Blues fail to fire for Benitez
Rafael's first game as Chelsea coach ends in a goalless draw against Man City
There were no goals but no shortage of goalmouth action as the return of Brendan Rodgers produced a lively 0-0 draw between Swansea City and Liverpool yesterday.
The former Swansea manager saw his Liverpool side fashion half a dozen genuine opportunities against a Swansea team who were equally inventive.
In the end, it was a case of close but not close enough as the sides shared the points at the Liberty Stadium.
Thankfully, the pre-match handshakes passed without incident, too.
Swans captain Ashley Williams criticised Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in a book that was released this week but he shook hands with the Uruguayan prior to kick-off.
The early exchanges belonged to Swansea, with Pablo Hernandez and Michu posing one or two problems for a Liverpool side who came into the game as one of the division’s under-achievers this term.
That said, it was Liverpool who had the first genuine opportunity. Suarez was foiled by Chico Flores and, when the ball broke to Raheem Sterling, the 17-year-old scuffed his shot.
A Glen Johnson header from a Steven Gerrard corner sailed harmlessly over, before Pepe Reina was called into action to push aside a smart strike from Wayne Routledge at the other end.
The best chance of the opening quarter, however, came in the 17th minute when Jose Enrique failed to find the target from six yards after a pin-point centre from Johnson.
It was certainly living up to its billing as a game for the football purist. Both sides played through midfield with both team’s players comfortable on the ball under pressure.
Suarez failed to connect with a whipped cross from Enrique and moments later, Martin Skrtel cut out Leon Britton’s cross with Michu waiting to pounce on the penalty spot.