There were promising signs from Liverpool in Dalglish’s first game back in the hotseat at Manchester United on Sunday, and they were given the perfect start on Wednesday evening by Fernando Torres’ third-minute strike.
However, Gary Taylor-Fletcher drew Blackpool level before half-time after Torres and Raul Meireles combined to lose possession, and DJ Campbell’s headed winner in the second half was no more than Ian Holloway’s side deserved.
Liverpool now have just two victories in almost 13 months on the road – hardly the start Dalglish was expecting on his return.
The Scot said when he took over at the weekend he did not think the game had altered much but when he was last in charge of Liverpool almost 20 years ago, Blackpool were in the old Fourth Division and now they have a first league double over the Reds since 1947.
It had all begun so well for the visitors, looking to bounce back from Sunday’s FA Cup exit at Manchester United.
After that game Dalglish had promised to get Torres back to his best after a laboured season and he was true to his word as the Spaniard struck in double-quick time from the kick-off.
The goal was set up by Martin Kelly, retained at right-back by Dalglish, with Glen Johnson lining up in an unfamiliar left-back position.
When Dirk Kuyt span the ball out to Kelly he advanced over the halfway line before rolling a pass into the inside-right channel. Torres did not need a second invitation, racing into the area and firing a ferocious shot past Richard Kingson and into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
It was only the Spain international’s second goal in his last nine matches and just his seventh of the season.
The visitors’ joy lasted only until the 12th minute, however, as when Meireles lost the ball to David Vaughan in midfield he played in Taylor-Fletcher to exact the ultimate punishment by running through the defence to roll a shot under Jose Reina.
All the players then ran to the touchline to hold up a T-shirt with the words ‘4 Butch you Bluenose RIP’ – a reference to Macclesfield player Richard Butcher who died suddenly this week.
Blackpool had the better chances in the remainder of the half, with Campbell heading wide from five yards and Taylor-Fletcher almost catching out Reina with a lob from the right wing after the goalkeeper duffed his kick.
The home side stepped up the pressure after the break with Charlie Adam’s left-footed drive beaten away by Reina, who then tipped over Vaughan’s shot.
Liverpool almost produced an eye-catching response when Milan Jovanovic’s left-wing cross to the far post saw Torres volley well over, with the Spaniard also forcing a low save from Kingson this time from the left of the area.
Meireles then cut in from the right to hit a left-footed shot wide while Kuyt’s low effort forced Kingson to save at the expense of a corner.
However, with 21 minutes remaining the Seasiders struck the killer blow when Ian Evatt beat Martin Skrtel to Eardley’s deep cross and Campbell headed home unmarked.
Meireles’ header from Torres’ cross at the other end was not as accurate and dropped just over the crossbar.
Liverpool could have had a penalty in the 79th minute when the ball hit Craig Cathcart’s arm, which was raised well above his head, but referee Michael Oliver blew for a foul by Torres.
The Reds have now lost 10 of their 21 league matches and eight out of 11 on the road.
If Dalglish wants the job on a permanent basis he will have to find a way of eliminating results such as this.