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Thursday, 13 January 2011
BLACKPOOL 2-1 LIVERPOOL MATCH REPORT
After the defeat on Sunday to Manchester United it was now a trip up to Blackpool for Liverpool as Kenny Dalglish's whirlwind start to his second stint as Reds boss continues, having more games than training sessions with his team has not been the ideal start for him as he tries to get used to his players but he has to get on with it anyway. A very tough first League fixture for Dalglish, especially given Liverpool's poor away record this season. Blackpool who had already beat Liverpool at Anfield earlier this season have been enjoying life back in the top flight. Liverpool knew they would have to compete for everything at Blackpool as Holloway's troops fight for everything.
Dalglish made three changes to Sunday's defeated team by bringing in Poulsen, Johnson and Jovanovic to the side. I like most supporters was surprised to see both Poulsen and Jovanovic start as they have not featured much this season. Johnson playing on the left was another surprise but happy to see Martin Kelly keeping his place after a great performance at the weekend. Poulsen sat in the holding role with Meireles and Lucas in the centre of midfield. Giving license for Kelly and Johnson to get forward.
With the travelling support bouyed by the recent return of Dalglish, they certainly were making themselves heard and they got even louder inside three minutes when Torres gave Liverpool an early lead after a good run by Kelly who slid the ball to Torres who smashed the ball past the helpless Kingson. It was a terrific start for the Reds and typified by the look of delight on Dalglish's face. However this Blackpool side are full of battlers and don't give up on anything. Blackpool responded with an equaliser on 12 minutes when a careless pass by Meireles was picked up by David Vaughan who instantly switched possession to Taylor-Fletcher who slipped past Agger too easily before stabbing the ball past Reina from 10 yards. The game became so open as the game flowed to both ends. Adam tested Reina from the edge of the box as Blackpool were lifted by that equaliser. Then Taylor-Fletcher almost scored from a poor clearance from Reina as he hit a first time effort just wide. Liverpool came back into the game near the end of the half but their best effort being a tame Agger header. Blackpool made the sharper start to the second half as Adam hit a good shot which Reina did well to save. Then Reina made another brilliant save, fingertipping Vaughan's close range effort just over the crossbar. Liverpool almost took the lead when Kuyt crossed but Torres could only smash his volley high and wide. Kuyt and Meireles combined well to fashion another chance but Meireles failed to hit the target. Liverpool were having a better spell in the game and Kuyt's long range curler came close as Kingson tipped the ball around the post. But then on 69 minutes Liverpool were dealt a crushing blow when a high ball into the Liverpool penalty box was headed across goal by Evatt who outjumped Skrtel and the unattended Campbell headed home from close range. Liverpool pushed for the equaliser but never came close, a half hearted appeal for a penalty at one stage but another defeat away from home and Kenny now knows what a task he has on his hands.
I was surprised with the changes Kenny made to his team but they were refreshing, his ideas certainly made for an entertaining game as both teams tried to attack. But where there was plenty of heart in the team there is such a lack in quality. Skrtel and Agger very good on Sunday were more the way I expect to see them playing in this game, not strong or good enough. Agger was so easily beat at the first Blackpool goal and the same with Skrtel at the second. Meireles was very careless at the first Blackpool goal aswell , and I felt Liverpool's passing wasn't good enough throughout the game. But there was a commitment by the team that was encouraging and the Blackpool second goal did come against the run of play as Liverpool were having a good spell. Dalglish needs time to settle but I liked the way he tried to get us attacking more but I'm sure he'll make more changes for the Everton match.
Man Of The Match - Torres - A superb goal from the striker and I thought he worked his socks off all night, more encouraging performance from him.