed, with good link-up between Lallana and Origi the only thing to report between the midway point of the half and half-time.
It was goalless at the interval. You’d done well to stay awake.
There were no changes for either side at half-time. The contest simply had to improve in the second-half, although a 0-0 draw would suit both teams.
It continued to be a dire contest, with a complete lack of creative spark from either side. The arrival of Philippe Coutinho for James Milner on the hour mark had the potential to change that.
An abysmal game petered out right until the final whistle, with almost nothing happening in the second-half. It was bordering on difficult to watch, but at least the draw meant Liverpool topped their Europa League group.
Big improvements are needed against West Brom on Sunday.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Smith, Henderson (Rossiter ’76), Milner (Coutinho ’60), Can, Lallana, Firmino (Brannagan ’89), Origi.
Subs not used: Bogdan, Randall, Skrtel, Benteke.
Sion: Vanins, Ziegler, Lacroix, Rufli (Adao ’90), Zverotic, Kouassi, Salatic, Pa Modou, Fernandes, Carlitos, Assifuah (Mujangi Bia ’73).
Subs not used: Fickentscher, Vanczak, Sierro, Akolo, Follonier.
Referee: Michael Koukoulakis
FC SION 0-0 LIVERPOOL
- Klopp’s Words: Klopp relieved as Liverpool avoid injuries in stalemate against Sion
- Fan Reactions: “This must be what it’s like to be a United fan”
- Player Ratings: Smith the star among a host of 6s
- Talking Points: Firmino anonymous, Brad Smith good, Rossiter returns