Rafa Benitez responded to Liverpool’s midweek defeat by making four changes. His side responded by scoring four goals past Blackburn, without a hint of a reply from Sam Allardyce’s team.
It was a case of starting badly, and getting worse for Blackburn, as Fernando Torres scored a sublime goal after just 5 minutes. Back to goal, he chested the ball into his path, and unleashed an unstoppable volley into the far corner of Paul Robinson’s goal.
By the time Torres added to his tally with a bullet header on the half hour mark, it was painfully evident that Blackburn’s meek resistance would not stop Liverpool banking another 3 points as they desperately try to hunt down Man Utd.
As expected, Liverpool’s Captain Marvel, Steven Gerrard, was dropped to the bench with his groin injury deemed bad enough to miss out on starting line up. He wasn’t used at all in this one sided contest, and is likely to be back in the side that will travel to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday looking to turn around a Champions League tie that looks all but dead.
Christopher Samba was the man who typified Blackburn’s disorganised challenge. The centre half was used by Allardyce as a lone centre forward. And he did look lonely, as Liverpool’s dominance of possession grew, he saw little of the ball and his teamates offered even less support when he did.
Ironically, with Blackburn defending a freekick, it was Samba who was out jumped by Torres for his and Liverpool’s second goal. At half time Allardyce swapped his Aaron’s, with the more attacking youngster Doran replacing the more defensive Mokoena, but it had no telling effect on the games course. Liverpool were guilty of slacking off a little as the second half wore on, attacks broke down due to lazy passes as well as Riera and Benayoun trying to be too intricate around the box.
With Chelsea on the horizon, Torres was withdrawn on 73 mintues and replaced by the diminutive El Zhar. He was applauded off, but understandably looked disappointed to have missed out on a potential hattrick. In a rare Blackburn attack, the ball fell to Samba but he lost his footing and his shot lacked the power to trouble Pepe Reina. That was the last, and only real chance Blackburn had to get back into the game.
By the end it had turned it into a rout. Daniel Agger, starting in favour of Skrtl, had already had threatened the Kop End net by drilling long range shot wide, and made no mistake second time round. The Danish defender strode into the Blackburn half unchallenged, took aim, and cannon footed a 25 yard shot past the helpless and hapless Paul Robinson.
The former Brøndby man has struggled for a regular place this season and a possible January transfer was speculated on, but Benitez has publicly stated he hopes to tie the 24 year old to Liverpool on a long term contract.
David N’gog helped himself to a last minute goal, completing a well worked move from a corner and completing a simple 4-0 victory for Benitez’s men.
Blackburn will need to up their game on the evidence of this dreadful showing, or they could easily slip further into the relegation mire.
As for Liverpool, they will now travel to Chelsea with the daunting challenge of needing at least three goals to have any chance of progression in the Champions League. They got four today, but it wont be as easy for them on Tuesay as it was today.