(CNN) -- Steven Gerrard returned to Liverpool's starting line-up but he was only able to help the English Premier League side claim a point as they were held to a goalless draw by Wolves on Tuesday.
Liverpool struggled to break down a resilient Wolves defence and rarely tested home goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann as both sides opted for a solitary striker up front at Molineux with chances at a premium.
Gerrard, who had returned earlier than expected from a hamstring problem, was clearly short of match fitness and the Reds captain was unable to have his usual influence on the game.
Spain winger Albert Riera had the best opportunity for the visitors when he lashed a speculative lob from distance which appeared to be creeping under the bar before American goalkeeper Hahnemann produced a one-handed save to push the ball over.
Despite the result Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez remained upbeat and was pleased with Gerrard's return to match action.
"It was positive for us to have Steven back -- you could see he still needs to improve his match fitness but it was not a risk to play him tonight," Benitez told Sky Sports.
"Overall the final pass seemed to be difficult for us and Wolves defended well. You can see the team was working hard and there are a lot of good things for us to take out of the game."
Liverpool are now unbeaten in five Premier League clashes but are three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who eased to a 2-0 victory over Fulham at White Hart Lane, in the race for the Champions League places.
Spurs were searching for a first Premier League this year and took the lead when Peter Crouch took advantage of some uncertainty in the Fulham defence to clip the ball home from close range in the 27th minute.
Harry Redknapp's team were able to double that lead in the 60th minute when David Bentley made the most of a rare start when his free-kick was deflected past Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
Elsewhere, Bolton manager Owen Coyle was given a hostile reception at former club Burnley but came away with a 1-0 win thanks to Chung-Yong Lee's 35th minute strike which rattled in off the underside of the crossbar.
Portsmouth and West Ham remain among the league's strugglers after they played out a scrappy 1-1 draw at Fratton Park.
West Ham took the lead when Younes Kaboul's headed clearance looped in off the chest of Matthew Upson in the 52nd minute before Danny Webber rescued a point for Pompey in the 76th minute when he slotted the ball through the legs of Hammers goalkeeper Robert Green.
Meanwhile Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi scored the only goal of the game to give his side a narrow victory over nine-man Catania in the quarterfinal of the in the Coppa Italia.
Catania goalkeeper Andrea Campagnolo made a string of brilliant saves before Italy international De Rossi broke the deadlock at the Stadio Olimpico in the 74th minute
Stefano Okaka cushioned the ball into the path of De Rossi who drilled it in the bottom corner with a smart left-foot finish as Blazej Augustyn and Giuseppe Bellusci were sent off for the visitors.