Football: Camara exposes negative Rovers

Blackburn Rovers 2

Carragher og 41, Dunn 51

Liverpool 2

Fowler 23, Redknapp 40

Half-time: 1-2

THE SANITY of bookmakers offering odds of just 7-4 against Blackburn Rovers bouncing straight back to the Premiership as champions of the First Division is being questioned in these parts - not least by the manager, Brian Kidd. To say it is an unattractive flutter is to considerably understate matters. On this performance, where a draw flattered the patchy play of the home side, Blackburn may even be pushed to make the play-offs.

"People seem to think it's a foregone conclusion that we'll bounce straight back, but I know it's going to be a hard job. We have to earn the right to be in the Premiership, and there's a lot of rebuilding to be done here," said Kidd.

That is a sentiment his opposite number, Gerard Houllier, understands well. Just three teams have won the title since the Premiership was created, and Liverpool - the kings of the Seventies and Eighties - are not one of them. It would be asking too much for Houllier, in his first season in full control, to turn back the clock and return the club to its former eminence, but the bankrolling for future success has begun in earnest. Houllier has not found it difficult to recruit the players he feels he requires to mount a genuine challenge and five of them - with a combined price-tag of nearly pounds 22m - started the game.

If his charges were not firing on all cylinders then, for the first half at least, they frequently showed signs that they may have the ability to switch upwards through the gears. "We showed that we have potential," Houllier said, "and I feel we can score goals, though defensively we are still not as sharp and tight as we need to be. Converting opportunity into reward was one of the key shortcomings which undid Liverpool's campaign last term. But Titi Camara, at pounds 2.5m the cheapest of the new boys, indicated that firepower should not be a limiting factor this time.

He was at ease with the rough and tumble offered by Blackburn's uncertain, though robust, defensive efforts, and he showed an array of deft touches. These may have Houllier re-assessing his front-line choices, particularly when Michael Owen returns, which the manager said would not be for at least another two weeks.

Camara's delightful pass, neatly played with the outside of the boot, gave Robbie Fowler ample time and space to slide the ball past John Filan for the first goal, and he was also provider as he lifted the ball over bemused defenders for Redknapp to volley home.

Indeed, Camara did his best to bring as many of his team-mates into the game as he could, but a combination of the stifling heat of Ewood Park and the tiredness brought on by two games in 48 hours meant Houllier's other summer signings - notably Deitmar Hamann and Vladimir Smicer - were little more than bit-players.

It was their ineffectiveness, and a break-down in communication, which brought Blackburn back into the game. Carragher generously headed past new keeper Sander Westerweld for Rovers' first; and, in the second half, David Dunn levelled with a powerful drive after a gutsy run down the right.

Blackburn (4-4-2): Filan; Kenna, Davidson, Carsley, Dailly; Broomes, Gillespie, Grayson, Davies, Wilcox; Davies, Gallacher. Subs: Duff, Kelly, Dunn, Croft, Johnson, Taylor, Corbett.

Liverpool (4-4-2): Westerveld; Heggem, Bjornebye, Carragher, Hyypia; Smicer, Redknapp, Hamann, Berger; Fowler, Camara. Subs: Gerrard, Staunton, Leonhardsen, Thompson, Nielsen, Meijer, Murphy, Song, Kvarme.

Referee: P Richards (Preston).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable