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Teams serve up soporific stalemate

Chelsea failed to take advantage of Manchester United’s derby defeat and Arsenal’s inaction with a miserable goalless draw against Liverpool that saw only one shot on target throughout a turgid 90 minutes.

The solitary point leaves Avram Grant’s side three points behind United and five behind the Gunners, who can consider themselves the weekend’s big winners ahead of the visit of Blackburn to buy canada goose coat online the Emirates Stadium tomorrow evening. Liverpool, meanwhile, continue to falter in their search for a Champions League spot and extended their recent poor run of form to one win in seven matches.

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, though the game did briefly spring to life after the quarter-hour mark. Peter Crouch’s slashed half-volley from the edge of the area flew narrowly wide of Petr Cech’s left-hand post after 18 minutes and moments later Steven Gerrard charged down the right channel and floated a cross best canada goose jacket for men toward the striker, but he could only guide a weak effort straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper.

Chelsea then had a strong penalty claim turned down five minutes later canada goose sale, with Joe Cole going down under Javier Mascherano’s challenge. buy canada goose jacket ebay The referee Mike Riley, however, remained unmoved, and the game soon returned to its previous soporific state, a condition it failed to rouse itself from for the remainder of the 90 minutes. With more holding midfielders on the field – three – than central strikers – two – a pitched battle in the middle third was always likely, though 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.

Dirk Kuyt, playing on the right of the visitor’s front three, also can you wash a canada goose parka provided some of the rare canada goose coat 1000 bulbs coupon brighter moments and Crouch headed wide one of the Dutchman’s crosses 10 minutes before the break. Another swinging ball into the box just prior to the interval saw Ryan Babel, a largely anonymous figure throughout the first 45 minutes, pick up buy canada goose parka ottawa a yellow card for a pointless hand-ball. Riley’s half-time whistle came as a relief.

The 22 matches between the sides since 2001 have produced a meagre 38 goals, and that tally would be even less impressive without the 10 goals scored in Chelsea’s 4-1 and can i put my canada goose jacket in the dryer 3-2 wins in 2005. Their seemed little prospect of that goals-to-games ration improving, with the second period beginning in much the same vein as the first ended. A free-kick 25 yards out provided Liverpool with the first opportunity after the interval, but Gerrard hammered Riise’s lay-off into the Chelsea wall.

The Reds were clearly missing Fernando Torres’ spark, energy and pace in attack, while for Chelsea the return of Michael Essien from the African Cup of canada goose coat 1000 calorie diets Nations cannot come soon enough. Frank Lampard, making his first Chelsea appearance since Boxing Day, and Michael Ballack could not match the Ghanaian’s drive in midfield, allowing a relatively comfortable afternoon for Gerrard, Mascherano and Lucas Leiva in the Reds’ midfield.

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 sparked by Ricardo Carvalho’s hefty challenge on Crouch. Minutes later Alex was booked for a cynical trip as Liverpool buying canada goose jacket online looked to break.

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. Three minutes later, Kuyt hooked a lopping cross into the box but Jermaine Pennant, another substitute, headed tamely past Cech’s right-hand post.

Riise than came as close as anyone to breaking the deadlock, with Jose Reina gratefully clutching the left-back’s diving defensive header. The result means Chelsea have still failed to beat any of their ‘Big Four’ rivals under Grant in the Premier League, though they have now burlington coat factory canada goose coat lost only once in their last 32 matches. There can have been few worse spectacles than this in that run.

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