الخميس 18 أكتوبر 2018 م, الموافق لـ 08 صفر 1440 هـ آخر تحديث 07:07
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Another stellar performance from Fernando Torres inspired Liverpool to an emphatic victory over Blackburn to put further pressure on Manchester United at the top of the table and help exorcise some of the demons from their recent defeat to Chelsea.

 

  • Like Chelsea in midweek, Blackburn were behind with less than five minutes on the clock. And in common with Wednesday night, Liverpool owed their early lead to the brilliance of Torres.
  • Latching on to Jamie Carragher’s long ball forward, the Spaniard controlled the pass on his chest, allowed the ball to bounce and then hit a stunning right-footed strike on the turn from the corner of the box that looped up and over the helpless Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal.
  • The early lead settled the crowd who were wrought with emotion after an impeccably observed minutes silence before kick off in memory of the 96 supporters who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster, the 20th anniversary of which will be marked by a memorial service on Wednesday.
  • Though the match started in the same fashion as Liverpool’s Champions League defeat to Chelsea, there was never any danger of a repeat of the scoreline, with Blackburn supine in the face of Liverpool’s brisk passing game, even with captain Steven Gerrard relegated to a place on the bench due to a groin injury.
  • Rafa Benitez had spoken before the game of his unwillingness to play Gerrard in two games in the space of four days and Liverpool’s dominance meant he was able to rest his inspirational on-pitch leader ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge.
  • On two occasions before the second goal came Liverpool could have extended their lead, Dirk Kuyt culpable before Torres blazed over from 12 yards when it looked easier to score.
  • The Spaniard soon made amends, however, when he got in front of Christopher Samba to head a clinical finish just after the half-hour mark.
  • After the break Blackburn grew slightly in to the match, more through Liverpool’s easing off than any real endeavour on the part of the visitors.
  • Blackburn sent on Aaron Doran at the break for Aaron Mokoena, but Liverpool continued to carry the greater goal threat.
  • With the game effectively won, Liverpool were guilty of over-elaborating at times. Twice Albert Riera had long-range shots clear the far post and Kuyt fired over before Daniel Agger shot wide from 20-yards.
  • With minds returning to the massive task ahead at Stamford Bridge, Torres was denied the chance to claim a hat-trick when he was withdrawn 20 minutes from the end for Nabil El Zhar.
  • Liverpool were to be rewarded with a third and fourth, however, when Agger was given time and space to line up another shot from distance 10 minutes from the end, with Robinson unable to keep out his fierce effort, before David Ngog headed in from close range.
  • Liverpool, then, put more pressure on Manchester United, who play later at Sunderland, by establishing a two-point lead at the summit of the Premier League, though their north west rivals have two games in hand.

 

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