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Thursday, 6 January 2011
BLACKBURN 3-1 LIVERPOOL MATCH REPORT
With a great win against Bolton last Saturday and the start of a New Year, Liverpool were hoping for a better record away from home this year, starting at Blackburn. Blackburn who started the game level on points with ;Liverpool albeit having played two more games, would make it difficult for Liverpool to come away with anything as they are always a physical side.
I couldn't understand why Hodgson changed the team around for this one, after a good win against Bolton I thought the only change would be Gerrard coming in for Meireles. But no, Roy brought in Konchesky for Aurelio and Kyrgiakos for Agger and Cole for Kuyt. I thought Agger and Aurelio played well on Saturday and Kuyt is the type of player needed in games against teams like Blackburn. The only changes I would have made would have been Gerrard for Meireles and Cole for N'Gog, as N'Gog is not strong enough for me and Cole could have played just behind Torres.
Liverpool made an assured start to the match and had an early effort chalked off fo a marginal offside decision. Torres flashed a header close from a Konchesky cross. But then Blackburn started to come into the game and the game became stretched. Pedersen fired a free kick off target for Blackburn and Damien Dunn lashed a volley into orbit. Blackburn should have taken the lead in the 17th minute when Olsson's superb cross found Diouf free on the edge of the six yard box, but he could only bundle the ball into Reina's grateful arms. Then Cole flashed a ball across the face of the six yard box only to see it deflected past for a corner. From the resulting corner, Blackburn broke away with Diouf ending the move with a volley off target. Then with Blackburn looking the more commited side they took the lead in the 32 minute when Dunn's pass found Diouf in acres of space and he then slid a pass behind Johnson for Olsson to run onto and he scored the opener with a low shot through Reina's legs. If Liverpool thought that was a blow it was to get worse 6 minutes later when Blackburn doubled their lead thanks to Benjani who strongly held off Kyrgiakos in the penalty area before turning and blasting a shot high into the net giving Liverpool a massive task. Skrtel should have scored right on half time when the ball broke kindly to him from a corner but he shot wildly. The second half started with Liverpool looking like a defeated team, but they gradually came into it and Gerrard was unlucky when he burst into the box before smashing a shot into the side netting. Then Cole hit a shot straight at Bunn as Liverpool tried to find a way back. But then in the 57th minute Liverpool were hit with a killer goal when Hoilett waltzed around Skrtel and Johnson before cutting the ball back to Benjani to tap in from close range. Liverpool dominated the latter stages as Blackburn looked to hold on to what they had, and Torres missed a great chance as he blasted high over the bar from close range after Cole played him through. Then Cole had a shot well saved from Bunn. Liverpool did get a goal back when Gerrard smashed a loose ball into the Blackburn net with 10 minutes to go, then in 86 minutes Gerrard was brought down in the area by Salgado for a penalty. Gerrard stepped up to take it, but he smashed high into the crowd and Liverpool's chance of a comeback was gone.
Once again like every other Liverpool supporter I was left utterly disappointed, not just with the score but in the way we played. There was such a lack of passion and commitment in the team and Blackburn sensed this and took full advantage as they bullied us off our game. Blackburn got stuck in and they chased every ball and that is why they won the match. Although our defence was a shambles, Carragher is sorely missed for his organising at the back. The space Blackburn had at their first goal was shocking and Kyrgiakos was too easily turned at the second goal. Johnson and Skrtel were a joke at the third goal they way they let Hoilett run past them. The players let the manager and more importantly us the supporters down. Hodgson was at fault too with making so many changes to a winning team and when we were 2-0 down Hodgson brought on a substitute, Agger for Kyrgiakos, I couldn't believe it, a centre half for a centre half when we need goals. I thought Cole tried hard and had a few good efforts and played a couple of nice passes. Torres looked a frustrared figure again. Maxi just didn't look interested and was eventually subbed. N'Gog is not good enough or strong enough and Glenn Johnson can't defend. I just don't know how Skrtel gets a game. Gerrard tried to drag Liverpool back into the game but he had to many passengers to carry. I fear for us on Sunday.
Man Of The Match - Gerrard He was quiet in the first half but he tried to bring us back into the game with some driving runs and a goal, won the penalty before missing the spot kick.