Rovers Steer Clear of Relegation!
Blackburn Rovers added another victim in the domination of Lancashire, with goals from Morten Gamst Pedersen and Nikola Kalinic ensuring a massive 3 points.
After the setback of the League Cup Semi-Final, Sam Allardyce fielded a versatile formation, which was capable of shifting from a 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3 to a traditional 4-4-2.
Chimbonda, Nelsen, Givet, Olsson
Emerton,Nzonzi, Gamst, Hoillet
With both teams holding mid to lower end table positions, it was never going to be a classic encounter, however, for both clubs, it was a massive 6 pointer, with the winner climbing towards safety, whilst the loser, well, time will tell.
In a game of minimal clear cut chances, it was Wigan who were of to the brighter start. Early pressure from the Latics, as in form striker, Rodallega, took his chances from distance, however, his 25 yard bomb dragged wide of Robinson's goal. Blackburn countered, with Kalinic unlucky not to score his first Premier League goal, his strike from the 6 yard box striking the wood work.
Both teams continued to try there luck from distance, Nzogbia and Rodallega for Wigan, whilst Nzonzi for Rovers, were all wasteful in there attempts.
20 minutes in, Morten Gamst Pedersen showed them how its done. A long free kick chipped in by Brett Emerton was punched away by stand in keeper, Stojkovic. The ball bounced up just outside the 18 yard box. Running onto it at full steam, Pedersen struck the sweetest of shots, more commonly known as 'The Tugay', screaming into the top left corner of the net. Blackburn 1-0
Wigan responded well to the early set back, pressuring the home team, with most of the play in the Rovers half. Paul Scharner was left unmarked from a corner, however his tame header floated over the bar. Rodallega and Scharner then took turns to strike from distance, though the Rovers defence put their bodies on the line to prevent any damage to Paul Robinsons net.
Half Time- Blackburn 1-0
In what can only be described as a boring, slow start to the second half, it took 15 minutes for the first real opportunity at either end. An inswinging corner from James McCarthy, was met by the head of Gary Caldwell, who appeared to foul Chimbonda in the process. The header went straight into the back of the net, referee Lee Mason, blew the whistle, awarding the goal......1-1
Steven Reid Came on for the ineffective Hoillet, and picked up a yellow card within minutes. The foul count started to increase dramatically, with both teams, 'getting stuck in'. Not a game for the faint hearted....
With this Lancashire derby fizzing out into a draw, it was young Croatian striker, Nikola Kalinic, who has been provided the burden of carrying the Rovers Strike Force, scoring his first goal in the English Premier League. An outswinging corner by Morten Gamst Pedersen found Kalinic, who'se diving header flew straight into the back of the net, 2-1 Blackburn.
Kalinic and Diouf soon made way, with Jason Roberts and Franco Di Santo coming on.
Blackburn could of sealed the game in the dying seconds of normal time. A quick counter saw Jason Roberts race away with the ball. Roberts then teed up Martin Olsson, however the young Swede's effort on goal was saved by Stojkovic. 5 nervous minutes of injury time followed, however, Blackburn managed to hold out, ensuring a vital victory against neighbours Wigan.
Scored a cracker, set up a second. Looking well at home in central midfield. I have a proposition. Why dont we Loan Gamst out for the first half of every season, then just bring him back for the second half, its the only time he performs!
Kings of Lancashire....