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HALF-TIME: Blackburn Rovers 1, Liverpool 2
Two early goals from Liverpool could well be cancelled out as Blackburn begin to fight back against a now ten-man Reds.
A double in the opening fifteen minutes from Maxi Rodiguez looked to see the Reds safe from a struggling Blackburn. But with the visitors suffering the loss of keeper Alexander Doni to a red card and a goal from Yakubu, things could well go Blackburn’s way in the second half.
Early signs of a strong build-up for Rovers were coming together from the likes of Junior Hoilett and the Olssons. But before Blackburn could even gain a toehold in possession they were swiftly outdone by a sudden Liverpool manoeuvre.
With Blackburn pressing the Reds back in their own half, a well placed clearance was met by former Rover Craig Bellamy who immediately broke down the right in a two-on-two battle. With Maxi Rodriguez driving forward, all it took from the Welshman was an early ball across the box for Rodiguez to earn Liverpool the opener twelve minutes in.
Rovers’ chances grew even slimmer only two minutes later when Jonjo Shelvey was allowed to advance too far on goal. Whilst a solid save form Robinson denied him the second, a scupper from Carroll was soon picked up by Rodriguez yet again to secure a second for Liverpool.
However, as Jon Flanagan narrowly escaped a card for a terrible challenge on Martin Olsson the youngster soon gave Rovers a relief when his stray backpass was picked up by Hoilett.
With the Canadian now advancing on goal, Liverpool keeper Alexander Doni was forced to confront the striker. Unfortunately for him though his challenge came late – bringing Junior down for a spot kick and earning himself a red card.
As Liverpool quickly switched Flanagan for substitute keeper Brad Jones for the penalty, Yakubu’s golden chance to claw the score back fell foul as his lagging strike was easily collected.
Whilst Liverpool began to sit back on their lead, Blackburn weren’t looking particularly dangerous as they began to pick up possession.
Fortunes were to change however as a hand-ball from Bellamy handed Blackburn a freekick. With Dunn taking, Yakubu quickly made up for his scuffed penalty as he rose for an easy header to take scores to 2-1 on the 36th minute.
Capitalizing on a ten man Liverpool, Rovers were beginning to gain confidence after a near-miss header from Hanley almost had things level minutes later.
Whilst Liverpool have defended well on the most part, if Blackburn continue to press the away side things may yet go their way.
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