Liverpool were on the road to Blackburn today in search of another vital three points to keep the reds pushing up the league. After a hard fought game and claiming all three points in the Goodison Derby last Sunday, it was a good platform to build on and a chance to continue a winning run.
But going to Ewood Park today and picking up all three points wasn’t a given. The reds would have had to work hard for it and improve on their football.
Maybe the hard work was there but the improvement on the football was slightly lacking. The second half was certainly better than the first half though.
Liverpool had some decent spells of possession but the drive and edge to their attacking play was missing for good parts of the game early on.
Steven Gerrard – who was playing an amazing 500th game in a red shirt – tried to get things ticking over and his influence as the game went on, grew. But he can’t be expected to come up with the goods on his own.
Mascherano displayed his usual desire and grit. At one point, he nearly left Blackburn goalkeeper Robinson with egg on his face, after pursuing a lost cause of a ball and in turn causing havoc in the Blackburn box.
Carragher was looking more solid in defence and Pepe Reina was once again, razor sharp and fully alert to any threat from the opposition. And Blackburn did cause some danger, especially in the last couple of minutes.
Johnson tried his best to add some sort of vision or drive to the Liverpool advance and also worked hard tracking back. Plus the Liverpool subs in Ngog and El Zhar added a bit of pace in the attack. Ngog was unlucky not to score in the second half as he seen his shot hit the bar from close range.
But for all these individual performances, it just seemed the reds lacked real bite from the team as a whole. Passes were going astray and players didn’t seem to be on the same wavelength at times. Whether this is down to players getting switched about the pitch, or a lack of real creativity coming from the engine room. Or of course a continuing average level of confidence throughout the team, or all these things combined. Who really knows.
But it’s clear our football has to improve as the season progresses. The graft and character is improving, so let’s see the football improve too.
What the reds can take from this game though is another clean sheet, another unbeaten away game and a deserved point against a Blackburn team that is more physical and mentally stronger than the Blackburn team we played there last season.
Post Match Comments
I’m a little bit frustrated. I felt we could win the game. In the first-half we didn’t play very well but it was a difficult match. They were very direct and we were expecting that.
After that we changed it with Ngog in attack and Nabil (El Zhar). We were more dangerous and had chances to win. They also had two counter attacks which could have seen us lose. But I think the team played much better in the second-half.
It is a clean sheet and we played better football than the other day, so we are improving, but you have to win these types of games. We had chances, but you need to score from them if you want to win matches.
We were disappointed but in the last minute we nearly conceded a goal. This is football.
I was pleased with Ngog and Nabil did well when he came on. Hopefully Torres will be available for the next game and maybe he will be on the bench – if everything is okay over the next few days.
The positive thing today was seeing the team play better and Stevie was involved in the game and doing much better too. It was positive. If he can continue improving his match fitness he will play better and he can make the difference.
Shots: 15 (11 on target) [Blackburn – 9 (3 on target)]
Corners: 8 [Blackburn – 1]
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Kuyt, Mascherano, Lucas, Riera (Ngog), Benayoun (El Zhar), Gerrard
Unused subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Dossena, Aquilani
Blackburn: Robinson, Samba, Givet, Nelsen, Chimbonda, Emerton, Grella, Nzonzi, Diouf (Hoilett), McCarthy (Kalinic), Di Santo (Andrews)
Unused subs: Brown, Salgado, Pedersen, Roberts
Our man of the match
Clocking up an amazing 500 appearances for the reds and our most influential player on the day. Steven Gerrard