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Premier League

  • 6 February 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 44461
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Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham: Gareth Bale & Luis Suarez spurn late chances as Spurs move seven points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea

Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham: Gareth Bale & Luis Suarez spurn late chances as Spurs move seven points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea

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The Reds slumped to their eighth draw of the season against their title-chasing opponents who defended resolutely to claim a point and further tighten their grip on third spot

Liverpool's hopes of qualification for the Champions League took a further blow as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Tottenham at Anfield.

The hosts toiled to their eighth home league draw of the season against a brilliantly determined Spurs who see their title chances grow with a hard-fought point.

Luis Suarez made his return to the Reds' team as a second-half substitute and perhaps wasted the best chance of the match, nodding at Brad Friedel from a matter of yards while Gareth Bale shot straight at Pepe Reina when through on goal late on.

The hosts made two changes to the side which dispatched of Wolves so comfortably as Jordan Henderson made way for the returning Steven Gerrard and Martin Kelly replaced the injured Jose Enrique. Despite having completed his eight-match ban, Uruguayan forward Suarez did not make the starting line-up and had to be content with a place on the bench.

Harry Redknapp was forced to pick his side away from Merseyside, given his failure to make it to Liverpool after a court appearance in London, but made two changes. Jake Livermore and Michael Dawson deputised for injured pair Rafael van der Vaart and Younes Kaboul respectively.

As is often the case with evening kick-offs at Anfield, the atmosphere provided a fitting backdrop to a crucial encounter and it was the Reds who reacted accordingly.
Andy Carroll had a chance to break the Tottenham backline early from an inch-perfect Gerrard pass, only for Dawson to execute a superb sliding block which betrayed the subsequent claims for a penalty from the Kop.

The game settled into something of a tactical battle after early bravado as Spurs patiently tried to pick holes in an opposition which looked happy to surrender possession and hit on the break.

The hosts enjoyed one such chance as their own brilliant passing move found Jay Spearing in space, but the academy graduate could only drive inches wide from the edge of the box.
Towards the end of the half, Kenny Dalglish’s men upped their push for the lead, a fine Gerrard drive inside from the right forced Scott Parker into a silly challenge.


Anfield anguish | Liverpool could only draw at home again as Spurs held firm

Though the subsequent free-kick was easily blocked, Liverpool went close to breaking the deadlock again shortly after as Carroll’s fine touch in the box was let down only by a slip with the goal at the striker’s mercy.

Glen Johnson then underlined the hosts’ dominance in terms of chances by forcing Friedel into an uncomfortable save with his legs with a shot from the edge of the box.

The second period began in a similar vein to the first as Liverpool created opportunities to get at the Spurs back four but failed to fully capitalise.

A spat between a frustrated Bale and Daniel Agger provided the highlight of the opening 10 minutes of the half and, shortly after, the Welshman scuffed wide in the box much to the delight of the fans in red.

A Kelly burst and shot from distance then provided Friedel with something to think about as the hosts upped the ante on the hour mark.

The frustration of a stubborn defensive performance from the visitors soon told as Dalglish inevitably looked to Suarez, who received a rapturous reception replacing Dirk Kuyt.

The Uruguayan was immediately involved in a quick passing exchange with Gerrard which only came to nothing after some more staunch defensive work.

Carroll then found himself with a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock but smashed Kelly’s cross from the right over the bar with Friedel exposed.

Bale then broke clear of the Liverpool defence although, when faced with just Reina to beat, he could only direct his shot straight at the Spaniard as the goalkeeper closed down the angle.

Five minutes from time a golden opportunity to seal a dream return fell to Suarez. The Uruguayan leapt highest to meet a cross but failed to direct it either side of Friedel when the American would surely have been beaten by the slightest deviation.

That poor finish effectively sealed the draw in a contest of few chances that sees Spurs move seven points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea while Dalglish's side remained in seventh, a point behind Arsenal.

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