The Villa game was a disappointing result, but overall the performance was so much better, and we really should have won. We had a Barcelona style 70% possession, 20+ attempts on goal, and we were constantly pressuring Villa. Yet again we hit the woodwork (I make it 28 times this season) but although the ball still hasn’t gone in we managed to score off one of the rebounds. What should now be obvious to all Reds is that any team can park the bus and get away with a draw. LFC are so bereft of attacking edge.
As I hoped, 2 of the youngsters got more playing time (Shelvy and Flano) although Coates was left out for Carra again. (which is beginning to smell of player power.) As I hoped, Gerrard was paired up front with Suarez, in what should be his best position, but as it turned out, the wing play meant this was a game tailor made for Carroll to redeem himself. Because Shelvy and Henderson were so deep, Gerrard ended up drifting further back until he was playing sweeper just in front of the back 4, which was a waste of his talents. At the start of the second half, Kuyt was sent up front, and Stevie G was put on the right, and things started to click again, which all makes me hopeful that King Kenny will play Stevie in those 2 most productive, but unfavoured positions.
And so to Blackburn.
The overall league record is Liverpool 53 wins, Blackburn 35 wins, draws 39. At Blackburn: Liverpool 15 wins, Blackburn 26 wins, draws 22.
Last Boxing Day the sides drew 1-1 at Anfield. Charlie Adam scored an own goal on the stroke of half-time with Maxi equalising on 53 minutes in his 50th league appearance.
The last meeting at Ewood 15 months ago saw the Reds lose 3-1. It proved to be Roy Hodgson’s last game in charge of Liverpool
In the 17 Premier League meetings at Ewood Park Liverpool have won five, drawn six and lost six.
The last win on this ground came in December 2008 when Xabi Alonso, Yossi Benayoun and Gerrard scored in a 3-1 win. It was goalless with 21 minutes of the game remaining. Only four of the Reds’ starting XI that day are still at Anfield – Gerrard, Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher and Dirk Kuyt, plus substitutes Daniel Agger and Lucas.
The Reds have lost their last four away games since winning at Wolves in January.
LFC have kept one clean sheet in the last 11 fixtures – against Everton last month.
Gerrard’s next goal will be his 150th for Liverpool.
Rovers have scored 43 goals this season in the top-flight – six more than Liverpool.
Rovers have shipped 67 goals this season and went into the Bank Holiday fixtures with only bottom club Wolves conceding more.