Blackburn 2 Liverpool 3: Dalglish admits win will give his squad a lift
Kenny Dalglish believes Liverpool's 3-2 victory over Blackburn can give the Reds a timely lift ahead of their FA Cup semi-final
Kenny Dalglish believes Liverpool’s victory over Blackburn Rovers will provide the Reds with a timely lift ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Everton at Wembley on Saturday.
Maxi Rodríguez scored twice to hand the visitors a comfortable first half lead at Ewood Park but Liverpool suffered a setback when goalkeeper Alexander Doni was sent off for fouling Junior Hoilett in the box.
The Reds substitute goalkeeper Brad Jones saved Yakubu’s penalty but the Nigerian pulled one back 11 minutes before the interval.
Jones was at fault when he gave away a second-half penalty for fouling Yakubu, who this time converted from the spot to make it 2-2, but under-fire Liverpool striker Andy Carroll came on as a substitute and emphatically headed a winner past Paul Robinson in added time.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the effort and commitment the players showed,” Dalglish said. “They got a fantastic start, were 2-0 up and then we go down to 10 men.
“With the help of the supporters, who drove us forward, I thought we did really well in the second half. I think we just about deserved to win.
“We’re delighted for the players. It’s not been the best of times for them recently. That doesn’t mean to say we’ve turned any corners but it certainly gives everyone a lift.
“We’re delighted with the result and with the three points, and we pay tribute to the players.
“It’s always that bit more enjoyable when you win a game towards the end with 10 men, it’s always fresh in your mind.
“That’s a wee bit of enjoyment for everybody at the football club.”
Liverpool will be without first-choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina who is suspended for their FA Cup semi-final and back-up shot stopper Alexander Doni will also be unavailable following his dismissal on Wednesday night.
It leaves former Middlesbrough keeper Brad Jones as Dalglish’s only senior candidate to deputise for the Reds’ Spain international against Everton on Saturday, and the Reds manager was impressed by Jones’ contribution against Blackburn.
“He had a wee bit of an advantage because the two of them were at Middlesbrough together, The Yak and him,” said Dalglish. “Maybe he had a wee bit of a psychological advantage.
“It was a great save and his first contribution for the club in the Premier League is to save a penalty – I’m sure he’ll remember that.”