Before the start of this season, if fans of either Blackpool or Liverpool were asked which team would be sitting in the relegation zone on the 3rd October when the two sides were to meet at Anfield, the answer from all but the most hopeful of Blackpool fans would surely have been simple: Blackpool.
If, at the same time, one had asked Blackpool or Liverpool fans to answer: “and which side will win the Liverpool v Blackpool match at Anfield?” the answer would have probably been “Liverpool”.
Even if you had asked those fans before the match, they would probably have adopted a similar approach to the bookmakers – Liverpool were favourites. Strong favourites.
By half time, however, all those in the red of Liverpool sitting around the Anfield stadium were booing their men off after 45 minutes that had put them 2-0 down at home to the Playoff winning seasiders. It could have been worse, but not much: Blackpool fully deserved their lead after a dominant opening half of Barclays Premier League football.
Liverpool saw Fernando Torres injured on 10 minutes – they really do not seem to have any replacement for the out-of-sorts and injury-hit centre forward. The Spanish striker was replaced by N’Gog.
To add to their woes, Blackpool won a penalty in the 29th minute after Glen Johnson tripped Luke Varney in the Liverpool penalty area. Charlie Adam stepped up to confidently smash home the penalty past Pepe Reina, who had been called upon to make a couple of smart saves earlier in the game.
Liverpool had produced two good chances of their own in the opening minutes, but had seen a shot cleared from the line and N’Gog blaze over when through on goal.
Blackpool finished their excellent first half with a stunning stoppage time goal from Varney, who added to his earlier penalty win with a fine strike from inside the area.
When the whistle blew to end the half, Anfield erupted with boos from all corners.
Early in the second half, Liverpool began to get the game on their terms, as evidenced when Kyrgiakos headed home from a Gerrard free kick on 53 minutes, however, the home side could not add to this goal, and would slump to their first home defeat against Blackpool since 1967.
Liverpool produced plenty of attacking football in the second period without finding the killer blow they needed. Kyrgiakos almost clawed back a point for Liverpool, only to be denied by an excellent stoppage time save from Gilks in the Blackpool net.
Liverpool remain in the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League and, unless they can begin finding some goalscoring touches while Torres remains below his best – or unavailable – it is difficult to see where they might pick up the points required to climb anywhere near the UEFA places their fans have come to expect.