Liverpool held to 1-1 draw by Blackburn

Liverpool had to settle for a disappointing 1-1 draw against

bottom side Blackburn in the Premier League on Monday despite the

return of captain Steven Gerrard after a two-month injury

layoff.

Maxi Rodriguez equalized for Liverpool with a header from close

range in the 53rd minute to cancel out Charlie Adam’s own goal

right before halftime.

Gerrard came on as a substitute with 21 minutes left but

couldn’t inspire his team to a victory as the hosts again lacked a

cutting edge up front despite a multitude of chances.

Kenny Dalglish’s side remained unbeaten at home this season, but

have now drawn six and won three and been held five times in the

last six outings at Anfield.

Liverpool was in control early but lacked the spark and

crispness which the Reds have usually had lately.

Luis Suarez’s second-minute free kick sailed just over, before

Adam sliced an ambitious volley from outside the area which gave

goalkeeper Mark Bunn an easy save.

Suarez had two more chances but hit one into the side-netting

from Glen Johnson’s pass, and missed the target completely with a

left-footed shot from a similar position on the right of the

penalty area.

Andy Carroll had a goal ruled out on the half-hour as Suarez was

offside.

Blackburn had few chances and needed a helping hand to score

against the run of play, as Adam diverted Morten Gamst Pedersen’s

inswinging corner past his own goalkeeper just seconds before

halftime.

But it took Liverpool just eight minutes to equalize.

Downing’s cross was cleared only as far as Martin Skrtel who

hooked the ball back to the far post where Rodriguez headed in from

close range.

The goal gave the Reds a spark, and Suarez headed a corner wide

from a spot very close to where his teammate had equalized, while

Carroll’s overhead kick was then cleared by Grant Hanley.

Gerrard finally made his long-awaited return to action in the

69th minute when he replaced Adam and ran straight on to curl in a

free kick which was headed over by Rodriguez.

Suarez then headed over Johnson’s cross before the England

defender was relieved to see David Dunn stab wide after needlessly

giving away possession in midfield.

Liverpool twice thought they had earned the points in the

closing moments, with Carroll drawing a fine save from Bunn with a

close-range volley and 17-year-old Adam Henley, on his first senior

start, clearing off the line after Daniel Agger’s header from the

subsequent corner.