Brendan Rodgers was given a valuable lesson on Sunday evening in what it takes to become a club that regularly wins titles in their FA Cup quarter-final 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers at Anfield.
The Reds’ young manager learned that the top clubs do not walk out onto a pitch with the attitude that this is a match they will be abel to win in at a canter, no matter the stature or reputation of the opponents standing next to them in the tunnel.
Gary Bowyer’s mid-table Championship side gave their more illustrious hosts a test worthy of the ‘magic’ so many people the claim the FA Cup brings out in the UK’s national sport, but it was a test that should still have been passed with relative ease.
Well, it would have been had Liverpool been in the requisite frame of mind when they started the match. Blackburn did little more than stay organised and work hard to deny the likes of Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge so crave.
Resilient in defence and causing a few problems with high balls to the impressive Rudy Gestede was how Rovers did, but a Reds side on their game would have had more than enough to deal with such a challenge - it’s not like they don’t face something similar each week in the Premier League.
Rodgers’ men were second to the ball, failed to work hard enough to close down the ball and were poor using it during the extensive periods they had in possession. Things improved in the second half and there were a few minor scares for the visitors, but Liverpool looked toothless.
A well-earned draw for Blackburn now means a lucrative replay at Ewood Park in the next couple of weeks and, on the evidence of Sunday’s display, a real possibility of an upset, ruining Steven Gerrard’s dream of walking out at the FA Cup final on his birthday in his final match for the club.
Couldn't Ask For An Easier Draw
A home draw against a Championship club is as about as good as you can ask for in a quarter-final, where victory guarantees a trip to Wembley. Rodgers’ Liverpool gave another display that showed that are not ready to be considered one of the leading club in England or Europe.
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