Steven Gerrard’s hopes of a Wembley send-off were put on ice on Sunday after Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw by Blackburn Rovers in their FA Cup quarter-final.

Gerrard will turn 35 on the day of the final, but he is not yet guaranteed even a semi-final appearance at the national stadium after second-tier Blackburn belied expectations they would be swept aside by Brendan Rodgers’s in-form Liverpool to take the game to a replay.

Liverpool are on a run of 12 unbeaten games in the league, but with Gerrard absent due to injury and Martin Skrtel forced off after a heavy early fall, they were held at bay as Blackburn celebrated 20 years since winning the league at Anfield with a dogged display.

“Our objective this week was to get four points out of six in the league and get into next round of the FA Cup,” said Rodgers.

“We got six points out of six and although we are not through to the next round, we are still in the draw.”

With Rudy Gestede a thorn in the hosts’ side, Liverpool failed to impose themselves in the first half and while they took control after half-time, they could find no way past Blackburn goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.

And having already eliminated Stoke City and Swansea City on home turf in this season’s competition, Gary Bowyer’s Blackburn will approach the replay at Ewood Park with understandable optimism.

“We carried out the game plan to a tee and Rudy Gestede played really well,” said Bowyer, whose side are currently 11th in the Championship.

“He was immense and had a few great opportunities. Unfortunately we just couldn’t convert one.”

Despite having returned to training after missing six games with a hamstring injury, Gerrard — who leaves for the Los Angeles Galaxy at the season’s end — was not named in the Liverpool squad, while the inclusion of Glen Johnson in the back three saw Emre Can move into midfield.


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