Blackburn Rovers - Rovers Rue Missed Chances
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Blackburn 0 - Tottenham 2

Ewood Park


Rovers Rue Missed Chances

Despite dominating possession, and most of the opportunities, it was regular scenes for Rovers, going down 2-0 to a Tottenham outfit who are looking good to at the very least, break into the top 6 after another victory on the Road.

Blackburn, without Chris Samba, David Dunn and Brett Emerton, resorted to a 4-4-2 formation,

Jacobsen, Nelsen, Givet, Chimbonda
Salgado, Nzonzi, Grella, Hoillet
Benni, Di Santo.

It was Rovers who were off to the brighter start, looking to exploit the pace of Junior Hoillet down the left flank. After a clean clearance, Hoillet`s run was brought to an end, 30 yards out from the goal by a sliding tackle. Benni McCarthy stepped up for the free kick, striking it well over the goal. Tottenham were almost rewarded down the other end, Grella`s slick sliding tackle found the ball roll out to Chimbonda, who`s wayward pass to Nelsen was intercepted, Kranjcar took the ball out wide, however his cross avoided everyone.

The battle of the midfield was definitely on the side of Grella and Nzonzi. A short exchange between Grella and McCarthy was followed by a defence splitting through ball by the South African. Di Santo managed to hustle his way past the defence, but was forced out wide to no avail. Grella continued to press in the midfield, whilst Nzonzi was proving to be a strong force, years ahead of his time. A switch of play found Hoillet down the left flank, and once again, he was brought down, this time on the left flank. Benni McCarthy`s free kick took a wicked deflection, landing on top of the crossbar.

It was Hoillet's turn to turn play maker, after a touch from McCarthy, Hoillet knocked it long, putting Di Santo into space. However, the young striker was out muscled by Bassong. Tottenham immediately countered, Kranjcar darting through the midfield, finding Defoe out wide. His first touch put him through on goal, however, his strike was well wide of Robinson`s far post. The action was flowing fast, and Rover`s can claim to be unlucky not to have gone a goal in front.

Benni McCarthy looked like a man on a mission, holding the ball up, and then skipping past his man. Benni then found Di Santo with a delightful chip, the Argentinean controlling with his chest, then volleying. A metre either side would have been net, however Gomes was up to the task, parrying the strike away from goal. Great play, unlucky Rovers

Rovers were almost left to rue some dodgy set piece marking. Kranjcar stepped up from 40 yards, floating his free kick into the box. An unmarked Bassong should have judged it better, an open header glancing wide of the post. However, Crouch was not to be denied deep into Injury time. A stray shot found its way out wide, with the following cross heading to the 6 yard line, Robinson failed to come out, Nelsen was out muscled by Crouch, who headed into the far corner, 1-0, and half time....

No Changes were made at the break by either team.
The second half got off to a slow start, both teams lacking any immediate flair. Benni McCarthy took the bull by its horns, his perfect through ball finding possibly the slowest player in the Premier League, Salgado, who unfortunately could not make much of his 10m start, opportunity gone. Minutes later, a superb cross by Grella found McCarthy, who chested and volleyed, Gomes with a reflex save, forcing the ball onto the post and the ball then ran across the goal and outwards....What price a goal please?

Gamst came on for Salgado in an attempt to bring a touch more creativity onto the pitch. Rovers continued to dominate, with long range attempts from Hoillet, Di Santo and McCarthy all spraying wide. Nzonzi was starting to fatigue in the midfield, but he and Grella were doing a superb job.

Tottenham were denied a second goal by the assistant`s flag. A great cross by Lennon found the 14ft head of Peter Crouch, who made no mistake of it, however, was called back for offside. Kalinic on for Di Santo, Roberts on for Hoillet.

Rovers` were then made to rue their lack of luck up front. Jermaine Jenas on the counter found Peter Crouch who had perfectly checked his run. Crouch lined up the goal, slotting it past Robinson into the far corner. 2-0 Tottenham

Blackburn had two late chances to worry Tottenham, a well driven strike by McCarthy almost crept in, with Gomes reaching it with his finger tips, tipping it wide of the goal. A McCarthy corner found Ryan Nelsen, who headed straight down from 3 metres, however, the ball took a wicked bounce, straight over the goal.

It wasn`t to be for Blackburn, as Tottenham walked away with the 3 Points at Ewood Park.

Star Player

Vince Grella and Benni McCarthy- Vince had a blinder in midfield, great tackling display, good passing game, faded towards the end but that will come with fitness. McCarthy, was our attacking threat, very unlucky not to score, great passing display, also faded towards the end. Had to give it to both, cause if I gave it to Vince on his own, I'd be up for it, wouldnt I....:D

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson 5

Sorry, but should of come out for the first goal. Must of had half time on his mind, apart from that, not much to do

Lars Jacobsen 6

Really looked of the pace. Must be hard, play one game, sit out 6, but thats the reason why....

Ryan Nelsen 6

Completely out muscled for the first goal, a hint of a foul, however cant be put to blame.

Gael Givet 6

Quiet from the Frenchmen, really not in the same form as last season

Pascal Chimbonda 5.5

Struggled to link up with Hoillet, kept his end tight, however both goals did come from the left flank

Michel Salgado 5

Quality player, but really out of position, would of preferred Olsson getting a run out on the left and Hoillet or Diouf on the Right

Vince Grella 7.5

Very solid game from Vince. Some stray passes towards the end of the game cost him an 8, now just please stay fit so everybody can see what your worth

Steven Nzonzi 7

Made his prescence felt in the midfield, exactly what we want to see. Worked well with Vince, shutting down the midfield, and moving on the counter

David Hoillet 7

Good play from the wing man, sign him up ASAP. Fast on his feet, eye for a pass, would like to see him cross rather then take on his man all the time

Franco Di Santo 7

I've been harsh to the young man before. His work ethic tonight was again top notch, and it looks like he and McCarthy are the way forward, they feed off each other, Di Santo toiling, and McCarthy creating. But, again, no goals.

Benni McCarthy 7.5

Very unlucky not to have 2 two his name, plus 2 or 3 assists. Ran, worked hard, hopefully can get a few runs on the trot, and a few goals

Gamst Pedersen 4

Sell, give Treacy or Olsson a shot. Enough Said

Nikola Kalinic

Tried to get involved, but not much happening

Jason Roberts

Little Time

Who walked under the ladder?

Or did somebody kill a black cat? Who will be the striker that breaks the drought first.....this aint looking too good

Off the Topic- Mark Hughes

Jesus....Sacked! Bloody hell, 2 losses all season, the poor bugger is on his way....Their is no way a team bought in the offseason can gel and win the competition in the first season. Look at Chelsea when the revolution happened, they didnt win it immediately, but look what has been built....Poor Poor Sparky...

The Journalist

Writer: Sasman! Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 19 2009

Time: 11:13PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
we need someone to create for mccarthy, he can finish!
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19/12/2009 23:28:00

he missed sitter today though!
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20/12/2009 00:37:00

wouldnt say a sitter mate lol. Great control, back to goal volley, saved by the feet, then hits the post and rolls across....give the guy a break lol
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20/12/2009 00:52:00

dunn and emo are greatly missed...
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20/12/2009 03:36:00

Di Santo was good today? Maybe we should convert him to a Kuyt like role, seeing he's goal shy. But I'm convinced he'll get there soon..
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20/12/2009 04:31:00

Great report... although Salgado wasn't great, i'd still put him ahead of Gamst and sadly, Diouf. He didn't do much but at least he put some good tackling pressure on Spurs...
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20/12/2009 08:17:00

McCarthy was clearly the best player on the pitch for me. Vince and Steven did put in a steady shift in the middle and gave the impressive Palacios and Huddlestone a proper game. Same odl story though, we played much better than Spurs but they had two clear chances and scored. We are doing everything right apart from the hardest thing of all!
Mikey Delap
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20/12/2009 09:11:00

You hardly dominated, it was a close game and you guys probably deserved a draw. You guys could do with a certain Mr Derbyshire upfront i reckon! What the hell is fat Sam thinking selling him for 3million or whatever it was, you should try get Hughesy back! Happy Xmas fellas
Report Abuse
20/12/2009 10:47:00

I think you're a bit harsh with MGP...did nothin wrong yesterday and not to blame...think he should have started instead of Salgado...
Mike J.
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20/12/2009 11:24:00

Fair call MJ, he did nothing wrong, but in saying that, he did nothing right either lol, his runs down the flank always ended up in losing the ball,
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20/12/2009 12:52:00

check the game stats my yorkshire spurs friend... it will tel you otherwise, the difference was in the finishing.
Mikey Delap
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20/12/2009 14:37:00

feel bad for mark hughes btw, but once again, the grass is NEVER greener on the other side if you were at blackburn.
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20/12/2009 16:35:00

Mikey - You did play very well but I think that's rather liberal use of the word dominated ;) (,19764,11065_3150399,00.html). I always enjoy visiting Blackburn as an away fan, very welcoming place, it's usually a close game although we almost always lose. Sam got his tactics spot on, pressurised us all over the pitch and got in behind the midfield a fair bit but you really lack that little bit of quality in the final third without Dunn. Anyway good luck for the rest of the seaon, see you again next year
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20/12/2009 16:39:00

Yeah good luck guys, and appreciate your view points! ut we were still much the better side IMO!
Mikey Delap
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20/12/2009 19:08:00

we do need dunn back...we just need that extra something, someone who can make something out of nothing, that little magic
Report Abuse
21/12/2009 22:16:00

good call LH... rumour has it he will be back for boxing day and the beach party!!! woohooo!!!
Mikey Delap
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22/12/2009 09:09:00


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