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Pattaya Daily News

10 November 2009 :: 10:11:52 am 5929

Liverpool Lucky To Draw Against A Newly Promoted Birmingham

The final match of the weekend was played out at the atmospheric Anfield stadium to an almost capacity crowd, who came to cheer on their beloved Liverpool team in a surprisingly close match against recently promoted Birmingham City.
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Liverpool v Birmingham City (2-2)

In a match where Liverpool was rightly touted as the clear favourites before the mach, it was Birmingham who stole the show and almost the 3 points, much to the anger and bemusement of the Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.

Liverpool without Fernando Torres (persistent groin injury) and an unfit Steven Gerrard (on the bench) attacked from the outset against the deep holding, counter attacking game of the Birmingham team. The opening goal came through a left foot volley by French striker David N’Gog (12th min), after both himself and Albert Riera had previously been denied by Birmingham’s on loan keeper Joe Hart. Liverpool had been in control and cruising to an expected win when in the 26th minute a James McFadden free-kick from outside the area bounced of several Birmingham heads eventually finding Ecuadorian striker Christian Benitez who did not fail to convert his chance from close range, levelling the match. Cameron Jerome’s 30 yard swerving effort (45th min) sent Birmingham into the lead at the interval, giving fans hope of a real upset.

After the half-time proceedings the confidence that Liverpool had displayed in the opening 45 had evaporated, despite the inspiring presence of club captain Steven Gerrard, who was substituted on for the injured Albert Riera just before the break. Birmingham continued to play their own game, sticking deep, giving the Reds plenty of possession whilst closing them down in their own half. The Blue Nose fans must have been on the edge of their seats when a sliding challenge by Lee Carsley brought Liverpool’s David N’Gog to the ground inside the penalty area, however replays show that the challenge (although miss-time) did not actually make any contact with the attacker who appeared to lunge over the defender. The referee subsequently blew the whistle and pointed to the spot where Steven Gerrard stepped up to convert the equaliser (71st min). The Birmingham team defended for their lives in the last 20 minutes, against a rampaging Liverpool side that seemed to lift on the back of the adoring fans chants of encouragement. Liverpool however were unable to break the deadlock following a string of remarkable saves by Blues keeper Joe Hart and a very determined Birmingham defence.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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