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Gritty Swansea frustrate Liverpool

06 Nov 2011 00:01:53

Gritty Swansea frustrate Liverpool

Liverpool endured more home frustration as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea at Anfield on Saturday.

Andy Carroll struck the crossbar and visiting keeper Michel Vorm made two stunning late saves as Kenny Dalglish's side suffered a fourth draw from their six Premier League games in front of the Kop this season.

The Reds' lack of a cutting edge could cost them dearly in the race for a Champions League spot and they are now three points behind fourth placed Chelsea.

Swansea sit comfortably in mid-table after another impressive result on their return to the top-flight, yet they could have been behind in the seventh minute.

Charlie Adam released Stewart Downing in space down the left and his cross was inch-perfect for Carroll, but the striker was left aghast as his side-foot finish from 10 yards struck the woodwork.

Anfield had not been a place to provide fond memories for Swansea. They had won just once in 15 previous matches -- an FA Cup sixth-round tie in 1964 -- and their last visit in 1990 ended in an 8-0 loss in an FA Cup third round replay.

And, apart from an ambitious Angel Rangel effort from 25 yards that flew over, Liverpool continued to dominate but lacked the goals to confirm that.

It took 18 minutes before Carroll's frontline partner Luis Suarez came to life as he wriggled free on the edge of the box to send a low shot past the post.

Swansea almost made Liverpool pay in the 28th minute with a rare foray forward.

Wayne Routledge, who had replaced Scott Sinclair in the starting line up, showed lovely skills before floating over a cross for Danny Graham in the box, but his shot lacked power and Jose Reina was able to save comfortably to his left.

Vorm showed his agility moments later, diving to his right to keep out a clever curler from Suarez that was heading into the corner.

Downing drove over the bar and Carroll saw his downward header pushed away by Vorm as Liverpool pressed for the crucial advantage.

Dalglish sent on Dirk Kuyt for the ineffective Jordan Henderson at half time, but the pattern of play remained the same.

Liverpool had much of the possession yet found it difficult to break down Brendan Rodgers' resolute side.

A flurry of crosses into the box proved futile and there was alarm at the other end with Reina in the spotlight.

Reina hesitated following an Enrique back-pass and just managed to clear as he was challenged by Graham.

The Spaniard then stood tall to block from Nathan Dyer after he burst onto a pass from Routledge before there were two further scares for Liverpool.

Dyer again tested Reina from 20 yards, but the ball was surprisingly spilled and Graham saw his follow-up blocked.

Liverpool rallied and Daniel Agger steered a header on top of the net before Adam saw his free kick deflected wide.

But it was Swansea who spurned a glorious chance six minutes from time.

Graham knocked down a Dyer cross into the path of the unmarked Mark Gower, but he crashed it over from 12 yards.

Anfield erupted in the 88th minute when Kuyt stopped to head home, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

It took late heroics from Vorm to keep Liverpool at bay as he pushed away a Suarez strike and then tipped over a volley from Glen Johnson that was arrowing into the top corner.


AFP

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