Dominant Pool cannot sink Basel
By Nic Evans. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
LIVERPOOL dominated the game but came away with just a point as Basel managed a 1-1 draw at Anfield, with the Premiership side ruing hitting the woodwork on three occasions.
Milan Baros opened the scoring for the home side in the 34th minute, following a great one-two with Michael Owen, but Julio Hernan Rossi equalised a couple of minutes from the break, taking advantage of Jamie Carragher's lapse.
Gerard Houllier's side also had strong appeals for a penalty turned down and an attempt cleared off the line as Liverpool created enough chances to win the game at a canter.
The game was barely a minute old before John Arne Riise saw his header come off the bar, with keeper Pascal Zuberbuhler helping it on its way.
A thundering drive from Riise was again tipped onto the woodwork in the tenth minute.
Owen, who looked a shadow of his former self, missed an excellent opportunity in the 24th minute but it was he that turned provider for Baros as they worked neat interplay before the Czech struck a great shot past Zuberbuhler.
Just as the home side, in their 100th European tie, seemed to be cruising it, Rossi equalised, as a long ball eluded Carragher and the Argentine was on hand to finish from a tight angle, through Jerzy Dudek's legs.
On the stroke of half time, Baros was denied by the junction of the woodwork as an impressive turn and shot thudded off the inside of the post and came out to Owen, who was again denied by the heroic Zuberbuhler.
The second half was more of the same but as time wound down, so the Swiss side looked like gaining something from the tie.
They had a good shout for a penalty when a stray hand blocked a free kick from Danny Murphy, but the referee failed to see the incident, whilst Baros's effort was cleared off the line by the visiting defence.
Substitute El Hadji Diouf saw his vicious curling shot palmed behind for a corner by Zuberbuhler and Liverpool gradually succumbed to frustration.
In Group B's other game, Valencia beat Spartak Moscow 3-0 in the Russian capital to keep up their 100 percent record.
Having beaten Liverpool 2-0 in the opening fixture, it took the Spaniards just six minutes to get on the scoresheet.
Pablo Aimar flicked-on a great through ball and Miguel Angel Angulo ran onto it to fire past Stanislav Cherchessov.
The visiting team dominated for long periods, but still went into the break only the one goal to the good. Although Spartak enjoyed time in possession, they could not break down the redoubtable Valencian defence.
Spartak's desperation to get back into the game was shown by there three first half bookings as Aimar in particular caused them problems.
In the second half, the Russians were much more in ascendancy but substitute Mista made it two with 19 minutes remaining.
Fellow substitute Rufete's impressive run and cross was converted from close range by the striker as Valencia confirmed their dominance and ability to score.
The final nail in the coffin appeared after almost comical defending as Cherchessov saw an errant backpass rebound off the post. Aimar robbed the keeper of the ball and crossed for Juan Sanchez to nab the third and complete a convincing display.
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