Rovers Entertain at Ewood!!!!
A possible long term injury to Rovers and Kiwi Captain Ryan Nelsen soured the victory to Rovers as they bossed local rivals Bolton, entrenching them deeper into the drop zone.....
Missing Chris Samba due to suspension and Brett Emerton with a hamstring niggle, Sam Allardyce resorted to the 4-4-1-1 become 4-3-3 formation with
Salgado, Givet, Nelsen, Olsson
Hoillet Andrews Nzonzi Gamst
The Pride of Lancashire was on the line once again, with the snow powdering down, it didnt look like one for the faint hearted. Rovers got off to the brighter start, with Hoillet and Gamst looking threatening on either flank, and Olsson wrapping around on the over lap. A comical incident almost handed Blackburn their first goal of the game. Gamst Pedersen lined up a throw in, looping the ball over everybody and into the back of the net. Referee Chris Foy awarded the goal, but must of recieved a signal from the assistant, as nobody had touched the ball!
El Hadji Diouf was back to his normal self, spinning around in circles ranting at every call that didnt go his way. On the other hand, Keith Andrews was actually looking like a half decent footballer, tracking back well, distributing the ball around like a seasoned veteran....
Bolton threatened Rovers on the counter, Matty Taylor taking on Salgado and whipping in a cross, well cleared by Givet, whilst Muamba tried his luck from distance, drifting well wide of the goal. Rovers then countered after a sloppy error from the Bolton defence, a horror back pass almost sending Hoillet threw on goal, though Jussi Jaaskelainen was on hand to clear.
A shock collision between Nelsen and Gardner saw The Admiral pick up an injury. In typical fashion, Nelsen tried to battle on, but the big Kiwi was in pain and made way. A welcome return for Vinnie G, as he dropped into the midfield, Keith Andrews slotted into central defence. Minutes later, Bolton had their best chance to take the lead. Some neat interplay by the BOlton midfield found Taylor free, however his shot was well stopped by Robinson.
Kalinic decided he missed his dear friend, the goal post, a well struck acrobatic kick striking the wood work. Gamst Pedersen then had a go, his header was cleared off the line! Gamst also had a free kick, though it floated over the far corner of the post, when the near post looked like the way to go
Diouf scantered on the counter, a neat ball up to Gamst Pedersen. Realising he had drawn in the final man, Gamst headed across field to Kalinic, who's powerful drive was deflected by into the back of the net. 1-0 Blackburn Half Time.
A substitution at the break, but not your normal kind. Referee Chris Foy was replaced by Lee Probert after straining his hamstring. The weather also picked up, snow was blocking my TV screen!!!
Robinson was kept on his toes early, Gardner's strike well saved. Andrews and Givet were doing their best in central defence, whilst Salgado was really turning it on with some brilliant counter attacking football. Vince Grella, well off his best, still managed to break up play well, whilst Nzonzi and Gamst looked a threat.
Rovers almost sealed the victory early. A bullet cross from Gamst Pedersen found the diving Hoillet, who somehow managed to direct his header straight at Jaaskaleinen, unlucky. Allardyce soon withdrew Hoillet, bringing on everybody's favourite striker, Jason Roberts.....
Gamst Pedersen, playing another good game, delivered a neat corner, with Nzonzi powering a header goalwards. Jaaskaleinen pulled of a great save, but Rovers were not to be denied next time round. Pedersen crossed it in, Givet flicked it back into the box, Roberts sprung the offside trap, and struck the side foot volley after the ball looped over his shoulder. In not so typical fashion, the ball, went into the back of the net!!!! Blackburn 2-0!
A dangerous tackle earned Steinsson a Yellow, and Rovers almost had their third. Gamst Pedersen's wicked free kick managed to roll straight across the goal face, with Kalinic and Diouf unable to poke home. Diouf did manage to contribute to the game eventually. A quickly taken free kick by Gamst found Diouf, who turned his marker and crossed into the 6 yard box. Givet's glancing header struck the wood work, and into the back of the net....3-0 Blackburn!!!
Kalinic made way for Dunn, with both players well applauded by the Ewood Faithful...
Roberts could of made it 4 but couldnt line it up properly, whilst Andrews and Givet made sure Rovers did not concede!!
I have been one of Nikola's biggest critics, and its great that he is proving us wrong! A fantastic performance from the young lad, was given plenty of support by Gamst and Hoillet, but was more then able to hold his own up front. Nice goal!
Paul Robinson 8.5
Gael Givet 8
Michel Salgado 7
Martin Olsson 8
Steven Nzonzi 8.5
Keith Andrews 7.5
Morten Gamst Pedersen 7
El Hadji Diouf 5
Junior Hoillet 7
Nikola Kalinic 9.5
Now is the big test to see how far the team has come under Sam Allardyce.......