Premier League - Torres blow as Liverpool stunned

Sun, 03 Oct 17:00:00 2010

Liverpool's miserable form continued as they were humbled 2-1 at home by Blackpool with striker Fernando Torres limping off injured in the opening moments.

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Highlights: Liverpool 1-2 Blackpool

With Torres replaced by David N'Gog due to an apparent groin injury, home manager Roy Hodgson could only watch in disbelief as an adventurous Blackpool side eased two goals ahead at the break.

Charlie Adam converted a penalty on 28 minutes after Glenn Johnson had fouled Luke Varney before Varney shot past home keeper Jose Reina for the second goal on the stroke of half-time.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos gave Liverpool fresh hope of avoiding an embarrassing loss to the league newcomers when he headed home Steven Gerrard's free-kick on 53 minutes, but they could not find an equaliser despite a frantic push for a late goal.

This was already Liverpool’s worst start to a Premier League season with just six points, but they now find themselves third bottom of the table and among the relegation spots.

The last time Liverpool won only one of their first seven top flight matches was 57 years ago. They ended the 1953/1954 season bottom of the table and were relegated.

Hodgson's side are due to face Everton in a Merseyside derby on October 17 that will take on extra significance with their city rivals only a place above them in the table on goal difference.

The return of skipper Gerrard from injury could not inspire them against a Blackpool side who were well worth their win.

Liverpool have been knocked out of the Carling Cup at home by League Two Northampton Town and a celebrating Blackpool suddenly depart Anfield with their first win at the venue since 1967.

Some visiting players opted to take pictures of their big day out at Anfield before the match and will never forget their first match at the fabled ground for some 39 years.

Having upset Wigan and Newcastle United on their travels this season, the visitors went about their business with some relish.

The excellent Adam tested Reina with a 20-yard drive on three minutes before DJ Campbell saw a volley fly narrowly wide of the goal 11 minutes later.

Neil Eardley was needed to knock a Kyrgiakos header off his line on 24 minutes before Blackpool’s attractive approach paid off with an opening goal.

Johnson tripped Varney and former Rangers midfielder Adam converted despite Reina’s best attempts to keep it out.

If that moment was bad for the home fans, it would soon get worse.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher almost had the freedom of Liverpool to pick out Varney in the box. He took one look at goal before planting the ball beyond the isolated Reina from eight yards.

Liverpool departed to a chorus of boos from the suffering home fans.

They emerged looking purposeful after the break and should have been back within touching distance on 47 minutes when N’Gog nodded Dirk Kuyt’s cross wide of target with the goal gaping.

It was a moment of frustration that was to sum up the afternoon for Hodgson. Despite some intense pressure after Kyrgiakos’s goal, Matthew Gilks was forced to make his best save of the afternoon deep into injury time when he kept out another effort from the Liverpool goalscorer.

Blackpool, who had suffered a 6-0 defeat at Arsenal and a 4-0 loss in Chelsea, move up to ninth in the table, but Hodgson will use the fortnight's break for international football to see what can be done to lift morale in his struggling squad.

Several thousand Liverpool fans staged a protest against American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett before the match.

Whatever is going on behind the scenes, it is clearly not helping the players. Liverpool's solitary win in seven Premier League matches came against West Brom on August 29.


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