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Page last updated at 21:41 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Wolverhampton   0 - 0   Liverpool

Liverpool's Maxi Rodriguez (left) battles with Wolves winger Matt Jarvis
Rodriguez (left) made his first start for Liverpool at Wolves

By Mandeep Sanghera

Liverpool's inconsistency returned with a vengeance as they were held to a draw by a valiant Wolves at Molineux.

The Reds, who beat Tottenham in their last game, lacked invention with Albert Riera missing a rare early opening.

Wolves striker Kevin Doyle had a poked goalbound shot deflected wide by defender Emiliano Insua as the home side created more clear-cut chances.

The Reds applied some late pressure but a resolute Wolves deservedly held on for a point.

With last Wednesday's 2-0 win over fourth-placed Spurs under their belts, Liverpool were aiming to show signs their stuttering season had turned a corner.

But previous such victories so far this campaign have only seen them go round in circles of poor form, lack of confidence and the problem of failing to perform without key players.

606: DEBATE

And, even though inspirational captain Steven Gerrard was back for the Reds, they again flattered to deceive with Wolves keeper Marcus Hahnemann hardly called into any serious action.

Riera flashed a header across the Wolves goal as he could not to get enough purchase on his effort in order to send it goalwards, and the urgency with which Liverpool started the game quickly evaporated.

Instead, the home side quickly got into their stride after a sluggish start and, as they comfortably held the Reds at arm's length, they almost took the lead.

A counter-attack saw left winger Matt Jarvis outpace Jamie Carragher and get in a low cross to the near post and, even though Doyle got to it first, his effort was deflected wide off Insua.

Benitez defends team selection

The threatening Jarvis was his side's best attacking outlet and he drifted a cross to the far post, where Kevin Foley sent a header straight at keeper Pepe Reina from a tight angle.

Wolves have only scored 17 goals in 21 league games this season - the lowest in the Premier League for the present campaign - while Liverpool have struggled for away goals with 17 in as many games away from home in all competitions.

Liverpool's problems at Molineux were as a result of a lack of invention as Gerrard and left-winger Riera lacked match sharpness, along with right winger Maxi Rodriguez, who was making his full Reds debut.

We have turned the corner - Gerrard

Riera did again go close when his mistimed volley almost looped under the crossbar before the alert Hahnemann saved.

The impressive workrate and 4-5-1 formation of Wolves also had plenty to do with them keeping Liverpool at bay, with the tough midfield tackling of Karl Henry and harrying of lone frontman Doyle a feature of the home side's play.

As the game progressed, Wolves grew in confidence and Doyle sent a well-struck shot over.

Liverpool's attacking midfielder Alberto Aquilani had to watch from the touchline as the visitors continued to be repelled by Wolves and had to settle for a draw.

Liverpool are now fifth and three points behind Tottenham but sixth-placed Manchester City are level with the Reds with two games in hand, while Wolves are fourth from bottom courtesy of a better goal difference than Burnley.


Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez:
"If you analyse the game, it was a fair result. In the first half, we were in control, although we didn't create chances. The final pass in the final third was the difference.

"In the second half, they pushed harder. We still had some good counter-attacks but again the final pass was the difference. It was a fair result."

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy on striker striker Kevin Doyle:
"If you see a better performance from a centre-forward than Doyle showed, I would like to see it. If he had just managed a goal, it would have been one of the best all-round performances.

"He is physically strong enough to play that role. We changed the system and I don't think our keeper had a save to make. I don't think we were troubled.

"It was a really solid performance and it's great to get off 19 points because we've been there for too long."

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Wolves 0-0 Liverpool FT
(HT 0-0)

      Wolverhampton

      Substitutes

      Liverpool

      Substitutes

      Ref: WaltonAtt: 28,763
      WOLVES
      LIVERPOOL

      Possession

      • Wolves 50%
      • Liverpool 50%

      Attempts on target

      • Wolves 4
      • Liverpool 3

      Attempts off target

      • Wolves 3
      • Liverpool 3

      Corners

      • Wolves 0
      • Liverpool 7

      Fouls

      • Wolves 10
      • Liverpool 11
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+3:18 The referee blows for the end of the match.
      • 90:00+0:01 Shot from 35 yards by Jamie Carragher missed to the left of goal.
      • 89:17 Steven Gerrard takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Adlene Guedioura.
      • 87:33 Direct free kick taken by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 87:33 Substitution Adlene Guedioura is brought on as a substitute for Matthew Jarvis.
      • 87:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Ngog on Christophe Berra.
      • 82:13 Foul by Sotirios Kyrgiakos on Kevin Doyle, free kick awarded. David Jones restarts play with the free kick. David Jones takes a shot. Javier Mascherano gets a block in.
      • 80:32 Foul by Ronald Zubar on Rodriguez Maxi, free kick awarded. Steven Gerrard crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, save by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 79:07 Karl Henry sends in a cross.
      • 78:40 Corner taken by Steven Gerrard played to the near post, Karl Henry manages to make a clearance.
      • 77:25 Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard to the near post, clearance made by Kevin Doyle.
      • 71:59 Free kick taken by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 71:59 Substitution Nenad Milijas goes off and David Jones comes on.
      • 71:59 Booking The referee shows Martin Skrtel a yellow card.
      • 71:48 Christophe Berra fouled by Martin Skrtel, the ref awards a free kick.
      • 70:55 Jody Craddock challenges David Ngog unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard from left channel, Stephen Ward makes a clearance.
      • 69:41 Shot by Kevin Doyle from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
      • 68:13 David Ngog delivers the ball, save by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 65:56 Substitution Albert Riera leaves the field to be replaced by David Ngog.
      • 62:23 Dirk Kuyt has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
      • 60:37 The ball is swung over by Matthew Jarvis, clearance made by Emiliano Insua.
      • 57:59 Unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Stephen Ward results in a free kick. Martin Skrtel restarts play with the free kick.
      • 57:34 The ball is delivered by Ronald Zubar, Kevin Doyle takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
      • 56:19 Shot from just outside the box by Kevin Doyle goes over the crossbar.
      • 55:43 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Gerrard on Matthew Jarvis. Free kick crossed by Nenad Milijas.
      • 54:30 Javier Mascherano gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Mancienne. Michael Mancienne takes the free kick.
      • 52:07 Karl Henry takes a shot. Blocked by Emiliano Insua.
      • 51:16 Rodriguez Maxi has shot on goal from a long way out that goes wide left.
      • 49:22 Foul by Steven Gerrard on Stephen Ward, free kick awarded. Marcus Hahnemann takes the free kick.
      • 47:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Karl Henry on Javier Mascherano. Martin Skrtel takes the direct free kick.
      • 47:24 Albert Riera takes a shot. Save made by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 46:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by Karl Henry on Leiva Lucas. Direct free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
      • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+2:17 The players leave the pitch at half time.
      • 45:00+1:35 Steven Gerrard takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Kevin Doyle.
      • 45:00+1:01 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Albert Riera from the right by-line, clearance by Jody Craddock.
      • 42:11 The ball is delivered by Matthew Jarvis, Ronald Zubar takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
      • 36:56 Albert Riera takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Mancienne.
      • 36:17 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nenad Milijas on Javier Mascherano. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
      • 33:15 Kevin Foley is ruled offside. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
      • 32:09 The ball is swung over by Matthew Jarvis, Close range shot by Kevin Doyle misses to the left of the goal.
      • 31:23 Unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Nenad Milijas results in a free kick. Javier Mascherano takes the direct free kick.
      • 30:00 Jody Craddock fouled by Rodriguez Maxi, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 29:26 Corner from the left by-line taken by Steven Gerrard, save by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 28:00 Ronald Zubar fouled by Steven Gerrard, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 26:42 Martin Skrtel fouled by Kevin Doyle, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
      • 21:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle by Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Direct free kick taken by Kevin Foley.
      • 19:58 Albert Riera challenges Ronald Zubar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Marcus Hahnemann.
      • 18:53 Unfair challenge on Emiliano Insua by Kevin Foley results in a free kick. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
      • 11:48 Steven Gerrard concedes a free kick for a foul on Jody Craddock. Christophe Berra takes the direct free kick.
      • 9:52 Foul by Kevin Doyle on Leiva Lucas, free kick awarded. Javier Mascherano restarts play with the free kick.
      • 4:24 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Blocked by Christophe Berra.
      • 0:57 Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line played to the near post.
      • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Premier League results

      26 Jan 2010 23:59 UK


      Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 26 Jan 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Man Utd 23 34 50
      2 Arsenal 22 34 48
      3 Chelsea 21 34 48
      4 Tottenham 23 20 41
      5 Liverpool 23 14 38
      6 Man City 21 12 38
      7 Aston Villa 21 11 36
      8 Birmingham 21 2 33
      9 Fulham 22 0 27
      10 Everton 21 -4 26
      11 Stoke 21 -7 25
      12 Blackburn 22 -16 24
      13 Sunderland 21 -8 23
      14 Wigan 20 -21 22
      15 Bolton 21 -13 21
      16 West Ham 22 -9 20
      17 Wolves 22 -21 20
      18 Burnley 22 -22 20
      19 Hull 22 -26 19
      20 Portsmouth 21 -14 15

      see also
      Tuesday's football photos
      26 Jan 10 |  Football
      Tuesday football as it happened
      26 Jan 10 |  Football



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