Sat 22nd September 2007 (3pm) @ Anfield
A second consecutive Premiership draw as the reds failed to make home advantage pay against a determined Birmingham side who came to Anfield for the point.
Benitez once again started a Premiership game with the £26 million man, Fernando Torres, on the bench as Kuyt and Voronin were given the nod up front.
Liverpool’s passing game was still not evident after it’s disappearance prior to the Porto game, and although the reds had chances to score this game was by no means a classic. After such a fine start to the season Liverpool will be rueing the lack of cutting edge which has cost us 4 points in the last two league matches.
Riise had a great shot in the first half but it was after the break that the reds came out, initially anyway, with a renewed determination. When Torres came on, he clearly looked the most dangerous player in a red shirt, but Birmingham’s defence was well drilled by this stage.
Benitez’ post match reactions tried to explain his decision concerning his opening strike force but the reds will be left scratching their head as our Premier League campaign appears to have fell in to a trough.
Rafa Benitez Post Match Reaction
“I have four strikers, I played them all in the end.“I felt that Andriy Voronin and Dirk Kuyt were the type of striker I would have needed to work hard against a packed defence.
“The game was very frustrating, we tried to play wide, we tried to get the ball into the box and we did everything we could to break them down.
“In the end we ran out of ideas. The game was too narrow, it was too congested in the box and there was no space.”
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Pennant (Finnan 87), Gerrard, Mascherano, Babel (Torres 60), Kuyt, Voronin (Crouch 74).
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Sissoko.
Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Kelly, Djourou, Ridgewell, Queudrue, Larsson, Palacios (O’Connor 68), Nafti, Melendez (McSheffrey 13), Kapo, Jerome (Schmitz 80).
Subs Not Used: Kingson, Forssell.
Booked: Ridgewell, McSheffrey.
Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).