What a night in Ewood Park. Catch up on all the action in our minute-by-minute report here.
We went minute-by-minute as Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool headed to Ewood Park to face Steve Kean’s Blackburn Rovers.
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Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Liverpool
Who’s ready for some Tuesday night Premier League action? It might not be pretty but it’s bound to get people talking — it’s Blackburn v Liverpool… and it’s LIIIIIIIVE!
We’ve five minutes to kick-off, so just enough time for the team news before we get started.
Here’s how Blackburn line out:
Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson, Hoilett, Dunn, Nzonzi, Marcus Olsson, Formica, Yakubu. Subs: Kean, Givet, Pedersen, Petrovic, Rochina, Goodwillie, Lowe.
And here’s Liverpool:
Liverpool: Doni, Flanagan, Coates, Skrtel, Johnson, Henderson, Shelvey, Spearing, Maxi, Bellamy, Carroll. Subs: Jones, Jose Enrique, Agger, Aurelio, Suarez, Kuyt, Carragher.
We’re off and running here at Ewood Park.
If you’re struggling to keep count, that’s six changes for Liverpool. They’ve got Saturday’s big cup semi against Everton to keep an eye on, but with just one win from their last nine in the Premier League, they could really do with three points.
Over on Facebook, the predictions are starting to trickle in. Eric Haughan has the opening gambit with Blackburn 15-0 Liverpool. Eric, might I suggest that you call your bookmaker if you fancy that?
A nice piece of Premier League trivia for you as the two sides feel each other out in these opening five minutes. Liverpool’s right-full John Flanagan is up against his uncle tonight, Blackburn right-full Bradley Orr.
Sebastian Coates is penalised on the edge of his box, giving Martin Olsson a chance for the first shot on target with a 20-yard free but he curls it over Doni’s bar.
Ten minutes in, I’m bored already. Anybody got any good (printable) jokes? Get in touch, the details are at the top of the page.
GOAL! Blackburn 0-1 Liverpool (Maxi, 13′) Maybe I should complain about matches more often? Blackburn fire a free kick into the box but it’s dealt with well by Liverpool, and Martin Skrtel turns defence into attack with a raking 60-yard crossfield ball to Craig Bellamy. The winger beats Martin Olsson for pace and picks out Maxi Rodriguez with a low ball to the back post. Liverpool lead.
GOAL! Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Liverpool (Maxi, 16′) And now it’s two. This time, it’s Jonjo Shelvey who does most of the work but Paul Robinson can only parry his shot back out in front of the goal. Andy Carroll is lurking but his blocked shot falls to Maxi who slams it home for his second goal in three minutes.
Yet more early drama, and John Flanagan can consider himself a smidge lucky to still be on the pitch. Already on a yellow card for a late tackle on Marcus Olsson, he contests a 50/50 and catches twin brother Martin late. Referee Anthony Taylor pulls him aside for a talking to, but another one of those and he’ll be off.
RED CARD! (Doni, 25′) Disaster for Liverpool. John Flanagan is at fault again — the youngster woefully underhits a backpass to Doni, allowing Junior Hoilett to nip in. He goes to take it around Doni and the keeper catches him. An easy decision for the referee as Skrtel was never getting back to cover and it was a certain goal.
Flanagan is the man to make way as Dalglish calls on his third-choice keeper, Brad Jones. The Australian’s first job will be to face Yakubu’s penalty…
MISSED PENALTY! (Yakabu, 27′) Saved by Jones! It’s an awful effort by Yakabu who takes half a run-up and sidefoots the ball tamely to Jones’s right. The keeper has all day to fall on it and as he gets back to his feet, he points to the sky presumably in tribute to his young son who died late last year.
(Not very) interesting fact — Brad Jones may be Liverpool’s third-choice keeper but he wears the number 1 jersey.
GOAL! Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Liverpool (Yakubu, 36′) Mock the Yak and he will score. As pretty much everybody continues to laugh at his awful, awful penalty, Yakubu gets Blackburn back into this one. David Dunn floats a brilliant free into the box and Yakubu shakes his marker to power a header past Jones from seven yards. Game on, Jeff!
“Jones has the yaks number from their Boro days!” says Seamus Direen seconds before Yakubu heads past the Aussie. Timing, eh?
Interesting fact (to balance out earlier, non-interesting one) — if you rambled down to Dalymount Park once upon an October evening in 2001, you would’ve seen a young Brad Jones in goal for Shelbourne against Bohemian. He played two games for the Drumcondra side while on loan from Middlesbrough… but you knew that, right?
We’re into stoppage time at the end of the first half. Just the two minutes to play.
HALF TIME: Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Liverpool
What an absolutely mental half of football. Needless to say, I’m not bored anymore. I am in need of a cup of tea though, so I’ll take five and I’ll be back then.
Some half-time musings on Doni for you while I look for the milk:
Ciaran Dorney on TheScore.ie’s Facebook page: “If Lolverpool didn’t hate their money so much they would have bought NZonzi instead of Henderson….#baller”
We’re back underway at Ewood Park, and within two minutes, Liverpool win the first corner of the game.
Does anyone else get the feeling that Andy Carroll might never ever score another goal? I’m being facetious, obviously, but he’s just missed a brilliant chance for Liverpool’s third from that corner. He frees himself from Scott Dann and connects with a diving header from about four yards out. Brilliant movement but his header’s about a foot wide.
An early substitution for Liverpool. Daniel Agger makes his return from a cracked rib, replacing Glen Johnson who appears to still be struggling with a hamstring injury.
Craig Bellamy and Daniel Agger have a bit of a pow-wow over who should take a free-kick. In the end, Bellamy takes and turns back to Agger with a cheeky grin on his face, the only appropriate reaction when you’ve fired the ball into Row Z.
Grant Hanley gets his head on the end of an inswinging free-kick but Jones deals with it comfortably. Encouraging for the home support though.
PENALTY TO BLACKBURN! Oh dear, Brad Jones. It’s car crash stuff for the Liverpool keeper as he dawdles over a backpass. Yakubu closes him down to block the attempted clearance and, as it drops, Jones fumbles it again. With nothing else to do, he simply pushes Yakubu over and it’s another pen. Only a yellow card for Jones which is fortunate a) because it could easily have been red and b) because Liverpool might have been looking for me to play in goal if he was suspended for Saturday’s cup-semi as well.
It’s the Yak with a chance to make amends…
GOAL! Blackburn Rovers 2-2 Liverpool (Yakubu pen, 61′) No mistake this time. He smashes the penalty straight down the middle and Blackburn are level. Two players both on hat-tricks as well now.
Vintage LOLverpool for that last goal, but they’ve taken control again since conceding. Carroll is proving a bit of a handful for Grant Hanley up front.
The replay of the penalty incident does not do Brad Jones any favours. Lucky, lucky boy.
Craig Bellamy takes a dive and then tries to get out of it by inviting Bradley Orr to “be honest” with referee Anthony Taylor. If Orr was honest, he probably would have called him “a cheating (insert expletive of choice here)” but instead they laugh it off as Bellamy is booked.
Agger’s header is cleared off the line by David Dunn — not the kind of “ooh that was nearly in” cleared off the line; more “the ball took seven bounces and came to a rest at Dunn’s feet” cleared off the line.
Watching Liverpool tonight is pure comedy goal. Frustrated by his inability to score past Paul Robinson (or any of the league’s 18 other goalkeepers), Andy Carroll tries to stick one over Brad Jones’s head. His back-header very nearly creeps under the bar but Jones is alert enough to get back and tip it over.
Hoilett jinks his way into the box after a dainty little one-two with Yakubu but his progress is halted by an excellent Coates challenge. It has been all Blackburn in these last few minutes.
Five minutes to play. Can either side find a winner?
Full-on aerial assault from Blackburn here in the Liverpool box. They’ve got a corner with just over two minutes to play.
No joy for Blackburn and now it’s Liverpool’s turn to have a go. Carroll, Agger and Bellamy all stand over a free-kick 25 yards out.
It’s Agger… but it spins off the wall and behind for a corner. Four minutes of injury time.
GOAL! Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Liverpool (Carroll, 90+1′) Andy Carroll has just won it for Liverpool at the death! The corner is only half-cleared and as it’s launched back into the box, Grant Hanley is playing everybody onside. Danny Agger flicks it on, Andy Carroll doesn’t need to be asked a 32nd time and he powers a header under Robinson’s bar, much to the delight of the travelling support behind that goal. Sickening for Blackburn.
FULL TIME: Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Liverpool
It’s all over, the 10 men of Liverpool snatch it at the death. A cruel blow for Blackburn who remain in the relegation zone but have now played a game more than the teams around them.
That was far more entertaining than anyone could’ve expected, wasn’t it?
You’re not the only one. Trust me.
Comment from Begrudgy: Andy Carroll. I Dont F..king Believe It.
Well that’s all from me this evening. What more could you want on Tuesday evening? Plenty of drama, an equal amount of laughs and a late winner for the £35m man Andy Carroll.
A huge lift for Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s cup semi-final against Everton, but with five games to play, Blackburn still have it all to do if they want to be playing Premier League football next season.
Thanks for reading and for commenting.