"We Prefer To Talk On The Pitch."
I didn't realise Allardyce was German...
Was easily my Rafa Benitez quote of the day for yesterday. There is nothing more satisfying as a manager of a winning side, and nothing more dissatisfying as a manager of the losing side, when as the loser you come out before hand, running off things such as Liverpool are fatigued, they have been "digging games out" etc in an attempt to dislodge the victory train.
As Benitez's quote suggests though, it was the manager on the winning side that had the last laugh. The tension between our Gaffa and Big Sam is continually growing and I'm afraid the ex Bolton manager is simply no match for our rather clever and brilliantly subtle sarcastic Spaniard.
With Skrtel out through injury, there was an open space left in the back four. Mascherano was somewhat surprisingly chosen at right back, although we have witnessed him have a successful stint here earlier in the season when a sending off shook up the formation.
Aurelio had started at left back with Agger and Carragher again finishing off the list. Maxi, Gerrard, Lucas and Benayoun were the midfield men and the two up front were the Dutchman Kuyt and fresh back from injury Fernando Torres.
We started the game rather comfortably with some good footwork from the likes of wing men Maxi and Benayoun. With Gerrard starting this one in the heart of midfield and not behind Torres we were also seeing those aspects of Gerrard that are sometimes missing when he is pushed into a more forward role.
The effectiveness of Gerrard was made even more present when he found himself netting our first goal.
Yossi Benayoun with one of his now infamous untidy but extremely rewarding runs headed into the box, he then tee'd up Steven Gerrard who with his first touch took the ball to the far left when he then swooped the effort into the Blackburn goal.
You could see how much it meant to him by his rather strange but very passionate celebration in front of the fans. This has again raised the big question of where should Steven Gerrard start?
(Just out of interest, does anybody know the last time we scored before the 20minute mark? Statmonkeys?)
Shortly before half time and the Blackburn penalty, unfortunately Fabio Aurelio found himself hobbling off the pitch to be replaced by Emiliano Insua. It is feared that he has torn a muscle and will probably be out for some time. Horrible to see because he has only recently returned and he's a great talent, wish him a speedy recovery.
Jamie Carragher is not always the most discreet person in his football and when he tries to do something "on the sly" he is constantly caught out. After he found himself on the floor in the penalty box and noting that there were a few blue and white shirts around, it appeared he deliberately handled the ball to prevent it from reaching an attacking player.
I've watched the replay a few times now and to be honest, he does look as though he is up to no good. Maybe it was slightly harsh as many have said he was still focusing on the fact that Blackburn feet were flying around but i don't think there is too much to complain about.
Keith Andrews scored the penalty for Rovers and although Reina went the right way, he could not prevent the ball from going into the back of the net.
Just as you think, well we can go into half time at 1-1, come back out and then finish the game, Fernando Torres decides he has other plans.
After his first attempt comes to no avail the ball finds its way out to an already forward pushing Maxi Rodriguez. Fernando Torres as the natural striker that he is, remains focused and stays central, Maxi whips in a great pass which Torres then buries. 2-1.
There is one thing with Fernando Torres that he made clear when we first signed him, he needs no such thing as "time", he does not need to "settle" he does not need to "adjust", whether it is changing leagues or coming back from injury, the minute he steps back onto the pitch is the minute you can refer to him as a lethal threat for any opposing side. Simply world class.
We have missed his ability to finish things off i feel and as Carragher has said today, let's hope he comes back from his Spanish duty in good shape.
The second half, although it contained no goals, it did contain numerous examples of Blackburn playing dirty, quite clearly through frustration.
Steven Nzonzi for a starters is a complete and utter thug. Like the spitting Diouf he is an angry and pathetic man. When he was holding Lucas back and rightly so Lucas was protesting, he got annoyed at the fact that Lucas wanted to make his foolish behavior clear. Lucas was being prevented from playing the ball which in itself is a yellow card on many occasions but when Nzonzi decided to take it one step further and push Lucas in the face, full force until he fell flat to the ground, Wiley still just pathetically handed out a yellow card.
I'm all for football being physical but that was just too far. A pathetic display of pointless anger from a below par player at a below par club.
Not forgetting of course the fact that Maxi Rodriguez was studded in his chest, Reina sustained a shoulder injury, Mascherano was on the receiving end of poor tackles several times. Sam can keep fooling himself into thinking his side did not play dirty but i know what i saw.
Pepe Reina at one stage was looking as though he may not be able to continue. A worrying time for Liverpool fans as we all know how vital he is to the side. The spectacular flying save that the Spaniard made during the 90minutes none more so of a representation of why he is one of the best keepers in world football.
2-1 was what i predicted and for once i was actually right. However i was assuming Blackburn would score in free play, so maybe i don't deserve full credit. An interesting game and thankfully a win. All three points means we remain on the tail of Spurs and City.
Next up: Wigan Athletic.