Liverpool beat Blackburn 3-2 in Premier League
Blackburn: Andy Carroll scored an injury-time header to give 10-man Liverpool a 3-2 win at relegation-threatened Blackburn on Tuesday, but the Reds lost another goalkeeper to suspension ahead of this weekend`s FA Cup semifinal.
Liverpool looked headed for an easy victory after Maxi Rodriguez scored twice to leave the visitors up 2-0 by the 16th minute. But the game changed completely when Liverpool goalkeeper Alexander Doni was given a straight red card for bringing down Junior Hoilett in the area after the Blackburn player pounced on a sloppy back pass from Jon Flanagan.
While substitute goalkeeper Brad Jones stopped Ayegbeni Yakubu`s tame spot kick, the striker made up for it by scoring twice to draw Blackburn level by the 61st. Jones was lucky not to get sent off himself when he pushed Yakubu over in the area for another penalty that led to the second goal.
But Carroll`s leaping header in injury time gave Liverpool the win and left Blackburn mired in the relegation zone.
Liverpool, however, was left with its own worries.
With Pepe Reina already serving a suspension, Doni`s red card leaves Liverpool without its top two goalkeepers for Saturday`s FA Cup semifinal against crosstown rival Everton at Wembley.
While Jones had a perfect start to his first Premier League appearance with the club -- saving Yakubu`s penalty with his first touch -- the substitute was at fault for the equalizer. He first sent a poor clearance straight at Yakubu, and then failed to hold on to the ball after it bounced high up in the air and came down close to the goal line.
Jones pushed the ball weakly straight out and then bundled Yakubu over as they both went for the loose ball. Jones was allowed to stay on the field, however, as referee Anthony Taylor settled for a yellow card on that occasion.
That proved to be a key decision as Liverpool gradually took control of the game again and pushed for a winner. It came when Daniel Agger met a long ball into the area and headed it down toward Carroll, who dove forward to push it high into the net.
Liverpool had opened the scoring on a quick counter attack as Martin Skrtel`s long ball from well inside his own penalty area reached Craig Bellamy on the right and he charged forward before delivering a cross for Rodriguez to convert with a close-range finish.
Rovers barely had time to recover before the Argentine struck again. Jonjo Shelvey stole the ball from David Dunn and ran 50 yards to force Paul Robinson to parry his low shot into the path of Carroll. The striker`s effort was blocked by Bradley Orr into the path of Rodriguez, who smashed in a first-time volley with his weaker left foot.
After Yakubu missed his first penalty, he made amends 11 minutes later by heading in Dunn`s free kick.