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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Sunday, 24 October 2010 16:52 UK

Liverpool   2 - 1   Blackburn

Fernando Torres
Torres (centre) celebrates after scoring his second goal of the season

By Alistair Magowan

Fernando Torres scored his first goal since August to earn Liverpool a hugely significant victory at Anfield.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos gave the Reds the lead on 48 minutes when he powered in a header from Steven Gerrard's corner.

But Blackburn hit back when El-Hadji Diouf's shot was deflected in by Jamie Carragher after Paul Konchesky cleared.

Torres then saved Carragher's blushes three minutes later when he side-footed in a Joe Cole cross but Liverpool stay in the Premier League's bottom three.

The Spanish striker's volley was only his second goal of the season but it represented a huge step forward for Roy Hodgson's team as it delivered their second league win.

They dominated for long periods of the game and should have taken the lead in a first half where Blackburn had Paul Robinson to thank for keeping them in the game.

But despite their attempts to give the Anfield crowd a scare when they threw away their lead within two minutes, Torres's return to goalscoring form will give everyone a lift after a dark period at the club.

Roy Hodgson relieved with Liverpool win

Perhaps showing how bad things have been in recent times, Gerry Marsden, of Gerry and the Pacemakers, led a rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone on the pitch right before the game started to give the fans a boost.

But with new owner John W Henry unable to watch the first home game since taking over at the club through illness, Marsden's rallying cry seemed to have the desired effect as Liverpool began with a real thrust to their play.

Torres showed his intent from the very start, chasing down fellow compatriot Michel Salgado despite leaving his boot in, and as early as the eighth minute Liverpool came to close to opening the scoring.

A good interchange between Maxi Rodriguez and Torres allowed the Argentine to cut the ball back from the byline for Cole, whose shot was well saved by Robinson, but it was Raul Meireles who had the best opportunity, failing to hit the target with the follow-up even though the goal was gaping.

Torres was looking far more lively than in recent games, perhaps justifying Hodgson's decision to rest him and several other players for the midweek Europa League trip to Naples.

Blackburn centre-back Phil Jones denied the Spaniard by getting to a dangerous Gerrard centre, and the Liverpool striker then went close with another header from a Carragher cross.

606: DEBATE
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Even early on, Gerrard was finding space in wide areas to deliver into the penalty area, and nearly every corner he took was causing Blackburn problems.

Kyrgiakos drew a fine save from Robinson with a header from Gerrard's set-piece and from another, Meireles almost took Salgado's head off when his bullet shot looked set for the top corner.

Despite all their attacking intent, the Anfield crowd remained quiet but they were brought to life once more when Liverpool burst forward on the counter-attack from a Blackburn corner.

Meireles was involved once again and his pull back across the edge of the box allowed Gerrard the chance to take aim but his well-struck shot was again saved by Robinson.

Lucas Leiva then had a great chance to finally beat the Blackburn keeper but the Brazilian could not find the target with his header, even though he was only four yards out.

Rovers were being made to suffer for the lack of their suspended centre-back Chris Samba and the injured Ryan Nelsen but the watching Liverpool co-owner Tom Werner must have been impressed with Liverpool's attacking verve.

Allardyce blames player absence

He would not have been long back in his seat after the interval when the hosts eventually took the lead that their first-half play deserved.

Once again it was a Gerrard corner which bore fruit with Kyrgiakos thumping a header towards goal which deflected off Martin Olsson.

The relief in Anfield was palpable but within two minutes Blackburn were level with a goal that was almost comical, given their lack of chances during the game.

On as a half-time substitute, Benjani cut through the defence on Liverpool's left and although his cut back was tamely hit by Diouf, Konchesky's goal-line clearance hit Carragher and nestled in the net.

Goal will boost Torres confidence - Gerrard

Hodgson was crestfallen on the Liverpool bench but three minutes later Liverpool restored their lead, Cole's cross from the left allowing Torres to end his goal drought.

It was his first goal since the 1-0 victory over West Brom on 29 August but despite the end of his barren spell Liverpool remain in the bottom three of the Premier League, with only Wolves and West Ham beneath them.

Fortunately for the Reds supporters there was no second reply from Rovers and they would have been happy to watch as the game drifted for large parts of the second half.

The only disappointment would have been for Blackburn's travelling support. Sam Allardyce's team looked content to probe but lacked any endeavour to their play.

As for Hodgson, the decision to leave several of his key men out of the midweek European trip looked like a good one, and he will be pleased that there were signs, particularly during the first half, that Liverpool are at last getting a rhythm and intensity to their play.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Liverpool 2-1 Blackburn FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Kyrgiakos 48
  • Torres 53
  • Carragher (og) 50

Liverpool

Substitutes

Blackburn

Substitutes

Ref: DowdAtt: 43,328
LIVERPOOL
BLACKBURN

Possession

  • Liverpool 55%
  • Blackburn 45%

Attempts on target

  • Liverpool 10
  • Blackburn 2

Attempts off target

  • Liverpool 7
  • Blackburn 2

Corners

  • Liverpool 15
  • Blackburn 4

Fouls

  • Liverpool 17
  • Blackburn 12
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:02 The referee brings the game to a close.
  • 90:00+3:02 Martin Skrtel restarts play with the free kick.
  • 90:00+3:02 Booking Vincenzo Grella goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
  • 90:00+2:50 Foul by Vincenzo Grella on Leiva Lucas, free kick awarded.
  • 90:00+1:06 Michel Salgado challenges Rodriguez Maxi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.
  • 88:11 Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 88:11 Substitution Jonjo Shelvey is brought on as a substitute for Raul Meireles.
  • 88:11 Foul by Benjani Mwaruwari on Sotirios Kyrgiakos, free kick awarded.
  • 84:35 Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line, Raul Meireles takes a shot. Morten Gamst Pedersen gets a block in.
  • 84:28 A cross is delivered by Jamie Carragher, clearance made by Michel Salgado.
  • 81:58 Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 81:58 Booking The referee shows Raul Meireles a yellow card.
  • 81:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Raul Meireles on David Hoilett.
  • 80:03 A cross is delivered by Michel Salgado, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.
  • 79:57 The ball is sent over by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Jose Reina makes a save.
  • 77:51 Substitution Joe Cole leaves the field to be replaced by David Ngog.
  • 76:58 El-Hadji Diouf fouled by Paul Konchesky, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 75:50 Corner from the left by-line taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.
  • 75:11 Unfair challenge on Phil Jones by Joe Cole results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from right wing, clearance made by Sotirios Kyrgiakos.
  • 75:00 A cross is delivered by El-Hadji Diouf, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.
  • 73:00 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sotirios Kyrgiakos by Benjani Mwaruwari. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 71:58 Martin Olsson sends in a cross.
  • 69:24 A cross is delivered by Martin Olsson, Joe Cole makes a clearance.
  • 68:05 Effort from just outside the area by Morten Gamst Pedersen goes over the bar.
  • 66:48 Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 66:48 Substitution David Hoilett is brought on as a substitute for David Dunn.
  • 66:48 Booking Rodriguez Maxi shown a yellow card.
  • 66:34 Rodriguez Maxi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Olsson.
  • Correction - 65:51 Joe Cole takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jones.
  • 65:51 Joe Cole takes a shot. Phil Jones gets a block in.
  • 65:23 Joe Cole sends in a cross, clearance made by Phil Jones.
  • 65:11 Jamie Carragher produces a cross, Phil Jones manages to make a clearance.
  • 63:54 Centre by Jamie Carragher, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.
  • 62:29 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard, Sotirios Kyrgiakos has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.
  • 60:54 Foul by Benjani Mwaruwari on Leiva Lucas, free kick awarded. Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes the free kick.
  • 59:52 A cross is delivered by Joe Cole.
  • 58:17 Corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen to the near post, Unfair challenge on Jose Reina by Benjani Mwaruwari results in a free kick. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
  • 57:24 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf by Leiva Lucas. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • 55:51 Outswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Sotirios Kyrgiakos manages to make a clearance.
  • 55:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Vincenzo Grella by Raul Meireles. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the free kick.
  • 52:55 Joe Cole provided the assist for the goal.
  • 52:55 GOAL - Fernando TorresLiverpool 2 - 1 Blackburn Fernando Torres grabs a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool 2-1 Blackburn.
  • 52:45 Steven Gerrard takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Martin Olsson.
  • 50:45 El-Hadji Diouf takes a shot. Blocked by Paul Konchesky.
  • 50:36 Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
  • 49:55 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard, Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • 49:55 GOAL - Jamie CarragherLiverpool 1 - 1 Blackburn Headed own goal by Jamie Carragher. Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn.
  • 49:44 The ball is delivered by Jamie Carragher, clearance made by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • 48:46 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Gerrard on Martin Olsson. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 47:27 Steven Gerrard provided the assist for the goal.
  • 47:27 GOAL - Sotirios KyrgiakosLiverpool 1 - 0 Blackburn Sotirios Kyrgiakos scores a headed goal from close range. Liverpool 1-0 Blackburn.
  • 47:05 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard,
  • 45:47 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Konchesky by Brett Emerton. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 45:01 The second half has started.
  • 45:01 Substitution Benjani Mwaruwari comes on in place of Nikola Kalinic.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:05 It is the end of the first-half.
  • 45:00+1:05 The ball is crossed by Brett Emerton, save by Jose Reina.
  • 45:00+0:57 A cross is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • 44:59 The ball is crossed by Steven Gerrard.
  • 44:12 A cross is delivered by David Dunn, Jose Reina makes a save.
  • 43:19 Unfair challenge on Brett Emerton by Raul Meireles results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 42:20 A cross is delivered by Jamie Carragher, Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.
  • 42:02 Rodriguez Maxi sends in a cross.
  • 40:17 Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line played to the near post, Leiva Lucas has a headed effort from close range and clears the crossbar.
  • 39:31 Raul Meireles takes a shot. Michel Salgado gets a block in.
  • 39:02 Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line, Morten Gamst Pedersen makes a clearance.
  • 38:56 The ball is swung over by Fernando Torres, Gael Givet gets a block in.
  • 37:31 A cross is delivered by Raul Meireles, Phil Jones makes a clearance.
  • 36:32 Raul Meireles takes a shot. Blocked by El-Hadji Diouf.
  • 36:05 Corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Gael Givet.
  • 33:20 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf by Rodriguez Maxi. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 32:46 Corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by David Dunn.
  • 32:46 Substitution Vincenzo Grella replaces Steven Nzonzi.
  • 31:58 The referee blows for offside against El-Hadji Diouf. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.
  • 31:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jamie Carragher on El-Hadji Diouf. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 29:21 Unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen by Fernando Torres results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance made by Steven Gerrard.
  • 28:41 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Nzonzi by Rodriguez Maxi. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 27:46 Steven Gerrard crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Martin Olsson.
  • 27:46 Booking Booking for Martin Olsson.
  • 27:45 Booking Gael Givet receives a caution.
  • 27:20 El-Hadji Diouf gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard.
  • 26:34 Pass corner from left by-line crossed in by Steven Gerrard, David Dunn manages to make a clearance.
  • 25:08 Corner taken by Raul Meireles played to the near post, clearance made by David Dunn.
  • 24:54 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.
  • 24:13 Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen played to the near post, save by Jose Reina.
  • 24:07 David Dunn crosses the ball, Paul Konchesky gets a block in.
  • 23:35 Unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 22:58 Corner from the left by-line taken by Steven Gerrard, Morten Gamst Pedersen makes a clearance.
  • 22:35 A cross is delivered by Jamie Carragher, Phil Jones makes a clearance.
  • 20:37 Jamie Carragher sends in a cross, clearance made by Michel Salgado.
  • 20:16 Phil Jones challenges Fernando Torres unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.
  • 19:01 The referee blows for offside against David Dunn. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 18:20 Foul by Sotirios Kyrgiakos on Nikola Kalinic, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • 17:22 Shot on goal by Rodriguez Maxi from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
  • 16:52 Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line, Morten Gamst Pedersen manages to make a clearance.
  • 16:10 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Steven Gerrard, Sotirios Kyrgiakos takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.
  • 14:29 The ball is sent over by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save by Jose Reina.
  • 13:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nikola Kalinic on Paul Konchesky. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
  • 12:50 The ball is swung over by Jamie Carragher, Fernando Torres has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.
  • 11:13 Paul Konchesky sends in a cross, clearance made by Martin Olsson.
  • 10:02 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard, save by Paul Robinson.
  • 9:55 A cross is delivered by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Phil Jones.
  • Correction - 8:54 Effort on goal by Gael Givet from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 8:54 Shot from deep inside the area by Gael Givet clears the bar.
  • 8:27 El-Hadji Diouf fouled by Rodriguez Maxi, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance made by Steven Gerrard.
  • 7:49 Rodriguez Maxi challenges Morten Gamst Pedersen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Sotirios Kyrgiakos manages to make a clearance.
  • 7:18 Raul Meireles produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 7:08 Joe Cole takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
  • 5:37 Handball decision goes against Martin Skrtel. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 4:49 Morten Gamst Pedersen challenges Rodriguez Maxi unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Steven Gerrard from right channel, Morten Gamst Pedersen makes a clearance.
  • 4:09 The ball is crossed by Paul Konchesky, Gael Givet makes a clearance.
  • 2:54 The ball is sent over by Joe Cole, save made by Paul Robinson.
  • 2:45 Jamie Carragher crosses the ball.
  • 1:52 Steven Nzonzi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jose Reina. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.
  • 0:21 Michel Salgado fouled by Fernando Torres, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 0:00 The match begins.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League results

24 Oct 2010 23:59 UK


Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Oct 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 9 23 22
2 Arsenal 9 11 17
3 Man Utd 9 8 17
4 Man City 9 4 17
5 Tottenham 9 3 15
6 West Brom 9 -2 15
7 Sunderland 9 1 12
8 Bolton 9 0 12
9 Newcastle 9 1 11
10 Aston Villa 9 -4 11
11 Everton 9 1 10
12 Birmingham 9 -2 10
13 Stoke 9 -3 10
14 Blackpool 9 -7 10
15 Wigan 9 -9 10
16 Fulham 9 -1 9
17 Blackburn 9 -2 9
18 Liverpool 9 -5 9
19 Wolves 9 -7 6
20 West Ham 9 -10 6

see also
Hodgson relieved at Liverpool win
24 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Reds 'never at risk' - Scudamore
24 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Sunday's football as it happened
24 Oct 10 |  Football
Sunday's Premier League photos
24 Oct 10 |  Premier League



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