VB Weekend Winners and Losers
Well what do you know? For a game that was suppose to be a walk in the park for our opponents Man City and a game where damage limitation was the name of the game for Blackburn the outcome was surprising.
For once though it was a nice surprise. A lot of the tabloids are running with the line that Man City were below par and unlucky in equal measures.
I think that is the biggest load of nonsense I have heard since Gordon Brown last opened his mouth... in truth Rovers in defence were terrific and made City look more average through their own efforts.
But enough of my vendetta against the media, let's see who made the grade and who needs hitting with a spade this week.
Chris Samba - Outstanding. Immense. Unbeatable. Three words sum up the frankly staggering performance from the King Kong of the Congo at the heart of the Rovers defence.
On a day when the defenders around him were dropping like flies, the man mountain stood strong and put in a display that has ever right to stand alongside Colin Hendry's displays back in the mid 90's and eclipsed his previous best performance in a Rovers jersey at home to Chelsea last season.
One of the few individual performances I would genuinely rate at 10/10 if we are using the Sasman scoring scale.
Won every header, won every tackle, led by example and his last minute block from Jo was out of this world.
Paul Robinson may be getting all the plaudits in the tabloids but be under no illusion. Chris Samba was Man of the Match by an absolute street.
Paul Robinson - Speaking of the goalie, look who it is.
While the current England goalkeeper was kicking fresh air down the other end and shouting at the frankly mad Kolo Toure, the man in international exile was busy giving a master class to show him how it was done.
This was the first performance in between the sticks for the Rovers that Robbo pulled off a full range of saves.
- Point blank. Check.
- Off the line dash. Check.
- Tipping a curler round the post. Check.
- Spreading himself to make himself big with a one on one block
and... wait for it...
- A save from a swirling long range shot.
Yesterday, Robbo put himself into that bracket which Brad Friedel fell into on many an occasion, that of a goalkeeper earning his team points. Robbo earned one and saved two at Eastlands.
Niko Kalinic - Has already equalled last season's EPL goal tally after four games.
That Niko has benefited from two sloppy mistakes matters not, there are many that will claim he is fortunate to have bagged those goals and still doubt his ability to be a regular goalscorer.
But on the other side of the coin, what will probably go unnoticed is that Niko put himself in those positions to take advantage of the mistakes and showed goalscoring instincts to capitalise.
Capped another strong, workman like showing with a deserved goal, even set up for him.
Mame Biram Diouf - May have just been the big defensive effort or the bordering on starvation supply after the Kalinic goal but Baby Diouf got lost in the shuffle yesterday.
When on the ball he does look a lot more elegant than his lanky frame would suggest he might be but he was crowded for space and was isolated for long periods.
Will have much more opportunity to shine in games against weaker opponents and/or at home but if you were not told he was playing you probably wouldn't have known.
Chin up though Diouf number two.
Michel Salgado - One of the injured trio that made way. Grella will always carry a niggle and early reports suggest Nelly will be fine but the Spaniard may not be so lucky.
The risk is that he may be out for a little while as strain can often be difficult to predict.
His injury ruined what was otherwise a decent enough effort from the King.
El Hadji Diouf - Not for the display but for the unnecessary clowning around after the final whistle.
His on pitch performances have been much improved so far and his attacking and defensive aspects were spot on again yesterday, especially given the limited amount of attacking intent shown after the Rovers goal.
But his actions after the final whistle show that he isn't quite as mature as Sam would have you believe.
Why not go and do a little jig or pump your fist at the Rovers faithful instead of winding up an already pretty miffed Eastlands crowd?
A timely reminder.
That's all for this week boys and girls.
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