West Ham United ground out a goalless draw at Liverpool on Sunday afternoon to edge ever-closer to the 40 point mark.

The Hammers travelled to Merseyside looking for a first Anfield victory in half-a-century, and although they were not able to achieve that, they would be satisfied with an excellent draw.

Sam Allardyce's men defended admirably to frustrate their hosts, and they may even have claimed maximum points late on when Jack Collison's header was cleared off the line by Lucas.

Whenever the Reds did manage to break through an outstanding Hammers backline, Jussi Jaaskelainen was there to stand in their way as the Hammers registered their first goalless draw of 2013.

Liverpool's Phillipe Coutinho made a lively start to the game, going close with seven minutes on the clock when, fronted up by James Collins, he shifted the ball onto his right foot and forced a smart low save from Jaaskelainen with a shot from 25 yards.

West Ham's first threat came from Mohamed Diame, who collected possession in space on halfway with 19 minutes on the clock, carried the ball forward 20 yards and let fly with a left-footed drive that was always rising over the top.

Diame went closer six minutes later with an opportunity he created brilliantly by himself. There did not appear to be much on when Gary O'Neil fed him the ball by the corner flag, but he tricked his way past two defenders before proving too elusive for Steven Gearrard and Stewart Downing inside the area, although his eventual shot whistled inches over the crossbar.

The Hammers were doing a good job of keeping Luis Suarez's involvement to a minimum, although with 27 minutes on the clock he did combine neatly with Coutinho near the by-line to get a shot away which Jaaskelainen needed to save with his legs.

Liverpool looked comfortable in possession and were seeing more of the ball, but West Ham still carried a threat and they had a chance handed to them on a plate five minutes later when Lucas was caught as the hosts tried to play out from a goal kick. Carlton Cole had the opportunity, but Daniel Agger got across to block.

The hosts looked to up their intensity at the start of the second period and Steven Gerrard was heavily involved in their attacking play, bursting down the right flank on 53 minutes to deliver a dangerous low cross which Diame touched behind with Sturridge lurking, then bringing a goalline block from James Tomkins two minutes later.

Suarez showed a glimpse of his considerable talents when losing the attentions of Matt Jarvis and James Tomkins with a deft drop of the shoulder before drilling a low cross-shot that fizzed across the face of goal and only just missed the far post.

Coutinho was next to go close, with an angled shot which brushed Guy Demel and flashed across Jaaskelainen's goal on 68 minutes.

12 minutes from time Sturridge found space to try his luck from the edge of the box, but Jaaskelainen held on as Gerrard looked to pounce on any scraps

At the other end the Hammers so nearly nicked it when Collison rose to meet Gary O'Neil's left wing corner. The Welshman's header beat Jose Reina, but not Lucas who was stationed on the line to block and the visitors had to be content with a hard-fought point.

Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson (Assaidi 71); Downing (Sturridge 25), Suarez, Coutinho
Subs: Jones (GK), Coates, Suso, Shelvey, Skrtel

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Collins, Tomkins (Pogatetz 83), O'Brien; Vaz Te (Collison 63), Diame, O'Neil, Nolan (Taylor 63), Jarvis; C.Cole
Subs: Henderson (GK), Maiga, Chamakh, Potts

Booked: O'Brien

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 45,007

Manchester United tickets available now