UK time is: 07:04:31
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Sunderland 1 - Blackburn Rovers 2

Stadium of Light

12/11/08 7.45 pm

Attendance: 18,555

Rovers Outmuscle Sunderland

Blackburn Rovers have booked their quarter final spot in the Carling Cup after beating Sunderland 2-1 at a sparsley populated Stadium of Light on a bitterly cold evening.

Rovers boss Paul Ince made seven changes to the line up that got beat by Chelsea on Sunday and Ince was not scared to blood some of the fringe players. Andy Haworth from the academy made his debut and Aaron Mokoena, Keith Treacy, Zurab Khizanishvilli and Robbie Fowler were all handed starts, very much a second choice line up. However, the bench was crammed with potential - Roque Santa Cruz, Ryan Nelsen, Carlos Villanueva and Stephen Warnock were amongst the subs, so hardly a weak back up.

However, there was to be a shock as soon as Ince named his line up, Keane then revealed his hand - a near full strength line up! Ince himself has admitted since that he 'almost had a heart attack' when he saw the line up Roy Keane has picked - Ince was expecting several youth players in there and also Kenwyne Jones not to be playing, he was.

For the first ten minutes Rovers were on the back foot as Sunderland, themselves on something of a bad run, pressed forward with impressive Jones and Cisse looking to get in the box whenever possible.

Two times in the first half Robinson was called upon to pull off excellent saves - one in particular, a point blank header from Kenwyne Jones was truly awesome.

The remainder of the second half however, was a midfield battle that Rovers controlled, however they Blackburn only created half chances. The best of these was the hard working Keith Treacy's effort that looped just wide of Fulop's post.

The second half was a much more fast paced affair as Rovers and Sunderland kicked on in search of a winner to avoid extra time. Rovers themselves looked full of purpose but were lacking that killer touch with Fowler not providing much of an outlet and Matt Derbyshire restricted to the channels.

Cue the returning Roque Santa Cruz.

Two minutes after his introduction, Blackburn took the lead. On 64 minutes a cross came in, Chris Samba, who ahd stayed up from a corner rose tallest to flick on and santa came in on the sleigh to give the Blue and White army a 1-0 advantage.

6 minutes later and it was 2-0. Matt Derbyshire bursted down the right, flung in a wicked ball that caused panic in the Sunderland defence and the ball cannoned into the net of the unlucky Phil Bardsley via Martin Fulop's right hand.

However, Rovers then committed the cardinal sin of switching off. Ince hopefully laid into the boys as straight from kick off the ball was launched up field, it landed at Jones' feet and he scored from outside the area low to Robinson's left.

However, despite some tentative moments, Blackburn hung on to pick up a win. Rovers played better against Villa and West Brom and didn't win, so it was hardly vintage stuff. But Ince can be proud that a largely second string outfit beat a largely first team Sunderland team.

Sunderland have a quick chance for revenge though - we play them at Ewood on Saturdayin the EPL.

Star Player

Zurab Khizanishvilli - Toss up between Zurab and Paul Robinson but i am going to give it to Zurab as he never lets us down and won many crucial headers at the heart of the Rovers back line. For my money, the best '4th choice' centre back there is.

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson - 8

Some excellent saves and commanded the area well. Gets better with every game.

Danny Simpson - 7

A very good outlet down the right. Was a lot more adventorous going forward last night and defended well enough.

Zurab Khizanishvilli - 8

A very well done to you sir.

Chris Samba - 7

Set up the Santa Cruz goal and otherwise made very few mistakes. Good work King Kong.

Martin Olsson - 6

Steady as she goes. Didn't do a great deal to make a massive impression on the game but didn't shirk a tackle and offered good width on the left.

Aaron Mokoena - 6

Did very little wrong but his first touch was not good at all. Offered some good presence in the centre of midfield though and helped Tugay out as well.

Tugay - 7

Gave away a few silly fouls but was as usual masterful with the ball at his feet and kept things ticking over very nicely.

Andy Haworth - 6

Looked purposeful on debut. Has pace, gets at people and uses his body well. Granted, a bit rough round the edges but he didn't look out of place. One for the future.

Keith Treacy - 7

Looked good on the left hand side. Very workman like and does offer a different alternative to Pedersen. Was unlucky with a few efforts but he had a good game.

Robbie Fowler - 5

Not too good I am afraid. Looked off the pace and didn't really threaten, come on Fowler - lose some weight and get to shape first.

Matty Derbyshire - 8

Dynamite cross for second goal, never stopped running and very lively. Had a productive evening and has put himself in the frame for a start on Saturday.

Stephen Warnock - 6

Industrious when introduced as a sub for Treacy in the second half, kept things simple and used his pace to good effect.

Roque Santa Cruz - 7

The big difference - before he came on Rovers looked rudderless up top but as soon as he came on we looked like we couldn't miss. Good to have you back.

Carlos Villanueva - 6

Little chance to make an impact but did show some good touches.

Manager Rating

Paul Ince - 6. Mixed bag las night.

Pros - His subs made a big difference, not just in the sense of who he bought on but also in the timing of them and for that he should take credit. Furthermore, he showed he isn't scared to use the youngsters.

Cons - He underestimated Keane's mind games and team selection. Luckily we got the result we needed as the players fought for him but lets toughen up on the physcological side of things eh Paul?

Saturday's Game At Ewood

No two games are the same. Sunderland will be looking for revenge and we need to be wary of that. Expect the big guns to return.

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

The Journalist

Writer: Mikey D Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 13 2008

Time: 2:01PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think we are all relieved that we have got that win under our belts. It our job to make sure we use it now. 3 points are a must on Saturday.
Mikey D
Report Abuse
13/11/2008 14:12:00

Great report Mikey. You have said it...3 points are a must, otherwise could be in relegation positions!
Report Abuse
13/11/2008 14:43:00

Important really need to win especially being up against Tottenham after. So hopefully wonder what he will do with the team a most likely changed squad if possible be interesting to se where Benni Mac is in Ince's plans after the suspension.
Report Abuse
13/11/2008 15:22:00

I think he'll be starting on Saturday to be honest... he has looked good last few games Benni and deserves a start.
Mikey D
Report Abuse
13/11/2008 15:47:00

roque shows his class once again. hope he can start on sat, along w/ benni mac. paul ince needs to play two strikers at home against the second to bottom team.
Report Abuse
13/11/2008 16:31:00

Nice report there Mikey, interesting to see Zurab playing well, maybe staking a claim for a spot alongside Nelsen more regularly?
Report Abuse
13/11/2008 18:48:00

He always has a good game does Zurab, which is why it suprises me he didnt do so well in the recent poll....
Mikey D
Report Abuse
13/11/2008 18:50:00

Cheers mikey why are we persisting with fowler . Surely Roberts at least can do better
Report Abuse
13/11/2008 23:40:00

Superb Mr Mikey. The Monk deserves to keep his place, and under Incey I think that he might just do that. Players coming straight back in was the biggest fault that I personally think that Sparky had, lets see if Incey is the same as the Monk should have done enough to keep his place on merit.
Report Abuse
14/11/2008 09:32:00

They'll want revenge on Saturday
Tiny T
Report Abuse
14/11/2008 18:36:00

But the won't get it!
Report Abuse
14/11/2008 19:39:00

Sorry, it should be: But theY won't get it. Buahahaha! Rovers are back on track no matter what
Report Abuse
14/11/2008 19:40:00


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Walker 111
2. dallydally 36
3. rover50 19
4. rovers2011 8
5. Rye of the Rovers 4
6. roverjoy 3

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
7. Brentford 39 20 6 13 12 66
8. Wolves 39 18 11 10 11 65
9. Forest 39 15 12 12 8 57
10. Blackburn 39 14 12 13 1 54
11. Charlton 39 13 15 11 -2 54
12. Sheff Wed 39 13 14 12 -4 53
13. Leeds Utd 39 14 10 15 -4 52

Breaking League News

Olsson's Turbulent Day
Norwich : 29/03/2015 07:00:01
Harris - Youth Is Millwall's Future
Millwall : 28/03/2015 21:43:01
McClaren - Change Our Momentum
Derby County : 28/03/2015 21:36:01
Madine Not Ruling Out Blackpool Stay
Blackpool : 28/03/2015 21:23:01
Clark - Cubero's Ready To Make An Impact
Blackpool : 28/03/2015 21:15:01

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Brighton MotM
Suggested By:  VitalRovers
Steele 11%
Henley 8%
Baptiste 8%
Kilgallon 0%
Olsson 41%
Taylor 0%
Spearing 8%
Cairney 0%
Marshall 0%
Brown 0%
Rhodes 16%
Sub:-Spurr 0%
Sub:-Gestede 8%