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FA Cup Roundup: Blackburn Holds Liverpool To Goalless Draw

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LONDON – Liverpool will be disappointed they haven’t come away from Anfield with a goal or a trip to Wembley in their pocket after Blackburn forced a replay in a 0-0 FA Cup draw.

Substitute Kolo Toure came on for Martin Skrtel after the latter suffered a scary head injury, and the Ivorian hit the post with a header and had a goal ruled out by the offside flag in the two best Liverpool chances. Mario Balotelli also skied a chance late in the game after coming off the bench as well. The Reds outshot Blackburn 19-5 while holding 71% of possession, but they could only muster four efforts on target.

Overall, the match was a dull one despite the high shot count for Liverpool. Both teams managed to give the ball away a hefty amount, and with Raheem Sterling playing wing-back for Brendan Rodgers, the Reds had very little to genuinely offer going forwards. Simon Mignolet was needed to make one fine save on a header by Alex Baptiste just after halftime in Blackburn’s only shot on target.

The goalless draw leaves the FA Cup quarterfinals with just a pair of goals so far through three matches, both scored by Aston Villa. Arsenal and Manchester United still have yet to play.

The finish means Blackburn will get a replay at Ewood Park, and the quarterfinal matchup won’t be settled for another few weeks as finding a date for the fixture will be a challenge. Neither team has a free date until April 8, and UEFA decrees the teams can’t play on Champions League or Europa League dates. Even April 8 may be challenging, with Blackburn scheduled for fixtures on both April 4 and April 6, a Saturday-Monday doubleheader. There is a chance league games could be postponed to fit the games in, but even then, the semifinals take place April 18, so a short turnaround would be likely. – NBCSports

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