|Carroll heads home...|
The Liverpool side had several new faces within it as Dalglish kept an eye on Saturday's clash with Everton in the FA Cup semi final. Maxi Rodriguez was one face we haven't seen in a while and the likes of Glen Johnson and Sebastian Coates were opted in defence.
Liverpool for the first time in weeks actually capitalised on their lively early start against Blackburn with a goal just after 12 minutes. Maxi Rodriguez is a clever little fella and always seems to get himself in the right place at the right time, something that appears to have been difficult for a lot of the Liverpool players in recent matches...
A superb 80 yard pass from captain Martin Skrtel met Craig Bellamy on the wing. The Welshman continued his run and with a simple cross into the box set up Maxi Rodriguez who slipped home Liverpool's first with ease.
For once, Liverpool had managed to create a goal from their promising start to a game, too often have we failed to score when chances were being created and it was refreshing to see Maxi show the lads how it's done. Something as simple as being in the right place at the right time can often change games.
Minutes later and Maxi was at it again. A shot from Shelvey was saved by Robinson and Andy Carroll couldn't get an effective shot on the rebound however, Maxi was loitering again. The Argentinian collected the ball after a Scott Dann block and put home Liverpool's second.
What followed for Liverpool was totally unexpected. A poor pass from Flanagan back to goal meant Doni was left in a tough situation. With Hoilett one on one with Doni is was perhaps unwise to lead a challenge with his feet, followed by his hands, missing the ball and taking Hoilett out. You just couldn't make this stuff up! Two games after Reina had been red carded, here was our second keeper getting sent off too. It's frustrating because that would have been a difficult situation for any keeper but perhaps he should have made a different decision.
With Doni off, Flanagan was substituted to allow Brad Jones to take his place between the sticks. A massive chance for Brad who lost his son last year to leukaemia, his girlfriend though recently gave birth to their son Nico, congratulations to them both!
The resulting penalty for the sending off of Doni was then saved by Brad Jones. Yakubu's effort was pretty feeble but the save gave Brad immediate confidence, the Liverpool fans behind him roared as he pointed to the sky to remember his son Luca.
Thankfully for Liverpool, the two goal cushion was still present because with the Reds now down to ten men, an onslaught from Steve Kean's side was expected.
Yakubu may have failed to convert his penalty but he took his chance at 35 minutes. A free kick from David Dunn left Liverpool all over the shop, some poor defending from the Reds allowed Yakubu to get his head on the ball and left Brad Jones with no chance.
The score remained the same at half time and five minutes in to the second half Daniel Agger was brought on to the field replacing Glen Johnson.
By the hour mark, Blackburn's efforts were rewarded with an equaliser. Yakubu was pressurising the goalkeeper when Brad's goal kick deflected off his back. Brad tried to collect the ball but parried it into the path of Yakubu, Brad placed his hands out, probably naturally to try and get Yakubu out the way and of course this isn't allowed but Yakubu didn't half make the most of it! He went down like a sack of spuds!
Jones was booked and up stepped Yakubu to try and beat him again. Yakubu beat Jones this time with a penalty in the centre of goal as Jones went the wrong way. Blackburn were now level with half an hour left to go.
I feel it needs to be noted that whilst Blackburn did get themselves back in the game, Liverpool didn't give up. For a side with 10 men and two goals up they were still going for it and even more so when Blackburn scored their first. Once they equalised of course this was going to continue but where was that winning goal going to come from?
Andy Carroll of course.
Daniel Agger was first to get his head to the incoming ball and he did brilliantly placing it across goal for Carroll. Carroll seems to prefer scoring the harder goals and with a fantastic header he put the ball past Robinson and sealed Liverpool all three points!
It was fantastic to see because we've all been wanting him to score and his attitude recently has been letting him down. It's no secret that i got extremely annoyed at Carroll after the Newcastle game and said i was sick of sticking up for him but despite this I've always known he's worth trusting. I personally think the kick up the arse from Dalglish he no doubt had and him missing the start for Villa did him good and I'm so glad that it was him who scored the winner! I just hope he can keep scoring now!
With our league campaign in a mess anyway the three points aid our chase after Everton but the game on most people's minds now concerns the FA Cup, here's hoping that Liverpool can pull it off and Brad Jones, we're all behind you mate!!!