The full-time whistle goes at the AXA Arena, and Liverpool have claimed a goalless draw in a desperately drab encounter with Sparta Prague, but the visitors will be happy to take the tie to Anfield with the second leg on February 24. Thanks for joining us.
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
- Fábio AurélioCole37'
Sparta Prague - Liverpool
Europa League - 18 February 2011
Europa League – Follow the Football match between Sparta Prague and Liverpool live with Eurosport. The match starts at 04:05 on 18 February 2011. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Pekhart comes on now for Sparta as the hosts make their third and final change.
Meireles fouls Kusnir on halfway, and that allows Prague to float the set-piece into the Liverpool box.
Three minutes will be added as Liverpool simply pass the ball around at the back.
A huge roar goes up as the attendance is announced, and that is the loudest cheer of the night!
A very poor cross comes in from Pamic as he scampers down the right, and that is disappointing.
The hosts hold possession in their own half as their intent has to be questioned, and Liverpool are content to sit back.
Kadlec is replaced now by Zeman as the hosts add some fresh legs to their forward line.
The whistles go up once more as Liverpool keep the ball at the back, and it's drab football all round.
Pamic drives a vicious shot wide of the far post as he looks to test Reina from 25 yards, but to no avail.
Well, now this is pretty strange: Ngog is taken off with Martin Skrtel introduced, and Liverpool are clearly settling down for a goalless draw.
Ngog then sees the offside flag raised again at the other end of the field, and he has had a very poor game.
Liverpool still have yet to register a single shot on target as Kadlec is ruled offside.
Sparta enjoy a good period of possession at the back as the hosts keep the ball with ease.
Liverpool keep the ball in their half without any urgency whatsoever, and this is very uninspiring stuff.
Good save from Reina! Kusnir floats over the corner from the left, and Kweuke swivels and shoots impressively on target, but Reina is equal to it and saves diving down low to his left!
Sparta win a corner out on the left which Kusnir will whip over into the penalty area.
An intrusive flare engulfs the ground in smoke, and the referee is forced to halt proceedings again as we wait for it to clear!
Sionko comes on to replace Keric as Sparta make their first change of the match.
Reina stops the game to complain about the ball, but that can be no excuse for the poor quality of the game!
Joe Cole takes a corner from the left which Ngog meets with his head, but it's a tame effort.
Johnson produces a very bright run, cutting inside from the rightand shooting agonisingly wide of the far post on his weaker left foot.
Maxi drops inside to link up the play, but Liverpool are not creating anything from the final third.
Reina shows all his confidence and assurance in claiming a high ball amid a crowd of bodies, and the Spaniard looks secure.
This really is dour stuff, and the game desperately needs a goal or some impetus from somewhere!
Kyrgiakos battles furiously with Kadlec, and the defender wins his towering header superbly.
Kusnir is furious with the referee as he is penalised for a push on Meireles, but he can have no complaint.
Now it's the hosts turn to pass the ball around patiently at the back, and only a misplaced pass from Vacek sees Liverpool rebuild.
Ngog is ruled offside as he mistimes his run from Carragher's long ball, and that was poor.
The whistles sound loudly once more as Liverpool keep possession in their half, and they are very frustrated with this showing.
Johnson gets to the byline with a pacey run down the right, but Repka outmuscles Ngog in the box, who is unable to meet the cross.
The home fans are in full voice as their side keep the ball, but Maxi wins it back off Kusnir.
Wilson gets down the left at pace for the visitors, but he does not manage to find anyone in the box with his deep cross to the back post.
Prague press forward through Kweuke as the hosts look to dictate the play, but Liverpool are defending stoutly and clear through Carragher.
Liverpool are edging the possession, just as they did in the first half, but it's pretty tepid stuff.
Reina punts a long ball upfield towards Ngog, but the Liverpool forward cannot collect the ball once more.
Pamic is making good ground for Sparta as he continues to cause the Liverpool back four trouble, but Lucas finally makes the challenge.
Liverpool stroke the ball around at the back as the visitors take stock at the start of this second half.
The news is that Aurelio was injured as he departed earlier in the first half.
The second half is underway, and it's more of a rugby kick to get us going from Keric, with Reina watching the ball sail out of play.
The half-time whistle goes, and neither manager will be delighted with his players at the break, but Liverpool will be relatively content to have settled into this match with a fair share of the possession.
Just one minute will be added at the end of a pretty uneventful first half at the AXA Arena.
Ngog drops deep and links up the play, but it leaves Liverpool without a presence at the top of the field.
Liverpool win a corner after a sprightly run from Ngog, but Abena clears away to safety with a towering header from the ensuing delivery.
Carragher makes a sturdy challenge in the box to deny Kadlec with a sliding tackle, and that is superb defending.
Apparently Aurelio went straight down the tunnel after being substituted, so he may have either sustained a knock or been overcome with disgust at the decision to haul him off.
Repka and Ngog are both booked for a petulant spat after jostling for the ball deep inside the Sparta half, and the defender is 90 per cent at fault there!
Cole is immediately into the action as he finds Ngog with a precise through ball, but the forward blasts his shot straight at Brabec who makes the block.
Joe Cole comes on to replace Fabio Aurelio, and that looks to be a tactical change as the Brazilian jogs off the field - what can the midfielder do?
Vacek cynically trips Kuyt as the Dutchman looks to break, and he's lucky to get away without a booking.
Liverpool find themselves boxed inside their own half as Sparta pile on the pressure, and the visitors are under the cosh all of a sudden.
Reina spills a high ball as he attempts to catch it, but Ramic blasts his shot over the bar reckessly from the edge of the Liverpool box with the keeper out of position!
Kweuke takes a long ball from Brabec down in his stride before linking up the play, and he looks a very good player.
The visitors keep the ball at the back with more patient passing, and the home fans are getting very agitated with this.
Ngog challenges for another high ball with Repka, and again the forward comes off worse as the Czech clears upfield.
Liverpool continue to keep the ball well at the back, but the visitors have not managed to create anything thus far.
Reina does well to pounce on a loose ball as Matejovsky beats Lucas and darts into the box at pace.
Kusnir outstrips Wilson down the Sparta right, before he goes down very easily on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area, but the referee shows his vehement appeals utter disdain.
Kuyt drops very deep to pick up the ball, but he is then lost for options going forward and Kusnir makes the challenge.
Keric battles away furiously with Wilson, but the Liverpool defender does very well to stand his ground.
Kuyt attempts a very optimistic long ball towards Maxi, but Blazek gathers comfortably.
Meireles is ruled offside as Ngog slides his pass through the Sparta defence too late for the run.
Pamic continues to cause Johnson all sorts of problems with his determination to get to the byline.
Sparta break once more through Kusnir and Keric, and Liverpool have to hold their shape at the back.
The visitors keep the ball in their half as the home fans whistle in frustration, and Dalglish will be happy with that.
Liverpool slow the pace of the game down once more with a period of patient passing at the back.
Kadlec is full of running in the Sparta midfield, and he makes good ground once more as he darts down the right and tests Wilson.
Reina parries a fizzing shot from Pamic wide! The first real chance of the match falls to the Sparta midfielder down the left as he latches on to an incisive through ball from Martin Abena and drives a low shot towards the far post!
Kweuke is a real presence at set-pieces, and Dalglish urges his defenders to pick up the forward quicker.
Sparta break from deep with Pamic again instrumental, before Reina gathers a loose ball to calm things down.
Pamic wins a corner with a fine run down the left, and Johnson turns the ball away behind his own goal.
The home fans are imploring their side to get on the ball more, as Liverpool hold possession.
Keric shows superb pace to outstrip Wilson down the Sparta right and drive a low shot narrowly wide of the near post - a good effort.
Johnson is absolutely furious with the referee's assistant as he believes he wins a corner, but replays show the official to be correct.
Lucas drops very deep to link up the play for Liverpool, before Ngog is ruled offside as he mistimes his run.
Repka gets himself into a spot of bother with a poor first touch which interests Ngog, but he shows great composure in chipping the ball over the striker's head!
Kweuke lets fly with a hugely ambitious long-range strike, and it flashes well wide as he apologises to his team-mates!
Kyrgiakos and Carragher keep the ball at the back for Liverpool, and the visitors have settled superbly at the start of this match.
Vaclav Kadlec is ruled offside as he looks to latch on to a long ball from Tomas Repka (remember him?!).
Wilson makes a strong run down the left, but he eventually loses the ball to Vacek.
Johnson defends stoutly to deny Pamic as Sparta enjoy a fleeting burst with the ball after a sluggish start.
Kyrgiakos lumps a long diagonal ball towards Kuyt out on the right, but it is too deep for the Dutchman and runs out of play.
Liverpool take a quick free kick in the Sparta half as the home fans make their frustration clear at having only chased shadows thus far.
Lucas and Meireles combine in midfield as the Reds (well, the Whites this evening) keep the ball with consummate ease.
We're underway, and Liverpool immediately stroke the ball around in assured fashion at the back as the visitors look to build.
Right, we are all set for kick-off at the AXA Arena, and David Ngog and Dirk Kuyt form the Liverpool strike force as the pair prepare to get us going.
The teams are in with Joe Cole confined to the bench and David Ngog leading the line up front for Liverpool. The referee for this evening's match is Florian Meyer of Germany.
Sparta Prague: Blazek, Kusnir, Repka, Brabec, Pamic, Keric, Vacek, Kadlec, Matejovsky, Abena, Kweuke. Subs: Zitka, Podany, Sionko, Bondoa, Zeman, Husek, Pekhart
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Kuyt, Lucas, Maxi, Aurelio, Ngog, Meireles. Subs: Gulacsi, Cole, Pacheco, Jovanovic, Kelly, Coady, Skrtel
The Liverpool boss says that there'll be chances for young players when his side take on Sparta Prague in the Europa League -
Dalglish may have conquered Europe as a Liverpool player, but admits he is honoured he now has the chance to lead them in continental competition as manager. The 59-year-old won the European Cup three times in seven years in an era when the Reds dominated both at home and abroad. However, the ban imposed on English clubs after the Heysel Stadium disaster robbed him of the chance to extend that tally as a manager.
TEAM NEWS: Liverpool's 16-year-old striker Raheem Sterling is spending part of his school holidays travelling to Prague with the first-team squad for the clash. Youth team forward Sterling, who is on a half-term break this week, scored five goals for the Reds' under-18 side in their 9-0 win over Southend United at Anfield on Monday. He could become the Merseyside club's youngest first team player if he featured in the first leg of the last 32 clash at the Stadion Letna.
Aged 16 years and 71 days, the Jamaica-born England youth international would break the record set last May by Under-18 team mate Jack Robinson if he played. They are among a group of young players named in the squad along with John Flanagan, Conor Coady and Tom Ince. Other youngsters Conor Coady, John Flanagan, Tom Ince and Robinson travel.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was not included in the squad which travelled to the Czech Republic to face Sparta Praha as he continues to recover from a groin injury. Centre-back Daniel Agger has a similar problem.
Midfielder Christian Poulsen misses the clash at the Stadion Letna after his wife went into labour. However, Joe Cole returns from a knee injury and fellow midfielder Raul Meireles has recovered from the sickness that saw him withdrawn at half-time against Wigan on Saturday.
Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool take on Sparta Prague in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 clash at the Generali Arena from 20:05 UK time.