FA Cup - Sixth Round - Replay
Blackburn0Liverpool1

Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Liverpool

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Highlights: Liverpool beat Blackburn

Liverpool's FA Cup talisman Philippe Coutinho worked his magic again to defeat Blackburn Rovers and set up a semi-final meeting with Aston Villa at Wembley.

The mercurial Brazilian scored a spectacular late winner in Liverpool's fourth-round replay win at Bolton and broke the deadlock at Ewood Park with 20 minutes left to put Brendan Rodgers's side into the last four.

It was a performance short on quality from Liverpool in a quarter-final replay played out on a scruffy surface but all that mattered was the victory required to keep hopes of success alive this term after successive Premier League losses to top four rivals Manchester United and Arsenal had damaged their hopes of a place in next season's Champions League.

FA Cup semi-finals
Reading v Arsenal (Saturday 18 April)
Aston Villa v Liverpool (Sunday 19 Apri)

Rodgers insists the Reds can still make the top four - but the FA Cup remains the more realistic success and would be his first trophy in his third season in charge at Anfield.

Liverpool, who will face Villa on Sunday, 19 April in the semi-finals, endured a night of hard toil in the face of a stirring challenge from Gary Bowyer's Championship side.

Blackburn had earned this second chance with a goalless draw at Anfield last month and will feel hard done by to have not earned a place at Wembley.

The Premier League side were indebted to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for two outstanding saves early in the second half from Tom Cairney and Ben Marshall - then even more dramatically in the closing seconds as he stopped his opposite number Simon Eastwood from forcing extra time as he came up for a corner.

Liverpool produced the moment of class that mattered when Coutinho exchanged passes with Jordan Henderson before driving in from the angle in front of the elated travelling support massed into Ewood's Darwen End.

Mamadou Sakho
Liverpool's Dejan Lovren stands over team-mate Mamadou Sakho, who was substituted after 28 minutes

The victory will ease the disappointment of those two crucial losses and Rodgers will hope it provides fresh impetus for the final seven league games of the season.

On a pitch that hardly lent itself to quality, it was an optimistic long punt forward that created the first opportunity, Mamadou Sakho's confusion almost letting Craig Conway in before the Frenchman recovered to rescue his own mistake.

Sakho's evening was about to be cut short by a hamstring injury and Rovers almost took advantage when he struggled to mark Jordan Rhodes in the area but the striker headed off target from Conway's dangerous delivery. The France international was immediately replaced by Kolo Toure.

Liverpool, missing suspended trio Steven Gerrard, Martin Skrtel and Emre Can, enjoyed plenty of possession but did little with it and Eastwood's only moment of serious concern came when he clawed Coutinho's effort around the post.

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Rodgers hails 'great' Coutinho goal

Blackburn, encouraged by how they had contained the Reds, started on the front foot after the break and Mignolet was called into action to save athletically from Cairney then low to his left from Marshall's header.

Rovers cult hero Rudy Gestede was unable to start because of a slight hamstring problem but Ewood Park rocked as he was introduced for Conway after 64 minutes, instantly creating an opening for Rhodes that came to nothing.

It was the visitors who finally made the breakthrough, though as Coutinho rounded off a one-two with Henderson by hitting a low, driven finish that gave Eastwood no chance.

The Blackburn keeper almost rescued his side with that dramatic late intervention but it is Liverpool who are still alive. And captain Gerrard can still hope for a dream Reds farewell in the final on his birthday, 30 May.

Social media - your view on the match

Kevin Rukundo: Coutinho puts an end to a miserable, forgetful week for the Reds. Wembley, here we come!

Liam Riley: Three huge saves from Mignolet kept Liverpool in that.

Jack Dulieu: Full credit to Blackburn, who took on a massive team which cost £100m+ to assemble, and pushed them all the way. Well played.

Daniel Kelly: We're off to Wembley! Credit to Blackburn on the defending, but on the night Liverpool were the better team. Wembley, here we come!

Kevin Kanty: Coutinho is fast becoming the best player in the Premier League. Forget Gerrard, it's Coutinho that's going to take Liverpool to FA Cup glory.

Get involved via #bbcfootball on Twitter or on the BBC Sport Facebook page

Daniel Sturridge
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge tries the unorthodox during the FA Cup quarter-final replay at Blackburn
Raheem Sterling
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling tries to make headway during the FA Cup quarter-final replay at Ewood Park
Simon Mignolet
Liverpool's Simon Mignolet is all smiles after his injury-time save to deny Blackburn goalkeeper Simon Eastwood

Line-ups

Blackburn

  • 13Eastwood
  • 2Henley
  • 15BaptisteSubstituted forSpurrat 80'minutes
  • 4Kilgallon
  • 14Olsson
  • 29EvansBooked at 68mins
  • 17Williamson
  • 32ConwaySubstituted forGestedeat 65'minutes
  • 10Cairney
  • 12Marshall
  • 11Rhodes

Substitutes

  • 3Spurr
  • 20Songo'o
  • 24Nyambe
  • 26Lenihan
  • 30Steele
  • 31Mahoney
  • 39Gestede

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Johnson
  • 6Lovren
  • 17SakhoSubstituted forK Touréat 28'minutes
  • 18Moreno
  • 14Henderson
  • 21Lucas
  • 24Allen
  • 10Coutinho
  • 15SturridgeSubstituted forLambertat 85'minutes
  • 31SterlingBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 9Lambert
  • 19Manquillo
  • 29Borini
  • 32Brannagan
  • 50Markovic
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
28,415

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home10
Away16
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away10
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 0, Liverpool 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 0, Liverpool 1.

Attempt saved. Simon Eastwood (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).

Thomas Spurr (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Lee Williamson.

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho with a headed pass following a fast break.

Attempt blocked. Ben Marshall (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rudy Gestede.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Markus Olsson.

Attempt missed. Rickie Lambert (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Rickie Lambert replaces Daniel Sturridge.

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Markus Olsson (Blackburn Rovers).

Attempt missed. Thomas Spurr (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Corry Evans.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Thomas Spurr replaces Alex Baptiste because of an injury.

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Joe Allen following a fast break.

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Blackburn Rovers 0, Liverpool 1. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jordan Henderson following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Markus Olsson.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Booking

Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Delay in match Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers) because of an injury.

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers).

Attempt blocked. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cairney with a cross.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Kolo Touré.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Rudy Gestede replaces Craig Conway.

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joe Allen.

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Markus Olsson.

goal

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