God only knows how we lost that
Ewood Park, Blackburn
27th August 2011
There are some days when you just have to walk off into the sunset and accept that you deserved to lose. You were beaten by the better team and you could have done better.
Yesterday against Everton was not one of those days.
Rovers contrived to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in thrilling fashion with two missed penalties and an inspired performance from opposition goalkeeper Tim Howard somehow robbing Rovers not just of victory but of a point which would have been the minimum reward the performance deserved.
The first half lacked anything in the way of serious quality where the biggest talking point was the withdrawals of Morten Pedersen and David Dunn through injury but the second half is where the drama unfolded.
About a minute into the half Mauro Formica was bundled over by Everton youngster Ross Barkley and the perfect chance arose for Rovers to take the lead - Hoilett was the man who grabbed the ball and charged with putting Rovers ahead but Howard made a decent save from a fairly tame spot kick to keep the scores level.
This still didn't deter Rovers who pressed further with the frustrating Jason Roberts replaced by the much more lively David Goodwillie.
Rovers then contrived to hit the frame of the goal twice and Tim Howard was called into action countless times before being awarded a second spot kick as Mauro Formica was again felled in the box.
This time the fouled player was the taker and even though the spot kick was better struck the frame of the goal was again to the rescue with Howard this time beaten soundly.
If anything the penalty was TOO well struck.
So, into injury time and still no breakthrough, oh well... let's settle for a point then? It wasn't even to be that as Chris Samba was adjudged to have clambered all over Victor Anichebe and Mikel Arteta stepped up to show Rovers how to take a penalty with cool precision sending Paul Robinson the wrong way.
Dominant, lively, but still with zero points.
Is someone trying to tell us something?
Don't sell him Rovers.
Paul Robinson - 6
Failed the penalty lottery.
Michel Salgado - 6
Stood up to task much better.
Chris Samba - 8
Gael Givet - 7
Gelled with Samba well.
Martin Olsson - 6
Could benefit from being stronger in the tackle.
Brett Emerton - 7
Goodbye Brett, you'll be missed. Shame it didn't end how you wanted it to.
The Zonz - 6
At other times he seemed to be more interested in shouting at the ref and fouling.
David Dunn - 5
Before that - he was terrific.
Morten Gamst Pedersen - 4
Unlike Dunn though he was borderline useless.
Jason Roberts - 3
Slow off the mark, sloppy in possession and porr holding up of the ball.
Junior Hoilett - 7
Some more intelligent play could see him be a world beater. Pretty poor penalty however.
Mauro Formica - 7
Another one who missed a penalty with a well hit but slightly off line effort.
Radosav Petrovic - 5
But he's big, he's strong and has a good engine on him so expect him to get better with more games.
David Goodwillie - 7
A 150% improvement on Jason Roberts on the day.