Striker Fernando Torres’ first goal since December 29 gave Liverpool a 2-1 half-time lead at home to Blackburn.

Having gone ahead through Steven Gerrard midway through the half Keith Andrews equalised from the penalty spot in the 40th minute after Jamie Carragher’s handball.

But Torres struck a minute before the break to put the Reds in the box seat.

Torres made his first start for Liverpool since January 13 as manager Rafael Benitez named an attacking line-up for the visit of Blackburn.

The Spain international made his comeback from a knee operation as a substitute in last weekend’s goalless draw at Manchester City but was not used in the Europa League tie against Unirea Urziceni on Thursday.

Torres was one of four changes from the team that started in Romania, although one of the significant alterations was Javier Mascherano playing at right-back.

The Argentina midfielder had an hour-long spell in that position against Everton earlier this month when Liverpool were reduced to 10 men but was pressed into action there again because Martin Skrtel’s broken foot meant Jamie Carragher moved into the centre of defence.

Fabio Aurelio came in at left-back, with Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez also restored to the starting line-up, while captain Steven Gerrard played in a more orthodox central midfield role.

Blackburn made only one change from the side that beat Bolton 3-0 last week, with centre-back Chris Samba replacing injured captain Ryan Nelsen.

Blackburn won two corners in the opening three minutes, with Samba heading the first tamely at Jose Reina.

Torres produced a brilliant piece of skill to go past Gael Givet on the halfway line but his surging run was halted by Steven Nzonzi’s foul, although Aurelio’s free-kick was easily cleared.

Blackburn continued to create half-chances and, while Martin Olsson and Morten Gamst Pedersen both drilled shots hard and low at Reina, Torres’ effort with his weaker foot – his left – ballooned way over Paul Robinson’s crossbar.

In the 16th minute, Nikola Kalinic should have done much better after Pedersen robbed Lucas Leiva 40 yards from goal but curled a shot wide of Reina’s left-hand post.

Torres continued to be Liverpool’s greatest threat and compatriot and former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado was booked for bringing him down as he threatened to break away down the left.

Surprisingly, the Spain international played no part in the opening goal, which came from a swift and incisive move started by Lucas on the halfway line.

The Brazilian picked out Gerrard, who, after exchanging passes with Kuyt and offloading to Benayoun, continued his run into the penalty area to collect the return ball, go past Samba and clip home a left-footed shot.

The hosts were indebted to Reina a minute later as the goalkeeper made a good double save from Pedersen, particularly from the first shot, which deflected off Carragher.

On the half-hour Kuyt should have made it 2-0 from Gerrard’s corner but appeared to be surprised by the pace of the ball and headed wide from three yards.

Mascherano, buoyed by his goal against Unirea, tried his luck from 30 yards but his effort was deflected over by Givet.

In the 38th minute Liverpool were forced into a change when Aurelio limped off with what looked like a thigh injury and was replaced by Emiliano Insua.

Two minutes later Rovers were gifted an equaliser when Benayoun’s weak clearance was played straight back into the penalty area and, despite three Liverpool players surrounding Kalinic, Carragher went to ground where the ball hit his hand.

Keith Andrews fired home from the spot to put his side firmly back in the game.

However, Liverpool went ahead again a minute before the break when Samba could only poke the ball off Torres into the path of Rodriguez who crossed into the six-yard area for the Spaniard to smash home.

Early in the second half Olsson was booked for handball in the centre circle before Nzonzi was lucky to escape with a caution having flattened Lucas with an aggressive push to his face.

Pascal Chimbonda’s first act, having come on for Olsson, was to bring down Rodriguez as he threatened to cut into the penalty area.

Daniel Agger headed over Gerrard’s whipped-in free-kick to the far post.

Chimbonda’s second contribution was to carelessly give the ball away to Kuyt, which eventually resulted in Robinson having to tip Rodriguez’s shot around the post.

Kalinic was next to go into referee Alan Wiley’s book for hacking down Mascherano from behind.

FT: Liverpool 2 Blackburn 1 After several close calls former Liverpool forward El-Hadji Diouf was eventually booked for bringing down Mascherano.

Referee Wiley and one of his linesmen somehow missed Chimbonda, who had already been booked, thrusting his boot into Rodriguez’s chest as the Rovers defender rolled on the floor.

Ryan Babel replaced Benayoun for the final 10 minutes but with only a slender lead the pressure began to mount on the hosts.

Torres departed to a standing ovation with his work done but in the knowledge he will have to continue to produce on a regular basis if his club are to secure Champions League football next season.

INTRO: Striker Fernando Torres marked his first start since January 13 by scoring the winner in an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over Blackburn at Anfield.

The Spain international hit his 13th goal in 17 Barclays Premier League appearances just before half-time, having missed five weeks at the start of the year after a knee operation.

Liverpool had gone ahead midway thrh the half through Steven Gerrard only for Jamie Carragher’s handball to allow Keith Andrews to equalise from the penalty spot five minutes before the interval.

Read the article on sportinglife.com

Liverpool v Blackburn

Striker Fernando Torres’ first goal since December 29 gave Liverpool a 2-1 half-time lead at home to Blackburn.

Having gone ahead through Steven Gerrard midway through the half Keith Andrews equalised from the penalty spot in the 40th minute after Jamie Carragher’s handball.

But Torres struck a minute before the break to put the Reds in the box seat.

Torres made his first start for Liverpool since January 13 as manager Rafael Benitez named an attacking line-up for the visit of Blackburn.

The Spain international made his comeback from a knee operation as a substitute in last weekend’s goalless draw at Manchester City but was not used in the Europa League tie against Unirea Urziceni on Thursday.

Torres was one of four changes from the team that started in Romania, although one of the significant alterations was Javier Mascherano playing at right-back.

The Argentina midfielder had an hour-long spell in that position against Everton earlier this month when Liverpool were reduced to 10 men but was pressed into action there again because Martin Skrtel’s broken foot meant Jamie Carragher moved into the centre of defence.

Fabio Aurelio came in at left-back, with Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez also restored to the starting line-up, while captain Steven Gerrard played in a more orthodox central midfield role.

Blackburn made only one change from the side that beat Bolton 3-0 last week, with centre-back Chris Samba replacing injured captain Ryan Nelsen.

Blackburn won two corners in the opening three minutes, with Samba heading the first tamely at Jose Reina.

Torres produced a brilliant piece of skill to go past Gael Givet on the halfway line but his surging run was halted by Steven Nzonzi’s foul, although Aurelio’s free-kick was easily cleared.

Blackburn continued to create half-chances and, while Martin Olsson and Morten Gamst Pedersen both drilled shots hard and low at Reina, Torres’ effort with his weaker foot – his left – ballooned way over Paul Robinson’s crossbar.

In the 16th minute, Nikola Kalinic should have done much better after Pedersen robbed Lucas Leiva 40 yards from goal but curled a shot wide of Reina’s left-hand post.

Torres continued to be Liverpool’s greatest threat and compatriot and former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado was booked for bringing him down as he threatened to break away down the left.

Surprisingly, the Spain international played no part in the opening goal, which came from a swift and incisive move started by Lucas on the halfway line.

The Brazilian picked out Gerrard, who, after exchanging passes with Kuyt and offloading to Benayoun, continued his run into the penalty area to collect the return ball, go past Samba and clip home a left-footed shot.

The hosts were indebted to Reina a minute later as the goalkeeper made a good double save from Pedersen, particularly from the first shot, which deflected off Carragher.

On the half-hour Kuyt should have made it 2-0 from Gerrard’s corner but appeared to be surprised by the pace of the ball and headed wide from three yards.

Mascherano, buoyed by his goal against Unirea, tried his luck from 30 yards but his effort was deflected over by Givet.

In the 38th minute Liverpool were forced into a change when Aurelio limped off with what looked like a thigh injury and was replaced by Emiliano Insua.

Two minutes later Rovers were gifted an equaliser when Benayoun’s weak clearance was played straight back into the penalty area and, despite three Liverpool players surrounding Kalinic, Carragher went to ground where the ball hit his hand.

Keith Andrews fired home from the spot to put his side firmly back in the game.

However, Liverpool went ahead again a minute before the break when Samba could only poke the ball off Torres into the path of Rodriguez who crossed into the six-yard area for the Spaniard to smash home.

Early in the second half Olsson was booked for handball in the centre circle before Nzonzi was lucky to escape with a caution having flattened Lucas with an aggressive push to his face.

Pascal Chimbonda’s first act, having come on for Olsson, was to bring down Rodriguez as he threatened to cut into the penalty area.

Daniel Agger headed over Gerrard’s whipped-in free-kick to the far post.

Chimbonda’s second contribution was to carelessly give the ball away to Kuyt, which eventually resulted in Robinson having to tip Rodriguez’s shot around the post.

Kalinic was next to go into referee Alan Wiley’s book for hacking down Mascherano from behind.

FT: Liverpool 2 Blackburn 1 After several close calls former Liverpool forward El-Hadji Diouf was eventually booked for bringing down Mascherano.

Referee Wiley and one of his linesmen somehow missed Chimbonda, who had already been booked, thrusting his boot into Rodriguez’s chest as the Rovers defender rolled on the floor.

Ryan Babel replaced Benayoun for the final 10 minutes but with only a slender lead the pressure began to mount on the hosts.

Torres departed to a standing ovation with his work done but in the knowledge he will have to continue to produce on a regular basis if his club are to secure Champions League football next season.

INTRO: Striker Fernando Torres marked his first start since January 13 by scoring the winner in an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over Blackburn at Anfield.

The Spain international hit his 13th goal in 17 Barclays Premier League appearances just before half-time, having missed five weeks at the start of the year after a knee operation.

Liverpool had gone ahead midway thrh the half through Steven Gerrard only for Jamie Carragher’s handball to allow Keith Andrews to equalise from the penalty spot five minutes before the interval.

Read the article on sportinglife.com

Postat de pe data de 31 ian., 2010 in categoria România în lume. Poti urmari comentariile acestui articol prin RSS 2.0. Acest articol a fost vizualizat de 82 ori.

Publica un raspuns