Half-Time Report: Liverpool being held by Ludogorets Razgrad on Champions League return

Liverpool play out 45 goalless minutes with Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets Razgrad at Anfield in their first Champions League match for five years.

Anfield have welcomed back the Champions League with 45 minutes of goalless action as Liverpool failed to break down Ludogorets Razgrad in the first half.

In their first match in Europe's premier club competition for five years, the Reds went 20 minutes without threatening the Group B minnows from Bulgaria.

Liverpool's English midfielder Raheem Sterling (R) vies for the ball with Ludogorets Razgrad's Mihail Aleksandrov during the UEFA Champions League Group B match on September 16, 2014© Getty Images

It was the in-form Raheem Sterling, recalled to the side after being rested for the defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, who got Liverpool going with a run down the left which finished with a blocked shot.

A chance for Mario Balotelli quickly followed as the Italian striker turned his marker cleverly on the edge of the box before seeing his shot thwarted by a brave sliding intervention from Aleksandar Aleksandrov.

Persistence on the edge of the box saw the £16m signing from AC Milan fashion a chance for himself later in the half, and he saw debutant Milan Borjan tested for the first time as the Ludogorets keeper dived to save low to his right.

The hosts knocked on the door more heavily as the interval approached, with a clever reverse pass from Sterling starting a move which ended with Adam Lallana wasting two great chances to score from close range.

Ludogorets were energetic in attack but not so much so that Simon Mignolet was called into action, although they perhaps should have had a penalty when Dejan Lovren barged over Marcelino in the area.

Liverpool's English midfielder Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on August 17, 2014
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