Ian Hollloway's men grab deserved Anfield triumph...
Goals from Charlie Adam and Luke Varney gave the visitors a 2-0 lead but Sotiros Kyrgiakos managed to get one back for the home side and it looked as though for long periods of the second half that they would find that elusive equaliser but the away side managed to hold on and grab a deserved three points.
Liverpool welcomed back their influential captain Steven Gerrard after he was rested in midweek against FC Utrecht. Fernando Torres who has been harshly criticised recently according to his manager also retained his position in the side and Joe Cole started.
But perhaps the biggest shock was Roy Hodgson’s decision to play Jamie Carragher at left back. It has been a problem position for Liverpool this season and it was the first time he played that position in seven years.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway decided to leave out Brett Ormerod and Marlon Harewood, as he preferred the partnership of DJ Campbell and Luke Varney upfront, which would prove to be a shrewd decision by the 47-year-old.
In a thrilling first half Blackpool raced to a shock 2-0 lead courtesy of Charlie Adam from the penalty spot and Luke Varney only seconds before half time.
Blackpool had the first real opportunity of the match. Charlie Adam testing Pepe Reina early on with a thunderous free kick but the Liverpool goalkeeper got strong hands to the ball and managed to parry it away to safety.
The personal nightmare for Liverpool striker Torres continued as he had to go off injured after only nine minutes despite making a lively start to the match and he was replaced by David N’Gog who had seven goals to his name this season.
Charlie Adam was having a big impact on the match, controlling the midfield and the home side struggled to keep him quiet.
Blackpool could have gone ahead after 14 minutes; a lovely, long diagonal switch from left midfield to right enabled Neal Eardley to whip a dangerous ball behind the defence. DJ Campbell met the ball on the half volley at the back post but he was unable to divert the ball on target.
In reply, Steven Gerrard hit a stinging drive from twenty-five yards out but it did not trouble the keeper as it went harmlessly over the bar.
Good play in the middle of the pitch enabled Gerrard to fire a low ball into the box and substitute Dekal Keinan made an important intervention to stop N’Gog having the easiest of finishes to keep the score at 0-0.
Blackpool were not afraid to take the game to Liverpool and on 20 minutes Luke Varney’s shot was blocked by Martin Skrtel although perhaps the better option was to square it to striking partner Campbell who was free in the box and he certainly made Varney aware of this.
But the away side took the lead on twenty-nine minutes from the penalty spot. Charlie Adam played a fantastic ball through to Varney, who then cut inside and took on the right back Glen Johnson. Johnson got all his angles wrong and could have no complaints as he ended up bringing down Varney in the box and Adam confidently dispatched the ball past the grasp of
Reina from the spot.
Glen Johnson then had a chance to make amends for his error as the ball broke to him in the box on thirty-five minutes. He had Blackpool players diving out to block the ball, but he feinted one way then cut onto his right, but his shot lacked composure and he lashed it over the bar.
The tide was turning the way of Liverpool at this point and it was Dirk Kuyt’s turn to test the keeper. Raul Meireies was out on the right wing and curled in a teasing ball, the striker rose above the defence but could only power the header straight at the keeper.
Liverpool had another half chance a few minutes later. N’gog slid a ball into the path of Joe Cole, who jinked onto to his right foot and from the edge of the box fired a low shot aiming for the bottom right hand corner but the keeper read it and managed to get down and smother the ball.
The home side’s brief period of control in the match was ended shortly before half-time as Blackpool incredibly got a second and it was no less than they deserved.
The Seasiders were playing lovely little interchanges in the build up to the goal. Taylor-Fletcher then dinked a delightful chip over the top of the Liverpool’s defence, and, despite appeals for an offside, Luke Varney snuck in under the radar and fired a low hard shot past Reina.
The half-time whistle was greeted by a ring of boo’s from around Anfield with Roy Hodgson having a lot to do if he was to salvage anything from this match.
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N’Gog had a great chance to half the deficit just two minutes after the break though. An in swinging ball in from Dirk Kuyt found the striker in acres of space in the area but his header was wayward and was not troubling Matthew Gilks in goal.
But they would not have to wait long for a goal, as they found a way back into the match with on fifty-three minutes through Sotiros Kyrgiakos. Gerrard floated in a cross and the defender’s bulleted header from six yards out gave the Kop something to shout about.
The momentum was very much with home side as they stamped their authority on the proceedings in the second half. Joe Cole had a great chance to level the match but his shot drifted wide of the goal.
Raul Meireles was next to try his luck but he pulled his shot wide of the away sides goal on fifty-nine minutes.
The Seasiders were hemmed in with the hosts throwing everything at them now. Substitute Milan Jovanovic's corner was met by Gerrard, but his strike was again wide of goal.
Blackpool then countered, and the pace of Luke Varney was giving Kyrgiakos problems, with the Blackpool striker unlucky not to have a penalty as Kyrgiakos recklessly lunged in the box.
Dirk Kuyt and Joe Cole then linked up well to create another opportunity, but the ball from Kuyt skidded across the surface, evading the on-rushing Cole.
The home fans roared on their team as they sensed an equaliser was not far away but Blackpool were managing to deal with everything the hosts through at them.
They might have even extended their lead with six minutes to go as well. Taylor-Fletcher, who had been having a great game, played a pass into Varney and he rifled the ball towards goal on the turn but it was too high to trouble Reina in goals.
Gilks pulled off a fantastic save right at the end of added time to ensure the three points were Blackpool's.
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