Date:Sunday November 23 2008
White Hart Lane
Without a win in 7 Premier League matches, Blackburn made the trip to London to battle against the resurgent Tottenham. With 5 wins in their last 7 in all competitions, Tottenham where on there way out of the drop zone, could the same be said about Rovers.
Blackburn welcomed back Brett Emerton and Benni McCarthy into the starting squad, with Martin Olsson dropping in at left back.
Blackburn did start of the brighter of the two teams. A whipped in corner from Morten Gamst Pedersen was fumbled by the rather eccentric Heurelho Gomes, however the Rovers front men couldnt pounce on the opportunity. Repeated corners followed, but no chances were created. Blackburn then paid the price for trying to play their way out of defence. Aaron Lennon robbed Martin Olsson of the ball, and darted down the flank, cutting into the box. Despite a last ditch attempt by Nelsen to cut the play out, Lennon cut the ball back towards the oncoming Pavlyuchenko, who side footed past Paul Robinson. Tottenham 1-0.
Things almost became worse for Rovers. David Bentley stepped up and whipped a trademark free kick on from the left flank, 35 yards out. Pavlyuchenko almost doubled the lead, his glancing header striking the woodwork. The ball dropped at Ledley King's feet, with his shot cleared of the line by Captain Nelsen.
Rovers almost clawed their way back in the game. A delightful throughball by Ooijer sent Emerton free, who chipped the onrushing Gomes, but Woodgate was there to clear the ball. Rovers then started to push on, with Martin Olsson trying to make amends for his error, whipping the ball in from the left flank. McCarthy beat his market, but his first time shot blazed over the bar.
Rovers next chance really should of found the back of the net. A Brett Emerton free kick from 35 yards bounced nicely in the penalty box, however Chris Samba was unable to make any contact with the ball, with only the slighest of deflections needed to send the ball goal bound.
Inexperience from left wing back Martin Olsson left Rovers short one player. Olsson lunged into a tackle on Aaron Lennon, with Howard Webb playing the advantage for Tottenham. Olsson was definately going to recieve a card at the next stoppage. The next stoppage occured due to a late tackle by Olsson, who was immediately given a card. Olsson was fortunate to find him self still on the pitch, but he ran out of luck 10 minutes later. Aaron Lennon raced down the flank with the ball, and Olsson slid in, at least a metre away from the ball. Howard Webb showed no hesitation, Olsson picked up his second yellow and first red in his Blackburn Rovers career.
Lennon almost doubled the lead before the break, but his deflected shot was saved by Robinson. 1-0 Tottenham Half TIme.
Benni McCarthy could count himself unlucky, but Rovers needed to take of a striker. He was replaced by Danny Simpson. Rovers best chance of the second half fell through another Emerton free kick. The ball was chipped into the box, with Roque Santa Cruz attempting to head the ball from ankle height, directing it straight at the keeper. Where was the volley?
In a rather tame second half, Tottenham directed play, but created minimal opportunities for the second goal. Their best chances where through David Bentley free kicks. A cross from the left flank found the head of Jonathan Woodgate, who struck over from only metres out.
The only joy for Rovers in the second half was the rousing reception each time Robinson got his hands on the ball, with the Tottenham crowd chanting Englands Number 1.
Frazier Campbell had a chance to seal the game late on, but his glancing header rolled wide of the post. The second was not needed though, as Tottenham climbed out of the relegation zone, and Rovers dropped into it, 1-0 Tottenham
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Date:Sunday November 23 2008
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