Andy Carroll scored a dramatic injury-time winner to lift 10-man Liverpool to a 3-2 victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Liverpool had gone ahead through a Maxi Rodriguez double before the game changed when the visitors were reduced to 10 men following goalkeeper Alexander Doni's sending off after conceding a penalty. Though the spot-kick was saved by substitute Brad Jones, Blackburn came back into the game with two goals, including another penalty, form Yakubu. But Carroll was on hand to decide the match in the first minute of stoppage time.
Liverpool made six changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at the weekend, in a move that appeared to demonstrate Kenny Dalglish's prioritizing of the FA Cup, despite the club's disastrous league form. Captain Steven Gerrard was not even among the substitutes, while Luis Suarez began as a substitute.
Glen Johnson, Sebastian Coates, Craig Bellamy, Jay Spearing, Maxi Rodriguez and Andy Carroll all came into the side for the Reds.
For Blackburn, Martin Olsson was passed fit to start the match at left-back. There were two changes to Steve Kean's side with Jason Lowe and Morten Gamst dropping out to be replaced by Mauro Formica and Marcus Olsson.
The action-packed game started with a bang as Liverpool raced into a two goal lead inside the opening 15 minutes.
The first came after just 13 minutes following a blistering counter-attack by the visitors. Martin Skrtel, more known for his brutal defending than cultured passing, played a delightful cross-filed pass from inside his own area to release Craig Bellamy, who burst forward down the right. The Welshman laid the ball across for Maxi Rodriguez, who slotted home at the far post.
And before Blackburn even knew what had happened they were two goals behind. Jonjo Shelvey won the ball in his own half before surging forward and hitting a low shot that was parried by Paul Robinson. From the rebound Carroll challenged for the ball and it broke to Maxi who had the simple task of finishing left-footed into an empty net for his second goal of the game.
But the path of the contest changed dramatically when Liverpool goalkeeper Doni was sent off for bringing down Yakubu in the box following a poor back pass from John Flanagan. And with a goalkeeper needed it was Flanagan who was sacrificed so that third-choice stopper Brad Jones could come in between the sticks.
And Jones made quite the introduction as he saved Yakubu's penalty low to his right. In truth, though, it was a woeful spot-kick by the Nigerian that made it far too easy for the Australian stopper.
But Liverpool did not maintain their two goal advantage for long as Blackburn pulled a goal back in the 36th minute. David Dunn curled a tempting free-kick into the box that found Yakubu criminally unmarked eight yards out. And the big striker made no mistake this time in heading home.
And the comeback continued for Blackburn when they were awarded their second penalty of the match on the hour mark. But while Doni was sent off for his indiscretion in the first half, Liverpool were left relieved when Jones was only given a yellow card for bringing down Yakubu after having hit his clearance against the forward.
Yakubu stepped up once more to take the spot kick and, although he again struck it with little power, Jones dove early as the shot went down the middle to make it 2-2.
But this incredible match was to have one last sting in the tail. A desperate punt into the Blackburn box was headed across goal by Daniel Agger and Andy Carroll performed a rare demonstration of his aeriel prowess to rise and send a powerful header past Robinson in injury time.