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Barclays Premier League

St Andrews Stadium (ATT 27,333) 12th September 2010 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: M Halsey

Birmingham Birmingham City vs Liverpool Liverpool

Inspired Reina denies Blues

Liverpool keeper holds Birmingham at bay to earn Reds a point

Last Updated: 16/09/10 1:30pm

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Reina: Top class saves

Reina: Top class saves

Pepe Reina was in inspired form as Liverpool held Birmingham to a goalless stalemate at St Andrew's.

Man of match: Pepe Reina. Produced three top-class pieces of goal-keeping in the first period to keep his side in the game. Moment of the match: Scott Dann headed over the bar from close range when unmarked in the second period. If he had hit the target, the Blues would surely have gone on to win. Attempt of the match: Two - Cameron Jerome's and Craig Gardener's headers in the first period looked all over goals but were denied by fine reflex saves by Reina. Save of the match: As above - Reina's saves to deny first Jerome and then Gardener. Talking point: Can Liverpool make the top four this season? On this display it will be tough but if Reina keeps producing like this at least the Reds will be difficult to beat.

The Spaniard produced three top-class pieces of goal-keeping in the first period to keep his side in the game, first denying Cameron Jerome's goal-bound header with a great reaction save in the 23rd minute.

He then punched away Sebastian Larsson's cross ahead of the advancing Jerome, before making another fine reaction save to deny Craig Gardner's header.

Liverpool improved after the break, but Birmingham's unmarked Scott Dann headed the best chance over the bar as the game ended as a stalemate.

On this evidence, new Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has plenty of work to do to make the Merseysiders a force to be reckoned with.

Barry Ferguson and Gardner bossed the midfield while James McFadden and Jerome linked well up front.

Reds skipper Steven Gerrard tried to spark his side into life but Fernando Torres still looks short of full sharpness with Dann excellent at the back for Birmingham.

Decent chance

The first decent chance fell to Torres after 12 minutes after Glen Johnson made a good break down the right flank before sending in a low cross.

But the Spaniard failed to make a clean contact on his attempted shot which he dragged a couple of yards wide.

Reina kept Liverpool on level terms with a superb reflex save away to his right to keep out Jerome's powerful header from Lee Bowyer's left-wing centre.

Blues midfielder Gardner became the first - and only - player to be yellow carded after 29 minutes for a challenge on Lucas Leiva.

Birmingham continued to look the more dangerous and Gardner dinked a shot over the bar after being teed up by Larsson.

Reina then punched away Larsson's cross ahead of the advancing Jerome before making another outstanding save to keep out a close range header from Gardner after another dangerous cross from Larsson.

In a rare threat to the home goal, Roger Johnson's tackle prevented Torres from turning and shooting from inside the box.

Roger Johnson then missed a good chance when he turned a Ferguson cross over from close range.

Second period

Blues keeper Ben Foster made his first save in the opening minute of the second half in clinging onto a dipping drive from Gerrard.

But City were soon back on the attack and Liam Ridgewell had a powerful header blocked from a Larsson free-kick.

Paul Konchesky got forward to good effect for the first time and his pass almost played in Milan Jovanovic but he failed to take the ball in his stride.

But Liverpool continued to look uncomfortable at the back and Dann missed another good chance for the home side.

He found himself unmarked from a Larsson free-kick but his downward header bounced over the crossbar.

The Reds enjoyed their best spell of the game and Foster beat out a rising shot from a narrow angle by Torres after he had been found in space by Gerrard.

Another chance went begging for the home side when Jerome headed wide at the far post from Stephen Carr's cross after Konchesky had given the ball away.

Raul Meireles made his Liverpool debut after 76 minutes in place of Lucas. Two minutes later Konchesky limped off to be replaced by Daniel Agger.

Reina again did well in racing out of his area to chest clear from Jerome, while Foster went down to keep out a late drive from Torres as the game ended as a draw.

Birmingham CityTeam StatisticsLiverpool
0Goals0
01st Half Goals0
2Shots on Target3
13Shots off Target7
2Blocked Shots8
4Corners3
8Fouls9
2Offsides1
1Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
70.9Passing Success78.2
22Tackles12
63.6Tackles Success83.3
44.3Possession55.7
50.3Territorial Advantage49.7

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Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 60
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 34 48
9 Newcastle United 34 46
10 Stoke City 34 43
11 Crystal Palace 34 40
12 West Ham United 34 37
13 Hull City 33 36
14 Aston Villa 33 34
15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 33 26

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