Liverpool produced another dire performance to go down 3-1 away to Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night to continue a wretched, wretched season for the Reds.
Roy Hodgson’s job came under increased pressure as the Reds looked sluggish and uninspired to drop to 12th in the Premier League and sit just four points above the relegation zone.
Hodgson made four changes to the starting line-up that beat Bolton 2-1 at Anfield on New Years’ Day. With Raul Meireles injured, in stepped cpatain Steven Gerrard, whilst Paul Konchesky, Joe Cole and Sotiros Kyrgiakos all returned too.
Martin Olsson took advantage of lazy Glen Johnson defending to give Rovers a deserved lead on the half-hour mark, before Benjani doubled their advantage minutes later, turning Kyrgiakos and firing past Reina.
Benjani added a third shortly into the second half, completing a swift attacking move that Johnson failed to deal with and putting more miserly onto hapless Liverpool.
A late spirited fight from the Reds saw better attacking play. Cole went close and Gerrard pulled one goal back with a fine strike on 81 minutes.
Minutes later it looked like a comeback could well be on the cards when Gerrard went down in the box, won a penalty, but fired the resulting spot-kick well high of Mark Bunn’s goal.
Full credit to Liverpool’s travelling fans must be given, many of whom stayed right to the end to finish the singing, despite the scoreline. But the frustrations were there for all to be seen, with Hodgson the target of some frustrated abuse.
This was the first time in Premier League history Liverpool failed to sell-put of their allocation at Ewood Park.
And as if it couldn’t get any worse, Liverpool next play Manchester Utd on Sunday in the FA Cup at Old Trafford.
Dark days indeed.
The aftermath begins with the fans in our Liverpool FC Forums.
Team Line-ups and Substitutions
Blackburn: Bunn, Olsson (Diouf 73), Samba, Givet, Nelsen, Salgado, Dunn (Morris 75), Pedersen, Mwaruwari (Goulon 84), Hoilett, Diouf.
Substitutes: Fielding, Hanley, Linganzi, Goulon, Morris, Diouf, Doran.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Konchesky, Kyrgiakos (Agger 51), Skrtel, Gerrard, Cole, Maxi (Kuyt 58), Lucas, Torres, Ngog (Babel 78).
Substitutes: Gulacsi, Agger, Kelly, Poulsen, Jovanovic, Kuyt, Babel.