English Premiership

Blackburn down Liverpool

2011-01-06 07:23
Roy Hodgson (AP)

Blackburn - Roy Hodgson's future as Liverpool manager became even more uncertain on Wednesday after an embarrassing 3-1 loss at Blackburn for the Reds' ninth Premier League defeat of the season.

Benjani Mwaruwari scored twice in his first start since November 6 after Martin Olsson had given Blackburn the lead.

Steven Gerrard pulled one back in the 81st but then sent a penalty high five minutes later to dash Liverpool's hopes of a comeback.

Hodgson has been under severe pressure after a lackluster first half of the season, and Liverpool fans again chanted for club legend Kenny Dalglish to take over as manager. Home supporters at Ewood Park also joined in the taunts of "You're getting sacked in the morning" directed at Hodgson.

Liverpool had lost just one of its previous 24 league meetings against Blackburn, but its midfield failed to impose itself on the game.

Fernando Torres flashed an early header wide but spent most of the game complaining to referee Andre Marriner after a series of tough tackles.

Rovers looked far more threatening, as Dunn volleyed over from the edge of the penalty area and Mame Biram Diouf bundled an eight-yard shot straight at Jose Reina.

Defender Ryan Nelsen was then given plenty of time in the center of the field to play the ball out to Diouf on the left and when he knocked it on Olsson raced past the static Glen Johnson to fire past Reina in the 32nd minute.

Five minutes later it was Sotirios Kyrgiakos' turn to be slow to react as Benjani controlled Pedersen's cross on his chest and turned to lash a ferocious volley past Reina.

Hodgson's misery was complete in the 57th when Hoilett easily went around Martin Skrtel and Johnson and crossed for Benjani to sidefoot home his second.

Gerrard, in his 550th Liverpool appearance, fired in a consolation after Torres' shot was blocked but then ballooned over a penalty after being fouled in the area.

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