Blackburn 2-3 Liverpool: Carroll heads dramatic stoppage-time winner to earn victory for 10-man Reds
Ewood Park saw plenty of Drama with a sending off, two penalties and a glut of goals, Dalglish's men ultimately came out on top but the host exhibited plenty of heart
By Edward Tibbles
Blackburn Rovers were left to rue a missed Yakubu penalty in the first half as former Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll popped up with an injury time header to secure a vital 3-2 win against Liverpool.
Both sides are struggling to find form in the league at the minute and this game threw up numerous talking points with a converted and unconverted penalties from Yakubu, five goals and even a sending-off which has forced Dalglish’s keeper selection ahead of their FA Cup tie against Everton.
An out-of-character pin-point ball by Martin Skrtel, from his own box, found Craig Bellamy into a deep position on the right flank and the Welshman’s pace allowed him to get goal side of the host’s defense in the build up to the opening goal.
In such an advantageous position he proceeded to drill a ball across the face of goal just far enough away from the grasps of Robinson but straight to the back post with Maxi Rodriguez obliging with a simple tap in.
The Argentine completed his quick fire double in the 16th minute. Shelvey robbed the ball on the half way line and continued to stride towards goal before shooting from just inside the box.
His shot was well stopped by Robinson who parried after diving low to his right but only into the feet of Andy Carroll whose follow-up shot was blocked by Scott Dann, but this rebound again only found a red shirt in Rodriguez who in acres of space happily rifled the ball into the net.
Doni increased Kenny Dalglish’s goalkeeping headache as Hoilett, one-on-one with the keeper, easily skipped the ball passed the Brazilian but for a sloppy diving effort which saw him clearly obstructing the Canadian and picking up a sending-off for the obstruction.
Brad Jones replaced Jon Flanagan, who was also on the brink of a red card after an early yellow, to face a Yakubu effort from 12-yards. You had to favor Rovers’ top scorer but a tame effort to Jones’ right was easily pounced upon in order to keep the clean sheet.
Yakubu closed the two goal gap, making up for his poor penalty attempt as a floated free-kick from David Dunn exploited a lapse in the Liverpool defense to find the striker who was unmarked and free to steer the ball into the bottom corner with his head.
Taking the 2-1 lead into the break Dalglish would have prayed that the rest-bite and some words of wisdom would help his 10 men hold onto the lead, but he was naive in thinking such an erratic game was going to fade away.
Andy Carroll nearly made a blistering start to the second half after the first corner of the game was swung in to the back post. The former Newcastle United player lost Grant Hanley but he was unable to get everything behind his diving header, seeing the ball go wide of the goal.
Dalglish was left with his heart in his mouth as Yakubu charged down Jones’ clearance sending the ball into the air. As it fell the Substitute keeper was seen to hold the striker back causing the referee to award the second penalty of the game.
Everybody at Ewood Park was expecting to see the keeper taking an early bath but the ref only gave a yellow fortunately for Liverpool.
Although they got some luck with the decision they didn’t get it as Yakubu stepped up for his second attempt from the spot. With a carbon copy of the first attempt Jones went the wrong way seeing the ball hit the back of the net on his right ,to bring the scores level on the 61st minute.
Yakubu’s leveler seemed to galvanize the 10 man visitors but they failed to capitalize on their dominance rarely managing to overcome the capable back line to pose Robinson with a real challenge.
They inability to create clear-cut chances was nearly punished as N’Zonzi drilled a diagonal ball across the box to try and find the on-rushing Hoilett, but despite the players’ golden touch of late he could not manage to get a toe on the ball to turn it past Jones.
It seemed to rattle Dalglish’s men as a long ball onto the edge of their box was misjudged by Carroll. The ball cannoned off of the strikers head looping over the goalkeepers head, the Australian did well to track back and push the ball over the bar to spare his teammates blushes.
A long-ball into Agger was the catalyst for last minute drama at Ewood Park. At full stretch the Dane successfully helped the ball square into Carroll who easily lost his man to nod home past Robinson to secure maximum points.Follow GOAL.COM USA on
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