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Blackburn Rovers 1 - Tottenham Hotspurs 1

Ewood Park

19th November 2006

Attendance: 18,083

Rovers 1.v.1 Spurs

What have we done to deserve this?

It feels like all of our games are embroiled in controversy at the moment, and rarely is it in favour of Rovers. Tugay was the hero and unfortunate villain as he scored another wonder goal before being harshly sent-off.

On reflection a draw is a fair result as Tottenham came to Ewood Park and put in a solid display. It is also important to point out that the controversy doesn`t derive from any malicious intentions from Spurs, unless of course you`re talking about one of the Premiership`s rising thespians; Didier Zokora.

Mark Hughes was forced to make a couple of changes to his starting eleven but had the luxury of being able to pick Robbie Savage. Zurab Khizanishvili and Lucas Neill were both absent so Michael Gray and Stephane Henchoz came in to complete a Last of the Summer Wine back four.

Spurs got proceedings underway on a mild Lancashire evening, the air pricked with anticipation from both sets of supporters and they showed the early endeavour. However, Rovers thought they had gone one up inside ten minutes after Shabani Nonda raced through and coolly slotted the ball past the on-rushing Paul Robinson only to have his celebrations halted by an untimely offside flag.

The game then hit a lull and was being played out like an episode of Countdown, slow and hard to decipher.

Then Blackburn`s resident magician lit up the stage in the 23rd minute with a sumptuous volley from all of 30 yards. He showed tremendous technique, keeping his eye on the ball, following Ledley King`s looping headed clearance, before rasping a drive that raced past Robinson and almost tore the netting from the goal-posts.

It was perhaps a little harsh on Spurs who were looking the better side. Their dominance continued through to half-time with Mido wasting two particularly presentable openings.

Martin Jol, clearly unimpressed with his sides efforts replaced the ageing Edgar Davids with Steed Malbranque at half time and Spurs went for the jugular straight from kick-off.

Indeed they thought they had levelled within three minutes of the restart. The impressive Tom Huddlestone drilled a free kick into the area and Mido glanced it home. However, the Rovers defence had showed great awareness by stepping up at the crucial moment, forcing the offside.

Spurs were very much in the ascendancy and it did look as though an equaliser was just moments away. It duly arrived on the hour mark but like so many goals against Rovers this season it was shrouded in controversy.

A placed ball through the middle from the right dissected Rovers` defence and Hossam Ghaly was through on goal. Tugay rolled back the years, again, to cover. He lunged at Ghaly in a bid to block an imminent shot, but the shot never arrived as the Egyptian winger cleverly lifted the ball over Tugay. IN what can only be described as unfortunate, Ghaly trod on Tugay`s trailing leg, by accident, and crumpled to the floor. Phil Dowd had no hesitation in awarding a spot-kick.

He then compounded things by sensationally sending-off Tugay. The horror on the faces of the Rovers players said everything about the decision.

Rovers were shell-shocked and had to restart the match after Jermaine Defoe coolly slotted home the penalty, although Friedel managed to get a hand on it.

Within minutes the officials were again facing a barrage of abuse after another appalling decision. Michael Gray`s floated free-kick into the area was missed by Andre Ooijer, Rovers` captain for the day (what a week he has had, captain of his country and now he is leading out Rovers), but was adeptly brought down by Mido with the help of his arm.

It was clear for all to see that he had handled and how the referee`s assistant failed to notice such an obvious discrepancy from only ten yards away, no-one will ever know.

A recent study compiled reported that referee`s are bias towards the home sides and influenced by their fans. Well if ever there was a case to refute such a statement, this match would surely be it.

Rovers fought bravely against all the odds and could have won the match, if luck would spend a week or two in any of Blackburn`s high quality hotels.

Benni McCarthy cleverly back-heeled in mid air at the near post, which almost caught Robinson out and Emerton went close with a long distance drive.

Mr. Dowd wasn`t finished though and he added to his first red card of the season by dismissing Ghaly for a crude and obvious elbow in the face of Michael Gray, who must be getting all to used to that!

The game eventually came to a close in heavy rain and freezing conditions. A draw is perhaps a fair reflection on the game as a whole but the means that Spurs achieved will certainly leave a bitter taste in the mouths of all concerned at Rovers.

Star Player

Tugay

What a goal, a wonderful repertoire of passes and recieved one of the harshest red crds ever issued.

Player Ratings


Friedel 6

Had little to do but almost saved Defoe's penalty.

Emerton 7

Worked hard again and was solid.

Ooijer 7

Was excellent as captain and generally solid through out.

Henchoz 6

Did well on his first Premiership start of the season.

Gray 6

Perhaps one of his better performances in a Rovers shirt.

Bentley 5

Failed to make an impact and his distribution was unusually poor.

Gamst 6

Worked hard, especially after the re-shuffle but can't seem to find his magic.

Tugay 8

Great goal, great passer, great professional.

Savage 6

Worked tirelessly as normal.

McCarthy 7

Looks very happy with life and is a wonderful talent.

Nonda 6

Unlucky to have his goal chalked off, but did little else.

Mokoena 4

Was awful after being introduced, horrendous passing.

Peter 5

It's about time he is given more of a chance. He has an excellent pass on him.

Jeffers 4

Did look sharp but didn't have time to impress.




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The Journalist

Writer: Roversman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday November 19 2006

Time: 7:04PM

Your Comments

Seriously though guys, what have we done to deserve such horrendous refereeing decisions on such a frequent basis?
roversman
Its great isn't it not only are we getting a lot of bad decisions they now come along in two's!!
daz2903
well we should feel hard done by, thats another game where we have had bad refereeing and anothr game that we should have won
marshinrover
Not so sure we should have won, but chances are we would have had they not got the penalty. Even after that we may have gone on to win even with ten men had we got the penalty we deserved. The "luck" we haven't been getting was comical at first but it isn't anymore!
Hughes Da Man
Disgraceful, hey guys new member from australia, stayed up all night just watching updates on the net since the game was not on live, just saw the highlights absolutely disgusting, not much we can do, can some1 explain to me why we have such poor attendences like i no its a small town and stuff but arent prices getting cheapr like here in Sydney crowds werent all too flashy last year but prices are cheapr and we are loving it
sasman
Welcome to Vital Blackburn sasman, good to have another member on board, hopefully we'll here more from you. Shocking wasn't it sasman. The crowds are poor, doesn't seem to matter how much they are reduced this just won't change. They've been low for sometime haven't they but you would have thought last season's excellent year would have improved things (which it did season ticket sales wise). Not many Premiership grounds, if any offer cheaper matchday tickets than Rovers and that's without reduced prices!
Hughes Da Man
I no, like I here that proces keep getting cheaper, guess we gotta get better results, just a bit worried about our strike force, not picking up many goals in the league, how bout giving Pederson a go up front and shifting peter on the wing. You guys prob get to c more because im just limited to TV coverage, but peter looks pretty swift on the wing and pederson can finish so him running around and mccarthy knockin the ball around who knows aye.
sasman
Good point, good idea maybe it is something Sparky might look at. I do think McCarthy and Nonda are starting a good partnership though. As for Sergio Peter you are spot on the little guy is looking really good, its just a shame for him that he has Pedersen for competition!
Hughes Da Man
Another thing i have noticed, Australia looks extremely well in defence when Lucas Controls the center of defence, with nelson out, and khishishvilli absolutely useless , y is neill played at left back in stead of centrel defender when young Mccelvey can play there or even Michael Gray who for once did perform pretty well last night
sasman
All things we've spoken about before. Zurab hasn't been that bad in my opinion this season, has looked good. I think Neill played central defence in the opening game that is it! I guess Neill will soon be gone so McEveley or Gray will be in and Nelsen (so badly missed) will take up the captaincy and the central defensive berth.
Hughes Da Man
You lot don't seem to have much luck this season enjoyable game yesterday all the same.
chris the villan
we should have won yes it was a peno but not desurving of a red and we should have had one - mido admitted to handling it
marshinrover
Thanks chris the villan nice to see that others are seeing the lack that ISN'T going our way!
Hughes Da Man
 

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