A Story Of Wasted Chances

Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw at Anfield last night and no matter how you look at it you can't help but feel that result is unsatisfactory. With a generally strong 11 fielded, numerous chances and an opposition that shouldn't have really posed much of a threat it is no wonder many a fan is more than disappointed.

Along with the run of results in the league, the situation of Champions League qualification and just general bad luck it appeared that things couldn't get much worse for Liverpool and Birmingham City at home was the ideal fixture to start the league turn around.

13 minutes in and after David N'Gog's persistence, eventually he drives the ball past Joe Hart with a superb effort. The ball is crossed in by Riera, N'Gog connects perfectly and smashes the ball into the roof of the net.

So after starting positively and getting on the score sheet early on in the game, the positivity seemed to be heading back but as you can guess, the script simply wasn't as simple as that. Despite the constant pushing of the lads, Benitez puts the ball past Reina with a close range header after the defence dealt pretty badly with the incoming free-kick. Unfortunately this will only add to those critics of the "Zonal Marking System" and also adds to our tally of goals conceded from set pieces.

Not the ideal situation to be in but still completely in our hands. At home to Birmingham when the scoreline reads 1-1 you would be foolish to not expect a winner from the boys.

So with half-time looming it is clear that it would be very nice to go into the second half at 2-1. Responding to this were the chances from N'gog, Kuyt, Mascherano, Skrtel, Lucas, Riera and Agger but not one of these chances were successfully converted.

Missed chances are becoming more and more in unison with the name Liverpool FC so far this season and boy is it becoming more and more important that we actually take them Dot on half time and Birmingham take the lead, a stunning shot from Jerome who sends his effort home from more than 30 yards out.

So we enter the dressing room subject to being a goal down, with the collection of chances from Liverpool in the first half it is amazing that the scoreline is not something totally in contrast. 45 minutes to get two goals, no two ways about it, Liverpool needed 3 points and Birmingham should not be allowed to stand in their way.

Second half and after Riera was forced into being substituted due to injury, Steven Gerrard would be on for the whole 45 minutes. There is always a sense of relief when Steven Gerrard steps on to the pitch, if anyone can encourage a well needed turn around it is the skipper.

Chance after chance refuses to find the back of the net as Liverpool continue the second half in a similar fashion to the first 45 minutes. With the clock steadily ticking down the nerves begin to kick in and the pressure is on.

70 minutes and Liverpool find themselves in receipt of a penalty. David N'Gog goes to ground in the area, unfortunately his trip to the grass was in fact on his own behalf. Whether he skipped the tackle or did actually dive is a different question but Lee Carsley was certainly not to blame.

Steven Gerrard secures the equalizer with a typical cool and calm spot kick. With enough time remaining all Liverpool had to do was net the winner, but as we had seen throughout the game, aside from the N'Gog effort very early on scoring appeared to be a difficult task today.

Aquialni makes his appearance with less than 10 minutes to go and the hunt for the winner is now well and truly on. The hunt however proved unsuccessful and as the final whistle is blown Gerrard's reaction paints a thousand pictures for every fans inner feelings.

Liverpool now sit still in 7th place, 19 points,11 points behind top spot, but thankfully only 3 points behind fourth. It is becoming more and more apparent that this season is actually going to consist of a strive for 4th spot and securing that Champions League place.

After the success of last season with essentially the same team that has now been improved nobody was wrong to be positive about this campaign, but with this very bad start it is going to take a large series of unfortunate events for Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal along with a big barrel of luck for us to be in with even a glimmer of hope this season. However i have always been a strong believer in Maths and Science and until that calculator says the challenge is impossible i refuse to put my head down.