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Liverpool 1 Rovers 0


Alan75
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Match Report by Bellamy 11

I thought we started the best of the two teams. We kept the ball reasonably well and the Liverpool defence were very worried in possession against two harrying strikers who don't give you a minutes rest. Kuqi is never going to score many spectacular individual goals or outpace defenders but he gives them other types of problems and he was effective with Dickov doing the same thing. He also won his fair share of headers.

I'll have to see a replay before I comment on the sending off. It looked a definite foul and had it been at the other end no doubt we'd be bemoaning the "weak" ref for giving a home decision had he not sent the player off.

After that it was always going to be a case of 1 point or nothing. Kuqi's game doesn't work when he's so isolated up front on his own. He needs a partner or runners from midfield. We didn't have the set-up to provide him with either.

We defended well for the main. Savage was our best player. He made us competitive despite the fact that MGP, Tugay and Bentley all did next to nothing. The defence were all strong, and Toddy didn't look too bad for his lack of first-team action. Will be interesting to see what happens now and whether he will regain the captains armband.

We spotted how the goal was going to happen before it went in. Cisse was ready for the shift but Blackburn weren't. It didn't appear to go in a corner. I know he hits them hard, but I'd really expect a goalkeeper of Brad's quality to at least get behind it. Seemed to be beaten all too easily.

I saw enough to suggest that with a full strength side we should be capable of a top ten place. It took Liverpool some time to get into the game. This will partly be down to the fact that we were playing their reserves, but we should also take some credit. The sending off killed the game as a spectacle and practically ended our chances of winning.

Friedel - Some decent stops but suspect for the goal and didn't catch a lot. 6

Neill - Solid enough and some excellent timewasting. 7

Zura - Unlucky to be sent off but maybe should have let cisse go out wide. 6

Nelsen - Composed as usual. 8

Gray - Gave the ball away for the red card. Mixture of good and bad. 7

Bentley - Didn't do anything really. Couldn't hold onto the ball. 5

Savage - Immense pressuring. Is becoming more valuable with every game. 8

Tugay - Like at Old Trafford, didn't really do enough. 6

MGP - Some decent touches in the first half, and shouldn't have been replaced by Emerton, but still poor. 6

Dickov - Was doing well before being sacrificed. 7

Kuqi - Won a lot in the air and worked tirelessly up front on his own. A bigger threat than Stead. 7

I think we'll be alright, but in order to make the most of our season we need to keep Bellamy fit and win more of our home games.

Liverpool: Reina, Josemi (Luis Garcia 60), Carragher, Traore, Warnock (Riise 74), Finnan, Sissoko, Alonso, Zenden, Crouch (Morientes 66), Cisse.

Subs Not Used: Hamann, Carson.

Goals: Cisse 75.

Rovers: Friedel, Neill, Khizanishvili, Nelsen, Gray, Bentley, Tugay (Mokoena 67), Savage, Pedersen (Emerton 67), Dickov (Todd 35), Kuqi.

Subs Not Used: Enckelman, Reid.

Sent Off: Khizanishvili (33).

Booked: Bentley, Neill, Savage.

Att: 44,697.

Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).

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