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 UEFA Champions League Group C – PSV Eindhoven 0:0 Liverpool 
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Post UEFA Champions League Group C – PSV Eindhoven 0:0 Liverpool
UEFA Champions League Group C – PSV Eindhoven 0:0 Liverpool
by: Steven Cronin

Steven Gerrard came within a whisker of scoring the crucial winning goal for Liverpool in this opening Champions League group stage clash.

The Liverpool skipper latched onto a bouncing ball at the corner of the penalty area, unleashing a rasping volley that eluded the goalkeeper but crashed back off the inside of the far post.

It was the closest the Reds got to breaking a PSV Eindhoven defensive line that held Liverpool at bay for much of the match.

But it was the sight of Gerrard sat on the substitute’s bench that gave the biggest surprise of the night.

The squad rotation policy of manager Rafa Benitez has raised one or two eyebrows of late, many fans questioning whether the Spaniard had lost the plot.

Liverpool began the match with their two most influential midfielders in Gerrard and Alonso both on the bench, a bizarre decision considering the importance of getting off to a solid start in this competition.

In defence of Benitez, with Premiership games against Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham coming up, maybe he feels the need to protect Liverpool’s engine room.

PSV started the game well, a bad omen considering their manager Ronald Koeman was in charge of the Benfica side who sent Liverpool crashing out of last season’s tournament.

The dangerous Kone was allowed to run from deep in his own half virtually unopposed into the Liverpool penalty area before unleashing a ferocious shot that cannoned back off the crossbar.

That aside, the Liverpool defence coped well with most of what PSV could throw at them, though in truth neither side could create any real clear cut openings.

Craig Bellamy looked Liverpool’s most dangerous player, though despite some clever runs the service to the front man was often wayward.

Chief culprit was Jamie Pennant, the two at times seemingly on completely different wavelengths.

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Steven Cronin writes the hottest English Premiership Football news, results and opinion at

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Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:11 am
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