After The Match 


Blackburn-Liverpool 0-1 (0-1)       16.04.06                       PL
Goals: Fowler (29)
Team: Reina, Finnan, Warnock, Hyypia, Carragher, Sissoko, Alonso, Riise, Cisse, Fowler, Morientes
Subs: Garcia (Fowler 63), Kewell (Warnock 69),
Kromkamp (Morientes 81)
Not used: Dudek, Traore
Yellow: Sissoko (26), Alonso (55)      Savage (14), Bentley (31)
Red: None
Referee: A Wiley
Attendance: 29,142
Shots on target: 3-2
Shots off target: 3-4
Possession: 54.2-45.8
Fouls conceded: 13-11
Corners: 6-4
Offsides: 5-5
Yellow: 2-2


HEADLINES "He's working hard because he loves Liverpool..."
Rafa on Robbie

1604: Rafa content with win
1604: Hughes unhappy with goal
1604: Fowler strike gives Liverpool win


Matchwinner Fowler celebrates with Sissoko. (Photo: AP)

Rafa content with win

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was happy with his side's win at Blackburn.

The in-form Reds made it six wins on the trot thanks to Robbie Fowler's first half goal.

"We worked very hard," said Benitez. "They put us under pressure with long balls, but we created clear chances.

"The four defenders worked hard, and it was our idea to stay deep and not allow Paul Dickov and Craig Bellamy to run at us."

Benitez was also remaining coy over Fowler's future at Anfield.

Fowler's short-term deal expires at the end of the season and as yet no new contract offer has been put on the table.

"If he continues scoring goals it will be easy," added Benitez.

"He's working hard because he loves Liverpool. He knows my ideas and he will continue working.

"If I say `no' it will be difficult for me - but he would understand. If I say `yes' if he continues scoring goals it will be easier for me, him and the fans."

Hughes unhappy with goal

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Blackburn boss Mark Hughes was left to bemoan the offside law after seeing his side lose to Liverpool.

Robbie Fowler's controversial first half goal dented Blackburn's hopes of winning a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.

Djibril Cisse was in an offside position in the build-up to Fowler's goal although referee Alan Wiley judged the Frenchman was not interfering with play.

Hughes wants the offside issue clarified as he feels there is too much confusion surrounding the ruling.

"The ball's thrown in, and he makes movement towards the ball - so in my view he is interfering with play," said Hughes.

"It is very unclear and nobody knows the circumstances of it and until it is cleared up there are always going to be incidents as we have seen today.

"The law is very unclear, and it's very difficult to hold a defensive line."

Blackburn failed to trouble Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina as The Reds recorded their sixth win on the trot and Hughes admitted they found it hard to break down the visitors' defence.

"It is always difficult to break down their defence," added Hughes. "Their back four is very accomplished and we could not draw out their full backs so it was hard to get behind their back four.

"We lost the game, but we have a big game on Wednesday and we will go again."

Fowler strike gives Liverpool win

BBC Sport Online

Robbie Fowler scored his fourth goal in five games to extend Liverpool's winning run to seven matches.

Fowler slotted into an open net from Fernando Morientes' pass after the offside Djibril Cisse was adjudged not to have interfered with play.

Cisse could have doubled the Reds' lead on the stroke of half time but Brad Friedel turned his strike onto the bar.

Blackburn piled on the pressure in the second half as Liverpool retreated but failed to seriously trouble Jose Reina.

The win means that Liverpool now only need one point from their remaining three fixtures.

Liverpool were without their influential captain Steven Gerrard who pulled out of the squad with a tight hamstring before kick-off and Peter Crouch and Harry Kewell were surprisingly left out of the line-up.

And their absence made for a toothless Liverpool attack for much of the first half.

Blackburn looked the most threatening and Rovers' energy and hustling in midfield forced Liverpool onto the back foot.

But for all Blackburn's industry, the home side were lacking the killer pass that Craig Bellamy was constantly searching for.

And it was the visitors who seized the initiative after 29 minutes.

Their opener was clouded in controversy as the referee's assistant allowed play to continue as Fowler controlled for Cisse who was standing in an offside position.

The France international striker let the ball run for the overlapping Morientes who coolly and unselfishly squared for Fowler to side-foot into an open net.

On the stroke of half time former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel kept out Cisse's strike by turning it onto the bar when the forward was clean through.

It would have been harsh on the home side to go into the break two goals down and as the half-time whistle blew Rovers' tempers began to fray with Lucas Neill booked for a horrific challenge on Cisse.

Ryan Nelson saw a flicked header drift narrowly past the post and Robbie Savage slashed a volley wide as the home side probed for an equaliser.

Blackburn boss Mark Hughes introduced Shefki Kuqi to intimidate the resolute Liverpool defence but Morientes almost put the result beyond doubt with a close-range header that just went wide.

Cisse had a better chance to seal it at the end but he could only hit the post after being put clean through.

Rovers pushed for an equaliser but failed to break down the solid Liverpool resistance as boss Rafa Benitez celebrated his 46th birthday with a victory.

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Thor Zakariassen