Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Liverpool 0
McCarthy abandoned his usual policy of playing with a 4-4-2 formation to include Michael Mancienne as an extra midfielder with Kevin Doyle operating as a lone striker.
It was a move that Liverpool struggled to get to grips with. Wolves dominated the game in terms of chances created and they will ultimately feel they should have won the match.
While they again failed to score for the fourth successive Premier League game, the draw did at least end a run of three successive defeats.
Liverpool took their points tally from their recent run to a healthy 11 from the last 15 but the display will have done nothing to ease the continued scrutiny on manager Rafael Benitez.
They never seriously tested keeper Marcus Hahnemann and, with a little more devilment in front of goal, Wolves would have recorded a famous victory.
Liverpool were boosted by the return skipper Steven Gerrard after he recovered from a hamstring strain but the England midfielder struggled to impose himself on the game.
Benitez's team could easily have been trailing at the interval as Doyle stabbed his 33rd-minute close-range shot just wide after a powerful run down the left wing by Matt Jarvis.
Jarvis was again Liverpool's tormentor ten minutes later with another neat run and cross. This time he picked out Kevin Foley at the far post only for the Republic of Ireland international to see his header saved by Pepe Reina.
Not even a half-time pep talk by Benitez could turn around his team's fortunes as Wolves continued to probe for an opening.
After Maxi Rodriguez had driven wide in the 52nd minute, Wolves took charge with Doyle again to the fore. He fired just over the bar after 57 minutes and then had a header saved by Reina 60 seconds later.
Reina then had to dive bravely at the feet of Foley on the hour as he closed in on goal following a neat flick by Doyle as the elusive goal proved beyond Wolves.