report generating LIVERWEB - Liverpool Birmingham City Match Report - 24 September 2005

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Birmingham City 2 Liverpool 2

Another two points dropped in this one as the Reds just didn't go for the win enough. The Reds came up against what has to be said a poor Birmingham side but just didn't create enough do finish them off. They were even forced to grab the draw from behind as they made schoolboy errors at the back.

The first half of this was dull as dishwater if we're being honest. The first couple of minutes suggested this might be an open game as either side had a chance to score. First of all Josemi played a long diagonal ball to Crouch. He knocked it down and Gerrard laid it off to Zenden but the chance was blocked out by Melchiot. At the other end Forsell was involved in a chance for the home side but again the keeper wasn't troubled.

Until midway through the half that was the best of the action from either side. The Reds were having most of the possession but rarely going anywhere with it. Midway through the half though Heskey bundles his way into the box but Reina stood up well and long enough and saved the shot with his feet. Just short of the half hour mark at the other end and the Reds managed to beat the keeper. Gerrard shot from twenty five yards and Beat Taylor only to see his shot hit the post and rebound out.

The only other notable action of the first half was two bookings. The first went to Pongolle who kicked out a little after he was blocked trying to charge the keeper down. Minutes later Jamie Clapham was booked for taking Pongolle out after the ball had gone. Half time simply couldn't come quick enough.

Neither side made a change at half time and you feared the same boredom again. In fact we got that boredom as well for a good ten fifteen minutes as well. Finally Garcia got stripped off and replaced Pongolle with fifty nine minutes gone. Just two minutes later and the Reds came up with a chance although it was down the left side. Warnock stormed towards he box and played a neat 1-2 with Gerrard before shooting wide on goal. Taylor pushed the shot wide for a corner and maybe there was a glimmer of hope for the Reds.

Luis Garcia was booked on sixty four minutes which was a bit harsh. Although the booking was for throwing the ball away the foul that forced him to do this was unjust. Garcia blocked a ball passing him with his leg. It bounced against his arm accidentally and the ref penalised him. Kenny Cunningham followed him in to the book three minutes later when he went straight through Gerrard.

The deadlock was finally broken on sixty seven minutes and it was a great goal. Garcia finished off a fast incisive move. Garcia made the first move by cutting inside. Crouch chested a ball down and Gerrard played it through to Garcia who instantly shot past Taylor and in to the bottom of the net. Now we had the first open play goal of the league season we could build and go on. Cisse came on for Zenden before the game was re-started.

The lead though lasted just four minutes. Warnock headed an own goal past Reina from a right side cross and the game was blasted wide open once again. Within another three minutes it got worse for the Reds as Birmingham went two up. Pennant crossed from the right and Heskey headed straight at Reina who made a mess of the save. He managed to half save the follow up with his feet but the ball sat up nicely for Pandiani to poke home from three yards.

Having done the hard work of controlling the game and taking the lead they were suddenly behind. Riise was sent on for Hamann with eleven minutes left and you were hoping for an onslaught. On eighty two minutes the Reds were back in the game. Carragher headed a corner on to the bar. The ball dropped on to the back of Taylor and was on its way in to the net until Kilkenny threw his hand out to stop it. He was instantly sent off and the Reds were given a penalty. Djibril Cisse stepped up and calmly slotted it home for the equaliser.

If anyone was going to win it now it was the Reds but they just couldn't create the clear opening. The one opening they did create was a Cisse cross to the back post. Crouch was unmarked but had he been a few more inches bigger he would have got a clean head on the ball and perhaps directed it better.

All in this was very disappointing for the Reds really. Birmingham were and are poor and a team that the Reds should be beating. It was good to finally see us scoring a goal it has to be said though and the two defensive errors that crept in won't happen every week so there are some things to be optimistic about. Being a pessimist though Chelsea won't be running scared ahead of our game with them.

MotM : Steven Gerrard - hard to pick any individual out in this one but Gerrard did his job well.

Liverpool 25 Reina, 17 Josemi, 28 Warnock, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 8 Gerrard(C), 14 Alonso, 16 Hamann (6 Riise 79), 30 Zenden (9 Cisse 68), 15 Crouch, 24 Pongolle (10 Garcia 60)
Unused Subs 20 Carson, 3 Finnan
Garcia (68), Cisse (pen 85)
Bookings Pongolle, Garcia, Warnock
Red Cards
Shirt Worn Home-Red
Manager Rafa Benitez

Birmingham City Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Cunningham, Upson, Clapham, Pennant, Johnson, Kilkenny, Gray, Forssell (Pandiani 73), Heskey (Tebily 90)
Unused Subs Martin Taylor, Lazaridis, Vaesen
Goal(s) OG - Warnock (72), Pandiani (75)
Booking Clapham, Cunningham
Red Cards Kilkenny (84)
Shirt Worn Blue
Manager Steve Bruce

Referee Steve Bennett    Orpington
Att 27733
Venue St Andrews
Kick Off Saturday - 12:45:00
Date 2005-09-24 
HT/FT DD   (0-0)/2-2
Goal Sequence (Liverpool first) 1-0, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2
Match shown Live on SKY Pay per View
Competition Premiership  

Match Stats

Liverpool   Birmingham City
63% Possession 37%
6 Shots On Target 4
9 Shots Off Target 0
0 Blocked Shots 0
7 Corners 3
15 Fouls 16
0 Offsides 3
3 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 1

Opposition form summary coming in to the match


Position at Start of match day - 11 / Opposition Position at Start of match day - 15

League Stats at end of match day

PWDLFAGDPtsPts to topPos
51 4032171413

Match Programme

Match number 13 of the season

Domestic Match number 5 of the season

Premiership Match number 5 of the season

Premiership Match number 511 of all time

League Match number 4035 of all time (excludes war time and Lancashire League)

Top Flight League Match number 3607 of all time (includes original Division 1 and Premiership)

Match number 4927 of all time (excludes war time matches and Friendly/Testimonials)

Match number 107 against Birmingham City

Away Match number 51 against Birmingham City

League Match number 93 against Birmingham City

League Away Match number 47 against Birmingham City

Premiership Match number 7 against Birmingham City

Premiership Away Match number 4 against Birmingham City