Liverpool beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at Ewood Park on Wednesday evening to advance to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. After high-profile losses to top-four rivals Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League in recent weeks, Brendan Rodgers’ men were looking to regain some form with a victory over their Championship opponents, with the prospect of silverware spurring them on. Despite missing players like Steven Gerrard, Martin Skrtel, Emre Can and Mario Balotelli, the visitors broke the deadlock courtesy of a second half goal from Philippe Coutinho.
The mercurial Brazilian played a nifty one-two with Jordan Henderson after a corner, before bursting into the box from the right hand side, and spanking a low drive that beat Simon Eastwood and went in off the far post. Blackburn goalkeeper Eastwood came close to equalising for the hosts during added time, bringing down a long throw and firing low at Simon Mignolet, who brought the ball under control at the second time of asking. Rovers had already beaten Swansea City and Stoke City in the FA Cup this season as well as securing a 0-0 draw at Anfield, with Rodgers needing to turn things around.
The Reds will play Aston Villa at Wembley on 19 April in the final four and Gerrard could still play his last Reds game in the final as a farewell on his birthday, 30 May. The victory will ease the disappointment of those two crucial losses and Rodgers will hope it provides fresh motivation for the final seven league games of the season.