The Reds left Ewood Park with only a point after it looked like John Arne Riise had given them all three with fourteen minutes of the game left. The game was very entertaining but one in which the Reds could and probably should have stamped their authority on when they had the ball.
The Reds kicked off attacking the Blackburn end. Within a minute of the start Duff had already managed to whip a cross in and the warning signs were there although they never came to a massive amount most of the night as Xavier played relatively well against him.
It took the Reds eleven minutes to threaten Blackburn and it was Owen who should have done better with the ball. He managed to get his toe to a cross but it was deflected wide for a corner. Within four minutes the Reds were a goal behind thanks to David Dunn. Duff was given time to turn and run at Xavier and despite being pushed wide was allowed to get his cross in and arriving late was Dunn who shot low and hard past Dudek. Rovers went close again two minutes later but the chance was cleared.
Owen was sent through on twenty five minutes but after failing to get the ball under decent control found his shot smothered by the keeper. Andy Cole got himself a yellow card for a poor tackle from behind on Dietmar Hamann. From the resultant free kick, Hamann went sideways to Gerrard who passed forward to Murphy. Murphy flicked the ball wide to Xavier before moving towards the penalty spot where Xavier drilled the ball to and flicked the ball past Friedel for the equaliser which was no more than the Reds deserved as they had dominated possession for a period before that.
The rest of the half was played at high temp but without either keeper being truly tested although Dudek nearly presented a goal to Dwight Yorke as he headed the ball from the edge of his area. Yorke sent the ball looping back over Dudek but also over the bar.
The second half got underway in a very stop start fashion as the referee was stopping the play regularly for free kicks. Eight minutes into the half and the Reds came close to scoring. Good patient build up play from the Reds saw Gerrard eventually feint past his man before sending a menacing cross in. The cross was nearly converted by Riise but he just failed to get a touch on the cross and it went across the goal and out for a goal kick.
The Reds made a double change up front on sixty four minutes when Heskey and Smicer replaced Owen and Diouf. A minute later and it was Rovers who nearly scored through Duff. David Dunn played the ball round the back of Xavier and as Duff was shaping to shoot Henchoz slid in and cleared the ball for a corner.
Then came the Reds second goal of the night. A good move from the Reds was quickly switched to the left and Riise put in a great cross towards Smicer which was cleared for a corner. The resultant corner from Riise was cleared initially. Henchoz picked up the loose ball and fed it down the left to Smicer who picked out riise free at the back post. Riise sent in a looping header past Friedel for the lead. The lead lasted little more than five minutes though.
Rovers made a tactical switch on eighty one minutes when Grabbi replaced Short and Rovers went 433. Within a minute Grabbi forced an opening and fed Duff the ball whose cross evaded everyone to the back. Dunn coming in on the right though sent the ball back in and Grabbi sneaked in unmarked from the edge of the box to head home an equaliser.
Salif Diao was sent on for the last four minutes to make his premiership debut for the Reds but just before he entered the field of play Graeme Souness was sent off the touchline by referee Steve Bennett for foul and abusive language. Both teams had chances late on to snatch victory but neither took their chances and a draw was a fair result.
Overall the Reds will be disappointed at not forcing more from the game especially after going two one up. The midfield played well although Steven Gerrard had a number of passes go astray and the front two had patchy support at times. When the Reds were on top they passed it around well but Blackburn didn't allow this for to long
MotM : Dietmar Hamann - Got through a huge amount of tackles in the game on the night and was always there for the Reds even in attack.