Goalless at Anfield

Liverpool 0-0 West Ham United

West Ham United climbed back up to 13th in the Premier League table after grinding out a hard-fought goalless draw at Liverpool.

The Hammers produced a resolute, resilient display and could even have stolen their first win at Anfield since September 1963 had Craig Bellamy's 25-yard special gone in instead of cannoning back off Jose Reina's left-hand post. While the Reds unquestionably controlled the game for long periods, United held firm to snatch what could be a vital point on Merseyside. And it could have even been all three had former Liverpool striker Bellamy seen his viciously swerving effort bounce in rather than behind the Spanish goalkeeper and away to safety eight minutes before half-time.

Gianfranco Zola made one enforced change from the side that were victorious at the Stadium of Light, bringing in Hayden Mullins for the injured Lee Bowyer,who had a slight knock from the previous week. Diego Tristan and Mark Noble were both fit enough for places on the bench.

For the opening half-hour, in particular, it appeared only a matter of time before the title-chasing home side turned their dominance into an opening goal.

Twice within the first nine minutes, referee Peter Walton correctly turned down loud penalty appeals after Herita Ilunga had accidentally blocked attempted crosses from former Hammer Yossi Benayoun and Dutchman Dirk Kuyt.

Next, James Collins had to be alert to clear Albert Riera's first-time shot off the line after Robert Green had punched Steven Gerrard's cross into his path. Then having seen Sami Hyypia nod Gerrard's corner on to the roof of the net, Carlton Cole was on hand to hack the Finn's goalbound header clear.

Only 21 minutes had past and West Ham United were bending, but they did not break. 

Having been galvanised by Bellamy's thunderbolt, Zola's team were a more effective attacking force after the interval. Mullins worked Reina with a powerful low shot on the hour-mark, while Cole headed Bellamy's near-post corner a yard the wrong side of the Spaniard's near post seven minutes later.

Attacking The Kop, Liverpool continued to press for a winner but, just as they had against Fulham in their previous home league game, the elusive goal just would not arrive.

The closest they came was on 56 minutes when Green produced a world-class save to deny former team-mate Benayoun.

The Israeli's rising first-time shot appeared destined for the top-corner before the England goalkeeper flung out his right arm and diverted the ball inches over the crossbar.

It was a breathtaking stop and the 28-year-old was at it again with just three minutes remaining, brilliantly denying Kuyt with his legs.

There was still time for substitutes Luis Boa Morte and Ryan Babel to miss half-chances to win the game for their respective sides, but Zola's men clung on for a share of the spoils and earn themselves a thoroughly deserved third consecutive clean sheet.

It is now 273 minutes since Green and his defenders have conceded a Premier League goal and that statistic, combined with the point they brought home from Anfield, will give them yet another huge confidence boost ahead of next Monday's London derby with Tottenham Hotspur.