Liverpool’s miserable home form continued on Saturday against Stoke, as they were held at Anfield against Tony Pulis’ side. Yesterday’s stalemate means that the Reds have now drawn on 7 occasions at Anfield this season in 11 league games. This record, for a team looking to play in the Champions League, is simply not good enough.
Kenny Dalglish, earlier made a strange team-selection, naming a 5 man back-line with Dirk Kuyt as the lone striker. Daniel Agger was not named in the squad as a precaution, while Maxi Rodriguez was left out again.
The Reds dominated possession in the first half, but failed to produce any clear-cut chances. The first chance of the game fell to Mathew Etherington whose effort was easily saved by Reina. Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson were the next to have shot’s on goal, but to no avail as the Stoke defense continued to frustrate the home side.
Although Liverpool had control of the game in terms of possession, the lack of bodies in the Stoke penalty box ensured that the Thomas Sorensen and Stoke’s back-line had not much to worry about. The lack of attacking threat from Liverpool forced Kenny Dalglish to bring on Andy Carroll for Stewart Downing in the 58th minute, and his entrance immediately lifted the crowd. Carroll made his aerial presence felt immediately when there were a couple of shouts for a penalty but Howard Webb was unmoved, much to the disgust of the Liverpool fans. Then came the best chance of the game, when late on, Jose Enrique’s deflected cross found an unmarked Dirk Kuyt, who guided his header wide from 8 yards out.
It was yet another frustrating day for Kenny Dalglish’s men as the men in Red have now been held 6 times in their last 8 league games at Anfield. Liverpool have now found the back of the net just the 24 times in the league this season, which is fewer than the number of goals scored by Blackburn and Bolton, who are currently struggling in the bottom-half of the table.
It is now a well documented fact that Liverpool have serious problems in front of goal and if Liverpool are to finish in the top 4 this term, then Dalglish will need to spend on a quality striker this January.
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