Hodgson satisfied despite stalemate
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson felt his side earned a good point despite a disappointing performance in their goalless Europa League draw in Utrecht.
His side were on the back foot for much of the game and their clean sheet owed much to goalkeeper Jose Reina and a goalline clearance from Raul Meireles.
Despite leaving captain Steven Gerrard at home, Hodgson was able to name the strongest line-up available to him but they rarely gave any indication they would break a run of four matches in all competitions without victory.
Nevertheless, Hodgson was happy to take home a point against a side who had won their last six matches at the Stadion Galgenwaard.
"It was a good point because we knew it was going to be a tough game," he said. "I thought the problems we had, if we had any at all, and the occasions when they created chances were of our own making.
"We created some good chances ourselves and it wasn't a dull 0-0. There was activity at both ends of the field. Utrecht did well, they were determined, aggressive and committed, so we knew we had to be at our best defensively to keep them out and fortunately we did.
"I thought their crossing was very good and I think you could quite easily see today why Utrecht have such a good home record. It would have been unfortunate for them had we won the game tonight, I think Utrecht would have felt hard done by."
Having won his first five European matches, four of which were qualifiers, Hodgson found more determined opposition in Holland.
"It's the first time we've not won one of these games but it's four points from two matches," added the 62-year-old. "We are top of the group with four points, then Utrecht and Napoli with two and then Steaua Bucharest with one so it is already quite close and the way it is panning out it will be close right until the end."
The result obviously meant a lot to Utrecht, whose players applauded all four sides of the ground after the final whistle.
"We thought they would be stronger. They had a lot of the ball in midfield but we saw in the second half against Manchester United they have problems when they play against attackers," said coach Ton du Chatinier.
"We had four or five good chances but Fernando Torres had one and could have killed the game if he had scored."