Luis Suarez's return failed to inspire Liverpool as they were held to a draw by Tottenham in a drab Anfield stalemate.
The Uruguayan returned as a second-half substitute to a rapturous reception after serving an eight-game suspension imposed by the Football Association for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Suarez made an impact three minutes after coming on - but only by earning a yellow card from referee Michael Oliver for a wild kick in Scott Parker's midriff that carried the risk of greater punishment.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp failed to attend the game after his flight from London's City Airport was cancelled, although England coach Fabio Capello was in attendance at Anfield.
In Redknapp's absence, assistant Kevin Bond was in charge as Tottenham attempted to maintain their interest in the Premier League title.
Redknapp will have been delighted by the defensive organisation and resilience shown by his side, but they lacked their trademark attacking threat and it was Liverpool who shaded a dour encounter.
Spurs still had the best chance of the night, however, when Gareth Bale raced clean through with only six minutes left but shot straight against the legs of Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Suarez also had the opportunity to mark his return with a goal when he met Steven Gerrard's free-kick from close range but, perhaps with an element of ring rust, he could only head straight at Spurs keeper Brad Friedel.
Andy Carroll worked hard up front for Liverpool, but his luck was out again in front of goal and he was unable to convert a late chance.
It was a result that served neither side's purpose as Spurs chase the Premier League pace-setters and Liverpool pursue a place in the top four - but it was clear at the final whistle that the visitors were happier with a point.
Redknapp did not miss much in a dull first half - the most noteworthy moment being the appearance of a cat that held up play for a couple of minutes before it was rescued by a steward.
Liverpool created what serious danger there was with Glen Johnson prominent. Spurs keeper Friedel needed to react quickly to block his cross and saved from the England defender with his legs in the final action of the half.
In between, Jay Spearing was only inches away with a swerving 25-yard shot while Parker was booked for a foul on England colleague - and some suggest rival for the captaincy - Gerrard.
Bale, who had been kept quiet by diligent Liverpool defence, was booked early in the second half following a clash with Daniel Agger, who was angry at what he regarded as a dive after a collision near the touchline.
BALE'S UNWANTED RECORD
- Gareth Bale is the only player to have been booked twice for simulation in the Premier League this season.
- Source: Opta Sports
Liverpool continued to keep Friedel occupied while Reina was relatively unemployed, the Spurs keeper diving away to his left to save Martin Kelly's rising shot at his near post after 58 minutes.
Suarez finally made his entrance with 24 minutes remaining, replacing Dirk Kuyt to a standing ovation from Liverpool fans delighted to see the return of the Uruguayan striker.
And he made an impact inside three minutes when he was booked by referee Oliver for delivering a painful kick in Parker's direction that left him floored.
Spurs made a change of their own, sending on former Everton striker Louis Saha for his debut in place of the subdued Emmanuel Adebayor.
Liverpool then created, and wasted, their best chance of the night with 17 minutes left. Kelly's cross landed at the feet of Carroll 10 yards out but he rushed his finish and sent it high into the Kop, much to Spurs' relief.
Spurs final broke through Liverpool's defence with six minutes left as Niko Kranjcar sent Bale through on his own, but his usual composure in front of goal deserted him and Reina made a crucial stop.
Suarez then had a clear opening of his own from Gerrard's delivery but he headed straight at Friedel, to his very obvious disappointment.
It was the final meaningful action as Liverpool were left frustrated by their eighth draw at home in the Premier League this season.
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +4:26
The referee penalises Andy Carroll for handball. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.90:00 +4:13
Steven Gerrard sends in a cross.90:00 +4:03
Unfair challenge on Martin Skrtel by Louis Saha results in a free kick. Daniel Agger takes the direct free kick.90:00 +3:02
Glen Johnson delivers the ball.90:00 +2:23
Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line to the near post, Jake Livermore manages to make a clearance.90:00 +2:18
Centre by Daniel Agger, Scott Parker manages to make a clearance.90:00 +2:02
Charlie Adam produces a cross, Scott Parker manages to make a clearance.90:00 +1:51
The ball is delivered by Glen Johnson, Scott Parker manages to make a clearance.90:00 +1:12
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Louis Saha by Martin Skrtel. Luka Modric takes the free kick.90:00 +0:55
Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Scott Parker gets a block in.89:42
Handball by Luis Suarez. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.89:19
Effort on goal by Luis Suarez from 12 yards. Blocked by Michael Dawson.86:47 Substitution
Substitution Niko Kranjcar goes off and Danny Rose comes on.86:33
Effort on goal by Stewart Downing from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.85:06
Unfair challenge on Charlie Adam by Louis Saha results in a free kick. The ball is crossed by Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.84:48
Glen Johnson sends in a cross, Michael Dawson manages to make a clearance.84:22
Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.83:28
Glen Johnson delivers the ball, Michael Dawson makes a clearance.80:28
Niko Kranjcar challenges Daniel Agger unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Gerrard crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Unfair challenge on Brad Friedel by Martin Skrtel results in a free kick. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Glen Johnson, Andy Carroll has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.78:48
Benoit Assou-Ekotto challenges Luis Suarez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.78:03
Stewart Downing sends in a cross.77:35
Corner from the right by-line taken by Charlie Adam, save by Brad Friedel.77:29
The ball is delivered by Andy Carroll, Scott Parker gets a block in.75:19
Benoit Assou-Ekotto delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, Martin Skrtel manages to make a clearance.75:19 Booking
Booking Martin Skrtel receives a yellow card.75:15
Martin Skrtel concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth Bale.73:44
The ball is crossed by Martin Kelly, Shot from deep inside the area by Andy Carroll clears the bar.73:07
Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line, clearance by Louis Saha.72:29 Substitution
Substitution Stewart Downing replaces Craig Bellamy.71:57
Gareth Bale has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.69:47
Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.69:47 Substitution
Substitution (Tottenham) makes a substitution, with Louis Saha coming on for Emmanuel Adebayor.69:47 Booking
Booking Luis Suarez goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.69:07
Foul by Luis Suarez on Scott Parker, free kick awarded.69:00
A cross is delivered by Craig Bellamy, Ledley King makes a clearance.68:35
A cross is delivered by Craig Bellamy, clearance made by Michael Dawson.67:36
Martin Kelly sends in a cross.66:02
Corner from the right by-line taken by Charlie Adam, Andy Carroll takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.65:06
Michael Dawson takes the free kick.65:06 Substitution
Substitution Dirk Kuyt goes off and Luis Suarez comes on.65:06
Gareth Bale fouled by Glen Johnson, the ref awards a free kick.64:02
Charlie Adam takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Michael Dawson gets a block in.63:40
Jake Livermore produces a cross, save by Jose Reina.60:23
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Adam from the right by-line, Daniel Agger produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.59:31
Steven Gerrard takes the outswinging corner, Jake Livermore manages to make a clearance.58:55
Effort from 25 yards by Martin Kelly. Save by Brad Friedel.56:54
Benoit Assou-Ekotto concedes a free kick for a foul on Dirk Kuyt. Charlie Adam crosses the ball in from the free kick, Ledley King manages to make a clearance.56:34
Effort from deep inside the area by Gareth Bale misses to the right of the goal.55:41
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Luka Modric, clearance by Dirk Kuyt.55:35
The ball is delivered by Luka Modric.53:55 Booking
Booking Gareth Bale is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.52:10
Long range effort by Gareth Bale goes wide right of the net.47:50
Shot from 35 yards by Steven Gerrard. Blocked by Ledley King.45:56
The ball is sent over by Dirk Kuyt, Kyle Walker makes a clearance.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:00 +1:29 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +1:10
Glen Johnson takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.45:00 +0:02
The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard, Brad Friedel makes a save.44:33
Charlie Adam crosses the ball, Michael Dawson makes a clearance.44:13
Centre by Gareth Bale, Jose Reina makes a save.43:44
Luka Modric takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Martin Kelly.43:30
Kyle Walker takes a shot. Blocked by Daniel Agger.41:07
Gareth Bale takes a shot. Comfortable save by Jose Reina.40:31
Centre by Dirk Kuyt.40:10
Glen Johnson crosses the ball, Brad Friedel makes a save. The ball is sent over by Dirk Kuyt, clearance by Ledley King.38:45
Craig Bellamy shoots direct from the free kick, Scott Parker manages to make a clearance.38:45 Booking
Booking Scott Parker is booked.38:22
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard by Scott Parker.37:23
Corner taken by Charlie Adam, Brad Friedel makes a save.37:12
Martin Kelly sends in a cross, Ledley King makes a clearance.36:14
Scott Parker is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Martin Skrtel takes the direct free kick.32:59
Jay Spearing has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.32:02
Dirk Kuyt fouled by Scott Parker, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Emmanuel Adebayor.31:08
Niko Kranjcar takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a save.30:04
Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Dawson on Andy Carroll. Free kick crossed left-footed by Charlie Adam. Dirk Kuyt is caught offside. Brad Friedel takes the indirect free kick.29:17
Unfair challenge on Craig Bellamy by Emmanuel Adebayor results in a free kick. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.28:47
Gareth Bale takes a shot. Blocked by Martin Skrtel.27:23
The ball is delivered by Charlie Adam.27:14
Martin Kelly produces a cross, clearance by Scott Parker.26:20
The ball is sent over by Craig Bellamy, clearance made by Michael Dawson.24:53
A cross is delivered by Martin Kelly, clearance by Niko Kranjcar.19:00
Foul by Benoit Assou-Ekotto on Dirk Kuyt, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Martin Skrtel.15:13
The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson.13:48
Corner taken by Luka Modric, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.13:30
The ball is sent over by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Daniel Agger gets a block in.10:27
The ball is delivered by Kyle Walker, blocked by Glen Johnson.7:10
Craig Bellamy delivers the ball, Scott Parker manages to make a clearance.5:25
Scott Parker challenges Glen Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Bellamy takes the direct free kick. Steven Gerrard takes a shot.3:50
Free kick awarded for a foul by Charlie Adam on Kyle Walker. Michael Dawson takes the free kick.3:24
Luka Modric takes a shot. Dirk Kuyt gets a block in.2:28
Luka Modric takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Steven Gerrard manages to make a clearance.0:21
Handball by Emmanuel Adebayor. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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