A hugely disappointing afternoon left the Reds with just a point against a defensively strong Birmingham side. Birmingham arrived looking for a point and played well to deserve it but the more annoying part was that the Reds didn't make them work hard enough to earn it. No peppering of the goal only to find an inspired keeper.
The Reds came out with a front pairing of Kuyt and Voronin leaving Torres frustrated on the bench along with Crouch. Gerrard and Mascherano took the central midfield whilst Arbeloa moved to right back as Riise came back in at left back.
Birmingham got the game underway at Anfield and straight away you could see their formation was 4-5-1.
The Reds looked to start quickly and within minutes Riise sent a ball across the area only for it to race across goal and out for a goal kick. It was a positive start though. Clearly a goal at any time would have changed this whole match and forced Birmingham out.
One of the more frustrating things of the afternoon was that when the Reds won corners they had the complete inability to put it in to the box. I do wish they would just do some training for this and fizz one in to give the players like Hyypia a chance of heading the ball. They come all the way up from the back and then we hit the first man who is ten yards from the corner kick. Ryan Babel was the most guilty of this.
There was a stoppage on ten minutes as Arbeloa put the ball out for treatment to a Birmingham player. It came much to the annoyance of Reds fans at the time as we had a decent attack going. However that soon changed when they realised the Birmingham man was actually badly injured and needed the stretcher.
On fifteen minutes the Reds acme close to a goal but Riise side footed Babel's short corner just over the bar with Taylor covering it all the way.
As the half wore in it became more and more frustrating to watch. Mascherano was playing superbly well in winning balls and then putting in the most awful passes you've seen. Pennant and Babel were well marshalled out wide whilst the front two never seemed to be right up top together. One of the two would always drop off. The Reds just had no rhythm to their play and they were getting frustrated at the fact that Birmingham were picking the ball up at ease as soon as it got within twenty five yards of their goal.
Poor Ryan Babel was the typical frustrating figure in this one at one point. Not long before half time he broke wide and was found with a long ball. He trapped the ball superbly and then trying to get the ball out of his feet he back heeled it out for a throw. It was just typical of how the afternoon was panning out.
Birmingham actually had the ball in the net in the first half but Jerome had well since been flagged offside so it didn't count.
Half time was needed though so that the Reds could try and alter their shape and attack. It just wasn't happening.
The Reds didn't make any changes at half time. Maik Taylor - as he always does - returned the Kop's applause as he took to his net in the second half. A dying breed I fear in Taylor but he's highly appreciated.
The Reds had the ball in the net five minutes in to the half but just as the one before half time for the away side the flag was long since up before Kuyt smashed it past Taylor.
The closest the Reds came to scoring was on fifty eight minutes when Gerrard flicked a corner kick to the bottom corner only for it to be cleared off the line by Nafti.
A minute later and Voronin was gifted the ball thirty yards out and he forced a finger tip save from Taylor at the bottom corner. This was the best save of the day but more sadly the only real save of note.
Torres arrived just after the hour for Babel as the Reds moved Voronin to the wing. Sadly Torres didn't really make an impact. Crouch replaced Voronin and this didn't massively help either.
Torres went close with an overhead kick but Taylor seemed to have it covered.
As time wore on the Reds just seemed to get themselves in a muddle. In truth they probably wouldn't have scored had they played another ninety minutes.
It cut a frustrating afternoon - especially when you saw other scores coming in - such as Arsenal thrashing Derby.
MotM : Sami Hyypia - played superbly well at the back and although Birmingham didn't attack that much he was always there.