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Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Sunday, 12 September 2010 17:52 UK

Birmingham   0 - 0   Liverpool

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina (right) punches a cross before Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome can get in a header
Reina (right) had to be at his best to keep Birmingham at bay

By Mandeep Sanghera

Liverpool had keeper Pepe Reina's heroics to thank for salvaging them a point against Birmingham.

Reina pulled off superb reaction saves to keep out firm headers from Cameron Jerome and Craig Gardner as the Reds struggled to cope with the home side.

Fernando Torres had an angled shot blocked by Blues keeper Ben Foster in a rare chance for the visitors.

The Reds were more dangerous when Raul Meireles came on to make his debut late on but were fortunate to get a point.

The extent of Birmingham's dominance will have them regretting having to settle for a draw, albeit one that extends their unbeaten home run of Premier League matches to 17.

A lethargic and lacklustre Liverpool side will, in contrast, breathe a sigh of relief at a hard earned point that came courtesy mainly of Reina.

Birmingham were excellent - McLeish

Birmingham finished an impressive ninth last season and the qualities behind their achievement were firmly on display on Sunday.

Manager Alex McLeish has built a committed team who press the opposition high up the pitch in a controlled and disciplined manner, while they make sure they remain a secure defensive unit.

Their work ethic and determination can overwhelm the opposition and that would have been the case for Liverpool had it not been for Reina.

The keeper was at fault when he allowed Arsenal a late equaliser in Liverpool's opening game of the season and he made an embarrassing mistake in Spain's midweek 4-1 defeat in Argentina on a rare international outing.

606: DEBATE

But, after Torres horribly mistimed a shot from Glen Johnson's low cross early on, the Spaniard proved Birmingham's nemesis with the type of saves with which he is more normally associated.

He dived low to his right and scooped away a powerful Jerome header from Lee Bowyer's pinpoint cross as the home side began to take a grip of the game.

The Reds keeper was again his side's saviour when he punched the ball off Jerome's head as the Blues striker seemed set to get on the end of a Sebastian Larsson cross, before producing another eye-catching save.

Blues midfielder Gardner ran unmarked on to the end of a whipped-in Stephen Carr cross and directed a firm downward header which Reina somehow got a hand to.

Hodgson sees 'promising signs' at Liverpool

Liverpool looked devoid of ideas and desire, although Birmingham were failing to make their superiority count with Scott Dann seeing a free header bounce over as the Midlands side spurned another chance.

The Reds eventually rose from their stupor and Gerrard played in Torres, who chose to shoot from an acute angle instead of crossing for his team-mate and saw his shot turned away by keeper Ben Foster.

At the other end, a backtracking Jerome put another header wide and, while Liverpool looked more threatening when debutant Meireles came on and Gerrard was pushed back into central midfield, they showed manager Roy Hodgson has plenty of work to do to improve their fortunes.

Victory may have eluded Birmingham but they kept up their unbeaten start to the season and have now not lost to Liverpool in the league in nine matches.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Premier League

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

      Birmingham

      Substitutes

      Liverpool

      Substitutes

      Ref: HalseyAtt: 27,333
      BIRMINGHAM
      LIVERPOOL

      Possession

      • Birmingham 53%
      • Liverpool 47%

      Attempts on target

      • Birmingham 3
      • Liverpool 8

      Attempts off target

      • Birmingham 12
      • Liverpool 6

      Corners

      • Birmingham 4
      • Liverpool 3

      Fouls

      • Birmingham 8
      • Liverpool 9
      • Final Result
      • 93:27 The game begins.
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+2:41 Sebastian Larsson produces a cross.
      • 90:00+2:29 Glen Johnson crosses the ball, Ben Foster makes a save.
      • 90:00+1:19 The ball is crossed by Daniel Agger.
      • 90:00 The referee ends the match.
      • 89:28 Substitution Nikola Zigic is brought on as a substitute for James McFadden.
      • 88:52 Steven Gerrard delivers the ball, clearance made by Scott Dann.
      • 87:55 Glen Johnson takes a shot. Lee Bowyer gets a block in.
      • 87:08 The ball is delivered by Milan Jovanovic, save made by Ben Foster.
      • 86:37 Christian Poulsen takes a shot. Blocked by Barry Ferguson.
      • 85:46 The ball is swung over by James McFadden, save made by Jose Reina.
      • 85:33 The ball is sent over by Steven Gerrard, Ben Foster makes a save.
      • 84:10 Craig Gardner has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
      • 83:08 James McFadden concedes a free kick for a foul on Jamie Carragher. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
      • 82:34 Lee Bowyer crosses the ball, Steven Gerrard makes a clearance.
      • 82:09 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
      • 80:10 The ball is swung over by Daniel Agger, Effort on goal by Steven Gerrard from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
      • 77:04 Substitution Daniel Agger comes on in place of Paul Konchesky.
      • 75:26 Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Raul Meireles coming on for Leiva Lucas.
      • 75:14 Rodriguez Maxi has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.
      • 73:39 The ball is sent over by Milan Jovanovic, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
      • 73:16 The ball is delivered by James McFadden, save made by Jose Reina.
      • 70:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Milan Jovanovic by Stephen Carr. Direct free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
      • 70:21 Unfair challenge on Christian Poulsen by Barry Ferguson results in a free kick. Christian Poulsen takes the free kick.
      • 69:38 Stephen Carr crosses the ball, blocked by Paul Konchesky. A cross is delivered by Stephen Carr, Cameron Jerome has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
      • 69:14 Roger Johnson produces a cross, save made by Jose Reina.
      • 63:42 Centre by Glen Johnson, clearance made by Barry Ferguson.
      • 63:01 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster. Corner taken by Steven Gerrard, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
      • 62:42 A cross is delivered by Liam Ridgewell, save by Jose Reina.
      • 62:22 Paul Konchesky produces a cross.
      • 62:10 The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
      • 58:52 The ball is swung over by Leiva Lucas.
      • 56:06 Unfair challenge on James McFadden by Milan Jovanovic results in a free kick. The ball is delivered by Sebastian Larsson, Scott Dann produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
      • 52:05 Paul Konchesky delivers the ball.
      • 49:52 Sebastian Larsson challenges Rodriguez Maxi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 49:10 Effort from outside the penalty area by Craig Gardner goes wide left of the goal.
      • 48:15 Lee Bowyer delivers the ball, clearance made by Glen Johnson.
      • 47:35 Steven Gerrard gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from right channel, clearance by Martin Skrtel.
      • 45:45 Glen Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Bowyer. Free kick crossed left-footed by James McFadden from left wing.
      • 45:22 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
      • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+0:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer by Glen Johnson. Direct free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
      • 45:00 The referee blows for half time.
      • 43:10 Sebastian Larsson has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.
      • 42:11 The ball is sent over by Barry Ferguson, Roger Johnson conjures a right-footed shot from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
      • 41:42 Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Leiva Lucas.
      • 40:06 Cameron Jerome has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
      • 39:34 Fernando Torres concedes a free kick for a foul on Roger Johnson. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
      • 38:57 Long range effort by Cameron Jerome goes wide right of the target.
      • 38:36 Centre by Glen Johnson, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.
      • 36:37 The ball is sent over by Stephen Carr, Craig Gardner takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by James McFadden played to the near post, Steven Gerrard makes a clearance.
      • 35:51 Glen Johnson takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.
      • 35:47 Milan Jovanovic delivers the ball, Liam Ridgewell makes a clearance.
      • 34:40 Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball.
      • 34:13 Milan Jovanovic crosses the ball, clearance by Liam Ridgewell. Leiva Lucas takes a shot. Roger Johnson gets a block in.
      • 32:42 Effort on goal by Craig Gardner from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
      • 31:13 Short corner taken by Steven Gerrard. Leiva Lucas takes a shot. Blocked by Lee Bowyer. Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot.
      • 30:07 Barry Ferguson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Leiva Lucas. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Sebastian Larsson.
      • 29:43 Long range effort from Craig Gardner misses to the left of the target.
      • 29:12 Steven Gerrard takes a shot from a long way out clearing the bar.
      • 28:23 Booking Craig Gardner goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
      • 28:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Leiva Lucas by Craig Gardner. Paul Konchesky takes the free kick.
      • 27:04 Corner taken by James McFadden.
      • 24:54 Unfair challenge on James McFadden by Jamie Carragher results in a free kick. James McFadden produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
      • 22:06 Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a save. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Paul Konchesky.
      • 21:51 Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Skrtel on James McFadden. Barry Ferguson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 19:01 The ball is delivered by Lee Bowyer, Jamie Carragher manages to make a clearance.
      • 18:27 Fernando Torres concedes a free kick for a foul on Roger Johnson. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
      • 18:09 Sebastian Larsson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Christian Poulsen.
      • 14:21 The ball is swung over by Liam Ridgewell, Jose Reina makes a save.
      • 13:17 Cameron Jerome is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Reina.
      • 11:32 The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson, Fernando Torres has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
      • 11:00 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Scott Dann. Rodriguez Maxi takes the free kick.
      • 8:55 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Sebastian Larsson gets a block in.
      • 8:31 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard, clearance made by Liam Ridgewell.
      • 7:57 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Glen Johnson by Lee Bowyer. Free kick taken by Rodriguez Maxi.
      • 7:24 The official flags Cameron Jerome offside. Paul Konchesky takes the free kick.
      • 6:46 The assistant referee flags for offside against Fernando Torres. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
      • 4:07 Barry Ferguson fouled by Fernando Torres, the ref awards a free kick. Craig Gardner takes the direct free kick.
      • 1:23 Long range effort from Barry Ferguson misses to the left of the target.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Premier League results

      12 Sep 2010 23:59 UK


      Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 12 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Chelsea 4 16 12
      2 Arsenal 4 10 10
      3 Man Utd 4 6 8
      4 Blackpool 4 0 7
      5 Birmingham 4 1 6
      6 Fulham 4 1 6
      7 Aston Villa 3 -2 6
      8 Man City 4 2 5
      9 Wolves 4 0 5
      10 Sunderland 4 0 5
      11 Tottenham 4 0 5
      12 Bolton 4 -1 5
      13 Liverpool 4 -2 5
      14 Newcastle 4 1 4
      15 Blackburn 4 -1 4
      16 West Brom 4 -6 4
      17 Wigan 4 -9 4
      18 Everton 4 -2 2
      19 Stoke 3 -4 0
      20 West Ham 4 -10 0

      see also
      Reds boss Hodgson defends Torres
      13 Sep 10 |  Premier League
      Reina wants ownership issue resolved
      12 Sep 10 |  Liverpool
      Sunday football as it happened
      12 Sep 10 |  Football
      Sunday's football photos
      12 Sep 10 |  Football


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