Liverpool’s disappointing campaign continued with a 2-2 draw against Birmingham at Anfield on Monday night, although it wasn’t for lack of trying.
The Reds dominated possession, David Ngog opening the scoring after 13 minutes with a well taken volley in front of the Kop. But the Blues equalised against the run of play on 26 minutes, Christian Benitez heading in as Liverpool – surprise, surprise – failed to clear a set-piece.
Then, with half-time beckoning and Liverpool having foraged forward in search of the lead again, Cameron Jerome hit a shot out of nowhere which flew over Pepe Reina’s head for a goal of the season contender. It was all of 30 yard’s out and nothing anybody could do about it.
The second half saw Birmingham defend in mass numbers, blocking shots and getting bodies behind the ball. With Steven Gerrard having replaced the injured Albert Riera just before half-time, it always looked likely the home side would equalise and it finally arrived when the impressive Ngog won a penalty. Contact was minimal but it was ex-Everton midfielder Lee Carsley who slid in so all’s fair! Gerrard converted the penalty comfortably.
The returning Glen Johnson impressed down the right, a few trademark surging runs where accompanied by one sublime bit of skill in the second half with a back heel which almost led to a goal. Birmingham brought on former Liverpool full back Gregory Vignal to nulify Johnson’s obvious threat late on.
Italian Alberto Aquilani made his home and Premier League debut in the last 6 minutes but despite 4 minutes of stoppage time Rafa Benitez’s side couldn’t find a winner.