Liverpool draws 0-0 with Chelsea

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Liverpool's defence again held strong against Chelsea on Tuesday in a 0-0 draw that ensured the European champions topped their Champions League group.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Liverpool's defence again held strong against Chelsea on Tuesday in a 0-0 draw that ensured the European champions topped their Champions League group. Both teams had already qualified for the knockout stage, but Liverpool only needed a draw to finish first in Group G, while Chelsea needed a win. "Before the game it was said it didn't matter, but we wanted to win the group," Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said. "We wanted to finish top." Liverpool did, and the team shutout Chelsea for the fourth straight time in European competition. Focus on defence Frank Lampard had the best chances for Chelsea, which lost to Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals last season and has drawn 0-0 the other three times. "They defend very well, they defend with everybody behind the ball," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. "They didn't give us many chances to create and score and when you have two or three during the game and you don't score one, the game is same from the first to the last, 0-0." Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez thought Chelsea's Michael Essien should have been sent off in the first half after a late tackle on Dietmar Hamann. Referee Herbert Fandel didn't see the tackle, but Benitez urged him to watch a replay. "It's clear it's in the video. I have my opinion, I have seen the leg of Didi Hamann," said Benitez, who refused to elaborate further. Hamann said he was going for the ball and thought Essien "came over the ball and caught me just below the knee. The referee didn't see it and you have to get on with it." Missed chances Lampard had his best chances in the first half. Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Manuel Reina had to dive down to stop his seventh-minute shot and he had a long range strike and a curling kick caught. Liverpool's chances came from Steven Gerrard's kick across goal that went wide and he later crossed for John Arne Riise, who forced Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech to push away the ball. Chelsea had the ball in the back of the net four minutes into the second half, but Arjen Robben was ruled offside. The Liverpool defence stymied most Chelsea attacks, which also were often caught offside. Liverpool had two late chances from substitutes Harry Kewell and Florent Sinama-Pongolle easily caught by Cech. "We have more points than the others ... today we have another clean sheet and had some chances on the counterattack," Benitez said. Sami Hyypia completed the full match for Liverpool – the only Reds player to play every minute for Liverpool this European season, including the six qualifying games. Unbeaten streak Chelsea, which leads the English Premier League, is unbeaten in its last 13 European matches at home. Its last defeat came in October 2003 when it lost to Besiktas 2-0. Liverpool, which beat AC Milan to win its fifth European title last season, hasn't conceded a goal in any competition in 10 games, since a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace in the third round of the League Cup on Oct. 25. (AP)

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