Rovers of to a flyer
Blackburn faced a tricky prospect on our first game of the 2008/2009 edition of the Barclays Premiership. A tricky road trip to Everton without our (well my) star player, Brett Emerton. With an almost full strength line up, Blackburn faced an Everton outfit missing a few of their stars, most notably, Tim Cahill and the recently departured Andy Johnson.
With nerves rattling, it was Everton who got of to the better start, with Paul Robinson being forced to make a diving save to his right. Sloppy defending gave Morten Gamst Pedersen his first shot of the season, however, it rolled wide.
Rovers started pressing on and took the lead in the 20th minute. Through a neat interchange of passing, Gamst Pedersen cut the ball back across to David Dunn, slipping past his defender and placing a left footed bender into the bottom left of the goal, leaving Tim Howard stranded from 25 yards out.
Rovers took the initiative from here, with Roque going close with a header, and Gamst bombing on forwards, bringing back the form he showed 2 years ago. However, in traditional Rovers style, silly free kicks proved to be our downfall. A handball outside the box gave Mikel Arteta to show us all what he can do, slotting in a free kick from the tightest of angles, leaving Paul Robinson Stranded on the stroke of half-time.
Whatever David Moyes said to his boys at the break really must have revved them up, as Everton clicked into second gear, with Yakubu striking wide early on. However it didnt take Everton too long to get there noses in front, with a magnificent ball whipped from the left flank by Arteta, leaving Yakubu with the simplest of headers, once again, with Paul Robinson stranded, 2-1 64th minute.
Rovers hit back immediately, a long ball by Stevie Warnock put Roque Santa Cruz in the free, bringing the ball down just outside the 6 yard box, and stroking it past the diving Tim Howard, who managed to get a hand on it, but simply not enough to stop our man. 2-2 65th minute. GAME ON!!!!
Jason Roberts almost put Rovers in the lead twice. He turned on a performance with a piece of razzle dazzle magic, slipping past 3 defenders, with Yobo making a vital tackle as Roberts was about to take a shot. His second effort was similar, slipping past Yobo, however he lacked any power on his shot.
Everton decided to introduce their youngest ever player Jose Baxter, who showed a bit of pace to get past our fullbacks. Baxter had a chance to seal the 3 points for Everton, but could not force his header into an open goal.
In the final minute of injury time, Rovers were awarded a free kick. Stevie W stepped up, chipping it into the box. Ryan Nelsen got onto the end of it, his header hitting the post, however falling into the path of Ooijer, who ended his Rovers drought with the easiest of tap ins, ROVERS 3-EVERTON 2
I couldnt split the two. Nelson made several vital tackles and blocks, chasing down after a few errors made by Samba. Dunn looked to be back at his best, making some driving runs through the middle, and scoring our opening goal of the season.
Paul Robinson 4
Stevie Warnock 7
Ryan Nelson 8.5
Christophe Samba 6.5
Andre Ooijer 7
David Dunn 8.5
Aaron Mokoena 6.5
Steven Reid 6.5
Morten Gamst Pederson 8
Jason Roberts 7,5
Roque Santa Cruz 7.5
Ince got his game plan spot on. Compress Everton in defence, and shut down Arteta as much as possible. Yes, he scored 1 and set up the other, but he didnt get involved much more.
Was surprised Villaneuava didnt come on later in the game, but heck, we won
Sasmans Get Stuck into it or Else Award
Lift your game mate, or Jason Brown might become our first choice keeper. Really sloppy game....
Sasmans Award for outstanding Effort
Good game from the big man, really showed what he is capable of, just needs to practice that final shot
A 2-1 victory for the Premier League new boys over Fulham. After trailing to an early goal, Geovanni equalised for Hull, with the winner coming in the 81st minute to Folan