Blackburn V Liverpool Review
We lost our £10 bet but we were thoroughly entertained and this match had everything for supporters and neutrals alike.
Two penalties, One sending off and ten bookings don't tell the half of it. This was a madcap game that was affected by the persistent rain as players slid through with their challenges and got booked for their trouble.
With one eye on the Semi Final against Everton on Saturday, Liverpool decided to field half a team of regulars and half of those knocking on the door to try and hold down a first team place.
But with their recent appalling form it was hard to notice who the second stringers were here.
Henderson played one of his best games for the Reds and likewise Carroll. Shelvey was excellent in midfield full of running and endeavour whilst Spearing was again efficient in midfield.
For Blackburn, Yakubu was once again their focus of attack and had an excellent game deservedly getting the man of the match award.
Liverpool started brightly but Blackburn had their spell of pressure and when the ball came loose in the box Skrtel raked a pass Gerrard style to the racing Bellamy who ran into acres of space in the Blackburn half and delivered a peach of a pass for the onrushing Maxi to slot home. 0-1.
A few minutes later Liverpool were two up when Maxi again popped up in the right place at the right time to finish. That's 11 goals in 10 games for the midfielder.
Please don't tell me Maxi will be benched for Downing when Saturday comes.
For a moment it looked like Blackburn would be overwhelmed but the games turning point came when Flanagan sold the goalkeeper short with a poor backpass and Yakubu chased the ball down.
The Liverpool goalkeeper made an attempt to get the ball but failed and felled Yakubu.
Clear penalty and clear sending off.
Oh woe for Doni. You wait for months to get your goalkeeping chance and when it comes you manage to get yourself sent off and miss the FA Cup semi final against Everton.
No wonder he trudged slowly to the tunnel. A penny for his thoughts?
The already booked Flanagan was hooked and replaced with Liverpool's third choice keeper Brad Jones whose first action was to save a very poor Yakubu penalty.
With 35 minutes gone Blackburn exposed Liverpool's soft underbelly with a well delivered free kick that picked out Yakubu and he atoned for his penalty miss in emphatic style finding the bottom corner with Brad Jones rooted to the middle of the goal.
With the second half well underway came the keystone cops moment when Brad Jones tried to clear a back pass only to smack it against the onrushing Yakubu.
The ball ballooned in the air, Jones flapped at it, missed and as Yakubu started to chase the ball for an easy tap in Jones brought him down with a push.
One half of Liverpool held it's breath as the referee reached for another card. Yellow. It could so easily have been red and Liverpool would be down to under 18 keepers for the next game!
This time Yakubu made no mistake with the penalty drilling it down the centre. 2-2.
Then followed booking after booking as players tried to tackle but could not pull out with the rain making the surface very greasy.
If the referee had taken conditions into account he may not have been so card happy.
With two minutes of injury time gone Liverpool kept up their attacking and Andy Carroll was rewarded with a thumping header at point blank range to take the victory celebration.
A fantastically entertaining game that you couldn't take your eyes off for one minute.
Next up for Liverpool: FA Cup Semi final against Everton.
Next up for Blackburn: Away at Swansea.