- This one really had a little something for everyone, regardless of whether or not you’re a supporter or a neutral or just really love completely ridiculous matches that have no business being as entertaining as they are. On no planet should Liverpool vs Blackburn ever be a) the most entertaining match of Liverpool’s season, let alone b) a contender for the most entertaining match of the entire EPL season. I’m still sort of reeling from it, to be honest; I watched several hours after the fact and rarely do I get the same rush from watching at home alone in my apartment as I do if I’ve watched a particularly good match at the pub.
- So Maxi fucking Rodriguez. Your ability to get on the end of balls that even kids on Liverpool’s U11 team should be able to score with will continue to win you the hearts and minds of the Liverpool fan base. That’s fine. I appreciate your efforts and I wish you luck when you depart this summer.
- So then Doni goes and earns himself a straight red card. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC??? I laughed myself silly in this moment because… didn’t this just happen? Is this real life? Or is this just fantasy? I loved the camera’s Pepe Reina Reaction Shot™ moments because, well, yeah.
- So then Brad Jones comes on and in his Premier League debut with Liverpool he saves a the worst penalty in the history of penalties with his first touch. Not bad? But then later he manages to get into a Doni-style moment with a Blackburn player and nearly earns himself a red card! No, what? Two goalies sent off in one match, from the same team no less? Part of me wanted it to happen, not because I have any ill will towards Brad Jones but because it felt like it would have been the hilarious cherry on the clusterfuck sundae that has been this season. The referee seemed to take pity on him and only gave him a yellow card*, but you could see from the reaction on the Liverpool bench that even they couldn’t believe the ridiculousness of what was unfolding on the pitch. I swear to god some of them were hiding grins behind the popped collars of their coats.
*I have no idea if he deserved a red or not because I am unfamiliar with things that earn keepers red cards, although by now I am quickly becoming an expert.
- I don’t think David Moyes got anything terribly useful out of scouting this match ahead of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Everton on Saturday. We started what is possibly our C line-up and then shenanigans ensued every ten seconds to the point where nothing that happened on the pitch today is remotely anything that will happen on Saturday. So… I hope he enjoyed it for what it was like the rest of us.
- Flanagan did not play like a kid who made his debut and held his own against Manchester City last year, but I suppose he’s allowed an off game? Good thing he got subbed when Doni earned his red, otherwise I would have feared for him for the rest of the game.
- Who knew that Jordan Henderson was a semi-convincing right back? Not me! Go Hendo?
- The acoustics at Ewood Park were particularly good as you could hear crystal clear what all the players were yelling. Not that you ever need sound to know what Craig Bellamy is saying, of course.
- CAPTAIN SKRTEL, I LOVE YOU. I hadn’t really given much thought to the line-up prior to the game (because I never do), so I never thought about who gets the arm band when Stevie, Carra, and Pepe are all out at the same time. I think Lucas got it in the friendly against Rangers in October, but of course he’s also out so I guess of everyone on the pitch, Skrtel was the most leadershippy guy out there. (I bet Daniel Agger would have got it if he had started.) And he seemed to have done a good job! Some nice little referee chats, lots of organizing of his back line (average age: 14), setting the tempo of play for the team. A good show indeed by the Terminator (© Lucas Leiva).
- Ugh, Daniel Agger, my Danish king. You are frequently a turning point in the game and your amazing assist on Carroll’s goal was fantastic and life affirming and sweet love, renew thy force. I won’t pretend that you’ll never get injured again, but boy am I glad that you are back for the semi-final. It brings me hope now that we’re down to our third-string goalie starting the match.
- Speaking of which, who the hell is Liverpool’s fourth string goalie? Is it a kid from the Under 19 team? Is it Jose Enrique? I want it to be Jose Enrique. I am utterly convinced that he was subbed on at least in part because of his previous goal tending experience against Newcastle; while I don’t think that Kenny assumed Brad Jones would somehow get a second yellow, I think that given the way this game was unpredictable from start to finish, he couldn’t afford to be too careful.
- Blackburn completely deserve to get relegated given that a Liverpool team comprised of inconsistent starters and bench players were down a man after 30 minutes and you absolutely could not tell for the rest of the game.
- I wish someone would force commentators to listen to recordings of the games they call, just so they can hear how ridiculous they are. All bloody game they were going on and on and on and on and on about Andy Carroll — as most commentators are wont to do — and then after he scored a fabulous header to give Liverpool the win, they were all going on about how he’s been unfairly given the most grief of all Liverpool players this season, in a tone of superiority like they knew all along he’d come good. OH. MY. GOD. Just listen to yourselves.
- I kept calling Amelia every time something bizarre or baffling happened and eventually she was just like “Just call me at the end of the game.” I said I would but couldn’t resist calling again when Doni was sent off (she didn’t pick up!).
- It wasn’t a great game by any stretch of the imagination in terms of beautiful play but my god was that exasperating and exhausting to watch. That’s definitely being added to the list of matches I rewatch when I don’t feel like committing to marathoning a new TV show.
- Because we can’t have nice things, we’ll probably lose the FA Cup semi-final now. Oh well.