Date:Sunday May 13 2007
The battle for UEFA Cup places were decided on Sunday afternoon, Blackburn Rovers were out of the automatic places but an Intertoto Cup place was on… and we got it!
The 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Thursday put paid to our chances of automatic qualification for next seasons UEFA Cup but after another incredible afternoon we secured our place, albeit starting our campaign much earlier than others with a two-legged tie in late July against either Llanelli, FK Vetra of Lithuania or a Polish team.
As I was unable to follow the Rovers match today by any means (when I say this I mean be at the game or follow the game, and just our game) I decided to avoid t'internet, radio and television like the plague until Match of the Day was on to see how we faired.
We are used to being on last, or near last on Match of the Day (we were on a little earlier tonight thought!) but today's wait was particularly tortuous! Firstly I had to sit through the relegation issues, then the Everton vs. Chelsea and Spurs (WHY didn't Jermain Defoe blaze over against us!) vs. Manchester City games which had no impact on what happened to us.
Next up Bolton vs. Aston Villa, a 2-2 draw (what a goal from Anthony Gardner for Villa!) didn't feel me with much optimism. FINALLY came our game. Most of us knew there would be goals, and the 3-3 draw meant it didn't finish far off my 5-3 prediction did it! Had we done enough? I thought not but Portsmouth's 0-0 draw with Arsenal meant WE HAD DONE IT! The Eight hours or so of avoiding ANYTHING that could have revealed our fate was worth it, but I wouldn't want to do this again!
So another highly compelling and entertaining season has come to an end with European football VERY much possible again for Rovers next season!
Before I finish I would like to give congratulations to Wigan Athletic and West Ham United (as much as I still feel they should have been docked points, their seven wins in nine matches was Title winning form!) for avoiding relegation, but would also like to send my commiserations to Sheffield United who filled the final relegation place after their defeat to Wigan and West Ham's victory over Manchester United.
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Date:Sunday May 13 2007
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