Birmingham held out for a point in a game that Liverpool should have taken all 3 points.
Two more reds went off with injuries, Albert Riera lasting just before half time before suffering a hamstring injury. Yossi Benayoun also pulled a hamstring in the second half. Daniel Agger sustained a back injury that will be assessed by the medical staff at Liverpool tomorrow.
The reds opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a David N’gog strike before Birmingham hit back from a set-piece. In injury time a wonder goal from Birmingham gave them a shock first half lead after Liverpool dominated the half.
The second half was even more dominant from Liverpool with the reds camped in the Birmingham half. The blues had all their men back as Gerrard and N’gog attempted to thread their way through.
In the end, a controversial penalty was awarded for Liverpool as Carsley recklessly dived in to a challenge on David N’gog. N’gog managed to avoid contact but went down in the box. The reds were awarded a penalty which Steven Gerrard dispatched.
There’s our point back from the beach ball anyway.
Moments later Gerrard had a decent shout for a penalty which was waved away by the referee.
Liverpool will be disappointed they lacked the cutting edge to take all 3 points in a performance that was vastly improved on recent weeks.
Lucas and Mascherano controlled the game from midfield, Glen Johnson showed what the reds have been missing in his absence and Alberto Aquilani came on for a brief cameo in his Anfield and Premier League debut.
Off the pitch the reds have new injuries to look at but some players returning to fitness.
In terms of points this game was a disappointment – in terms of improvement in performance and grit this was a big step forward from most of October.
Post Match Comments
“I think we have to be realistic and then think about the next game, that’s it.
“We cannot be talking about the title when we have to win some games in a row.
“The main thing is for us to win these games, still trying to create chances like today, showing character until the last minute and win. That’s it.”
(On the reds penalty)
“I haven’t seen the replay but maybe it wasn’t a penalty. I still think that we deserved to win anyway.
“Possibly it wasn’t a penalty but we have had a lot of situations during the year and one for us I think is not the worst.”
Shots: 27 (13 on target) [Bham – 5 (2 on target)] Corners: 11 [Bham – 1]
Liverpool: Reina, Skrtel, Insua, Agger, Johnson, Mascherano, Benayoun (Babel 77), Leiva (Aquilani 83), Riera (Gerrard 44), Ngog, Kuyt
Unused subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Darby, Spearing
Goals: Ngog 13, Gerrard 71
Birmingham City: Hart, Ridgewell, Dann, Johnson, Carr, Larsson, Bowyer, Jerome, Tainio (Carsley 15), McFadden (Vignal 68), Benitez (McSheffrey 86)
Unusued subs: Taylor, Espinoza, Queudrue, Phillips
Goals: Benitez 26, Jerome 45+3
Booked: Carsley, McFadden
Ref: Peter Walton
Our Man of the Match
Glen Johnson looked lively and continues to show why he was a solid summer investment.