Liverpool frustrated by Blackburn at Anfield

Liverpool 1 Blackburn 1

Even the return of captain Steven Gerrard after a two-month absence failed to lift Liverpool out of their current Anfield malaise as the Barclays Premier League's bottom club Blackburn left with a point they barely deserved.

The England international, sidelined since October with an ankle problem, played the final 21 minutes but could not inspire a change in fortunes.

Kenny Dalglish's side, although unbeaten at home this season, have now drawn six and won three and been held five times in the last six outings at Anfield.

And had it not been for Maxi Rodriguez's 11th goal in his last 12 starts it the result could have been more embarrassing after Charlie Adam had put through his own net on the stroke of half-time.

A familiar pattern of failing to take chances emerged very early on but the difference here, throughout the whole side, was the lack of spark and crispness which the Reds have usually had.

Luis Suarez's second-minute free-kick which sailed just over set the tone before Adam sliced an ambitious volley from outside the area which gave Mark Bunn, deputising for the injured Paul Robinson, a much easier save than he could have anticipated.

There followed two efforts from Suarez, one into the side-netting from Glen Johnson's pass, and the other missing the target completely with a left-footed shot from a similar position on the right of the penalty area.

In recent months opposition goalkeepers have made a habit of saving their best performances for Anfield and Bunn's point-blank block from Andy Carroll, starting for the first time in four matches, after Downing had kept in Jose Enrique's deep cross had a familiar look to it.

Carroll had a goal ruled out on the half-hour as Suarez was offside and the assistant's flag rescued Bunn from conceding a penalty when he brought down Rodriguez, although it was inactive Suarez and not the Argentinian who had got ahead of the Rovers defence.

Blackburn's attacking was sporadic at best and when they did get a chance to test the meanest defence in the Barclays Premier League they wasted it as Ayegbeni Yakubu's cross from a quickly-taken corner was well over-hit.

In the end they needed a helping hand as, totally against the run of play, Adam diverted Morten Gamst Pedersen's inswinging corner past his own goalkeeper just seconds before half-time.

It capped a disappointing few days for the Scotland international, who also put through his own net against Rovers for Blackpool last season, as he missed a penalty in Wednesday's goalless draw at Wigan.

It took Liverpool eight minutes to equalise.

Downing's cross was cleared only as far as Martin Skrtel who hooked the ball back to the far post where Rodriguez headed in from close range.

The goal gave the Reds the spark they needed and, with Bunn wasting time at every opportunity, Suarez headed wide Downing's corner from a spot very close to where his team-mate had equalised.

A Carroll overhead kick was cleared by Grant Hanley while another Rodriguez far-post header, this time back across the six-yard area was crying out for a final touch with no Liverpool player anywhere near.

Gerrard finally got his long-awaited return to action in the 69th minute when he replaced Adam and ran straight on to curl in a free-kick which was headed over by Rodriguez.

Suarez then headed over Johnson's cross before the England defender was relieved to see David Dunn stab wide after needlessly giving away possession in midfield.

The action intensified as Carroll headed wide Enrique's cross, Rodriguez made way for Craig Bellamy to come on against his former club and Downing rolled a left-footed shot too close to Bunn having been played in by Gerrard.

Liverpool twice thought they had stolen the points in the closing moments, Carroll drawing a fine save from Bunn with a close-range volley and 17-year-old Adam Henley, on his first senior start, clearing off the line after Daniel Agger's header from the subsequent corner.

Such problems cannot be allowed to continue for Kenny Dalglish, who must surely have to address the issue of a lack of goals in the coming transfer window.

Blackburn's players celebrated a hard-earned point at the final whistle but their difficulties - they remain bottom of the table - will probably take more fixing.

PA

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence