Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Sunday November 29 2009
28th Nov 09, 15:00
It was a tale of two goalkeepers as Stoke denied Blackburn a fifth straight home win at Ewood Park yesterday.
With Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce absent following minor heart surgery, the players that are under his command failed to deliver the three points that would have made him a little happier. Stoke actually had two good chances in the first half but Rovers were dominant in the second - the closest anyone came was Steven N'Zonzi who hit the woodwork.
Australian midfielder Brett Emerton and the two Frenchmen Gael Givet and Nzonzi returned to the Blackburn starting line-up after missing the 3-0 midweek defeat at Fulham.
Blackburn started the brighter with David Dunn again pulling the strings, on-loan Chelsea striker Franco Di Santo nearly scored early on but was unlucky as Thomas Sorensen denied him with a cracking stop.
But Stoke should have claimed the lead midway through the opening period after Ricardo Fuller sent Dean Whitehead clear, but this time it was the Rovers number one to the rescue as Paul Robinson was able to turn it away.
Blackburn suffered a blow in the 32nd minute when David Dunn, who had once again looked Rovers best outlet, came off clucthing a calf. This prompted a tactical reshuffle which saw Jason Roberts come on alongside Di Santo as Rovers went 4-4-2.
Stoke were happy to play on the counter-attack and that approach generated a great chance to take the lead six minutes before the break, when Robinson pulled off a fine save to deny Lawrence at close range as the midfielder swept in a shot from a tantalising cross.
But as with the last home game against Pompey, the half time team talk seemed to inspire Blackburn as they came out fighting and looked the only side capable of taking home the maximum in the second half.
First off, an overhead kick from Rovers captain Ryan Nelsen (yes you are not mad you did just read that) was saved before Nzonzi beat the goalkeeper with a drive that came back off the post.
The pressure came on thick and fast as several half chances feel by the way side before a glorious chance n injury time was headed wide by Chris Samba.
So all in all, it was two points dropped. Irrespective of how Tomas Sorenson played, Rovers had the chances to win the game but it wasn't to be.
At least it was a clean sheet though as we would have lost that game last season in the same circumstances.
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Date:Sunday November 29 2009
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