After The Match 


Birmingham-Liverpool 0-0                      12.9.10                  PL
Team: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Maxi, Poulsen, Lucas, Jovanovic, Gerrard, Torres
Subs: Meireles (Lucas 76), Agger (Konchesky 77)
Not used: Jones, Kyrgiakos, Pacheco, Ngog, Babel
Yellow: Gardner (29)
Red: None
Referee: Mark Halsey
Attendance: 27,333
Shots on target: 2-3
Shots off target: 13-7
Blocked shots: 2-8
Fouls conceded: 8-9
Corners: 4-3
Offsides: 2-1
Possession: 44.3-55.7
Yellow: 1-0
HEADLINES "We just have to concentrate on the next game and take it from there."
Pepe Reina
1309: Reina pleads for patience
1209: Roy shows Torres support
1209: Roy Hodgson sees 'promising signs' at Liverpool (BBC video)
1209: Ferguson: Pepe was a different class
1209: Inspired Reina denies Blues


Reina pleads for patience


Jose Reina has called for patience over Liverpool's prospects of challenging for honours this season.

And the Reds keeper believes matters may not alter until the club's ownership situation is resolved.

Roy Hodgson's side failed to impress in their goalless draw at Birmingham yesterday when only a fine display by Reina denied the home side victory.

They are already seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea after just four matches and face an uphill battle to reclaim a Champions League spot.

Reina said: "We have to make sure that people don't think of winning the league or being in the top four already at this moment.

"It is going to take a while. We have got to get used to the new players and then the system.

"There are many good teams and our target is to be up there but we have to be realistic.

"Is a Champions League spot realistic this season? I don't know. We will find out at the end of the season what we can achieve.

"Of course, we have to challenge for being up there. Maybe it will take a while."

Reina added: "No-one has patience nowadays. We are just asking for a little bit.

"We did not spend much money and in football to compete with the others sometimes it is important to do it.

"We couldn't. We sold some players and we used the money for buying some others.

"It's going to be like this for a little while until we sort out the (owners) situation.

"All we believe is that we have to win the next game and game and after game and don't think about the end of the season.

"We just have to concentrate on the next game and take it from there.

"April and May is the time to talk about targets."

Roy shows Torres support

Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson was quick to defend Fernando Torres following Sunday's goalless draw with Birmingham.

Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool player Jamie Redknapp was critical of the striker's performance as the Reds failed to find the back of the net at St Andrew's.

But Hodgson insists he was satisfied with the Spanish World Cup winner's display, and has tipped the 26-year-old to improve as the season goes on.

"Fernando came into the centre on a few occasions and, when he did that, he caused havoc," said Hodgson.

"You've got to give the back four of Birmingham credit. They worked very hard to contain him and pressurise him.

"But he is looking much fitter with every game and I thought he looked dangerous and I thought, the longer the game went, the stronger he became.

"I think he is working hard for the team. He is a constant thorn in the side of defenders.

"We know he lacks match training. He missed matches at the end of last year and during the World Cup.

"But I'm not at all concerned about Fernando Torres. He will get better and better."

Ferguson: Pepe was
a different class


Birmingham midfielder Barry Ferguson believes Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina was all that stood between Blues and three points on Sunday.

Reina made a series of fantastic saves as the Premier League match finished 0-0 at St Andrew's.

"The goalkeeper was outstanding," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "He made three or four great saves. I think we deserved to win the game, but the goalkeeper was outstanding."

It is a measure of Birmingham's progress that they felt disappointed to have drawn with Liverpool, but their fantastic home record means they do not fear anyone at St Andrew's.

"We're always confident, we have a great record at home and you could see today the work ethic of the team - it's outstanding," Ferguson added.

"We don't get enough credit for the way we try to play. We play good football and we're disappointed not to get the three points, although a point against Liverpool is not bad."

Cameron Jerome was one of the players denied by a great Reina save as he looked to have found the net with a powerful header.

"Pepe is one of the best keepers in the world and it showed," he said. "He made three or four brilliant saves, and barring that we walk away with the three points.

"It's one of those things and you take it on the chin."

Blues boss Alex McLeish praised his players for the effort they put in.

"The players were magnificent. They created four or five chances and we restricted Liverpool and gave some great players very little," he said.

"The players put in a phenomenal shift.

"We're maybe just lacking that out-and-out goalscorer, but most of the lads will get their fair share of goals this season if we're playing like that."

Inspired Reina
denies Blues

Sky Sports

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

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.

Darren 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.

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.

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.

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Thor Zakariassen