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Anfield Online
Saturday 18th November 2006
at The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
FA Premiership
middlesbrough 0-0 liverpoool


GOALS: none

LIVERPOOL TEAM: (4-4-2) - Steven Gerrard was moved to central midfield. Gonzalez and Pennant both featured on the wings. Hyypia, Zenden and Crouch dropped to the bench. Bellamy starts.










Unused Subs: Dudek, Crouch, Hyypia, Zenden, Paletta
][ = Yellow Card
Name = goalscorer and time(s)

Crouch for Kuyt (79)
Zenden for Gonzalez (84)


Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Arca, Davis, Woodgate, Pogatetz, Boateng, Euell, Taylor, Morrison, Rochembak, Yakubu. Subs – Jones, Huth, Cattermole, Mendieta, Maccarone.

Att: 31,424
Ref: L Mason (Lancashire)


Dirk Kuyt
Peter Crouch
Rafa Benitez
Kuyt struggled to get past Schwarzer
Peter Crouch had a great chance in injury time
But no points - and Rafa is left to rue another poor away game


Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard played in central midfield at Middlesbrough but the Reds still could not register a first away league win of the season.

The visitors dominated an uninspiring game and Dirk Kuyt had a promising early chance but fired wide.

Boro had only one chance, when Jason Euell's header was saved by Jose Reina and Yakubu failed to get on the end of the rebound with an empty net gaping.

Peter Crouch went close late on for the Reds but lacked power in his header.

Gerrard had started the game in his preferred central role rather than on the right wing but the raging debate over his best position appeared to have taken some sort of toll on him.

There was plenty of pressure on Gerrard to perform and help the Reds out of their away-day blues but, instead, the weight of expectation inhibited his play early on.

Too much of the burden of Liverpool's struggles seems to be placed on Gerrard while his team-mates struggle to ease the load on their skipper.

A lack of confidence also coursed through the visitors but Middlesbrough were too defensive-minded to take advantage.

The home side lacked a cutting edge and options in attack as they seemed more intent on keeping Liverpool at bay rather than taking the game to the opposition.

But Gerrard slowly began to exert some influence as he set up his side's best chance of the first half when he found Bellamy with a 40-yard pass.

Bellamy chested the ball down for strike partner Kuyt, who steadied himself but could only shoot wide from 15 yards.

Jermaine Pennant then laid the ball off for Xabi Alonso but he shot disappointingly high as he was closed down by Fabio Rochemback before Kuyt's appeals for a penalty for a Julio Arca trip were waved away.

Pennant has been criticised for his lack of impact since his summer arrival but an angled shot on the turn almost improved his fortunes only for keeper Mark Schwarzer to scramble down and save.

Liverpool counterpart Reina was called upon shortly into the second half when Boro mounted their first chance of the match.

James Morrison crossed for Euell whose close range downward header could only be palmed into the six-yard box by Reina.

Yakubu failed to read the rebound and slot into an empty net as the chance disappeared with Steve Finnan hooking the ball way.

Liverpool's response saw Kuyt pull a cross back from the byline for Bellamy but his header was blocked by Jonathan Woodgate.

Schwarzer did well to keep out a long range Daniel Agger strike and was also Boro's saviour when he kept out a first-time shot from Mark Gonzalez.

Liverpool were totally dominant but could not find a way through the Boro ranks.

Crouch missed with two late headers as the goal and win Liverpool craved eluded them.

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