Belfast Telegraph

Suarez return can't inspire Reds

Luis Suarez's long-awaited return from suspension could not inspire Liverpool to victory as they were held to a goalless Barclays Premier League draw by Tottenham at Anfield.

The Uruguay international, having served an eight-match suspension for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, had not played since Boxing Day but made up for lost time with an energetic cameo on as a second-half substitute.

Liverpool dominated possession and chances but Tottenham had the opportunity to win it late on only for goalkeeper Jose Reina to save well in a one-on-one with Gareth Bale.

Harry Redknapp missed the game as his flight was delayed in London but Liverpool threatened as early as the fifth minute, only for Michael Dawson's perfectly-judged challenge to nick the ball away from Andy Carroll inside the penalty area.

Steven Gerrard drilled a free-kick into the wall and, after play was interrupted briefly when a cat ran on to the pitch, Dirk Kuyt planted a header wide from Charlie Adam's free-kick only for the offside flag to go up.

Jay Spearing struck the stanchion behind the goal with a strike from long distance, Craig Bellamy's free-kick failed to beat the massed defensive ranks and Glen Johnson's cross-turned-shot had Brad Friedel throwing himself to his left to parry the ball.

Suarez's first touch after his 66th-minute introduction was to rob Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the touchline which helped win a corner that Carroll headed straight at Friedel.

Suarez was then booked for booting Scott Parker square in the midriff as he tried to volley a ball dropping in the area.

Carroll should have put his side in front with 16 minutes remaining when Martin Kelly's cross dropped to him but he blasted his half-volley into the Kop.

Martin Skrtel was booked for a studs-up challenge on Bale despite connecting with the ball and not the player, who had Spurs' best chance of the game five minutes from time when he was put clean through. Reina did enough to block his initial shot and the danger was cleared.


From Belfast Telegraph