Points Shared at Upton Park
Blackburn and West Ham fought out a 1-1 draw, with Hitzlsperger striking from distance late on, cancelling out Jason Roberts' strike after only 13 minutes.
With Junior Hoillet back and raring to go, it was yet another change in formation and line up for Blackburn.
Martin Olsson-Chris Samba- Gael Givet-Brett Emerton
------------Jermaine Jones---Steve Nzonzi----------
Junior Hoillet------MG Pedersen-------------MB Diouf
It was a nervy opening quarter for both outfits, a win would seal Blackburn Rovers Premier League future, whilst anything but a win would leave the Hammers, pretty much, hammered...
Cole and Ba proved tricky early on for the Hammers, as it seemed long balls would be the theme of the day, with the front pairing chasing anything that came in their direction. Rovers on the other hand, relied on the pace and trickery of MB Diouf and Junior Hoillet down either flank, whilst Roberts became a target up front. Pedersen had the early chance for Rovers, spraying a strike after a neat lay off by Roberts, wide of the goal.
Rovers did manage to pinch the early goal via a superb counter-attacking flow. Jermaine Jones scooted in midfield, threading through for Brett Emerton who had overlapped down the right. Brett whipped in a delightul first touch cross into the 6 yard box, Roberts pouncing and striking, 1-0 Blackburn
It was almost dejavu minutes later, with Emerton provided plenty of space down the right flank. The Australian veteran popped in another delightful cross, Gamst Pedersen leaping highest, but couldnt reach the ball, flying past the goal. Down the other end, Ba's pace almost caught out Chris Samba, however the Blackburn Captain was up to the task, forcing his man off the ball, and out of the way
West Ham's best chance came from a set piece, with Da Costa's powerful header cleared off the goal line by Gamst Pedersen, sending Rovers into the break a goal to the good
The second half started off slowly. Rovers appeared to be happy to hang onto their lead, whilst West Ham could not penetrate. Avram Grant send on Piquionne and Keane, giving West Ham 4 go to men up front, whilst Rovers withdrew goal scorer Roberts for Santa Cruz, and MB Diouf for Keith Andrews.
Despite the changes, their was little in it, until a wonder strike by Hitzlsperger, driving from 25 yards, leaving Robinson stranded, and giving West Ham a lifeline.
The Hammers gained confidence, pushing for a winner. And they should of had it, as a delightful cross found Keane with the easiest of tap-ins, however the experienced striker fluffed it, missing completely. The goal opened up wide once again late on, however Chris Samba was there to put his body on the line, blocking from 6 yards in the third minute of injury time.
Points shared, a good point, or 2 points lost?
Amazing performance by the big man. Led by example and ensured we did not lose, giving Rovers a valuable point