BRENDAN RODGERS returned to the Liberty Stadium for the first time since leaving for Liverpool and watched his new side battle through to a goalless draw with Swansea City.
The Reds extended their unbeaten Premier League run to eight matches this afternoon with the stalemate in south Wales.
Both sides had chances to take maximum points in this tightly contested affair with Raheem Sterling rattling the bar with a volley in the first-half before Ashely Williams had a header cleared off the line by Joe Allen after the break.
Liverpool had created the better opportunities, especially in the opening 45 minutes, though they owed a debt of gratitude to goalkeeper Pepe Reina whose bravery mid-way through the second half denied Nathan Dyer.
The point takes Rodgers’ side up to 11th in the table, extends their unbeaten run and marks a fourth clean sheet of the league campaign.
Swansea started the brighter of the sides but by half-time Liverpool walked off having had the better chances.
The home side forced Pepe Reina to be at his best when Wayne Routledge struck from distance and then went close when Pablo Hernandez curled an effort marginally wide.
Hernandez would fire over the bar as the break approached but Liverpool had defended soundly enough to restrict the Swans to long range efforts.
The Reds on the other hand had continually found in-roads into the Swansea area with Jose Enrique’s effort, off his chest, from Glen Johnson’s cross was the first of a handful of chances they created.
Johnson and Enrique combined again to set-up the England man but his goalbound effort was saved well by Gerhard Tremmel before Luis Suarez had a shot bravely blocked by Angel Rangel soon after.
Rodgers’ men were beginning to build pressure and momentum and Swansea’s resolve so nearly cracked 10 minutes before half-time but the crossbar denied Raheem Sterling scoring from a vicious volley.
The Reds thought they had found the breakthrough when Suarez’s delightful chip to the back post was converted by Enrique but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Liverpool tested Tremmel further after the break when first Steven Gerrard and then Suarez forced the keeper into saves.
And when it was the Reds’ turn to defend smartly they did with Joe Allen denying his old team-mate Ashely Williams, clearing his header off the line.
As the game moved into the final quarter, it was evenly balanced though Liverpool had to be thankful to Reina’s bravery as he raced from his line to deny Nathan Dyer following Stewart Downing’s error.
The Spanish goalkeeper received an accidental boot in the face for his troubles.
Soon after, Reina should have been handed the plaudits for playing a hand in Liverpool’s opening goal but Liverpool wasted their best chance of the game.
Suarez collected the goalkeeper’s punch in space, played a one-two with Sterling but the return pass was over-hit and forced the Uruguayan wide. He got his shot off but the Reds’ counter attack had lost momentum and the effort was saved.
Liverpool had to survive one final scare when Hernandez’s free-kick looked to be creeping in but Reina, at full stretch, turned it wide.
And in one of the final efforts of the match, substitute Jonjo Shelvey made Tremmel pull off a fine save from his long range drive.
SWANSEA (4-2-3-1): Tremmel, Angel, Flores, Williams ©, Davies, de Guzman (Agustien 85), Britton, Hernandez, Michu, Routledge (Dyer 67), Schechter (Sung-Yeung 46). Subs: Cornell, Dyer, Monk, Lita, Tiendalli, Sung-Yeung, Agustien.
LIVERPOOL (4-2-3-1): Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Downing (Cole 77), Henderson (Shelvey 77), Allen, Sterling, Gerrard, Enrique, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Carragher, Coates, Suso, Shelvey, Cole, Shain.
Referee: John Moss
Attendance: 20, 621