Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Reina on form to keep Blues out

Jose Reina

Liverpool were indebted a superb display from goalkeeper Jose Reina for earning a point from a goalless draw with Birmingham in a Barclays Premier League clash at St Andrew's.

Reina produced excellent reflex saves to keep out point-blank range headers from Cameron Jerome and Craig Gardner.

The home side were also left to regret spurning a hat-trick of clear-cut chances and were the more impressive of the two sides.

On this evidence, new Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has plenty of work to do to make the Merseysiders a force to be reckoned with.

Barry Ferguson and Gardner bossed the midfield while James McFadden and Jerome linked well up front.

Reds skipper Steven Gerrard tried to spark his side into life but Fernando Torres still looks short of full sharpness with Scott Dann excellent at the back for Birmingham.

The first decent chance fell to Torres after 12 minutes but the Spaniard failed to make clean contact. Reina then kept Liverpool on level terms with a superb reflex save away to his right to keep out Jerome's powerful header before making another outstanding stop to deny Gardner.

In a rare threat to the home goal, Roger Johnson's tackle prevented Torres from turning inside the box although replays suggested he may have had claims for a penalty. Liverpool came into the game more after the break but it was still Birmingham who looked most likely to score.

The visitors continued to look uncomfortable at the back and Dann missed another good chance when his downward header bounced over the crossbar.

Ben Foster beat out a rising shot from a narrow angle by Torres after he had been found in space by Gerrard, while another chance went begging for the hosts when Jerome headed wide at the far post.

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