Steven Gerrard

Determined Blackburn Earn FA Cup Replay Against Liverpool

Liverpool v Blackburn Rovers - FA Cup Quarter Final

Championship side Blackburn produced a dogged display to hold Premiership side Liverpool to a goalless draw in the quarter finals of the FA Cup. Blackburn came into this one in confident mood after dumping out Premier League side Stoke 4-1 in the last round.

The visitors Blackburn who are 11th in the Championship again had Jordan Rhodes on the bench, which has lead to speculation that the Scottish International could be loaned out to promotion chasing Derby County.

Blackburn captain Matt Kilgallon who was full of praise for stand in Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson before the game also starts.

As for the home side Liverpool who have been in brilliant form of late, they didn’t have club captain Steven Gerrard in their match day squad as the 34 year old recovers fully from a hamstring injury.

Other than that bit of news the Reds had very much the same team that has been instrumental in their impressive revival after a very poor start to the season. Liverpool are now fifth in the Premier League respectively – and are now with in touching distance of fourth place Manchester United.

Despite there being some 25 league places separating the two sides, it was Blackburn who started brightly. Craig Conway fired over for the visitors early on as the visitors didn’t appear to be intimidated by their premeir League opponnents. Kolo Toure who replaced fellow central defender Martin Skrtel who had to go off with a serious looking head injury, had a goal ruled out for offside.

The Reds who haven’t won English footballs top cup competition since 2006,had goal keeper Simon Mignolet to thank for keeping them in the game. The Belgian who received a lot of criticism for his performances earlier in the season, dived superbly to his left and clawed a way a powerful Alex Baptiste drive which was destined for the top corner.

With hosts struggling to take a strangle hold of thr game, Liverpool decided to bring on Mario Balotelli who looks like he is now starting to settle in to life at Anfield, the Italian came on to offer some support to Daniel Sturridge as the Premier League side were looking to avoid the replay.

However just like in the last round, Liverpool couldn’t break down their Championship hosts as this game finished 0-0. Blackburn would be the happier of the two sides you would think, especially with the knowledge that they have defeated Premier League opposition in Swansea and Stoke at Ewood Park.

With Liverpool though Rovers know they have a much more difficult game, the Reds did beat Blackburn’s Lancashire rivals Bolton, so this will be far from easy. It’s hard to say who will win this match – but what is certain is that this cup tie is finely balanced.

Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard To Leave At The End Of The Season To Move To LA Galaxy

Liverpool captain will leave the Anfield side at the end of the season, ending a 25 year association with The Reds

Liverpool captain will leave the Anfield side at the end of the season, ending a 25 year association with The Reds

For many football fans, the words Liverpool and Steven Gerrard would tend to go hand and hand – but not not for much longer. The 34 year old Liverpool captain announced this week that he is to end his 25 year association with the Reds and move to American club LA Galaxy.

Steven George Gerrard who has been at Anfield since the age of nine, will no doubt leave a big ‘hole’ in the Liverpool squad after ‘carrying’ the Liverpool team on it’s own it could be argued. What can be argued is Stevie G’s desire to succeed. The soon to be former Liverpool captain does boast of an impressive medal collection, Uefa Champions League, UEFA Cup (as is was known back then), FA Cup and League Cup medals.

It’s quite an impressive medal collection – but the lack of premier league medal will always be a ‘black mark’ if there was one on an impressive Liverpool career which spans 16 years. I am sure there wouldn’t have been many people in the football world, who would have thought at the time that a young 18 year old midfielder player from Whiston would turn out to be such a Liverpool icon.

The Whiston born midfielder made his debut in 1998 – but would have to wait until 2000 to become a permanent fixture in the Liverpool side. Three years later in 2003, Gerrard was made club captain replacing club legend Sami Hypia.

Steven Gerrard’s undoubted ability was always going to attract admiring glances from rival clubs and through out Gerrard’s career that was always the case with speculation always linking the Liverpool captain to clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid – but Gerrard remained very loyal.

The lack of premier league title on his impressive list of honours did tempt Gerrard to leave Liverpool for Chelsea – but the Reds’ captain ended up staying at Anfield. What made the Liverpool captain decide that his future lies elsewhere was the more frequent appearances on the subs bench this season – and how he was getting managed. What might make the Liverpool’s captain more painful was that he 34 year old has come out and said he might have stayed at Anfield if a deal was offered sooner. The Anfield clubs board only offered Gerrard a new deal in November.

The FA Cup tie against AFC Wimbledon, was an example that the 34 year old still has the ability to contribute in the key games, which has been something that he has done time and time again over the years. It could be argued ‘ it’s only Wimbledon ‘ but if Gerrard hadn’t made his contribution in the third round game against Liverpool, then I am not 100% sure we would be talking about Liverpool being in the fourth round draw of the FA cup.

It’s a real shame that a player of Gerrard’s calibre is leaving these shores – but what Liverpool’s loss is most definitely LA Galaxy’s gain because at 34 Steven Gerrard still has the ability to perform at the highest level.