SSC Napoli 0 – FC Liverpool 0


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French forward DAVID NGOG (center) of FC Liverpool tries to storm past SSC Napoli defender SALVATORE ARONICA (6) as Algeria World Cup midfielder HASSAN YEBDA (21), who spent last year on loan to English Premier League club FC Portsmouth and has again been sent out on loan by Portuguese club SL Benfica Lisbon for this season to SSC Napoli this time, looks on at the Stadio San Paulo in Naples, Italy. (Ciro De Luca/Reuters)
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UEFA Europa League
Group Stage
10/21/2010

0 – SSC Napoli (ITA)
0 – FC Liverpool (ENG)

With new manager ROY HODGSON once again resting several regulars, visiting FC LIVERPOOL still manage to hold Italian Serie A side SSC NAPOLI to a 0-0 draw in Group K of the UEFA Europa League.

On the heels of the 2-0 loss to arch-rival Everton in the Merseyside Derby which left Liverpool a shocking second-from-bottom in the English Premier League, the Reds’ boss decided to hold out several key men such as England’s World Cup pair of defender GLEN JOHNSON and midfielder STEVEN GERRARD, Portugal World Cup midfielder RAUL MEIRELES as well as Spain World Cup striker FERNANDO TORRES.

JONJO SHELVEY, whose fee to Charlton Athletic for the off-season transfer will rise to 3.4 million English pounds once the 18-year-old makes his Premier League debut for FC Liverpool, was selected by Hodgson to partner Frenchman DAVID NGOG in attack for the Reds against SSC Napoli away.

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Holland World Cup winger RYAN BABEL (19) of FC Liverpool sticks out a boot in a bid to stop the progress of SSC Napoli’s Argentine defender HUGO CAMPAGNARO at the Stadio San Paulo. (Ciro De Luca/Reuters)
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In a match with limited chances at both ends of the pitch, a moment of controversy arrived in injury time of the first half.

Uruguay World Cup striker EDINSON CAVANI of SSC Napoli made a sharp move to beat his marker in the penalty box on the left and sent a low cross which was met by Slovakia World Cup midfielder MAREK HAMSIK at close range in front.

Hamsik’s shot had the steam taken off it by FC Liverpool’s Denmark World Cup midfielder CHRISTIAN POULSEN and was ultimately cleared off the line by England international defender PAUL KONCHESKY for the Reds; whether or not the whole ball actually crossed the goalline, the play was very close and will renew calls for FIFA to use advanced technology.

In the second half, Holland World Cup winger RYAN BABEL of Liverpool, who has yet to score this season, had a golden chance to get the Reds all three points after being sent clear by Serbia World Cup striker MILAN JOVANOVIC but had his right-footed effort kicked aside by SSC Napoli’s Italy international goalkeeper MORGAN DE SANCTIS.

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Serbia World Cup striker MILAN JOVANOVIC (14), who has been deployed on the left in midfield by FC Liverpool after signing this summer on a free transfer from Belgian side Standard Liege, looks to pass the ball as Italy international ANDREA DOSSENA, the former FC Liverpool defender who was sold by the Reds to SSC Napoli in exchange for 4.25 million Euros last January, stumbles at the Stadio San Paulo. (Ciro De Luca/Reuters)
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SSC NAPOLI : De Sanctis ; Aronica, Cannavaro, Campagnaro, Dossena ; Pazienza, Gargano (Yebda 83′), Hamsik (Sosa 85′), Maggio (Zuniga 75′) ; Cavani, Lavezzi

FC LIVERPOOL : Reina ; Skrtel, Kelly, Carragher (Kyrgiakos 46′), Konchesky (Aurelio 65′) ; Jovanovic, Poulsen, Spearing, Babel (Cole 77′) ; Shelvey, Ngog

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Slovakia World Cup captain MAREK HAMSIK (17) of SSC Napoli has his shot deflect off of FC Liverpool’s Denmark World Cup midfielder CHRISTIAN POULSEN, an off-season signing from Serie A side Juventus of Turin, as Spain World Cup reserve goalkeeper PEPE REINA (25) spreads out to make a save in between the sticks for the Reds at the Stadio San Paulo. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Slovakia World Cup skipper Hamsik watches as FC Liverpool defender PAUL KONCHESKY (3), who was capped twice by England for Charlton Athletic some years ago and arrived at Anfield on the last day of this past August from Fulham Athletic, gets set to clear his ball off the bounce from the Liverpool goalline at the Stadio San Paulo.
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23-year-old Holland World Cup winger RYAN BABEL of FC Liverpool, who cost 11.5 million English pounds when purchased from Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam in July of 2007, has his second half shot kicked aside by SSC Napoli’s Italy international goalkeeper MORGAN DE SANCTIS at the Stadio San Paulo. (Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
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(Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

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