LIVERPOOL Reserves' stars Stephen Derby, Jay Spearing and Martin Kelly came off the bench to help Liverpool's first team to a 3-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven in Holland tonight.

The trio appeared at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington last Thursday as Gary Ablett's youngsters slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers Reserves.

But this evening they graced the Philips Stadium in front of 35,000 fans as Rafael Benitez's first team qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League as winners of Group D.

Goals from Ryan Babel, Albert Riera and David N'Gog secured the win after PSV took the lead with a a fortuitous opener from Danko Lazovic.

And the three Liverpool Academy graduates received their first taste of European football in the closing stages.

Reserve team captain Stephen Darby came on for Spanish fullback Alvaro Arbeloa on 70 minutes.

The 20-year-old Scouse right back impressed immediately with a series of robust challenges to marshall PSV's threat out wide.

Jay Spearing, aged 20, replaced Riera, the Wirral-born midfielder joining the fray on 77 minutes.

And 18-year-old Martin Kelly replaced Jamie Carragher on 81 minutes, the elegant centre half from Bolton putting two years of injury woes behind him.

The result means the Reds topped their group ahead of Atletico Madrid, who could only draw 0-0 in Marseille. They will now have the advantage of playing the second leg of their first knockout phase encounter at Anfield in February.

Derby, Spearing and Kelly should return to action for the reserves next Tuesday when Gary Ablett's team take on Hull City at The Halliwell Jones Stadium from 7pm.

PSV Eindhoven: Isaksson, Culina, Marcellis, Brechet, Salcido, Mendez (Manco 80), Simons, Dzsudzsak, Bakkal (Nijland 83), Lazovic, Amrabat (Koevermans 72). Subs Not Used: Cassio, Rodriguez, Pieters, Wuytens.

Liverpool: Cavalieri, Arbeloa (Darby 70), Carragher (Kelly 81), Agger, Dossena, Mascherano, Leiva Lucas, Babel, Ngog, Riera (Spearing 77), Keane. Subs Not Used: Reina, Gerrard, Alonso, Benayoun.