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FC Sion 0, Liverpool 0: First Thoughts

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Neither team needed more than a draw and it showed. Not much was created on either end, as the teams played their way into the knockout rounds with a drab scoreless draw.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

liverpool blog fc sbn

FC Sion 0:
Liverpool 0:

  • Pre-match: Klopp makes six changes from the starting XI on Sunday, opting to leave several key players back on Merseyside. Captain Jordan Henderson gets his first start since recovering from injury, and only his second appearance under Klopp. Really excited to see the Honey Badger back in action. Liverpool just need a point to top the group and get a seeded spot for Monday's draw. However, a win would go a long way to get the bitter taste out of our mouths after the last stinker against Newcastle.  

  • Sion wearing all red was a bit confusing at first. That's our deal, dammit! Regardless, I've moved past my confusion and now know to root for the team in black. 

  • Some decent build-up early, including a cross to Origi at the back post that was juuusst beyond the bit striker's ability to make clean contact with it. Can is deputizing for Lucas in the holding midfielder role. 

  • Better pressing than we saw against Newcastle (granted, it was a low hurdle to clear). Smith is impressing down the left flank early, doing well to join the attack and not noticeably out of his depth defensively. 

  • Origi looks to be in the mood to score a goal or two tonight. We can add this Belgian to the long list of players seemingly transformed by the new boss. At the very least he's making good runs and keeping the center backs occupied. 

  • Could have been a second yellow on Sion's striker Assifuah, as he comes in for a late aerial challenge on Milner. For the sake of consistency, Smith goes caution-free after a similar challenge a few moments later. 

  • Halftime: A decent first half for Liverpool, though admittedly not a lot of excitement on either side of the ball. Liverpool have had the better build-up play and 60% of the possession, but nothing too dangerous aside from a couple half-chances from Origi. A draw would see both of these sides through to the knockout rounds, and both sides are playing like it. A goal by either side would certainly liven things up. 

  • A boring first half has given way to an equally boring first 15 minutes of the second half. Not a lot to report. There's kicking, heading, the occasional foul, etc. Neither team seems to be fussed to get forward or try to score goals at this point. 

  • The Unicorn returns! Coutinho comes on for Milner. Milner has actually had a decent night, and his pressing game was on point. Maybe Klopp hopes to rekindle that Brazilian magic that we last saw running riot through Manchester City's defense. 

  • Can picks out Origi with an inch-perfect through ball and nearly catches the keeper out. Unfortunately, Origi can't get the ball under control in time or pick out a teammate to take full advantage. 

  • Henderson comes off after 76 minutes, replaced by Rossiter. All told, it was a pretty average performance from the skipper, but then again, almost everyone has been pretty average tonight. Still, it was great to see him back starting a match. 

  • Much like poker or war, with hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror, Smith very nearly picks out Origi's great run in front of goal. Any contact would have likely resulted in the winning goal, but it wasn't to be. 

  • Full time: Neither side deserved much more than a scoreless draw, and that's precisely what they got. Liverpool created a few half-chances from open play, whereas Sion had more chances from set pieces. Either way, not much in it between the sides, and they'll both be marching on to the knockout rounds.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.