Match Analysis: Liverpool 0-0 West Ham United

Luis Suarez skips past defender James Collins on April 7, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at this afternoon's goalless draw between Liverpool and West Ham.

Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by a stubborn West Ham United side this afternoon as the Reds missed their chance to move above Everton in the Premier League table.

Steven Gerrard had a shot cleared off the line in the game's best chance, Joey O'Brien getting back to deny the Liverpool skipper's effort.

West Ham also had a shot cleared off the line as Lucas scrambled Jack Collison's header away to deny the Hammers stealing all three points.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at a frustrating 90 minutes of football for Liverpool.

Match statistics:

Liverpool:
Shots 19
On target 12
Possession 57%
Corners 12
Fouls 8

West Ham:
Shots 10
On target 4
Possession 43%
Corners 2
Fouls 4

Was the result fair?

No. Liverpool dominated pretty much from start to finish, but just couldn't find a way past West Ham. The visitors certainly deserve credit for their defensive performance, and they carried out Sam Allardyce's gameplan to perfection, but Liverpool deserved to win this one. They came close on a number occasions but, considering the amount of possession they had, they didn't create enough gilt-edged chances.

Liverpool's performance

They were far short of their best, but they still outplayed West Ham for large periods of the match. Brendan Rodgers will be happy with how his side controlled the ball and dictated the tempo of the match, but their failure to break West Ham down may worry him. They created plenty of good attacking platforms, but lacked that final pass on a number of occasions, so they only have themselves to blame for not coming away with maximum points.

West Ham's performance

Very disciplined. Sam Allardyce's gameplan was evident from very early on and his side carried it out to the letter. They kept very tight at the back and looked to break in numbers when the opportunity arose. They weren't in the match much as an attacking force, but they were very strong defensively. They looked to be playing for a draw from kickoff, and they will be delighted at having achieved that.

Sports Mole's man of the match

James Collins: Luis Suarez has made a plethora of defenders look like fools in his career, but he simply couldn't get the better of Collins today. Those two had something of a duel though and, in the vast majority of cases, Collins came out on top. He was typically strong when it came to aerial matters and made a few perfectly timed tackles at crucial times too.

Biggest gaffe

It was a relatively gaffe-free game, but Lucas almost made a telling mistake. He was given the ball by Carragher while under pressure, which didn't help him at all, but he proceeded to gift it straight to Carlton Cole on the edge of the box, presenting the striker with a very good chance. His blushes were spared by a fine block by Agger, but it was almost a very costly mistake by the Brazilian.

Referee performance

It wasn't the toughest game for Anthony Taylor to referee, but when called upon he generally did a good job. His biggest decision came when Steven Gerrard went down under the challenge of James Tomkins inside the box, but no penalty was given. It was a borderline decision that could have gone either way, but Taylor must have assumed that the ball had got away from Gerrard.

What next?

Liverpool: Next up for Liverpool is an away trip to the Madejski Stadium to take on struggling Reading.

West Ham: West Ham face Southampton in what has become a mid-table battle following the Saints' recent good form.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers during the match against Zenit St Petersburg on February 21, 2013
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