Sunday 13th April 2008 @ 1.30pm
Fernando Torres fired home his 30th goal of the season as Liverpool cruised past Blackburn Rovers at Anfield to put 5 points behind ourselves and 5th placed Everton, and to suggest a start on trying to overtake Arsenal in 3rd place.
There was a minute’s silence ahead of the 19th Hillsborough Anniversary
Despite the ridiculous antics off the field this week, Liverpool played with ruthless efficiency and were never really threatened in this comprehensive victory.
The referee had a nightmare.
Jason Roberts should have put Blackburn in front when his goal was ruled offside, although replays suggest he was level with Skrtel. Later, Steven Gerrard was clearly brought down by Brad Friedel but was not awarded the penalty.
Shortly after, Gerrard was pushed in the area but the ref once again waved play on. His annoyance was all too evident as he smashed the ground with his fist.
In the second half the Liverpool pressure was building and it was Gerrard who broke the deadlock.
After playing a nice one two with Lucas, Gerrard fired home to make it 1-0. It was Gerrard’s 20th goal in all competitions this season.
Then another of the infamous Gerrard – Torres moments of the season. A Gerrard cross finding the head of Fernando Torres, who netted for his 30th goal of the season. A fantastic achievement in his first season at Anfield.
Torres scores his 30th Liverpool goal
Then Andriy Voronin, the much maligned reds striker, scrambled one home after a cross from Riise.
Voronin grabs Liverpool’s third
Blackburn went up the other end and when Skrtel’s clearance landed to Santa Cruz, he fired home for a terrific, although ultimately meaningless goal for Rovers.
Liverpool march on, on the field at least. Pleasure in the result was put on ice almost immediately when Benitez insisted after the game he will be looking for talks with the Anfield board about the Klinsmann affair.
Post Match Reaction
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez:
“We knew that it would be tough so we needed to keep going, keep working.
“At half-time we told them to keep playing football because we knew we could score but also we knew it could be difficult.
“The understanding between Gerrard and Torres was, at the end, the key.”
Blackburn manager Mark Hughes:
“We are disappointed with the goals we conceded. We were victims of over-playing.
“Our downfall was misplaced passes in dangerous areas. Liverpool have some quality players and they were able to pick us off.
“The first goal was key. We should not have conceded two more but Liverpool probably deserved the win.”
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Lucas, Alonso (Riise 88), Kuyt, Gerrard, Babel (Benayoun 59), Torres (Voronin 85).
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Hyypia.
Goals: Gerrard 60, Torres 82, Voronin 90.
Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Bentley, Vogel (Dunn 73), Reid, Pedersen (McCarthy 73), Santa Cruz, Roberts.
Subs Not Used: Brown, Ooijer, Mokoena.
Goals: Santa Cruz 90.
Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).