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Mixed fortunes over the Easter weekend for Liverpool

Liverpool’s hopes of claiming fourth place in the Premiership all but evaporated over the weekend’s football fixtures being held to a 1 – 1 draw with Aston Villa at Anfield and claiming a last gasp victory today against league strugglers Blackburn at Ewood Park. The Reds realistically need to win all their remaining fixtures to qualify for the Champions League, and that would require other results to go their way! Liverpool are 13 points behind 4th placed Spurs with 15 points available!

Starting with the 1 – 1 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday, Liverpool were wasteful at best, Liverpool had 21 shots on goal and only five of those were on target. Dirk Kuyt somehow managed to fire over from two yards out while Luis Suarez hit the post and Daniel Agger hit the crossbar before Suarez finally found the back of the net in the 82nd minute. Despite all the Liverpool pressure, it was the visitors who netted first, Chris Herd firing past Doni from inside the nine yard box in the 10th minute. Liverpool desperately need to convert the pressure into goals!

Today’s game against Blackburn looked like it was heading for another draw before Andy Carroll’s 91st minute flying header secured three points for the Reds. Liverpool looked much better that they did against Villa, less overall shots but a higher quality of shots, forcing blocks and saves from the home defence. Maxi Rodriguez got the Reds off to a flying start with two goals in three minutes, both from close range; in the 13th and 16th minutes before Liverpool’s fortunes changed!

Another dark cloud hangs over Liverpool right now, second choice keeper Alexander Doni saw a straight red after unnecessarily bringing down Junior Hoilett, gifting the home side a penalty kick! Third choice Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones immediately came on, replacing Jon Flanagan for dismissed Doni and made a great save to preserve the two goal cushion in the 27th minute!

But that cushion was short lived as Ayegbeni Yakubu made up for his penalty miss with a close range headed goal in the 35th minute, before Jones himself found himself in the referee’s black book for fouling Yakubu, the Nigerian striker made no mistake this time from the penalty spot in the 61st minute. Suddenly the scores were level and this inspired Liverpool into a frenzy of goal strikes but the home side held firm until the 91st minute when Andy Carroll scored the winner!

Liverpool’s disciplinary record this season has been piss poor, having two keepers suspended in three games is exceptionally bad, not to mention Luis Suarez’ extended suspension, Liverpool will now go into the FA Cup semi final against Merseyside rivals Everton with third choice keeper Brad Jones between the sticks. Despite beating Everton home and away this season, the Evertonians will be no push over and they’ll take great heart from being ahead in the league and also having to face third choice keeper, Jones. Hopefully Liverpool can still pull out a result at Wembley!

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