LIVERPOOL: The return of Luis Suarez after his eight-game suspension was not enough as Liverpool were held goalless at Anfield by hard-working Tottenham in the Premier League.

After a first half of few chances the match improved after the break, with Martin Kelly forcing Brad Friedel into a fine save on the hour mark with a long range effort. Suarez came on as a 66th minute substitute to rapturous applause as he returned after his ban for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

Gareth Bale was played one-on-one with Pepe Reina late on but the Tottenham winger could not capitalise. Andy Carroll and Suarez also missed late chances as Spurs held on for a draw to narrow the gap on leaders Manchester City to seven points, while Liverpool remain in seventh, four points off the top four.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish put a defiant face on yet another home draw. He said: “We’re in a better position than last year. We’ve got a cup final to look forward to and we’re in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Like any team we’d like to convert more chances, but there’s not many other teams that have constructed as many chances as us.

“We’re three-quarters of the way there. The most important thing for us was we were really pleased with the way the team played. We’ve played a lot of top sides here, Tottenham are a top side and we’ve done well.”

Tottenham’s assistant manager Kevin Bond thought the Londoners had earned a hard-fought point. He said: “They made us defend, especially late in the second half and the lads defended really, really well. We just didn’t create as many chances as we’d like to.”