An injury-time header from Andy Carroll secured a 3-2 win for Liverpool against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Tuesday.
The game threw up numerous talking points with two penalties and the sending-off of Liverpool goalkeeper Doni, which gives Kenny Dalglish a selection headache ahead of the Reds’ FA Cup semi-final against Everton.
Craig Bellamy orchestrated Liverpool’s opening goal on 13 minutes, getting in behind the Blackburn defence and finding Maxi Rodriguez, who tapped in at the back post.
Rodriguez scored his second just three minutes later when the ball fell at his feet after a goalmouth scramble, with the Argentine rifling home for a 2-0 lead.
Doni increased Dalglish’s goalkeeping headache when he felled Junior Hoilett with a sloppy diving effort after the Canadian had skipped the ball past the goalkeeper and was through on goal.
Doni’s dismissal brought Brad Jones into the match, with Jon Flanagan making way for the Australian goalkeeper.
Jones asserted himself instantly, diving to his right to save Yakubu’s tame penalty.
Yakubu made up for his gaffe in the 36th minute as a free-kick from David Dunn found the striker unmarked and free to head the ball into the bottom corner.
Andy Carroll nearly gave the Reds a blistering start to the second half but he was unable to get enough power behind his diving header, seeing the ball go wide of the goal.
Jones then undid his earlier good work when Yakubu charged down his attempted clearance, before the goalkeeper compounded his error by shoving the Blackburn striker and conceding a penalty, picking up a yellow card in the process.
Yakubu made no mistake from the spot second time out to draw scores level.
Blackburn failed to capitalise on their dominance after finding the equaliser, rarely managing to overcome a resolute Liverpool backline, though Jones was forced to tip over the bar after Carroll’s misjudged header almost sailed into his own net.
With the match heading for a draw, there was time for late drama as Daniel Agger headed into Carroll’s path for the towering striker to nod home an injury-time winner.