Second half goals from Xabi Alonso, Yossi Benayoun and Steven Gerrard keep Liverpool top of the Premier League.
The Reds went two up courtesy of Alonso and Benayoun but Santa Cruz made it a more nervy last five minutes than expected, until Gerrard put the result beyond doubt deep in injury time.
It wasn’t a vintage performance and the first half saw Liverpool fail to test Paul Robinson, the best chance falling to Benayoun but former Red Stephen Warnock put in a last ditch tackle. The visitors largely lacked creativity or end product with Kuyt lacking support and little imagination from deep.
It was the introduction of youngster Nabil El Zhar that changed the game, replacing Babel out wide. El Zhar and full back Emiliano Insua, along with Sami Hyypia, were Liverpool’s top performers.
Santa Cruz became the first player to score against Liverpool since Roman Pavlyuchenko in the defeat at Spurs, but it looked like being a third consecutive league 0-0 for large parts of the game.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hyypia, Insua, Benayoun (Riera 87), Alonso, Mascherano (Lucas 83), Gerrard, Babel (El Zhar 64), Kuyt
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Keane, Agger, Dossena
Booked: Arbeloa, Babel
Goals: Alonso (69), Benayoun (79), Gerrard (90)
Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelson, Warnock, Emerton, Andrews, Tugay, Pedersen, Derbyshire, Santa Cruz
Subs not used: Brown, Fowler, Simpson, Villanueva
Booked: Andrews, Warnock
Goal: Santa Cruz (85)
Referee: Andrew Marriner
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