Europa League review – Thurs 30th Sept
The Anfield aces were held 0-0 by Utrecht in Holland and then City came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Italian giants Juventus.
Adam Johnson snatched a point, bringing his side level in the 37th minute when he took advantage of a glorious through-ball from Yaya Youre. The winger showed good vision to race in from the right and sweep the ball home from inside the area.
It was just the boost City needed after falling behind to a goal from Vincenzo Iaquinta in the 11th minute.
With Jerome Boateng backing off, Iaquinta cut inside from the left before unleashing a shot that went beyond Joe Hart and into the corner of the net.
Veteran striker Alessandro Del Piero hit the underside of the bar with a late free-kick with both sides good value for their point.
Earlier, Liverpool picked up a hard-earned point with a goalless draw away to Utrecht.
The Merseysiders had precious few opportunities although Fernando Torres did fire over with his left foot early in the second half when he might have hoped to hit the target.
And the visitors should have taken the lead in the 57th minute when Dirk Kuyt crossed from the right to near post where Torres, eight yards out, saw his first-time shot tipped around the post by Michel Vorm.
Raul Meireles came to his side’s rescue, clearing off the line from Michael Silverbauer’s header after Pepe Reina had failed to claim a corner from Dries Mertens.
Without the rested Steven Gerrard, Liverpool lacked a spark. It was a solid but sometimes laboured display by Roy Hodgson’s side who will still be pleased to come away with a clean sheet and a valuable point.
A draw in the Stadion Galgenwaard, where the hosts had won their previous six matches, was no disgrace but it was hardly one of those classic, gritty away performances in Europe.
Roy Hodgson’s side, who had five successive Europa League victories prior to this match, were dominated for long periods and their clean sheet owed much to goalkeeper Jose Reina and that goalline clearance from Meireles.”