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Liverpool second string end Europa League phase with dull draw

Roy Hodgson chose to play a weakened Liverpool side who then failed to impress in a scoreless bore-draw with Utrecht at Anfield. With Liverpool already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition and Utrecht unable to progress the game panned out to a meaningless conclusion.

With such a background to the match it was almost inevitable there would be a lack of urgency and quality from either side.

Liverpool look the likelier to break the deadlock - Milan Jovanovic hit the crossbar with a 30 yard effort in the first half and Joe Cole twice went close after the break.

The Reds are now unbeaten in their last eleven European games, although it's hard to imagine that record being continued with the quality on display tonight.

Hodgson chose to play his younger players in this competition and they will certainly benefit from the experience, but whether they will actually make the step-up to regular first teamers, remains to be seen.

Less than 40,000 turned out at Anfield for a European game and bearing in mind the entertainment on display those that stayed away showed good decision making.

But, in a season of relative mediocrity for the Reds they are at least in the draw for the last 32 which takes place on Friday.

Referee: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

Venue: Anfield Attendance: 37,800

Liverpool scorers: Utrecht scorers:

LIVERPOOL 01 Jones 06 Aurelio 22 Wilson 34 Kelly 37 Skrtel (Kyrgiakos 46) 10 Cole 28 C Poulsen 33 Shelvey 14 Jovanovic (Kuyt 73) 19 Babel 39 Eccleston (yellow card) (Pacheco 56)

Substitutes 41 Hansen, 02 G Johnson, 16 Kyrgiakos, 04 Raul Meireles, 09 Torres, 12 Pacheco, 18 Kuyt

UTRECHT 01 Vorm 02 Cornelisse 03 Nesu 22 Keller 08 Silberbauer 11 Mertens 18 Maguire (Adam Sarota 84) 27 Nijholt 29 Wuytens 07 Duplan (Oar 71) 09 van Wolfswinkel (de Kogel 45+1)

Substitutes 31 Cummings, 25 Vorstermams, 14 Van der Maarel, 30 Adam Sarota, 10 Oar, 47 de Kogel

 It's all kicking off again! Click here for the No1 coverage of Liverpool's winter market transfer news.

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