Liverpool 0-0 West Ham: Hammers earn FA Cup replay
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 31/01/16 2:03pm
A blunt Liverpool attack failed to break down West Ham in a goalless FA Cup fourth-round match at Anfield on Saturday evening.
Hammers goalkeeper Darren Randolph denied Christian Benteke twice and Joe Allen once as the Reds pushed for a winner late on, but a much-changed Liverpool line-up lacked a cutting edge.
Enner Valencia wasted West Ham's best opportunity after 16 minutes, the forward miscued his header when left unmarked in the Reds box.
The away side were forced into two first-half changes as Cheikhou Kouyate and James Tomkins were both forced off, and West Ham had a penalty appeal turned down when Steven Caulker appeared to handle in the box midway through the second half.
After hitting five past Norwich at Carrow Road, the Reds have now been held scoreless in back-to-back games while their struggles at Anfield continue. Klopp's side have managed 75 shots on goal in their last four home matches, but have scored just three times, all against League Two Exeter in their third-round replay.
Having played eight games in 2016 already, Klopp made 10 changes from the shoot-out victory over Stoke as only Simon Mignolet kept his place, and the Reds looked disjointed in a sluggish first half.
Slaven Bilic made five changes himself, and his side started the brighter, carving out the first opportunity for Valencia.
The West Ham striker found himself free seven yards out after Dejan Lovren was caught underneath the flight of Aaron Creswell's cross, but Valencia mistimed his jump.
Liverpool were made to wait until the 21st minute for their first meaningful attempt on goal, as Christian Benteke's near-post flick was cleared off the line, although it looked to be drifting just wide.
The Hammers had a half-hearted penalty appeal turned down by referee Martin Atkinson midway through the half as Kouyate's header struck Brad Smith on the arm, before West Ham were hit by a double injury blow.
Tomkins clashed heads with Joe Allen that required 12 stitches with ten minutes to play, before Kouyate limped off just three minutes later.
In between the two substitutions, Cameron Brannagan tested Randolph with a stinging shot from 25 yards that the goalkeeper, standing in for Adrian who returned to Spain to attend the birth of his first child, tipped around the post.
Brannagan hit the wall with a free-kick on the edge of the Hammers box shortly after, but the visitors ended the half on top as Pedro Obiang guided a volley narrowly wide.
And they had a stronger case for a penalty five minutes into the second half as Jelavic's header appeared to strike Caulker on the arm, but Liverpool survived to hack clear.
Klopp's side improved as Allen and Benteke both squandered presentable opportunities, while Joao Teixeira kept Randolph involved, drawing a stop with a firm strike from just inside the box having been teed up by Jordon Ibe.
The West Ham 'keeper then produced three smart saves in quick succession, first denying Benteke after the Liverpool striker was set through before reacting quickly to keep out Benteke again and Allen on the follow-up.
The Hammers responded to Liverpool's flurry and closed the game out on top as substitute Michail Antonio caused problems on the break. His long throw was poorly punched by Mignolet, but Valencia went down too easily under pressure from Brannagan.
Antonio struck the post in stoppage time with a header, but referee Atkinson had already whistled for a push on Jose Enrique as both sides settled for the draw in the final stages, and the opportunity to do it all again at Upton Park.
The replay, Liverpool's second in as many rounds, adds another game to an already crowded fixture list for both sides, with the Reds also set to contend with Europa League action and the Capital One Cup final next month.