Blackburn Rovers ran away 3-1 victors against a poor Liverpool outfit, with Martin Olsson opening the scoring and Benjani finding the net either side of the break. A Late Stevie Gerrard goal set up for late drama, but Rovers were just too good on the night
With talks of transfers possibly unsettling the squad, Steve Kean sent out an attacking minded outfit,
An important match for both teams, Steve Kean trying to create some sort of consistency and improve on last weeks performance, whilst Roy Hodgson fighting for his job, ensured that their would be a victor. Chris Samba regained the captaincy, despite continuing rumours about his future at the club.
Liverpool were off to a brighter start in this late encounter. Torres linked up well with Konchesky, who returned a cross into the box, with the Spaniard failing to trouble Mark Bunn, spraying his header wide. Liverpool continued to pressure, with Stevie Gerrard moving the ball well, however the final touch from Ngog, Torres and Cole often went astray.
It was not all one way traffic though, as Blackburn attempted to master the fine art of counter-attacking football. Martin Olsson was the first point of threat, he and Junior Hoillet marshalling the flanks well in an attempt to get the ball to Benjani and MB Diouf. The first chance fell to David Dunn, who scooped a loose ball, volleying it into the stands.
The best chance of the opening quarter fell minutes later. Rovers set up for a long throw, but a short one was taken, with Martin Olsson delivering into the box. The ball evaded the Liverpool defence, however it surprised MB DIouf, who could only get a soft touch on it, Reina claiming with ease. MB Diouf created another chance, but yet again couldn’t finish. A pacy counter by Diouf found the ball switched to Benjani. His attempted shot ricoched sky high, into the path of Diouf, striking it over on the half volley.
30 Minutes in, Olsson was not to be denied. MB Diouf brings the ball down well, and scoots up field. He splits the defence, finding a surging Martin Olsson, the young Swede striking on the run, into the back of the net. 1-0 Blackburn
Rovers then doubled their lead within 10 minutes! Pedersen chipped a long ball into Benjani, controlling with his chest. On the turn, Benjani lashed out, screaming past Reina, and into the roof of the goal, superb touch and strike, 2-0 Blackburn!
Rovers fans were rejoicing, whilst the travelling Liverpool supporters, who had been rather vocal, went quiet, as Blackburn took the 2-0 advantage into the break.
Liverpool came out with attacking intentions early in the second half. Joe Cole found himself further up the pitch, whilst Gerrard was moving the ball quickly, in attempt to breach the Rovers defence line. However when the back 4 were caught out, Mark Bunn would pounce, picking up any ball inches before Torres or Ngog could poke home. Bunn also stood strong, stopping a drilled effort from Cole, and parrying a Torres effort wide.
Rovers hit back, with some superb play down the flank. Martin Olsson played Hoillet out wide, with the young Canadian bamboozeling Englands number one Right back, Glen Johnson and Skirtel, skipping past both with ease in a tight corner, dashing into the box and feeding Benjani, who picked up the second of his night, poking it into the open net. 3-0 Blackburn
As the players celebrated, the Rovers faithful started chanting, You’ll be sacked in the morning, to struggling Liverpool manager Hodgson. You do need to feel for him, as much he is responsible, the players in the red jersey have been abysmal, playing with little passion.
And to some up their night, Torres missed from point blank range, after a delightful through ball from Joe Cole. Olsson made way for Diouf, whilst Dunn made way for Morris.
Liverpool clawed their way back into the game, giving the travelling supporters a glimmer of hope. Dirk Kuyt’s cross found Torres, who’s deflected shot fell to Gerrard, placing the ball in the back of the net. 3-1
Gerrard could of pulled another one back not too long after. Salgado brought down Gerrard in the box, with the Liverpool captain stepping up to take the penalty. However, he fluffed it, skying it to the stands, a relieved Salgado urging his teammates to get behind the ball and prevent further opportunities.
Goulon came on for Benjani to shut things down, and that Rovers did, holding out to triumph 3-1.
Mark Bunn 7
Read the game really well, pouncing off his line when needed and a few fine saves
Michel Salgado 8
He just keeps getting better and better. Tight at the back, racing in to make desperate challenges. Sloppy for the penalty but after a remarkable game, he didnt deserve it
Ryan Nelsen 7
Glued the defence together, moved them around as needed and made several important interceptions
Chris Samba 8
Whether he wants to leave or not, didnt affect his game today. Solid as a rock, and moved the ball fast on the counter
Gael Givet 7
Probably his best game of the season. Limited Joe Cole’s opportunities, and allowed Olsson to focus more on attack
Morten Gamst Pedersen 6
Better performance from Gamst. Still not at his best, but at least he worked hard and made life easier on the back 4
David Dunn 5
Something is not right with Dunny. A real weak point for us at the moment…..
Junior Hoillet 9
Superb. Pacey, tricky, focused. Played like a man on a mission. What an assist for Benjani’s second goal!
Martin Olsson 9
Special performance from Olsson. Starting to regain his form.
The first goal was superbly taken, brought down and volleyed, whilst the second was a real poachers effort, though he was there and finished. Set up Olsson for his goal, a delightful performance.
MB Diouf 7
Tried hard, should of scored 1 of his 2 chances.
Steve Kean- 9
Got it right. Hit Liverpool at their weakest, managed to get a solid defensive effort, and deployed fast attacking wingers. Well Done
Knowing what these guys are like, they probably will pull out of any transfer deal now and say we dont need any players! We beat Liverpool! lol