Belfast Telegraph

It’s the same old story as Dalglish fails to raise Liverpool

Blackpool 2 Liverpool 1: Kenny Dalglish has demanded more belief from his Liverpool players following another crushing defeat.

Blackpool made it an historic top flight double over the Reds — their first for 64 years — when Gary Taylor-Fletcher and DJ Campbell turned the game on its head after Fernando Torres’ early strike for the visitors.

Dalglish praised the effort and commitment of his players after his first league game with Liverpool since 1991 — but wants more confidence in the ranks.

"You can see that their effort and commitment, desire and pride is there from all of them," he said.

"Sometimes it doesn't matter how good a player you are, if you don't have the belief in yourself then it's not going to be helpful towards you.

"We've got to work hard and we'll give them a little bit of belief and confidence.”

On the game itself, Dalglish remarked: "We passed it well up to a point, the final pass that we made wasn't as good as the boys are capable of.

"And in defence we should have been picking up better than we were. There's a lot of things that we'd like to work on."

Dalglish revealed he has not yet spoken to the club's owners about possible comings and goings.

"I'm sure they'll improve but whether there's going to be any players coming in or moving around I don't know," he said.

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway was overjoyed with the win and said: "It's the best win of the lot. It just feels really great, and I think we deserved it.”

Liverpool's troubles on the road contributed to the departure of Roy Hodgson last weekend but the Seasiders showed October's win by the same score at Anfield was no fluke.

It had all begun so well for the visitors, looking to bounce back from Sunday's FA Cup exit at Manchester United.

After that game Dalglish had promised to get Torres back to his best after a laboured season and he was true to his word as the Spaniard struck in double-quick time from the kick-off.

And the goal came from another of the manager's tactical decisions, which saw the returning Glen Johnson, whose partner gave birth to a boy earlier in the week, lined up in an unfamiliar left-back position after Martin Kelly's impressive display against United at Old Trafford.

Dalglish was rewarded for keeping faith with youngster Kelly as he set up the opening goal.

When Dirk Kuyt spun the ball out to the defender, Kelly advanced over the halfway line before rolling a pass into the inside-right channel.

Torres did not need a second invitation, racing into the area and even from a tight angle he was able to fire a ferocious shot past Richard Kingson and into the roof of the net.

It was only the Spain international's second goal in his last nine matches and just his seventh of the season.

The visitors' joy lasted only until the 12th minute, however, as when Raul Meireles carelessly gave the ball away to David Vaughan in midfield he played in Taylor-Fletcher to exact the ultimate punishment by running through the defence to roll a shot under Jose Reina.

All the Blackpool players then ran to the touchline to hold up a T-shirt with the words ‘4 Butch you Bluenose RIP' — a reference to Macclesfield player Richard Butcher who died suddenly this week.

The home side stepped up the pressure after the break with Charlie Adam's left-footed drive beaten away by Reina, who then tipped over Vaughan's shot.

Liverpool almost produced an eye-catching response when Milan Jovanovic's left-wing cross to the far post saw Torres volley well over, with the Spaniard also forcing a low save from Kingson this time from the left of the area.

Meireles then cut in from the right to hit a left-footed shot wide while Kuyt's low effort forced Kingson to save at the expense of a corner.

With 21 minutes remaining the Seasiders struck the killer blow when Ian Evatt beat Martin Skrtel to Eardley's deep cross and Campbell headed home.

Meireles' header from Torres' cross at the other end was not as accurate and dropped just over the crossbar.

Belfast Telegraph


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