If Liverpool beat Blackburn at home in the FA Cup on Sunday then a Wembley semi-final awaits. We have met the current Championship side five times at Anfield in the FA Cup and won on four occasions. The first one as early as 1899. Why not take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened in these ”ancient” times 116 years ago.
In those days the FA Cup was smaller and the teams from the top division entered in the first round played in January. On the 28th that month Blackburn came to Anfield to try to avenge the 3-1 league defeat at the same venue 35 days earlier, on Christmas Eve. But Liverpool was in no mood to let that happen.
In the first half winger Jack Cox, who made his cup debut for Liverpool, broke the deadlock and put the home side 1-0 up. The scoreline remained the same until the 87th minute when centre-forward George Allan secured the Liverpool win hitting home 2-0. It was his 50th goal in a Liverpool outfit. He stayed for just three seasons at Anfield but made quite a name for himself clocking up 96 league and cup appearances scoring 56 goals.
Jack Cox became an even more famous Liverpool player, in fact a legend. The local lad signed for Liverpool as a 20-year-old in 1898 and scored on his debut. He was only picked twice that season but established himself the year after. He was on Liverpool books for twelve seasons, making 361 appearances in total and finding the net 80 times. A fine goalscoring record for a winger. He was a key figure when Liverpool won the league for the first time in 1900/01 scoring ten goals and scored another eight when the Reds grabbed their second league title in 1905/06.
Jack Cox must have had a love affair or a beef with Blackburn because during his Liverpool career he scored ten times against them. It was of course the best tally against any team, his second best tally was five - versus Manchester City. So one eighth of his goals came aginst the Lancashire club. Pretty odd.
The 1899/90 ended on a sad note. Liverpool had a campaign of near misses. In the FA Cup we reached the semi-final and had Sheffield United on the ropes twice. But it wasn´t to be. The first meeting ended in a 2-2 draw with the Blades equalizing in the 70th minute. In the replay it was even worse. Liverpool lead 2-0 but Sheffield United pegged back to 2-2. Then the Reds gained another two goal lead but two late goals made it 4-4. In the second replay Liverpool went down 0-1.
It was a similar story in the league. In the penultimate game of the season Liverpool downed Blackburn 2-0 and had it all in their own hands as they met Aston Villa away. Both teams stood on 43 points and a Liverpool win would have secured the league title. But Villa was superior that day and won 5-0. Liverpool had to settle for the runners-up spot but rectified it two years later lifting the trophy for the first time.
Hopefully this season doesn´t end in a similar FA Cup misery as it did in 1899, but in glory, and a first step is to beat Blackburn in the quarter finals when:
We Go Again.
Sources: lfchistory.net, statto.com, soccerbase.com.