Blackburn Defeats Hapless Liverpool 3-1 at Ewood Park

Blackburn Defeats Hapless Liverpool 3-1 at Ewood Park Full Time, Blackburn 3-1: Liverpool comes forward, but the cross goes for a goal kick, which Blackburn controls forward. Liverpool win it back, but their effort forward is rebuffed, and they are now simply longballing it to the area. Blackburn win it, and Pedersen sits on the ball in tons of space in midfield. Blackburn pass it all the way back. Bunn sends it long, and Liverpool come forward one last time. Blackburn win it in their third, and that is that. Full time, 3-1 Blackburn.

90+2′, Blackburn 3-1: Four minutes of time to be added. Blackburn win a foul in the Liverpool half down the right. They’ll surely take their time with it. They try to take it to the corner, but E. Diouf pushes and is called for the foul. Liverpool send it forward, but Blackburn clear it and Liverpool have to send it back to Reina — which subsequently happens again.

90′, Blackburn 3-1: Liverpool come forward again, though they are now truly running out of time. Babel controls the ball in the corner, and he combines well with Lucas and Johnson, but Pedersen cuts it out in his area and clears. Diouf comes near to a longball, but he is called for offside. Liverpool again come forward, but Kuyt concedes a goal kick in the left side of the area — good defending.

87′, Blackburn 3-1: Gerrard has all the space in the world and runs into the area. He is blatantly fouled, and Gerrard has a penalty. Gerrard has come back with vengeance in the last five minutes. Gerrard puts it over the crossbar. Penatly Miss!

84′, Blackburn 3-1: Blackburn still have a little work to do, and they nearly conceded another counter attack. Liverpool control in their half, but are again taking their time coming forward. Kuyt’s through ball is cut out by Blackburn. The home side wins a throw deep in their own half.   Blackburn clear, and Babel fouls at midfield. Benjani comes off for Goulon.

81′, Blackburn 3-1: Liverpool now have some space to work as Blackburn are letting up, but still, Liverpool don’t look all that urgent. Somehow, though, the ball falls to Torres at the top right of the area off a deflection, and Gerrard finishes perfectly inside the far post. Goal! 3-1.

78′, Blackburn 3-0: Lucas gets a yellow for his incident. Babel to come on for Ngog. Liverpool are still playing as flat as can be despite being down 3-0 — only Joe Cole is really playing decently. Lucas, one would guess, at least is frustrated by the score. Liverpool do send across in, but it goes wide.

75′, Blackburn 3-0: El-Hadji Diouf comes on for Olsson. A Pedersen longball finds Biram Diouf, who is arguably fouled in the area, but the goal kick is given. Joe Cole shoots well from above the area, but Bunn makes a nice save to his left. The rebound goes for a goal kick, as Kuyt can’t keep it. Dunn goes off for Morris. Lucas shows his frustration with a shove.

72′, Blackburn 3-0: Torres makes a nice run forward down the center before laying it to Kuyt to his left at the top of the box. Kuyt’s shot is deflected, and the ball eventually falls to Bunn again. He kicks deep, and Liverpool build again under slight pressure in their half. Blackburn, though, are able to win a counter, and Hoilett takes it all the way down the field. He shoots well wide from the top of the box. Liverpool build from the back, are rebuffed, and build from the back again. Dunn, Diouf and Hoilett again almost combine for a goal, with a low cross just missing the finishing touch.

69′, Blackburn 3-0: Liverpool maintain possession — they are now at least seeing most of the ball and holding it in the Blackburn half. They build from the left, and Kuyt slashes in before reversing the field. Cole sends a nice cross in from the right, but it is headed away. Cole’s second cross goes for a goal kick past the far post. Liverpool get it again after a spell of Blackburn possession, and Johnson sends a cross in — to Bunn. Benjani wins the ball off the goal kick, and he almost finds an open — but offside — Diouf.

66′, Blackburn 3-0: Liverpool continue to display minimal effort — with Torres not even trying to win longballs. Blackburn have space to work and are winning most balls. Joe Cole commits another blatant foul — he needs to be careful. The free kick from midfield, however, finds Reina.  Liverpool bring it up with Ngog, and after a series of passes, they win a throw deep at the right.  After a clearance, Liverpool manage to put together a series of nice passes. Joe Cole flicks it over the defense to Torres, but his volley from close range is too high.

63′, Blackburn 3-0: Liverpool win the ball in their half and again bring it up through Johnson — if only he defended too. Olsson, however, clears the ball for a throw. Johnson, Cole and Gerrard combine down the right, but they allow a clearance. It comes right back to Liverpool, and Johnson wins a corner. Blackburn, though, clear easily.

60′, Blackburn 3-0: Dirk Kuyt comes on for the non-existent Maxi Rodriguez. Liverpool now has 11 players at least. Johnson and Skrtel were completely to blame for the goal, letting Hoilett beat them without much trouble from the corner two against one.  Hodgson looks completely stunned.  The teams are now exchanging the ball harmlessly, and the home fans are singing. Liverpool doesn’t look to have any particular resolve at the present.

57′, Blackburn 3-0: Liverpool are having the better of the ball thus far, but they have a long way to go. Blackburn maintain a short spell of possession, but they casually give it back to Liverpool near Reina. He kicks it long and finds Torres — who flicks to an offside Cole. The ball is exchanged in midfield and Blackburn come down the right. Hoilett beats two defenders at the touch line and sends a pass to Benjani who scores the tap in. Goal! 3-0. Benjani! Terrible defending.

54′, Blackburn 2-0: Daniel Agger replaces Kyrgiakos, who hasn’t been very good, but the change isn’t a tactical one, and is early.  Johnson again runs up the right. He finds Joe Cole, and they combine with Gerrard for a cross. It is cleared back to Gerrard, and the ball falls to Cole. He fires it from the top of the area and hits it well, but it is right at Bunn. The goal kick is sent right back to Bunn for another. The ball is exchanged in midfield, with Blackburn taking a throw slightly into Liverpool’s half. The throw is headed around before Ngog sends it up for Gerrard, but he cannot connect. Cole fouls Pedersen and receives a warning. He gave Pedersen a little kick on purpose.

51′, Blackburn 2-0: Blackburn make an incursion forward, but they are cleared and build from the back. The ball bounces around midfield thereafter and Skrtel throws. Torres makes a run in midfield and is fouled by Dunn from behind. Dunn is given a yellow card for the challenge. Johnson gets it up the right, and it falls to Gerrard with an acute angle, and he can’t finish at the near post.  They keep the pressure on, but Blackburn win a free kick with Johnson appealing the other way.

48′, Blackburn 2-0: Liverpool create a decent chance in the opening moments of the half as a Konchesky cross goes all the way through to Bunn.  Blackburn win a throw down the left, and Pedersen takes it long, but it comes to nothing. Blackburn keep control and combine well down the left.  Pedersen sends a nice cross in, but Reina collects. Blackburn win the ball back in midfield off a Gerrard turnover, but Ngog finds the ball thereafter and makes a run up the right. After a cross, Liverpool throw it in down the left, and cross back to the right to Johnson. His ball in finds Bunn after some dangerous moments.

Half Analysis: There’s very little positive to say about Liverpool’s first-half performance. In midfield, Maxi Rodriguez was non-existent, Steven Gerrard was uncharacteristically uninvolved and Lucas exhibited none of his usual scrappy work rate. Joe Cole, in a rare turn of events, was actually Liverpool’s most creative midfielder, but that’s not to say that he was good — simply that he was involved with a few chances, including a soft cross-goal effort that was Liverpool’s best chance. Torres was uninvolved, disinterested and his turnover in his own half led to Blackburn’s second goal. Ngog wasn’t spectacular, but he was involved and made a few good runs. He can’t particularly be blamed. In defense, Glen Johnson was largely to blame for being absent on the right for both goals, but he was Liverpool’s best offensive player. Neither Skrtel nor Kyrgiakos distinguished themselves, with the Greek international losing out for the second goal. Konchesky wasn’t great, but he made no huge mistakes — except nearly conceding a penalty. Blackburn repeatedly won the ball in midfield, and found space on both flanks thereafter, leading to crosses. They were disciplined in defense. Liverpool has a lot to work on.

Half, Blackburn 2-0: Ngog wins a foul, and Johnson takes it forward. Blackburn can’t clear and concede a corner. Johnson has been great going forward and terrible in defense. The corner falls to Skrtel in the center of the area, abut he can’t keep it down. The goal kick is sent long, but Blackburn win a foul. They bring everybody forward and send it deep, but it is cleared and the half ends.

44, Blackburn 2-0: Torres gets the ball deep down the right and sends a dangerous low cross in, but it is cleared by Blackburn. They win a free kick in their half and take their time setting up. Liverpool win a throw deep in their own side off a clearance down right. Liverpool control the ball, but take their time going forward as well. Eventually, Maxi Rodriguez turns it over and Blackburn counter. Diouf sends it back to Olsson at the edge of the final third, and he sends a shot way off target.

41, Blackburn 2-0: Reina had a chance on Benjani’s shot, but it had great power. The buildup to the second goal began with a Fernando Torres turnover, and now the Spaniard seems tweaked. Liverpool take an effective short corner, but they come up empty at the far post. Liverpool control in their own side, with Blackburn applying some pressure. A ball is sent long for Ngog, and he collects it down the right. Liverpool build up, but Gerrard’s final pass isn’t good.  Benjani wins the clearance, but it is sent far too long down the right for a Liverpool throw.

38, Blackburn 2-0: Reina takes a goal kick, and Liverpool control at midfield. Maxi Rodriguez gets a rare touch down the left, but Blackburn clear. Eventually it falls to Johnson, who sends a great long cross in to Torres, but his header isn’t powerful enough to test Bunn. Liverpool then concede a throw at midfield, but win it back down the right. They give it right back, and Olsson’s cross is collected down the left. Benjani gets it with his back to the goal in the box. He turns and scores on a great shot. Goal! Blackburn leads, 2-0.

35, Blackburn 1-0: Johnson was certainly out of position on the concession. Liverpool give up another dangerous chance off a Hoilett cross across goal. Thereafter, Blackburn keep the pressure on, sending in a wave of crosses. The ball is exchanged in midfield before Torres is called for a foul on a 50-50.

32, Blackburn 1-0: Goal! Diouf chests it down off a clearance down the left in midfield and sends it up to a wide open Olsson. He runs in and beats Reina between the lefs from the left.

30, 0-0: Liverpool control in their own half, but they send it back to Reina who kicks it deep. Liverpool then win it in midfield and Cole passes it to Ngog at the top of the box, but he loses out and Blackburn again counter, but Johnson cuts out Hoilett’s cross. Liverpool control at the back, and slowly bring it up the right. Ngog and Lucas combine in a 1-2, and the Brazilian gives it to Cole at the top of the area for a shot, but his effort is deflected high.  Gerrard’s corner is dangerous, but Blackburn clears.

27, 0-0: Liverpool take possession back, but they let Blackburn take it and break down the left, but the cross sent in is cleared easily and Liverpool take control. Dunn commits a foul on Gerrard off the clearance, and the referee isn’t pleased. Reina kicks down the left for a Blackburn throw, but Liverpool control and send it back to Johnson on the right. He sends it to Cole in the box down the right, and Cole nearly scores on a low effort to the far post. Liverpool win a corner, but it leads to a dangerous counter. Benjani and Diouf link up, but Diouf blasts the volley way too high.

24, 0-0: Blackburn take it down the right, but they concede a throw in the Liverpool half. A ball is sent over the top for Torres, but it is slightly too high and he cannot bring it down. The goal kick is sent long and Blackburn control — building from the back. The ball is sent long down the left, and Johnson wins a foul in the pursuit.  Still, the ball is given back for a Blackburn throw at midfield. Liverpool win it back and bring it forward down the left. A deep pass to Ngog is cut out for a Liverpool throw, but Konchesky gives it right back.

21, 0-0: Blackburn again win possession in midfield, but they squander it again in the final third. A Reina goal kick is headed on well by Ngog and Torres has a chance to chase, but it comes to nothing.  The ball is exchanged in midfield, but Ngog commits a foul.

18, 0-0: Blackburn take another throw down the left — they’ve begun to have the better of the possession. They are forced to retreat, but they maintain possession. The ball is sent in for Biram Diouf, but he cannot connect — another dangerous moment. Liverpool have a chance to go forward, but they give it back and Blackburn go forward. Konchesky is forced to make a dangerous challenge down the left — arguably fouling Hoilett in the box.

15′, 0-0: Ngog makes a nice run slashing into the center, but he is cut out at the last minute. The ball comes down the other way quickly, and Reina experiences a dangerous moment off a nice Olsen ball. They manage to clear, and after a short spell of possession, the ball ends up in Bunn’s hands. His goal kick falls to Liverpool, but they lose it in midfield and Blackburn come forward. Johnson concedes a throw down the left. The throw is again taken long, and it falls to Dunn, but his shot is high.

12′, 0-0: Blackburn control off the clearance, but can do little with it initially — bouncing the ball around midfield. They thereafter win a throw down the right again. The long throw again proves effective and rattles around, but Reina collects. The ball then finds it way all the way to the keeper at the other end — Bunn. Blackburn win a set piece down the right, but Pedersen takes it past the far post — a poor effort for a good kick taker.

9′, 0-0: Glen Johnson wins a free kick in the Liverpool side — taken by Reina and won by Liverpool in the forward half. Liverpool combine on some nice passes down the right with Cole and Gerrard, and Blackburn concede a corner. Gerrard’s corner is cleared back to the captain, and Liverpool win a throw.  Johnson crosses in, but his effort is cleared, and Rovers have a chance to break. Hoilett brings it down the right and wins a throw deep in the Liverpool side. Blackburn throw it long and it rattles around the area before being cleared.

6′, 0-0: Reina kicks long, and the ball is eventually collected by Glen Johnson, who sends a through pass to Torres down the center, but he is offside — barely. He would have scored not for the quarter step. Liverpool get the ball back off the goal kick, but Blackburn manager to intercept, and give it right back.  Eventually, Liverpool have a chance to build down the right, but Ngog loses out for a Blackburn throw. Liverpool win it, and Torres makes a run and sends it to Konchesky wide. Konchesky crosses and finds Torres in the area, but his header is off target.

3′, 0-0: Blackburn begin with the ball, but after an exchange in midfield, the ball was sent wide to Glen Johnson who put a low cross through the area all the way to Maxi Rodriguez on the left. After setting up the offense, Torres looked for Ngog with a quick through pass, but Ngog tripped due to the wet conditions. Blackburn go forward thereafter and win a series of throws on the left. The rain does seem to be a significant factor thus far. Blackburn crosses to the right, and Salgado sends a cross from the side of the area to behind the net.

2:50 p.m.: It’s interesting to see that Daniel Agger is starting on the bench after his repeated “play me or sell me” pleas this week. Apparently, Roy Hodgson didn’t get the message — or doesn’t care.

2:30 p.m.: Lineups are as follows.

Liverpool

Pepe Reina (25), goalkeeper
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Sotirios Kyrgiakos (16), center back
Paul Konchesky (3), left back
Glen Johnson (2), right back
Lucas (21), midfielder
Steven Gerrard (8), midfielder
Joe Cole (10), midfielder
Maxi Rodríguez (17), midfielder
Fernando Torres (9), forward
David Ngog (24), forward

Substitutes

Milan Jovanovic (14)
Martin Kelly (34)
Peter Gulacsi (42)
Christian Poulsen (28)
Daniel Agger (5)
Ryan Babel (19)
Dirk Kuyt (18)

Blackburn Rovers

Mark Bunn (13), goalkeeper
Christopher Samba (4), center back
Ryan Nelsen (6), center back
Gael Givet (5), left back
Míchel Salgado (27), right back
Morten Gamst Pedersen (12), midfielder
David Dunn (8), midfielder
Martin Olsson (3), midfielder
David Hoilett (23), midfielder
Mame Biram Diouf (41), forward
Benjani Mwaruwari (21), forward

Substitutes

Josh Morris (33)
Grant Hanley (31)
Aaron Doran (19)
Amine Linganzi Koumba (14)
Herold Goulon (26)
Frank Fielding (34)
El-Hadji Diouf (10)

8 a.m.: As inconsistent as Liverpool has been thus far this season, their ups and downs can barely be compared to Blackburn’s. The Rovers have not produced two-consecutive identical results in nine-straight matches, dating back to back-to-back wins on Nov. 6 and Nov. 10. In the process, they’ve drawn only one match, and they conceded seven goals in a thrashing at Old Trafford.

Liverpool’s spree of uneven results is almost as long — spanning eight matches — dating back to a three-game winning streak from Oct. 24 to Nov. 7. Their last match, though, was a late victory — sealed by an injury-time clincher by Joe Cole.

For Roy Hodgson to ensure his job security, however, he may have to continue his winning spree, especially as the transfer window is open.

Liverpool will be without Raul Meireles for the match, and it is possible that Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres could rest given the upcoming busy schedule. Still, Liverpool will have to put out a strong side against 12th-place Blackburn, who typically play far better at home than on the road.

The Rovers will see the returns of captain Christopher Samba and Michel Salgado, but they will still be quite short-handed — missing Brett Emerton, Paul Robinson and Nikola Kalinic.

Liverpool could move from ninth to eighth in the table with a win.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. Lineups will be posted prior to the match.

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