|Saturday 30th October 2004
Ewood Park, Blackburn
BLACKBURN 2-2 LIVERPOOL
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Benitez competitive matches record: Played 16 Won 8 Drawn 3 Lost 5
Blackburn Rovers 2-2 Liverpool
Liverpool salvaged a point as Djibril Cisse suffered a suspected broken leg.
John Arne Riise put Liverpool in front, drilling the ball past Brad Friedel after collecting a Xabi Alonso pass.
But Jay Bothroyd side-footed in Brett Emerton's cross and the Australian added a second, curling a shot past Chris Kirkland to give Rovers the lead.
A James McEveley error allowed Liverpool to go level, Baros finishing in style, and good saves from Brad Friedel and Kirkland ensured the draw.
In last season's league game between these two teams at Ewood Park, Jamie Carragher and Baros also suffered broken legs.
And Cisse departed in agony on the half-hour with a similar looking injury.
As he attempted to cross the French international fell awkwardly following McEveley's last-ditch challenge
McEveley made a genuine attempt to get the ball, though in a fiesty game, Tugay was lucky to stay on the pitch after a series of dangerous tackles.
Propping up the Premiership at the start of Saturday Blackburn had endured the most inauspicious of starts as Friedel twice saved his side before Riise's goal.
First the American goalkeeper scampered across his line to gather Cisse's swerving shot.
Soon after Friedel made an even better save when he dived low at Baros' feet after the Czech Republic striker shrugged off Craig Short's attentions.
But Friedel could do nothing about Riise's superbly taken goal.
The Norwegian, who had scored hs first goal in nearly two years against Charlton last weekend, quickly brought down Alonso's raking diagonal pass and then drilled a shot past the flat-footed Friedel.
Blackburn had barely contrived an attack up to this point but on 17 minutes Paul Dickov and Emerton combined to breach the Liverpool defence.
Sent clear by Dickov's pass, Emerton squared for Bothroyd, who slid the ball past Kirkland.
And in first-half stoppage time Emerton gave Blackburn the lead, stroking the ball home after Sami Hyypia and Josemi had failed to clear the ball.
Not that Blackburn were immune from defensive casualness, McEveley giving the ball away to Luis Garcia, who had come on for Cisse,
Garcia flighted the ball over the Blackburn defence and Baros applied the coup de grace.
After Kirkland spectacularly turned away Jonathan Stead's rising shot, the Spaniard saved his goalkeeper when he cleared off the line after a Short header.
In a purple patch for Blackburn Kirkland then made a point-blank save to deny Dickov from close range.
But Liverpool ended the game strongly with Kewell stretching the Blackburn defence and drawing another fine save from Friedel in a tense finale.BBCi
Friedel, Neill, Short, Johansson, McEveley, Reid, Tugay, Ferguson, Emerton, Dickov, Bothroyd (65) ,
Booked: Tugay, Stead
Kirkland, Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Finnan (Kewell 55) , Hamann (Diao 81) , Alonso, Riise, Baros, Cisse (Luis Garcia 38) ,
Ref: R Styles
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|Match Report filed: 30th October 2004|