An early Fernando Torres goal was not enough as Blackpool completed a league double over Liverpool, as Kenny Dalglish’s first League game in charge exposed the huge challenge ahead.
An interesting line up saw Johnson, who’s partner gave birth to a baby boy earlier, positioned at left back, leaving the youngster Martin Kelly in his more familiar right back role. Jovanovic and Poulsen both got the nod, as the midfield was reshaped due to Steven Gerrard’s suspension.
Within 3 minutes, a surge from Kelly set up Torres to grab the reds first goal, and the Spaniard’s seventh of the season. But within 9 minutes Blackpool had levelled.
Raul Meireles casually gave away possession and Agger decided against a tackle leaving Taylor-Fletcher to put away a well taken goal.
Liverpool huffed and puffed, more so than in recent appearances, but never blew the house down. It was somewhat surprising that a relatively open game reached half time at 1-1.
After the break Liverpool looked immediately brighter before Blackpool took control. Poulsen, Meireles, and the anonymous Kuyt did not help matters. Jovanovic put in a shift, but down to either lack of quality or lack of playing time, couldn’t offer enough assistance for Torres who was notable for working harder than in recent weeks.
Liverpool’s defence from set plays has been comical this season, and so it continued for Blackpool’s eventual winner. A cross was pumped in by Blackpool, nodded on, and unmarked DJ Campbell nodded home the Seasiders second.
Poulsen and Kuyt were replaced by Shelvey and Ngog, but the reds couldn’t break through Blackpool’s stern defence.
Liverpool have lost 8 of their 11 away league games this season.
After the game Ian Holloway said he was ‘as chuffed as a badger’.
For Kenny, this team must seem light years away from the Liverpool days of old. Plenty of work still to do for the reds, and the Merseyside derby arrives on Sunday as two teams in the wrong half to the table set for battle.