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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones