Fernando Torres started for the first time in a red shirt for two months and scored the winner in a decent first half.
With Skrtel injured and Kyrgiakos completing his suspension – Carragher was moved to centre back, with Mascherano filling in at right back. Steven Gerrard dropped back to central midfield with Kuyt supporting Torres up front.
Blackburn started brighter but it wasn’t long before their physical approach to football was evident – a couple of blistering Torres’ runs halted by fouls. A fantastic bit of build up saw the reds go ahead inside 20 minutes, Benayoun setting up Gerrard who jinked the ball over the keeper.
Former red El Hadji Diouf attempted a dangerous tackle on Gerrard which our captain reacted angrily to. Words were still being exchanged between the pair at half time.
As the first half neared conclusion Blackburn grabbed an equaliser when defensive panic caused Carragher to fail to clear the ball and handled the ball. Blackburn fired in from the spot.
But within a couple of minutes the reds were back in the driving seat after a decent move.
Lucas picked out an inch perfect pass to Torres – the ball eventually found it’s way to Rodriguez who passed back for Fernando to fire in from 6 yards.
One player who didn’t last the first half was Aurelio who picked up a thigh injury which could rule him out for a while.
The reds opened well in the second half kicking towards the Kop but overall the half was a disappointment. Both Benayoun and Torres tired early, and Blackburn’s long ball tactics caused Liverpool some problems.
In the final throes of the game it was Pepe Reina who was the hero with a magnificent save from the head of Samba.
The reds get the vital three points but only just.
Man of the Match: Javier Mascherano
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“We had to win and we won.
“We won and that is the most important thing. I don’t know but I was really surprised that it was just five (bookings for Blackburn).
“”It doesn’t matter – we won.
“It is really important (the way to play) but sometimes we cannot play football.
“Nzonzi was very clear, touching the face of Lucas, and the rules are the rules.
“We have had four of five players with problems, bleeding, and Maxi with stud (marks) in his abdomen. Interesting – but we won.”
“I think that everybody knows that his teams play great football under this manager.
“When you play these kind of games you have to win and we did. I don’t know if he has had contact with (referee chief) Keith Hackett maybe he should know.
“We try to do our talking on the pitch. If they are pleased with the way they play under this manager it is their decision.
“They have a style and they are a team that plays this way under this manager. We won so they have to be thinking about whether the style is good or not.
“Some people have to talk before the press conference or after because it is more difficult for them to do a football job.
“I think it is a model for all the managers around the world, their style of football, his behaviour.
“It is the perfect model for all the kids and I’m sure all parents will enjoy this model and encourage their kids to be the same.
“The style of football, I think, Barcelona are thinking of copying.”
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