Chelsea, Liverpool stalemate
Chelsea and Liverpool produced a dour stalemate at Stamford Bridge today in a game that promised much but delivered very little. If Avram Grant thinks his side have a hope of catching up with Man Utd and Arsenal, his out of form strikers better put on their shooting boots soon.
The opening exchanges set the mood for what was to come and provided the sort of attritional fare that has come to typify matches between these sides over the past few seasons.
Chelsea then had a strong penalty claim turned down five minutes later, with Joe Cole going down under Javier Mascherano's challenge.
Liverpool could perhaps claim to have enjoyed the better of the first half with Gerrard the game's most influential player and Crouch the chief goal-threat.
The dire football on display inevitably began to breed frustration. With 20 minutes to go Claude Makelele and Jamie Carragher received a ticking-off from Riley after a minor melee.
With 10 minutes to go Chelsea finally carved out a meaningful opportunity. Mikel John Obi, on as a substitute, chipped the ball over the retreating Liverpool defence, Joe Cole prodded the ball square but Ballack volleyed miserably wide.
Not the sort of game you expect from two of the Premiership's finest, but perhaps Liverpool will head hope the happier side this evening.