Chances missed at the Reebok
With the international break over, it was back to premier league action for our international stars, with the derby game against Bolton at the Reebok the main agenda. Ince made several changes. Robinson returned into goals for the luckless Brown, Oijer slotted into right back, Tugay and Warnock held the midfield, with Villanueva playing on the flank, and Jason Roberts being partnered up front by the man they call God, Robbie Fowler.
In a slow, typical derby day encounter, both teams struggled to find their men with their passes, with loose balls going astray left right and centre. Tugay was pulling the strings for Blackburn, trying to release Roberts, who found himself offside on several occasions. Rovers almost found themselves a goal down via a Matt Taylor free kick. Taylor whipped in a swerving free kick, which was missed by all, leaving Robinson to pull of a spectacular save, tipping the ball wide of the post.
Nifty footwork gave Rovers a good chance, Fowler combining well with Roberts, with a pass knocked back to Emo, who could only blast over the goal....The game started to open up, with Bolton starting to find their way through the middle of the park. However thats as far as they did get, with Samba and Nelsen proving to be the brick walls we know them to be,not giving the strikers the slightest of space.
As the half crept past, flashes of brilliance were shown by Carlos Villanueva, with a snap left foot striker striking the crossbar. ROvers best chance was to follow, with Brett Emerton showing us his prowess on the right flank, whipping in a delightful ball across the goal mouth. Jason Roberts had the perfect chance to show why he deserves a starting spot, but his glancing header dissapointedly drifted wide of the goal from 6 yards out.
The half slowly fizzed out, with Rovers fans shaking their heads at the Roberts miss.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first, slow, poor passing and loose tackles. Jason Robert must have breathed a sigh of relief when Andy O'brian missed an even clearer chance, not even striking his header, let alone getting it on target. Derbyshire came on for Villanueva who looked worn out.
Roberts was given another chance to find the back of the net, but couldnt even get a shot on. A delightful chip over the top by Robbie Fowler put Roberts in space, but instead of taking a first time strike, Roberts tried to take control of the ball, with no luck.
Keith Andrews came on for Robbie Fowler, whilst Benni Mac came on for Jason Roberts. The substition almost paid instant dividends, with a delightful cross by Danny Simpson instincitvely flicked on by Benni Mac, who could only find the other side of the post. Benni looked dangerous, but could not find a goal the away fans were looking for
0-0 At the Reebok
Absolute brick walls in the back. Nullified the threat of Elmander and the aerial ability of Nolan and Cahill. Last man tackles, headers, interventions, our CB took control and dominated
Paul Robinson 8
Danny Simpson 7.5
Chris Samba 9.5
Ryan Nelsen 10
Andre Oijer 8
Steven Warnock 6.5
Carlos Villanueva 7
Brett Emerton 8.5
Robbie Fowler 7
Jason Roberts 7
Boro are coming of a 5-0 spanking to league leaders, Chelsea