FOOTBALL Live

Monday November 9, 2009 Finished Anfield

2 - 2

Liverpool

  • N'Gog 13’
  • Gerrard 71’ (pen.)

Birmingham City

  • Benítez 26’
  • Jerome 45’

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  1. Dive storm as Reds snatch draw

    Dive storm as Reds snatch draw

    David N'Gog won a controversial penalty that spared Liverpool a humiliating defeat in a 2-2 draw against Birmingham at Anfield. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Liverpool
    • Birmingham City
    • - And finally, click here for reaction - with Birmingham angry at the N'Gog 'dive', and Benitez admitting that it was perhaps NOT A PENALTY!
    • - To see what effect that had on the Premier League standings, click here!
    • - Click here for photos from tonight's match.
    • 90+4 That's it! 2-2 is the result, a terrible one for Liverpool but their spirit was good. Birmingham will be furious though - they could have taken all three points but for that dodgy, dodgy penalty.
    • 90+3 Bowyer hoists it long as my man-of-the-match continues to hassle and harass at all times.
    • 90+2 Liverpool still pushing for that winner with everyone behind the ball bar Jerome for Blues, but they cannot force even a half-chance.
    • 90+1 FOUR minutes added time being played!
    • 90' No-one volunteers to take the corner so Mascherano races up from halfway. Carsley heads clear though.
    • 89' Liverpool clear and Babel brings it forward. Played in low from the right, McSheffrey puts it behind for the corner.
    • 88' Birmingam have a free kick on the left that they'll launch into the box.
    • 87' BLUES SUB: McSheffrey on for Benitez.
    • 86' Super near-post delivery from Gerrard but N'Gog can only head well over.
    • 85' Bowyer with a great tackle on Gerrard, the fans howl for a pen but you can see from Gerrard's reaction that Bowyer got the ball.
    • 84' Liverpool are passing rings around Birmingham now, surely it's only a matter of time...
    • 83' LIVERPOOL SUB: A home debut for Aquilani as he comes on for Lucas.
    • 82' Larsson late on Lucas but play on, back with Lucas, now Babel, Kuyt shoots but blocked, and GERRARD but over!
    • 81' Good play by Liverpool after Benitez gives it away, Lucas feeds Gerrard down the right and a brilliant cross FOR N'GOG AT THE NEAR POST BUT HE POKES IT WIDE!!
    • 80' Birmingham get it in the box as Bowyer chases it down the right but he can't keep the cross in play, sliding to make it.
    • 79' Blues get a throw on the left. This is one of the first times they have got the ball in the Liverpool half.
    • 78' Jerome needlessly gives the wall away and Gerrard plays it left to right with Kuyt sliding in at the far post but just beyond him!
    • 78' LIVERPOOL SUB: Babel on for the hamstrung Benayoun.
    • 77' The ball hurles around the Birmingham box but first N'Gog then Lucas spoon it up in the air. Benayoun is really struggling now.
    • 76' Gerrard on the right as Liverpool pump for a winner. Benayoun is struggling with some kind of leg problem...
    • 75' Clear push in the back of Agger by Benitez as he chased it down the right.
    • 74' Lucas sends it in, cleared by Carr, Lucas gets the ball on the right again but Carsley this time clears. Mascherano sends it wide to Kuyt who nods in and BENAYOUN but a great save by Hart! Whistle's gone, Kuyt pushed his marker.
    • 73' Blues half-clear but it drops to Glen Johnson, who shoots but it's deflected behind for a corner.
    • 72' N'Gog wins a corner on the right as Liverpool sense a leveller...
    • 71' Gerrard steps up... 2-2, sending Hart the wrong way and putting the ball to the right. Liverpool, through luck not judgement, are level.
    • 70' Booking for Carsley after a minute-long melee as he protested his innocence. I think N'Gog has been booked for kicking off too.
    • 69' Penalty Liverpool! N'Gog surged into the box and surely a dive, an obvious dive! But a penalty for the challenge by Carsley, which missed N'Gog. Dreadful decision, everyone could see that was a dive.
    • 68' Liverpool are pressing and pressing but with nothing to show for this. Vignal on for Blues now.
    • 66' With a great ball Gerrard slides Johnson in wide, he easily evades poor McFadden and but the cross is too deep, Kuyt pops up, plays it back for Benayoun but intercepted by Carsley. Never-ending pressure from Liverpool.
    • 65' Gerrard will take but headed away by Dann on the edge of the six-yard box. Back with Gerrard on the right, Hart punches his cross and Skrtel shoots but blocked, still with Liverpool, was there a hand by Larsson? Nothing given and Blues clear through Ridgewell.
    • 64' McFadden chops Kuyt down on the right, first booking of the game and he is really suffering on left midfield.
    • 63' Johnson gets in down the right again, he swings over a brilliant ball AND GERRARD UNMARKED BUT HE HEADS AGAINST THE POST! Should have scored!!
    • 62' Great play by Liverpool as Mascherano has a super shot but blocked and Blues survive!
    • 59' Incessant pressure from Liverpool now, but they have not had a shot for a few minutes now.
    • 57' Birmingham are hemmed into their own half but, to be honest, Liverpool lack the swagger of confidence that comes with knowing you can make your possession count.
    • 56' Gerrard almost combines with N'Gog but behind by Carsley for a corner. Gerrard takes but Agger gets it all wrong at the near post and Blues clear.
    • 55' Agger comes forward now, wide to Insua, inside to Agger again, back to Insua who puts in a terrible cross out for a goal kick.
    • 54' As if by magic Birmingham left-back Gregory Vignal, one time a Liverpool player, gets ready to come on, one assumes for McFadden to protect Ridgewell. Maybe they'll go 5-3-2?
    • 53' McFadden trips Johnson after the Liverpool right-back skins him again. Ridgewell got done AGAIN, he really needs some protection and McFadden ain't the man to give it!
    • 52' Benayoun gets forward and drives one on goal from the edge of the D but well wide.
    • 51' Kuyt does well on the right but fires wildly over. He claims Ridgewell clipped his ankle as he shot and he has a point!
    • 50' Liverpool coming forward in waves of red fury, kind of like Spain only not as good.
    • 49' High cross from Johnson on the right but too high for little Benayoun and Blues clear.
    • 48' Reports are coming in that Tainio's injury is not yet fully known as he is being hassled for wee by drug testers. Charming attitude to take when the man needs treatment.
    • 47' Glen Johnson fires a cross looking for Gerrard but namesake Roger heads away.
    • 46' Early move for Liverpool sees Kuyt put N'Gog in but it ricochets into Hart's arms.
    • 46' Second half underway!!
    • - HALF-TIME STATS: 56% of the ball, 13 shots to 5, 4 corners to 1, but Liverpool still trail.
    • 45+4 Half-time and Liverpool trail after that incredible goal from Cameron Jerome.
    • 45+3 Skrtel plays it long, headed back by Ridgewell. The ball drops to Jerome, just inside the Liverpool half, he shrugs off Mascherano AND JEROME 35 YARDS OUT AND WHAT A GOAL!! INCREDIBLE! He smashed it towards goal and it swerved all over the place into the top corner and Birmingham lead.
    • 45+2 Free-kick to Birmingham around 30 yards out, to the right of the D... McFadden fancies it but sends it well over.
    • 45+1 LIVERPOOL SUB: Well I thought Babel would come on for the crocked Riera but the fan reaction says it all - in steps Steven Gerrard.
    • 45' Not good for Riera - he is still down and looks distraught. Yup, it's his trusty hamstring I think, or the ligaments just behind his knee.
    • 44' Kuyt on the edge of the box but Dann tackles and it spins to Benayoun on the left who tries a curler but blocked. Riera now but Birmingham clear and Riera goes down.
    • 43' Corner to Liverpool on the left. Their fourth so far tonight but easy for Hart, right down his throat.
    • 42' Lucas wide to Benayoun, his cross is blocked but it pops up for RIERA but his shot is blocked. Wide to Insua who crosses for N'Gog but he can't get the header in, Insua and now Kuyt but Dann gets it away. Swift break with McFadden sliding Jerome in and he plays it wide to Benitez WHO IS THROUGH AND ROUNDS REINA but pushed too far wide can't get the shot on target!
    • 41' Lucas tries one from inside left but well over from the Brazilian.
    • 40' Birmingham still look a touch dangerous on the counter and from set-plays as Roger Johnson wins the ball in the air from a free-kick but Liverpool clear this time. N'Gog almost gets through but he can't turn and it's back with Hart.
    • 39' Gerrard gets a round of applause from the fans as he warms up on the sidelines. They'll have to be desperate to bring him on tonight.
    • 38' Near-post delivery to Agger but the defender heads well over.
    • 37' Johnson plays it early this time, not a good ball to the far post but with no shout from a team-mate Carr heads it over for a corner.
    • 36' Riera is on the right for some reason, and he skins the hapless Ridgewell but his low cross is blocked and then he fouls Dann and Birmingham have a free-kick. Liverpool win it back though and Riera again on the right, cutting inside but hammering an ill-advised shot well over.
    • 35' Birmingham manage to clear this corner though. Liverpool regain possession and build from the back. There is no way Birmingham should have been allowed to level, but that is typical of Liverpool at the moment.
    • 34' Johnson with another run down the right and the attacking Liverpool defender wins a corner off Dann. He's having a lot of joy against makeshift left-back Ridgewell.
    • 33' Skrtel and Jerome tussle after Liverpool get a free-kick on the edge of their own box.
    • 32' Birmingham don't clear the corner properly and Ridgewell heads the second ball away, poorly though, terribly even and it drops for N'GOG but he mis-hits it, Blues all over the place, Lucas again but blocked, still with Liverpool, Birmingham all over the shop and now it's with Agger but his shot flies over. How Liverpool did not score there I do not know, but what on earth was Ridgewell doing?
    • 31' Liverpool bring it away after the corner is cleared, Mascherano centrally races forward and hammers a rising drive that Hart tips over in style! Corner.
    • 30' Bowyer wide to Larsson, who slips but Insua makes a mess of clearing and Larsson hassles him into putting it out for a corner.
    • 29' Benitez with a foul deep in the Reds half but given away and Blues have it back....
    • 28' Mascherano looks a biy dizzy on the edge of the Blues box, hesitating before Johnson shows for him wide right, but Johnson's cross is poor.
    • 27' That was poor defending from Liverpool, they had three chances to clear, slack marking and Glen Johnson played Benitez onside for his first goal for the club.
    • 26' McFadden lofts it far post, Roger Johnson is up to head across goal with no marking, Ridgewell is allowed to flick it on despite the attentions of Skrtel AND BENITEZ IS THERE TO NOD OVER THE LINE! 1-1!
    • 25' Free-kick to Birmingham centrally after Lucas pulls the shirt of Jerome, 35 yards out... McFadden will take this with everyone up from the back...
    • 24' Johnson spins between Ridgewell and McFadden to drill in a low near-post ball but Hart claims.
    • 23' Jerome called offside from the free-kick although Skrtel seemed to have played him on.
    • 22' Skrtel somewhat harshly adjudged to have fouled Jerome on halfway.
    • 21' Riera almost sneaks after a one-two with N'Gog in but Roger Johnson gets a toe on it and Hart has the ball.
    • 20' Liverpool with 75% of the possession so far - similar to what they had at Fulham, where they lost 3-1.
    • 19' N'Gog wins a free-kick on the right but the ref would have done well to play an advantage, taken quickly, worked wide and Riera inside to Benayoun who slides N'Gog in but poor first touch, back with Hart.
    • 18' Liverpool have utterly dominated these early exchanges, but Blues are famously dangerous on the break so the Reds really need a second with their leaky defence at the moment.
    • 16' BIRMINGHAM SUB: Tainio off for Carsley as Benayoun slides in on the right but cannot keep the ball in.
    • 15' Riera coming forward in the centre, he has time and space and Insua is free, clean through on the left but howling for it is ignored as Riera shoots, it's blocked and spins to Insua who crosses now FOR KUYT but over. Liverpool all over Blues here.
    • 14' Lee Carsley is warming up, Tainio is hurt and may have to come off...
    • 13' Poor Joe Hart, he deserved better after that amazing double save. That goal was coming though.
    • 12' Liverpool swarming forward as Johnson skins Ridgewell on the right, brilliant low ball neat post FOR N'GOG BUT A BRILLIANT BLOCK BY HART AND RIERA MUST SCORE BUT HART SOMEHOW GETS ALL THE WAY ACROSS TO SAVE WITH HIS FEET! Back to Riera who lofts it in, half-cleared by Birmingham BUT N'GOG WITH A FEROCIOUS LEFT-FOOT VOLLEY INTO THE ROOF OF THE NET!
    • 11' Riera comes inside, finding Lucas, now Mascherano to Kuyt who slides N'Gog in but his rising drive is a good height for Hart to claim.
    • 10' Liverpool finding their rhythm now as a pattern of territorial dominance emerges.
    • 9' Benayoun races down the right, super play by Johnson to free him inside the box and he pulls it back but Dann gets a heel on it before N'Gog can finish and Hart claims.
    • 8' Tainio has it on the left but he gives it away and Liverpool break. Wide to Riera but in steps Bowyer to close him down, Riera with the extra touch slowing it down enough for the former Leeds and West Ham man to intervene.
    • 7' Jerome does well down the left to win a throw. His pace will cause the Reds problems out wide.
    • 6' The Blues fans do not share their hosts' enthusiasm for Rafa - "you're getting sacked in the morning" is their cheery refrain.
    • 5' Birmingham counter and Benitez gives it away but Tainio stops Riera in his tracks to clear. Agger slides in on Jerome to put to touch.
    • 4' Riera inside to Kuyt who feeds it wide to N'Gog but he doesn't get the cross away and Ridgewell capitalises on his hesitance to clear for touch.
    • 3' Liverpool knocking the ball around confidently, with Johnson a good outlet on the right that they have missed in recent weeks.
    • 2' The crowd are singing support for Rafael Benitez, showing where the bread of most Anfield-attending fans is buttered. Seems the die-hard supporters do not share the attitudes of some of the fairer-weather fans calling for his head on the message boards.
    • 1' Match underway at Anfield!!
    • - A very attacking line-up from the Blues too - Jerome, Benitez and McFadden make what is effectively a front three. Teemu Tainio is in for the suspended Barry Ferguson and Joe Hart returns after being ineligible to face parent club Manchester City last week.
    • - The thing is, this issue has not stopped El Nino from bagging 10 goals in as many Premier League appearances this season. MORE TORRES STATS HERE!
    • - Torres, who played most of Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Lyon and seemed to be un-injured when taken off as a precaution, has been afflicted by a troubling groin injury all season that has led Spain to exclude him from their squad for upcoming games.
    • - Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
    • - Birmingham team: Hart, Carr, Roger Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Bowyer, Tainio, McFadden, Benitez, Jerome; Subs: Maik Taylor, Phillips, Espinoza, McSheffrey, Queudrue, Carsley, Vignal
    • - Liverpool team: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Benayoun, Riera, Ngog; Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Gerrard, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Spearing, Darby
    • - LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS! No Fernando Torres in the squad, not even on the bench. So David N'Gog leads the line, although Steven Gerrard is on the bench. A huge risk but they are desperate that Torres avoids groin surgery so are resting him as often as possible!
    • - Liverpool score only one goal per game on average in matches in which both Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are missing. Since November 2008 Fernando Torres has scored more Premier League goals (19) than any other player. Steven Gerrard is joint second with 17.
    • - There have been only four 0-0 draws in the Premier League this season - two of them have involved Birmingham City. Birmingham have only scored more than once on one occasion in the Premier League this season.
    • - Liverpool have won only one of their five Premier League home games against Birmingham City, with the Blues unbeaten in their last six top-flight games against the Reds. The last four league clashes between them have ended level.
    • - Hello and welcome to our Monday night special, as struggling Liverpool face Birmingham City at Anfield from 8pm!
  • Summary

    • 82' Larsson late on Lucas but play on, back with Lucas, now Babel, Kuyt shoots but blocked, and GERRARD but over!
    • 81' Good play by Liverpool after Benitez gives it away, Lucas feeds Gerrard down the right and a brilliant cross FOR N'GOG AT THE NEAR POST BUT HE POKES IT WIDE!!
    • 78' Jerome needlessly gives the wall away and Gerrard plays it left to right with Kuyt sliding in at the far post but just beyond him!
    • 71' Gerrard steps up... 2-2, sending Hart the wrong way and putting the ball to the right. Liverpool, through luck not judgement, are level.
    • 69' Penalty Liverpool! N'Gog surged into the box and surely a dive, an obvious dive! But a penalty for the challenge by Carsley, which missed N'Gog. Dreadful decision, everyone could see that was a dive.
    • 63' Johnson gets in down the right again, he swings over a brilliant ball AND GERRARD UNMARKED BUT HE HEADS AGAINST THE POST! Should have scored!!
    • 62' Great play by Liverpool as Mascherano has a super shot but blocked and Blues survive!
    • 45+3 Skrtel plays it long, headed back by Ridgewell. The ball drops to Jerome, just inside the Liverpool half, he shrugs off Mascherano AND JEROME 35 YARDS OUT AND WHAT A GOAL!! INCREDIBLE! He smashed it towards goal and it swerved all over the place into the top corner and Birmingham lead.
    • 42' Lucas wide to Benayoun, his cross is blocked but it pops up for RIERA but his shot is blocked. Wide to Insua who crosses for N'Gog but he can't get the header in, Insua and now Kuyt but Dann gets it away. Swift break with McFadden sliding Jerome in and he plays it wide to Benitez WHO IS THROUGH AND ROUNDS REINA but pushed too far wide can't get the shot on target!
    • 32' Birmingham don't clear the corner properly and Ridgewell heads the second ball away, poorly though, terribly even and it drops for N'GOG but he mis-hits it, Blues all over the place, Lucas again but blocked, still with Liverpool, Birmingham all over the shop and now it's with Agger but his shot flies over. How Liverpool did not score there I do not know, but what on earth was Ridgewell doing?
    • 31' Liverpool bring it away after the corner is cleared, Mascherano centrally races forward and hammers a rising drive that Hart tips over in style! Corner.
    • 26' McFadden lofts it far post, Roger Johnson is up to head across goal with no marking, Ridgewell is allowed to flick it on despite the attentions of Skrtel AND BENITEZ IS THERE TO NOD OVER THE LINE! 1-1!
    • 12' Liverpool swarming forward as Johnson skins Ridgewell on the right, brilliant low ball neat post FOR N'GOG BUT A BRILLIANT BLOCK BY HART AND RIERA MUST SCORE BUT HART SOMEHOW GETS ALL THE WAY ACROSS TO SAVE WITH HIS FEET! Back to Riera who lofts it in, half-cleared by Birmingham BUT N'GOG WITH A FEROCIOUS LEFT-FOOT VOLLEY INTO THE ROOF OF THE NET!
    • 9' Benayoun races down the right, super play by Johnson to free him inside the box and he pulls it back but Dann gets a heel on it before N'Gog can finish and Hart claims.
    • - Birmingham team: Hart, Carr, Roger Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Bowyer, Tainio, McFadden, Benitez, Jerome; Subs: Maik Taylor, Phillips, Espinoza, McSheffrey, Queudrue, Carsley, Vignal
    • - Liverpool team: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Benayoun, Riera, Ngog; Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Gerrard, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Spearing, Darby
    • - LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS! No Fernando Torres in the squad, not even on the bench. So David N'Gog leads the line, although Steven Gerrard is on the bench. A huge risk but they are desperate that Torres avoids groin surgery so are resting him as often as possible!
    • - Hello and welcome to our Monday night special, as struggling Liverpool face Birmingham City at Anfield from 8pm!

Team lineup & ratings

  • Lineup

    Live Team Line-Up

    • Starting line-up

      • J. Reina
      • G. Johnson
      • D. Agger
      • M. Škrtel
      • E. Insúa
      • J. Mascherano
      • Lucas Substitution Out (82′)
      • D. Kuyt
      • Y. Benayoun Substitution Out (77′)
      • A. Riera Substitution Out (45′)
      • D. N'Gog Goal Yellow Card

      Subs

      • S. Gerrard Substitution In45′
      • A. Aquilani Substitution In82′
      • R. Babel Substitution In77′
      • S. Darby
      • J. Spearing
      • D. Cavalieri
      • S. Kyrgiakos
    • Starting line-up

      • J. Hart
      • S. Carr
      • R. Johnson
      • S. Dann
      • L. Ridgewell
      • L. Bowyer
      • T. Tainio Substitution Out (15′)
      • S. Larsson
      • J. McFadden Yellow Card Substitution Out (68′)
      • C. Benítez Goal Substitution Out (86′)
      • C. Jerome Goal

      Subs

      • K. Phillips
      • F. Queudrue
      • G. Vignal Substitution In68′
      • L. Carsley Substitution In15′ Yellow Card
      • M. Taylor
      • G. McSheffrey Substitution In86′
      • G. Espinoza
  • Rate Players

    Rate Players

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      - -
      - -
      - -
      - -
      Midfielders
      - -
      Substitution Out82′ - -
      - -
      Substitution Out77′ - -
      Substitution Out45′ - -
      Strikers
      Goal Yellow Card - -
      Subs
      Substitution In45′ Goal - -
      Substitution In82′ - -
      Substitution In77′ - -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      - -
      - -
      - -
      - -
      Midfielders
      - -
      Substitution Out15′ - -
      - -
      Yellow Card Substitution Out68′ - -
      Strikers
      Goal Substitution Out86′ - -
      Goal - -
      Subs
      Substitution In68′ - -
      Substitution In15′ Yellow Card - -
      Substitution In86′ - -

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