Maxi Heads Home In Blackburn Draw
|Andy Carroll gets a tackle in...|
Dalglish chose to start Andy Carroll up front with Luis Suarez, something most fans weren't expecting. Maxi was also given the start on the wing and perhaps the biggest news of the day was that captain Steven Gerrard was on the bench for Liverpool.
For the first half, Liverpool had their fair share of chances and once again it was a fluid start from the Reds that appeared to filter out. With Liverpool at the moment, it seems so important to capitalise on the early attacks because when the Reds fail to do so, they begin to struggle for ideas.
During the first half there were chances from Suarez, Adam and Henderson but every time the ball was whipped into the box, the big Christopher Samba was there in the way. Target man Andy Carroll was being dealt with superbly and even when the Geordie had a chance with his feet he was denied by a great save from Blackburn's keeper Mark Bunn.
Andy Carroll in all fairness was extremely unlucky throughout the game, partly due to the offside flag but also due to some fantastic saves from Mark Bunn. Just lately the opposition goalkeepers facing Liverpool seem to be pulling off their performances of the season.
Just before the half time whistle, Blackburn found themselves with a corner. Taken by Gamst-Pedersen, it was Charlie Adam who unfortunately got the last touch on the whipped in ball. Perhaps he'd have made a better choice by using his head (no pun intended haha) the midfielder's touch would have been a clearance on another day, but on Boxing Day it just wasn't to be.
Ten minutes into the second half and Liverpool found their equaliser. An unmarked Maxi Rodriguez easily headed home from a ball whipped back in by Martin Skrtel.
The Argentinian for me despite it being an easy header, proved why he should start every game. For me, it's him and Craig Bellamy doing the real business on the wings.
Just before the 70 minute mark, the Anfield faithful were given a treat, the decibels rose as Steven Gerrard entered the fray, replacing Charlie Adam. Gerrard's first touch of the ball was a dangerous free kick that found it's way to Maxi's head, unfortunately Maxi couldn't convert it into his second goal.
Blackburn were relying on the counter attack for their chances and as the game wore on, more of them became available. A run from David Dunn ensured Blackburn found themselves with a real chance to take the lead but Dunn's teammate Yakubu actually barged into him just as he was about to take his shot, forcing the ball wide.
Bellamy joined the action at 80 minutes in place of Maxi Rodriguez as Liverpool desperately tried to find the winning goal so that the Reds would take all three points. With Chelsea dropping points earlier in the day, the full amount would have been greatly appreciated.
Despite some edge of your seat stuff in the dying minutes when another shot from Andy Carroll was kept out by an on song Mark Bunn followed by a Daniel Agger attempt cleared off the line by Adam Henley, Liverpool just couldn't find the winner.
Whilst Steve Kean's side were delighted, Dalglish's boys were left wondering once again why they can't seem to comfortably beat some of the lesser teams.
There's no excuses because Liverpool should have won this fixture and whilst it's soddin annoying to watch us fail against a team propping up the table i think sometimes you just have to take whatever positives you can from a situation. The positives being that once again we haven't lost and also that Steven Gerrard looks like he's never been away.
I can remember several seasons where Liverpool have racked up draw after draw after draw and to be honest I'm not too surprised that in Dalglish's first full season, this is what is happening. Nobody truthfully sat down and expected 2011/2012 to be a stormer of a season and at the moment it 6th but still in touch with a couple of teams above us i think we're doing ok. Obviously you always hope for more but that will come with time under Dalglish, it'll all slot together sooner rather than later.
Next up for Liverpool is Newcastle on Friday.