Liverweb Match Report
Follow on Twitter : @Liverweb
Blackburn Rovers 1 Liverpool 0The Reds slumped to a one goal defeat at Blackburn despite having numerous chances to win the game at a canter. Poor finishing in a dominant first half from the Reds was punished early in the second half when Benni McCarthy scored for Rovers.
The Reds made a change up front with Peter Crouch replacing Dirk Kuyt in the front line.
Rovers got the game started but it was the Reds who were the faster starters. Peer Crouch headed straight at Friedel in the first minute from a good Bellamy Cross.
Crouch was then caught offside on four minutes but failed to beat Friedel anyway.
Robbie Savage had a glorious chance on eleven minutes when he was left free in the box only to head woefully wide of the target when found.
On sixteen minutes the Reds had what proved to be a penalty shout. With Reds fans at the far end of the ground it was hard to see this one more clearly until replays afterwards. Carragher flicked a corner down and Bellamy looked to finish only to shoot straight at Friedel. Later replays showed Savage pulling Bellamy back.
Peter Crouch had another header on goal after eighteen minutes but yet again put it straight at Friedel. If only Crouch could power a header!
Midway through the half with the Reds on top Bellamy roasted his man and got to the bye line. From there he pulled the ball back for a tap in only to find no-one keeping up with him.
Bellamy then hit the outside of the post after thirty four after Riise pulled a cross back for him. The Reds were so on top of the game but had to score now. A minute later Crouch really should have scored but somehow Friedel scurried across the goal to prevent a weak header from hitting the net.
On forty minutes the Reds had yet another chance as Rovers seemed there for the taking. After the first two chances were blocked crouch then shot weakly at Friedel who saved with ease.
The downer at half time was the fact the Reds hadn't managed to score despite being by far the better side. That of course left the door open for Rovers.
Four minutes in to the second half the Reds paid for not scoring when Rovers tore the defence apart. A great little move from the home side saw them get in between Finnan and Carragher before squaring the ball for McCarthy to score.
The goal really seemed to rattle the Reds and for a period they looked woeful. It needed a foot on the ball for a period to take the sting out of the attack.
Dirk Kuyt came off the bench eleven minutes in which was much to the frustration of Peter Crouch - although with finishing like his on the day it was no surprise to see him the striker walking.
As the half progressed the Reds just seemed to lack something but were able to keep attacking. On sixty five minutes though Dan Agger took that one step too far when he punched a ball goalwards from a corner and was duly booked.
On seventy one minutes Xabi Alonso was booked for what was quite a poor lunge which almost started a fight off. Xabi has certainly upped his aggression in the past few games it has to be said.
On seventy three minutes Kuyt saw a good chance saved on the line from Friedel and put out for a corner. Two minutes later Alonso saw a shot graze the outside of the post and go wide.
A series of substitutions followed from both sides which didn't help the flow of the game although from the home side's point of view they didn't care.
As the time woe on as well you started to wonder if the Reds would ever score. On eighty one minutes Garcia was found superbly in the box. He chested the ball down but as he went to volley on goal he fell and the shot proved an easier save for Friedel than it should have been.
At that point I thought thatís it game over and I was proved right even after the Reds were given five minutes added time to try and get back in to it.
All in all this was disappointing because had Crouch in particular converted his chances in the first half then the game would have been done and dusted before half time.
MotM : Steve Finnan - got up and down the line really well given his freer role.
Position at Start of match day - 3 / Opposition Position at Start of match day - 17
League Stats at end of match day
Match number 31 of the season
Domestic Match number 23 of the season
Premiership Match number 20 of the season
Premiership Match number 564 of all time
League Match number 4088 of all time (excludes war time and Lancashire League)
Top Flight League Match number 3660 of all time (includes original Division 1 and Premiership)
Match number 5007 of all time (excludes war time matches and Friendly/Testimonials)
Match number 133 against Blackburn Rovers
Away Match number 68 against Blackburn Rovers
League Match number 118 against Blackburn Rovers
League Away Match number 59 against Blackburn Rovers
Premiership Match number 26 against Blackburn Rovers
Premiership Away Match number 13 against Blackburn Rovers