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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 21:57 GMT
Blackburn 3-4 Liverpool
Danny Murphy scores for Liverpool from the penalty spot
Murphy equalised for Liverpool
Emile Heskey scored twice as Liverpool extended Blackburn's miserable run of form with a comfortable win in the Carling Cup.

The Reds striker should have completed his hat-trick but failed to convert his team's second penalty of the game.

The first spot kick had been converted by Danny Murphy after Lucas Neill had been sent off against Liverpool for the second time this season.

Blackburn had taken the lead through Dwight Yorke but Liverpool took advantage of their numerical advantage to cement their place in the fourth round.

We could have been more clinical but it was a youthful side
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier

Harry Kewell scored a fourth for Liverpool before Barry Ferguson and Yorke redcuded the deficit.

In a game of many chances, the scoreline could have been much higher but for some abysmal finishing.

David Thompson almost opened the scoring with a powerful long-range drive that drifted narrowly wide while Ferguson went even closer, shaving the top of the Liverpool crossbar with a neat free-kick.

Lady Luck was not shining on us again and we have to keep believing in what we are doing
Rovers boss Graeme Souness

Blackburn eventually broke the deadlock after 35 minutes.

Yorke, back in the Blackburn starting line-up, superbly heading home a Thompson cross from the right after the Rovers winger had easily eluded Sami Hyppia.

Liverpool equalised shortly afterwards with a clinical penalty from Murphy.

The spot-kick had been awarded after Lucas Neill clipped Florence Sinama-Pongelle's back leg with the Reds striker through on goal and poised to shoot.

Referee Mike Riley wasted no time in sending Neill from the field for a professional foul.

KEY MOMENTS
35 mins: Yorke puts Blackburn ahead
39 mins: Murphy scores from the spot after Neill is sent off
49 mins: Heskey puts Liverpool in front
61 mins: Heskey scores with another header
79 mins: Kewell scores for Liverpool
81 mins: Ferguson pulls a goal back
90 mins: Yorke scores again
The match was Neill's first after completing a three-match suspension for his challenge that broke Jamie Carragher's leg the last time Liverpool met Blackburn.

Heskey should have put Liverpool in the lead shortly after half-time but, clean through on goal, lost his composure and blazed wide of the target.

But minutes later, he atoned for his miss with a superb header, guiding El Hadji Diouf's cross past Brad Friedel.

Heskey almost scored again after 54 minutes, but the striker shot over after latching onto a low cross at the near post.

Kewell spurned an excellent chance to put the visitors further ahead after 60 minutes but drilled the ball wide of the target when clean through.

But the miss did not prove costly, with Heskey once again converting a Diouf cross shortly afterwards.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Blackburn had opportunities to force their way back into the game, with Andy Cole guilty of a glaring miss.

The Reds should have then sealed their win when they were awarded a second penalty after Vratislav Gresko was adjudged to have fouled Kewell.

But Heskey spurned the chance to complete his hat-trick with a weak penalty the Friedel easily saved.

Heskey missed another great chance before Kewell scored Liverpool's fourth, converting another Diouf cross.

Ferguson scored with 10 minutes left, his first goal for Blackburn to give the home team a glimmer of hope.

Yorke found the net again to give the scoreline a respectable look, but the goal came with virtually the final kick.


Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Babbel, Martin Taylor, Gresko (Johansson 84), Reid (Gallagher 82), Ferguson, Tugay, Thompson (Emerton 59), Cole, Yorke.
Subs Not Used: Jansen, Yelldell.

Sent Off: Neill (40).

Liverpool: Kirkland, Biscan, Henchoz, Hyypia (Riise 45), Traore, Le Tallec, Gerrard (Hamann 81), Murphy, Diouf, Heskey, Sinama Pongolle (Kewell 45).
Subs Not Used: Finnan, Dudek.

Attendance: 16,918

Referee: M Riley (W Yorkshire).





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