8 March ~ Blackburn travel to Anfield in the FA Cup today for their 12th meeting with Liverpool in the competition, the most recent being a 1-0 Rovers victory in 2000. However, in 1991 a then-struggling second-tier Blackburn managed to take reigning league champions Liverpool to a third-round replay, and the first match wasn’t without controversy. Blackburn had Kevin Moran sent off for a foul on Ian Rush, who later said: “We almost ran into each other. I think it was a foul, but not a sending off.”
Despite being down to ten men, Rovers led 1-0 and battled hard until injury time, when Mark Atkins deflected a cross into his own net. In the aftermath Jimmy Hill, on BBC TV, blamed the equalising goal on an over-enthusiastic ballgirl who had returned ball to Liverpool too quickly at the throw-in which preceded the goal. Unfortunately no full highlights seem to be available, but the final ten minutes can be seen here.
Liverpool went on to win the replay at Anfield 3-0, with goals from Ray Houghton, Ian Rush and Steve Staunton. They needed another replay to get past Brighton in the next round but lost to Everton in the fifth round after two replays – Kenny Dalglish resigned after the first, a famous 4-4 draw.