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Reading 0-0 Liverpool Match Report

14 Apr

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Reading 0-0 Liverpool Match Report

Liverpool left the Madejski Stadium frustrated after missing numerous chances to win the match against a Reading side fighting for their Premiership survival.  Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was the main reason why Liverpool failed to find a winning goal as he produced numerous saves to keep the Reds at bay.

The Team

Brendan Rodgers made just the one change to the side that started against West Ham last weekend, with Sturridge replacing Stewart Downing. The rest of the team included Reina in goal, with Johnson, Enrique, Agger and Carragher in defence. Coutinho, Lucas, Gerrard and Henderson were the midfield with Suarez in attack.

The Match

Prior to kick-off Reading paid an emotional tribute to the 96 Liverpool supporters who died at Hillsborough ahead of Monday’s 24th anniversary of the disaster with a minute’s silence.

Liverpool dominated possession in the early stages of the match without creating any chances until the 14th minute, when Coutinho split the Reading defence with a clever pass sending Suarez through on goal, but the striker’s dinked finish past McCarthy was headed off the goaline by Gunter.

Liverpool continued to press and Sturridge saw an effort blocked by McCarthy before Coutinho’s low curling effort was tipped around the base of the post by the inspired goalkeeper. From the resulting corner, Carragher headed narrowly over.

It was one-way traffic as Reading fought to stay in the game against constant Liverpool pressure. Suarez saw another effort saved by McCarthy before Gerrard volleyed the rebound at the legs of Karacan.

Coutinho blasted high and wide after Sturridge saw his run into the box halted. Then just before half-time Sturridge was denied by a point-blank save from McCarthy following a corner before Agger headed inches past the wrong side of the post.

Liverpool finally put the ball in the Reading net moments after the re-start when Coutinho flicked home a Gerrard centre, but his effort was ruled offside.

The second half continued in the same pattern as the first half with Liverpool continuing to create chances. Rodgers introduced Downing for Jordan Henderson for the last half hour as his team continued to search for the opening goal.

Coutinho then skimmed an effort wide of the far post after a Sturridge cut-back. But Reading almost stole the lead against the run of play when Pogrebnyak’s centre found Hunt only yards out but Reina made a stunning point-blank save to keep the score level.

Reading called Reina into action again when McAnuff’s 12 yard drive had to be tipped over the bar by the Spaniard as the hosts enjoyed their best spell of the game.

But it wasn’t long before Liverpool were back on the attack as Suarez saw a great effort from a free-kick clip the outside of the post before Downing drilled a shot off target after cutting in from the right flank.

Liverpool continued right to the end in search for the winning goal but they were left bewildered by the form of Reading keeper McCarthy as he pulled off stunning late saves from Gerrard and then Suarez before Sturridge fired over the bar when presented with a great chance as Reading held out for a share of the points.

Summary

Another frustrating day for Liverpool as Reading somehow managed to keep Liverpool out. Frustration has been a common theme this season as Liverpool must be left wondering how they never managed to win this match. A catalogue of missed chances including poor finishing and outstanding goalkeeping from the inspired McCarthy led to Liverpool’s frustration as they continue to search for the recipe of consistency in their results. But many positives must be taken from the game as the drive and determination to get that vital goal right up to the final whistle was encouraging as the players showed great attitude in creating so many chances. Another clean sheet was another positive to take from the game. Gerrard’s energy to drive his players on was inspirational as he proved once again that he has a few miles left in his tank yet. But overall another disappointing result for Liverpool and the search for consistency continues.

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