(CNN) -- Liverpool missed the chance to go six points clear at the top of the Premier League after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Stoke.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard shows his frustration after the 0-0 draw at Stoke.
Captain Steven Gerrard hit the woodwork twice in the last five minutes as Liverpool increased their advantage over Chelsea to four points, with the Blues away to Manchester United on Sunday in the match of the weekend.
It was a disappointing performance from Liverpool as they failed to break down a Stoke side that had failed to win in their previous six league games.
However, the point is enough for Stoke -- who also held Liverpool to a goalless draw in their first match at Anfield -- to move out of the relegation zone at the expense of Tottenham.
Stoke should have taken a 13th minute lead when a high, hopeful ball from Amdy Faye found Rory Delap inside the six-yard area, but he only succeeded in blasting a shot against the underside of the crossbar.
The home side did find the net in the 31st minute when Ryan Shawcross got on the end of a cross from Matthew Etherington, on his debut, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.
A dismal first-half display from Liverpool resulted in manager Rafael Benitez deciding to make a switch in the 60th minute, bringing on Fernando Torres -- who is still not completely match-fit after his time out injured -- in a bid to beef up the attack.
His introduction had an effect and Lucas Leiva squandered a great chance in the 68th minute when he failed to test Thomas Sorensen in the Stoke goal with a header at the back post and sent his effort across the face of the goal instead.
Liverpool almost took the lead in the 85th minute but Gerrard's free-kick rattled the crossbar. Then, on the stroke of full-time, his effort came back off the post after a flick-on by Torres.