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Rovers Soundly Beaten

- 1

Anfield, Liverpool

13 April 08

Attendance: 43,283


On a sunny yet cold afternoon at Anfield, Blackburn were somewhat unlucky but ultimately not good enough to defeat Liverpool in a 3-1 loss woth Roque Santa Cruz's late strike the only thing to show for a somewhat sloppy performance.

In the first incident of note, Jason Roberts was blatently onside when through on goal and denied a clear shooting chance by the linesman who must of saw something that no-one else did.

The Reds dominated the first half without threatening too much.However, much of the attention surrounded referee Alan Wiley as he waved away appeals for a penalty when Gerrard went down after knocking the ball past goalkeeper Brad Friedel, replays suggested no penalty was the right decision as Gerrard actually aimed for Friedel's knee on the way past him.

However, Christopher Samba was fortunate not to be penalised for a clumsy foul on the England midfielder later on.

The first actual chance came after nine minutes when Steven Gerrard, saw a whipped in cross flicked narrowly wide by Torres.

A great challenge by ex-Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock then stopped a raid from Fernando Torres down the Liverpool right.

Kuyt then saw a 25-yard shot held by Friedel before the Dutch forward headed just wide from a Gerrard free-kick.

A great moment was to follow, as Stephen Warnock received a tremendous reception from the Kop at the start of the second half, for which the Kop must be credited as most arrogant Arsenal and Man United fans would be booing old players. The consistent full-back having played 67 games for Liverpool before moving to Ewood Park 15 months ago.

Morten Gamst Pedersen saw two free-kicks saved by Jose Reina as Rovers started to pepper the Liverpool goal.

However just as Blackburn looked like getting on top, Roque Santa Cruz gifted Liverpool the lead with an inexplicable pass to Lucas in his own half, Steven Gerrard cut into the box and side-footed the ball past Friedel.

Jason Roberts then went looking for a penalty in a clash with Martin Skrtel, however it looked more six and half a dozen.

But when the same pair clashed again a minute later with Roberts about to go clear on goal, Skrtel was booked when he was the last man and players have been sent off for less.

Rovers, who sent on McCarthy for Pedersen a minute later, were far from out of it and David Bentley sent a 25-yard free-kick just wide.

But again Blackburn were their own worst enemy, as they gifted Liverpool their second 8 minutes from the end.

Ryan Nelsen, who up to that point had been Rovers best player, mis directed a pass to Liverpool's Lucas, he then fed Gerrard on the right. When his cross curled into the box, Torres was there to head past Friedel.

Gerrard then fell absolutely ridiculously in the box under no pressure from Samba. Raising questions about why such a great player needs to act like a 4 year old girl when in the penalty area.

However, in the final minute Voronin slid home the third from substitute John Arne Riise's low cross.

In injury time Roque Santa Cruz volleyed home on the turn after a long ball into the box, but by then the points had been well won by Liverpool. It must be said though that the finish, although far too late was excellent.

On the whole though, Rovers were well beaten.

Star Player

Ryan Nelsen. Absolute rock at the back and lead by example. One mistake for the second goal but Rovers best player by some distance.

Player Ratings

Friedel - 7

Absolutely no chance with the goals. Let down by the defence twice and did pull of some good saves.

Emerton - 4

His passing was woeful and cost Rovers good positions more than once. His running was good but he needs to be a lot better than this.

Samba - 6

Lucky to avoid punishment for his challenge on Gerrard. Apart from that looked solid and made some timely interceptions.

Nelsen - 8

Solid, won headers and kept the back four organised. If it wasn't for him Liverpool would of scored more than 4 as he made 3 great last ditch tackles.

Warnock - 6

Looked solid on his return to Anfield and given emotional ovation at the start of the second half. Will have better games and will have worse. One moment of note though was his outstanding tackle on Torres in the first half.

Reid - 6

Made some good runs but does look short of confidence. Will be better off for the summer off. A good player but needs a boost.

Bentley - 6

Looked overrun at times. He showed class on the ball and always suggested a threat but was crowded out in midfield at times.

Vogel - 5

Looks a decent player but is blatently short of fitness. He should be playing in games against Derby, Birmingham etc but not against Liverpool. Play Tugay.

Gamst - 7

Quietly the most threatening midfield player on Rovers' side. Made good runs and looked dangerous and assertive form set plays. Keep it up.

Roberts - 7

Unluky not to be clean through and denied a shooting chance through a stupid linesman in the first half. But was mainly shackled by a well orgainsed Liverpool defence.

Santa Cruz - 6

Was kept quiet even if he did hold it up well at times. Great goal though at the end. No-one can moan about his work rate.

McCarthy - 6

Ran a lot and looked like scoring when he was on and deployed in a deeper lying role. Why isnt he like this when he starts!??!

Dunn - 5

Didn't really offer too much but we need him at 100% fitness as he can be a difference on his day.

Date:Monday April 14 2008
Time: 10:24AM


fair report mikey although i must disagree with the ratings, i dont think any of our players deserved an 8 out of ten, unless of course you were comparing them to each other in which case you would be correct. i dont want to see samba start the next game he is fast becoming a liability
durks de rover
14/04/2008 11:41:00
"But when the same pair clashed again a minute later with Roberts about to go clear on goal, Skrtel was booked when he was the last man and players have been sent off for less." Samba was the last man when he pushed Gerrard off the ball in the first half. If Skrtel should've been sent off, the same applies to Samba.
14/04/2008 12:27:00
Hence why I said Samba was lucky to escape with no punishment... gotta learn to read matey.
14/04/2008 12:44:00
You said Samba was fortunate not to be penalised, as there was no foul called on the incident, you didn't say that he was lucky to escape a red card. My reading is fine, you should learn how to write.
14/04/2008 12:55:00
14/04/2008 12:57:00
Have been writing for a while chief and have had no qualms up until now. He was fortunate not to be penalised. If the ref had considered it a foul he would of been sent off. Your reading does appear better than first suggested but my writing is fine sonny jim... If you dont like it go elsewhere. No skin of our noses.
14/04/2008 13:06:00
Johndoe mate im with mikey here, the punishment for samba would have been a free and a red as he was last man,and that was probably not written in as mikey would expect readers here to be familiar with the rules of the game, i thought it was a fair assessment of the game.
durks de rover
14/04/2008 14:25:00
Mikey, I have no problem with your writing but if you're sensitive in this matter then don't accuse others of not being able to read, wrongly I might add.
14/04/2008 14:26:00
durks de rover, are readers less familiar with the rules with regards to the Skrtel incident in the same article? Mikey felt the need to write that "Skrtel was booked when he was the last man and players have been sent off for less", while he wrote "Christopher Samba was fortunate not to be penalised for a clumsy foul on the England midfielder later on" Do both sentences mean the same to you? If it does then this is not the English language as I know it.
14/04/2008 14:55:00
Gamst was shocking, i don't see how he was quietly threatning, he cant controll the ball and his passing is just *****e. He gets too much sympathy on here. Nelsen also made some terrible passes, so i think a 7 would have been more suited. Vogel struggled but i dont see how Tugay would cope against Liverpool when in the past this season he hasnt coped with lower teams.
14/04/2008 15:16:00
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