Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Sunday October 18 2009
18th October 2009
Attendance: Sell Out
Our beloved Blackburn Rovers claimed the local bragging rights over Burnley in a match that was as keenly contested in the stands as it was on the pitch.
Ewood Park was absolutely rocking all afternoon with the verbal jousting between the two sets of fans absolutely off the charts and the noise in Ewood Park the loudest I have ever heard it. It was an honour to be in a ground that I love but, on a normal day, a ground that has a small set of fans making the noise while others coast through the game. BUT NOT TODAY...
20,000 + Rovers fans were on top form throughout the game as this derby showed exactly what it meant to both sides with the atmosphere electric - and I include the noisy Burnley fans in this too, fair play to them.
But what could of been a comfortable stroll was made a nervous finish by a sloppy late goal and our own ability not to put more goals on the board.
It was a game that loved up to the billing as Rovers sealed the points thanks to goals from David Dunn, Franco di Santo and Pascal Chimbonda.
The win caused unbridled joy across the blue and white half of East Lancashire but it started oh so badly.
Only four mintues had elapsed when Burnley took the lead through Robbie Blake, a swift Burnley move was ended by Blake as he cut in side a day dreaming Lars Jacobsen to fire a thunderbolt home and send the away support absolutely crazy. As a man sat in the Jack Walker stand upper tier near the Darwen End I can safely say I have never seen a goal so wildly celebrated by away fans.
It was reminiscent of his goal against Manchester United earlier in the campaign and gave Paul Robinson absolutely no chance. Top strike.
The Clarets' lead was short-lived however as Blackburn equalised in the 9th minute following a flowing move involving six Rovers players and ended by the man of the moment.
Morten Gamst Pedersen crossed the ball into the area and a nifty touch down by Franco Di Santo set up Dunny to curl home from 15 yards to send the home fans ABSOLUTELY CRAZY.
It was an open game and El-Hadji Diouf squandered a good chance six minutes later by sending his shot across the face of the goal after being set up by Steven Nzonzi.
Blackburn went ahead in the 22nd minute when Di Santo took advantage of Graham Alexander's incredibly lazy header after Brian Jensen had been impeded by one of his own players. A long throw in by Morten Gamst Pedersen caused chaos and Alexanders header only teed up Franco Di Santo to head home unopposed for his first, richly merited, Blackburn goal. Cue more wild scenes as Dunny stormed off to celebrate with the Blackburn end at the other end of the pitch! And Di Santo was boked for going to far into the Jack Walker stand.
Blackburn stepped up the pace and Dunn worked himself into a good position in the 37th minute only to send a soft shot into Jensen's arms. The Burnley goalkeeper then had to look alert to take a header from Samba after Dunn had swung in a free-kick from the left four minutes later.
But just as the half seemed to be getting scrappy as it reached its conclusion, rovers struck again with a cracking team move.
Keith Andrews picked out Pedersen on the left and he released Chimbonda on the overlap, the Rovers left back got away from Steven Fletcher and cut into the area before finding the corner with his effort. By this point the home fans had completely and utterly lost it, the place became unglued and yours truly was struggling to keep his voice box in check.
Burnley were anxious to get back in the game and after half time they pressed on as Rovers rested on their laurels, Fletcher dragged a shot wide of the post five minutes after the break after linking up with David Nugent.
But then play switched down the other end and Di Santo skipped away from Steven Caldwell, only for Tyrone Mears to cover well.
Whilst Burnley were going more direct, it was suprising that Rovers were in fact the more refined going forward. Dunny and Dioufy in particular looked unplayable at times when in full flow.
Burnley were getting desperate and subbed off the ineffective Nugent for the talented Chris Eagles. As the game died down slightly, the volume again cranked up in the stand with the home and away fans trading jibes in vocal fashion.
Burnley also bought off the increasingly slack Andre Bikey to add mroe guile to the attack and Brett Emerton was bought on for Rovers just after Roberts made way for the badge kissing and cleary loving it Franco Di Santo.
Despite the changes and Rovers greater use of the ball, Burnley kept pushing forward, but didnt threaten greatly until right before time and Eagles tested Robinson with a minute to go, only for the goalkeeper to push the ball around the post.
But former Manchester United man Eagles did pull a goal back in stoppage time, scoring from close range following a cross from Stephen Jordan and some shocking marking from the Rovers defence to make things super, super tense for the four minutes of injury time that remained as Ewood bit its nails.
Rovers were forced to play keep ball and Dunny was keen t get the ball in the corners, with Morten and N'Zonzi playing back up.
Rovers saw the game out despite the scare and at the end Ewood erupted and cue a massive sing along of the Black Eyed Peas 'I Gotta Feeling' which includes the very apt line of 'tonight's gonna be a good night'... it certainly is after that epic game, with a cracking crowd and a worthy winner in the Kings of East Lancashire (for now), Blackburn Rovers.
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Date:Sunday October 18 2009
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