Europa League - Group B
FC Sion0Liverpool0

FC Sion 0-0 Liverpool

Jordan Hederson
Jordan Henderson made his first start since August having overcome injury

Liverpool finished top of their Europa League group by drawing with FC Sion in an uneventful game in Switzerland.

The Reds' best openings fell to Divock Origi, but he miscued a volley in the first half and was later denied by a fine last-ditch tackle.

He almost rounded the keeper late on, forcing a save in one of few chances.

Simon Mignolet made one routine save to deny Ebenezer Assifuah as Liverpool maintained their unbeaten record in this season's competition.

A night of hidden positives

Sion celebrate
Sion were playing in the group stage of their first major European competition and managed to progress

A goalless draw with a side sixth in the Swiss Super League will hardly list among Liverpool's finer European nights, but the sight of club captain Jordan Henderson making his first start since August is an undoubted positive for manager Jurgen Klopp.

Philippe Coutinho appeared after 60 minutes after four games out with a hamstring complaint but not even his creativity could forge a meaningful opening as both sides struggled on a pitch which was partially frozen.

Origi - whose significance to Liverpool increased with news of another injury setback to Daniel Sturridge on Tuesday - was willing throughout but should have been more clinical.

As the 20-year-old broke through the home defence in the second period, his attempt to round Andris Vanins in the home goal lacked intent, and despite stretching he could not connect with an inviting cross late on.

The peripheral nature of summer signing Roberto Firmino was out of character given his recent impressive form, but Liverpool - who qualify with Sion - will welcome another solid display under Klopp, who now has tasted defeat just twice in 13 matches in charge.

"I am really satisfied, no-one is injured and they were very focused and concentrated on the game," said Klopp afterwards.

Man of the match - Liverpool's new Aussie…

Bradley Smith, Nathaniel Clyne and Jurgen Klopp
Bradley Smith (centre) had only made two substitute appearances for Liverpool previously

An impressive full debut for left-back Bradley Smith was also a plus-point.

He showcased pace and an attacking instinct throughout, crossing for Origi to misfire a volley early on and Liverpool's attacks - particularly in the first half - were through the 21-year-old.

Australian-born, Smith is now a full international for the Socceroos despite playing for England at under-17 and under-20 level.

His opportunity under Klopp marks a turnaround as, having spent seven years in the club's academy, he almost left when his contract expired in the summer, before signing a new deal last month.

Who can they face next?

The first leg of the last-32 ties is scheduled for 18 February, with the return seven days later. The Reds will face Everton and Manchester City within a week of the second leg, so an easier draw will likely keep Klopp happy.

Jurgen Klopp and Gary Neville
Liverpool could meet Jurgen Klopp's former side or Gary Neville's Valencia

Monday's draw could see them paired with any of the runners up in the Europa League's 11 other groups, sides including Villarreal, Marseille or Klopp's former employers Borussia Dortmund.

As group winners, they could potentially meet four of the sides who drop out of the Champions League with the worst record, including Sevilla and Gary Neville's Valencia.

Manager reaction

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "It was difficult. The ground was very difficult to play and for both teams the first thing to do was show you were prepared for a game like this and that is what my team did. "It was not our best football and although it is an outdoor sport frozen ground is for other sports.

"We wanted to be first after this game and that is what we did. A few weeks ago it was far away from us that we could reach this place but we did it and it is really good.

"Everyone will have to change their mind about this tournament now as everyone will see it is something like a small Champions League."

Up next?

Liverpool - eighth in the Premier League - travel to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, a side they are unbeaten against in their last four meetings.

The stats you need to know...

  • Liverpool kept their first clean sheet against Swiss opposition since April 1977
  • The draw was Liverpool's first in 10 matches
  • Liverpool are one of only six teams unbeaten in the Europa League group stages this season - the others being Napoli, Lazio, Besiktas and the Group K pair of Schalke and Sparta Prague.
Stade Tourbillon
Liverpool's first draw in 10 matches arrived at Sion's 16,000 capacity Stade Tourbillon

Line-ups

FC Sion

  • 1Vanins
  • 31Zverotic
  • 4Lacroix
  • 3Ziegler
  • 17Pa Modou
  • 8Salatic
  • 22RüfliSubstituted forAdaoat 90+4'minutes
  • 6KouassiBooked at 52mins
  • 7Fernandes
  • 10Alves Garcia
  • 21AssifuahBooked at 34minsSubstituted forMujangi Biaat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13Akolo
  • 18Fickentscher
  • 19Sierro
  • 20Vanczak
  • 63Mujangi Bia
  • 92Adao
  • 94Follonier

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2ClyneBooked at 82mins
  • 4K Touré
  • 6Lovren
  • 44B Smith
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forRossiterat 77'minutes
  • 23Can
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forCoutinhoat 61'minutes
  • 20Lallana
  • 27Origi
  • 11Roberto FirminoSubstituted forBrannaganat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Benteke
  • 10Coutinho
  • 32Brannagan
  • 34Bogdan
  • 37Skrtel
  • 46Rossiter
  • 56Randall
Referee:
Michael Koukoulakis
Attendance:
10,000

Match Stats

Home TeamFC SionAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home6
Away6
Shots on Target
Home0
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home12
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, FC Sion 0, Liverpool 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, FC Sion 0, Liverpool 0.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, FC Sion. Joaquim Adao replaces Vincent Rüfli.

Delay in match Carlitos (FC Sion) because of an injury.

Foul by Cameron Brannagan (Liverpool).

Carlitos (FC Sion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Cameron Brannagan replaces Roberto Firmino.

Foul by Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Carlitos (FC Sion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Geoffrey Mujangi Bia (FC Sion).

Attempt saved. Divock Origi (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Brad Smith with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Carlitos (FC Sion) because of an injury.

Booking

Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).

Carlitos (FC Sion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, FC Sion. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.

Attempt missed. Geoffrey Mujangi Bia (FC Sion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Vero Salatic.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Jordan Rossiter replaces Jordan Henderson.

Foul by Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Jagne Pa Modou (FC Sion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, FC Sion. Geoffrey Mujangi Bia replaces Ebenezer Assifuah.

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Edimilson Fernandes (FC Sion).

Corner, FC Sion. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

Attempt blocked. Ebenezer Assifuah (FC Sion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Elsad Zverotic.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho replaces James Milner.

Attempt missed. Leo Lacroix (FC Sion) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Carlitos with a cross following a corner.

Corner, FC Sion. Conceded by Brad Smith.

Hand ball by Brad Smith (Liverpool).

Foul by Kolo Touré (Liverpool).

Ebenezer Assifuah (FC Sion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).

Vero Salatic (FC Sion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Xavier Kouassi (FC Sion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Xavier Kouassi (FC Sion).

Hand ball by Ebenezer Assifuah (FC Sion).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 10th December 2015

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Molde6321107311
2Fenerbahçe62317619
3Ajax61416607
4Celtic6033812-43

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool624064210
2FC Sion62315509
3Rubin Kazan61326606
4Bordeaux604257-24

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FK Krasnodar641194513
2B Dortmund6312105510
3PAOK Salonika61413307
4FK Qabala6024212-102

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Napoli66002231918
2FC Midtjylland6213612-67
3Club Brugge6123411-75
4Legia Warsaw6114410-64

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rapid Vienna6501106415
2Villarreal6411126613
3Viktoria Plzen6114810-24
4Dinamo Minsk6105311-83

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga641174313
2Marseille6402127512
3Slovan Liberec621368-27
4FC Groningen602428-62

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lazio6420136714
2Saint-Étienne623110739
3Dnipropetrovsk621368-27
4Rosenborg6024412-82

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lokomotiv Moscow6321127511
2Sporting63121411310
3Besiktas62317619
4Skenderbeu6105413-93

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Basel6411105513
2Fiorentina6312116510
3Lech Poznan612326-45
4Belenenses612328-65

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Tottenham6411126613
2Anderlecht631286210
3Monaco613259-46
4FK Qarabag611448-44

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke64201531214
2Sparta Prague6330105512
3Asteras Tripolis6114412-84
4Apoel Nicosia6105312-93

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ath Bilbao6411168813
2Augsburg6303121119
3Partizan Belgrade63031014-49
4AZ Alkmaar6114813-54
View full Europa League tables

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