Liverpool were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at Anfield on Boxing Day to struggling Blackburn Rovers, a result that continues the Reds’ poor run of form with one game left to play in 2011.
Maxi Rodriguez’s well-taken second half header cancelled out Blackburn’s opener, which came courtesy of a Charlie Adam own goal on the stroke of half time.
The Scot got foot to a Rovers corner, but the slice deceived everyone in the Liverpool goalmouth and flew in past Pepe Reina.
Steven Gerrard made a return from injury for the first time since October as a second half substitute, but even Captain Fantastic’s presence wasn’t enough to find a way through the visitors’ defence.
Luis Suarez found himself with a number of chances close to goal to snatch the points in front of the Kop, but struggled to find the target on several occasions.
Stewart Downing’s impact will continue to come under question with the left-winger unable to take advantage in dangerous positions twice in the second half.
However, Maxi must be praised for his efforts – not only being in the right place to glance Martin Skrtel’s cross to the far post in, but a solid display throughout the game. When he was taken off for Craig Bellamy nine minutes from time, the Argentine had notched up an 88% pass completion record.
Late on Andy Carroll saw his chance from close-range expertly saved by Rovers’ keeper Mark Bunn, diving quickly to his bottom left to deny the Reds striker a last-gasp winner.
The resulting corner brought further drama as Daniel Agger’s saved was cleared off the line by Adam Henley.
The frustrating result leaves Liverpool sixth in the Premier League table, with Newcastle United visiting Anfield on Friday evening.
[table id=51 /]