One Small Step In The League... Still A Giant Leap Left For Roy Though...
Skrtel celebrates with Nando after the number 9 nets the winner...
Liverpool yesterday managed to bring their games won tally up to two in the Premier League, finally catching up with the amount of court cases they have won in the last month. The 2-1 win over Blackburn still leaves a lot to be asked and there's certainly many more steps to clamber up on this elongating ladder, but there were many positives to be taken from the clash with Sam Allardyce's boys, mainly the fact it actually looked like a side that wanted to go out there and get three points.
Fair play to Roy, the side he fielded despite having injury problems was a good one. Gerrard was played in a preferred position behind Torres. Meireles and Lucas made the centre with Cole and Maxi on the wings. Carragher, Konchesky, Skrtel and Kyrgiakos made up the defence with Reina in goal.
Although Roy's choice of starting XI was pleasing, he's not out of my cross-hair's sight yet, i can't easily forget the worst start to a Premier League season i have ever seen at the club, i can forgive but as with any route of forgiveness, it's going to take a lot of proving your worth. Unfortunately, i still have my doubts but we'll see.
The main highlight of course from Roy's chosen line up was the missing Christian Poulsen. No offence to the lad, he's a professional and i'm sure some clubs would be happy with his services but for Liverpool? Well he just hampers our set up for me, he causes more bad than good just by being selected, whether he has a good game or not. So without turning this into an "I Hate Poulsen" narrative, i just thought it was important to notice that although it was a minor change, the placing of Poulsen on the bench was a clever move before the whistle had even been blown.
Liverpool began the game with a good tempo and straight from the off almost seemed filled with a brand new attitude. Maybe the relegation zone takes it's time to settle in to footballers heads but for whatever reason yesterday it was clear they were sick of hanging around down the bottom of the table and fancied a change of surroundings.
Raul Meireles was one of the first to make an impression on the game when his shot from inside the area was sent wide. I was bloody annoyed with Meireles! Don't get me wrong i was right pleased with his performance but he couldn't soddin' net one of his three early chances could he?! Took a punt on him for first goalscorer and didn't really fancy my chances to be honest, twas only for 12quid too but when he set up camp inside the Blackburn area i was already celebrating my winnings at one stage! Never mind ay?...
Quite surprisingly i thought Liverpool were allowed to continue their lively start without much pressure from Rovers. Being a Blackburn side managed by Big Sam you would have thought they'd of set out to get stuck in at Anfield but unlike in previous games against the Lancashire side where it was tough to break them down and get through the midfield, we found the total opposite.
Neither side managed to put one in the net first half but it was fair to say that the Reds looked the more likely to do so should they come out with a similar game plan second half.
All Blackburn had to fall back on in terms of efforts in front of goal first half was an off target shot from Givet, they didn't look a threat at all at this stage.
Liverpool made sure to capitalize on a poor looking Blackburn side 7minutes into the second half when Sotirios Kyrgiakos who had already come close from corners in the first half, sent one off his noggin into the back of Paul Robinson's net collecting a deflection on the way. Although the Greeks header would have made it 1-0 even without the interference.
For roughly £1million i think Rafa paid for him, there's no arguments here i think when i say he has been a bargain. He's superb in aerial battles, barely ever seen him lose one. Not too pacey of course but can read attacking players well and just like good old Hyypia can get you a decent goal tally if you push him up for the corners. Quality.
So something Liverpool fans had almost forgotten about... Joy. Anfield went berserk when the Reds finally put themselves ahead in the game.
As has been so predictable of late though, things were not going to stay so sunshine filled for too long at Anfield. Just under three minutes later and a rather embarrassing goal conceded would mean Liverpool were back to square one.
An attempted clearance ended up smacking Jamie Carragher in the face and then going into the net. Hilarious to look at but damn well irritating when you could just feel it all going wrong yet again for Liverpool.
Jamie Carragher of course wasn't too fussed with his goal, brings his tally up to a nice 7 now i think, second highest in the league and i think the most goals scored against Liverpool for him compared to any other player in the league at the moment. Not bad going that. Just another day at the office i suppose for the loveable scouse.
Thankfully Liverpool were not going to be kicked while they were down and the equalizer from Blackburn did not dampen anyones spirits. If anything it gave the lads another spark and just after 50minutes the Reds took the lead.
A good ball in from Joe Cole was met by none other than Fernando Torres who converted from close range. It wasn't a spectacular goal from the Spaniard but it didn't matter. For Liverpool fans just seeing him back on the score sheet was more than enough. As the Torres bounce echoed around Anfield, the boys still had 40minutes or so to hold out.
A lively period after the second goal was unfortunately not fruitful. The Reds were looking like a totally different side for a good 15minutes or so and with crosses being whipped in by the minute from the wings it looked like Liverpool might have a case for increasing their goal difference here.
However the lease of life appeared to fizzle out and before we knew it we had a dangerous few moments to deal with from Blackburn as Roy Hodgson looked to see out a win for only his second time in the league as Liverpool manager.
The boys made it to 90minutes and for the first time this season it was a deserved win and a fan pleasing performance. It's clear there is still a long way to go but i'll take anything positive after the last few months Liverpool have had. With Bolton up next away for Liverpool and then Chelsea at home, we definitely needed a win on the cards. It would be nice to chalk up another 3 points against Bolton in preparation for a likely Chelsea defeat but i still don't have much confidence in the side at the moment.
Here's to being proven wrong.