LIVERPOOL 0 – 0 BLACKBURN
FA CUP GLORY… without the glory.
Well, we’re going to look forward to more “Cup glory” as we are forced to face Blackburn once more at their own stadium, as no goals were scored today- not much glory in not managing to score any goals but also not concede any in a competition that’s often described as “glorious”. But we’re not quitters, we’ll head over to Blackburn’s ground and keep at it until we reach the next round. We have to, for Stevie! The fans want him there in the final to win a trophy, in his last season.
Liverpool know what this means to both the fans and the players and we cannot, WILL NOT throw it all away against a Championship side that haven’t been in the Premier League since 2012. We will go to them and even take some penalties, if we have to. We love a good shootout (even though Besiktas knocked us out of the Europa League on penalties this season).
The line up was rather strong, despite some key players being out. You can’t fault the manager over his attacking choices when he puts Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling and Coutinho all into the same team… the attack seems just fine. At the back, Glen Johnson would make a start in defense and Emre Can would push into midfield for the first time in quite a while (he’s been used primarily as a defender for a long time). Jordan Williams would once more be told he was in the squad, but not get used (even when we had a spare, substitute to use, but only two changes were made in this game) and he wouldn’t get any time on the pitch (yet AGAIN, this has happened before, several times).
I don’t know if it would be smart or stupid for Jordan Williams to speak up about this to Brendan Rodgers… stupid, perhaps, because the manager would always be able to choose another player over him, especially once our currently injured players have recovered fully.
The only smart thing that can happen about it is if the manager actually accepts that he should be using him on the pitch and starts to give him game time instead of sitting him on the subs bench for 90 minutes. But the risk of him (Williams) never getting back into the first team squad ever again is there if the manager took offense to his words about it all. His only appearance in the first team was when Liverpool played Middlesbrough and won 14-13 on penalties. He would take and score a penalty for his club as we won the shootout.
The first half would start and within only a few minutes, there would be the need for Liverpool to make a substitution.Martin Skrtel would jump into the air to challenge Rudy Gestede for the ball, then fall down to the floor awkwardly and may have been unconscious for a short while after he had hit the pitch. He eventually came around and required medical attention.
The medical team would stretcher him off the pitch and take him to a hospital as a precaution, with Kolo Toure replacing him. Martin would give the fans a “thumbs up” as he left the pitch on the stretcher, clearly showing that he thought he was going to be just fine and easing the fans worry a little. The added time at the end of the first half due to the stoppages when Skrtel went down from this challenge was 8 minutes.
Kolo Toure would make some great contributions to the game, as it happened. Only brought on to replace the injured Skrtel, he actually made more of a difference to the game that some others who barely saw the ball. There was a moment where Kolo Toure actually put the ball in the net (I know what you’re thinking, the score at full time was 0-0 wasn’t it? yes it was!) – but the linesman raised his flag and called offside. Pretty unfortunate for both Toure and Liverpool. If I was Kolo, I’d have been begging the linesman to reconsider, since scoring doesn’t happen for him. He needs every goal he can claim.
Most other players couldn’t say they actually put the ball in the net, though. Toure would also later on follow up a rebounded Coutinho free kick with a powerful header that struck the outside of the right goalpost with force and rebounded out for a goal kick instead of it hitting the inside of the post and going into the net. That really was more unlucky than the linesman calling him offside, he could have put that ball into the net had he just directed it a little more to the left as he took his headed shot. Probably the closest effort of the entire game.
Credit to Kolo, I’ll name him as my “man of the match” – he had originally only been chosen as substitute but he really did a great job when he was brought on. I hope the manager noticed and may want to use him further in the future. I rate him highly and am happy with his form at the moment. There’s Reds fans out there that love you, Kolo! I’m one of them.
Daniel Sturridge played well, though he had previously scored 10 goals in his past 12 FA Cup appearances and did not manage to take the total of goals scored any higher today. There was good assistance for him right from the beginning with Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren providing him with some great balls that he almost converted, though he was called to be offside by the linesman and closely missed a chance to pick up the ball when the Blackburn goalkeeper managed to claim the ball before he (Sturridge) did. He looked quite dangerous for most of the game, just never managing to actually put the ball in the net unfortunately.
Liverpool would continue to press throughout the game and would not be without chances to score, though never once managing to do so. If I had to name one player that really saved Blackburn from conceding any goals, it would be Simon Eastwood, their goalkeeper. He was pulling off some “miracle saves” as Liverpool would repeatedly shoot and somehow be denied, where normally you would expect the ball to be in the back of the net with at least one of the attempts made by the end of the game. He really was the main reason we’re going to the replay at Blackburn’s ground instead of progressing to the Semi Finals now.
Liverpool’s next fixture will be in 8 days – that’s kind of rare, we’ve played many of our games this season at a ratio of once every 3 days at some points, but we’ve been eliminated from some competitions now so the fixture list is starting to spread out a bit and give the players some rest finally. Being knocked out of competitions does have some benefits, for the players at least.
It will be a Premier League game against Swansea, one of Brendan Rodgers old clubs, he used to manage them (and Joe Allen used to play for them too, that’s where Rodgers got him from). We’ll know how to deal with them, our manager practically put their squad together himself.
Keep it together, Reds fans. Don’t be too disheartened with this goalless draw, we get to watch our beloved Liverpool all over again before we even reach the next round!
Walk on through the storm and hold your head up high. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.