Thursday, January 13, 2011

Premier League - Blackpool beat Liverpool again!!!

Liverpool's woes are still to be alleviated by their change of manager as they lost 2-1 to Blackpool in their vital Premier League clash at Bloomfield Road!!!

Kenny Dalglish's first league match in the dugout for 12 years got off to a dream start when Fernando Torres opened the scoring after just three minutes, but Gary Taylor-Fletcher brought the Reds down to earth with his 12th-minute leveller.

Taylor-Fletcher was one third of a typically bold three-man attack employed by Ian Holloway and another part of that triumvirate, DJ Campbell, headed home what proved to be the winner 20 minutes from time.

The delirious celebrations from the majority of the 16,000-strong crowd which greeted that goal were well warranted, as Blackpool outplayed their more illustrious opponents for large parts of the match, and the Tangerines deservedly completed their first league double over the Reds since 1947.

Their reward is a place back in the top 10 of the Premier League, while Liverpool drop one spot to 13th and remain just four points above the relegation zone ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby at home to Everton.

With Steven Gerrard suspended following his red card against Manchester United in last Sunday's FA Cup tie and several injuries elsewhere in the squad, Dalglish made some intriguing changes.

Christian Poulsen and Milan Jovanovic - two summer signings seen by some Liverpool fans as symbolic of how the club has lost its way in recent times - were both handed rare league starts, while the returning Glen Johnson played at left-back with Paul Konchesky on the bench. Youngster Martin Kelly took up Johnson's regular place on the opposite side of the defence.

Dalglish and new assistant Steve Clarke had barely taken their seats before Martin Kelly slipped the ball down the left channel for Torres, who fired past Richard Kingson into the far corner from an acute angle for his ninth of the season.

It was a flash of the Torres of old - aggressive pace followed by an expert finish - and it looked at that moment as though the regenerative effect Liverpool had hoped Dalglish would instil had taken hold.

However, after they grabbed that lead, the same old problems surfaced once more, and Taylor-Fletcher's leveller proved it will take a lot more than a piece of Liverpool's glorious past to safeguard their uncertain future.

Raul Meireles stretched to reach a poor pass in midfield and could only give the ball away to David Vaughan, who in turn found Taylor-Fletcher. The former Huddersfield and Dagenham forward bundled his way through Daniel Agger and slotted past Pepe Reina for his first goal since October.

Soon afterwards Campbell almost put the Tangerines in front when Neal Eardley's cross caused problems in the Liverpool box, but the in-form forward headed inches wide.

The rest of the half remained just as open, but it was Blackpool who looked more likely to score the game's third goal.

The uncertainty which continues to prevail in the Liverpool back line was summed up when Campbell's pressing forced Reina into a hurried clearance from a poor backpass from Agger. The ball only went as far as Taylor-Fletcher, whose quick thinking to try a lob was not matched by his execution of it.

Liverpool continued to be out-played after the break, with Reina forced into making a fine save from Charlie Adam before, moments later, tipping Vaughan's effort over the bar with an even better stop.

The visitors eventually began to fight back, with Torres volleying over the bar and Dirk Kuyt forcing a good save from Kingson, but it was Blackpool who struck next and, ultimately, last.

Liverpool cleared a corner but were not decisive with their handling of the second ball back into the box. Ian Evatt may have been a shade offside when the ball came in, but he should not have been able to nod it back across goal where Campbell beat Reina with a clinical diving header.

It was his fifth goal as many games, and he was hoisted on to a team-mate's shoulders in delirious celebrations completely at odds with Liverpool's dejection.

Dalglish waited until the 76th minute to make a change, bringing on Jonjo Shelvey for Kuyt, but when Craig Cathcart handballed in the Blackpool area only for Torres to justifiably receive a yellow card for shoving the defender, their fate was clear, and Blackpool held on to complete a memorable league double which no one could have predicted when they gained promotion via last season's play-offs.

News & Photo From:
Tony Mabert / Eurosport

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