Blackburn Rovers - Newcastle 0.v.2 Rovers
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Newcastle United 0 - Blackburn Rovers 2

St. James' Park

5th May 2007. k/o 15:00


Newcastle 0.v.2 Rovers

It is nothing short of incredible, but why can`t we perform like this all season? Why is it that Rovers don`t show they`re true quality until right at the end when almost everything is over?

Frustrating I hear you say and it is too true. However, we are winning and if we pull off an amazing feat of European qualification again then this will be looked on as an even better season than the last.

This side are lacking the little bit of luck needed to be a top team. Moments from an F A Cup final and inches from the quarters of the UEFA Cup. We HAVE to be playing in Europe again next season and I feel we deserve due to our efforts over this campaign with the injuries we have suffered.

Anyway, to the game. Well Mark Hughes made a single, expected change, bringing Tugay in for the injured David Dunn.

It was Rovers in the changed away strip that got things underway but in a frantic opening it was Newcastle who threatened early on and could have taken an early lead.

An excellent ball across from the elusive James Milner found Kieron Dyer but his guided header was repelled by Brad Friedel. This stirred Rovers and after David Bentley and Benni McCarthy had made a hash of a promising opening, Rovers were in front.

A whipped ball across the penalty by Stephen Warnock caught a dozy home defence out. Whereas half pushed up to play offside one didn`t, ultimately keeping McCarthy onside to volley home his 22nd goal from six-yards.

This was the spur Rovers needed to lift themselves and the majority of the first half was played out in front of Newcastle`s goal, well the majority of clear openings.

Rovers were twice denied by offside flags, first Jason Roberts after excellent play from McCarthy, who should have perhaps shot instead of passing and then David Bentley was denied after chipping the 'keeper. Bentley looked clearly onside which added to Rovers` frustration.

Morten Gamst Pedersen continued his horrendous form in front of goal when his volley was turned away by Steve Harper, deputising for the injured Shay Given.

Newcastle should have equalised just before half time but Scott Parker, when well placed skewed his shot straight at Friedel.

Rovers were firmly in control and the home faithful knew it.

The second half began with Newcastle desperately trying to pull level, well Michael Owen and James Milner, trying anyway.

Milner forced a save from Friedel with a free-kick, and Owen`s moment in an otherwise forgettable afternoon was soon to come.

It was a chance he created through his own skill and hard work. Hw spun off the shoulder of Chris Samba, who had otherwise smothered the pint sized striker, and nudged the ball beyond the advancing Friedel. All that was left was to apply the finish from a tight angle and his shot was inch perfect, complemented only by the timing and initiative of Samba, who expertly headed off the line.

This was the closest Newcastle came and after Gamst once again missed an excellent chance Rovers had the killer second, provided by one of the Premiership`s in-form strikers, Jason Roberts.

He headed home Bentley`s chipped cross after the England wannabe had jinked, twisted and spliced through the Newcastle defence.

It was another excellent and assured display and if Rovers can replicate this regularly next season then a successful campaign will ensue.

As it is European football is still very much alive, all we need to do is beat Spurs and Reading and hope for some decent results.

Star Player

It's all about Chrissy Samba this week.

Neutralised one of the world's greatest strikers, and what a clearance off the line.

Player Ratings

Friedel 7

Made some smart stops, but must be enjoying life behind this defence.

Warnock 8

Set up the first and was commited to the last with some great last ditch blocks

Emerton 7

The effort and enthusiasm is there.

Nelsen 8

A commanding God

Samba 9

Nelsen's paduan learner will soon have all the Jedi tricks of his master.

Bentley 8

Creative and menacing, surely that call up isn't far away?

Gamst 7

Missed some great chances but an important cog in the Rovers counter-attacking game.

Tugay 7

Pulled the strings.

Mokoena 7

Really starting to clean up all mess.

McCarthy 7

Took another goal well. Some questionable decisions but played through the pain barrier for the team.

Roberts 7

Another goal. Was I wrong to doubt him?

Derbyshire 6

Plenty of effort again.

Nonda 6

A few smart touches but his time at Rovers is drawing to a close with a whimper.

Gallagher 5

Little time to show anything.

The Journalist

Writer: Roversman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 6 2007

Time: 12:09PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
we crusied through this match didn't we, Newcastle missed some early chances but we rarely had to excel ourselves did we against a pretty poor side. You always felt we would score on the counter and SHOULD have through MGP when he dragged horribly wide and HOW the linesman felt JR was offside in the second half when he raced through (before he scored his second) is beyond me, don't get me started on Bents disallowed goal, again SHOCKING officiating. I can't wait for Spurs on Thursday!
Hughes Da Man
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06/05/2007 12:20:00

It would appear officating of this nature has haunted us all season. Let's just hope it evens itself out next season. Still yet to see a return for the horrendous display by the officials from the West Ham match, plus we are now oed for the goals chalked off yesterday. However, when all is said and done, this tieam does look bloody impressive and with big names still to return and possibly added we could be in for a big campaign, so long as messes Benni, Gamst, Bents, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock and Derbs all stay
Report Abuse
06/05/2007 12:23:00

My bro was lookin on the vital chelsea site, McCarthy apparently has a 5.5 million pound release clause. Please tell me this is not true
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06/05/2007 12:31:00

Rubbish sasman! Don't get sucked into Chelsea's hopeful thinking!
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06/05/2007 12:32:00

I honestly hope so, plus they mentioned an interesting facct. Lets hope he does not play for South Africa as we will lose him for the African Cup. WE definitly need to purchase cover now incase he and also for Mokoena who will definitly get called up as captain. Is Sambas country competing, hope not
Report Abuse
06/05/2007 12:37:00

We will run ALL teams (below the top four, maybe even SOME in the top four) close next season, especially if some extra players arrive. I was worried players would leave a few weeks back but now I'm CONVINCED most, maybe even ALL will stay, why wouldn't they?!?! We are going places.
Hughes Da Man
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06/05/2007 14:44:00

I think you're getting a little carried away, bar an impressive last two or three weeks, you've had an average season and because of a smaller fan base (thus finance) i expect the likes of everton and tottenham pull away from your lot and bolton in the next few years
Report Abuse
06/05/2007 19:13:00

We'll see won't we, but I think you'll be in for a surprise or two in the coming years mate, then you may well end up eating your words. Who do you follow anyway Phartman?!?!
Hughes Da Man
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06/05/2007 19:22:00

A little bit of wishful thinking in my statement (being a spurs fan). I'm a bit an admirerer of Blackburns acompolishments on a limited budget but a just think the only way to get anywhere near the big 4 these days is with financial muscle and a lot of luck which is why for me spurs, villa everton etc slightly hold the edge but as you say i might choke on those next year!
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06/05/2007 19:38:00

Well thanks Phartman. At the same time I may also eat mine, so fair's fair. The top four WILL take some catching but if clubs such as Rovers keep picking up the players who are good enough for these clubs but don't want to sit on the bench you never know. We'll be challenging 5th for a while to come I'm sure, and will also be challenging on the Cup fronts both at home and in Europe. I'm certain of a BRIGHT Rovers future.
Hughes Da Man
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06/05/2007 19:48:00

I see Roeder has been sacked (durks de Rover pointed this out to me in Walkerbout tonight) which although isn't much of a surprise, maybe the timing is?!?! I HATE being the last team to face a manager before he is axed!
Hughes Da Man
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06/05/2007 20:38:00

Hughes you can take comfort that the points you took off the Barcodes helped Glen get a nice pay off.
Report Abuse
07/05/2007 03:25:00

I'm not so sure that he would have got such a good pay off you know?!?!
Hughes Da Man
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07/05/2007 09:59:00

Great game at the weekend... My man of the match was Dave Bentley, everything good that happened happened through Big Dave. McLaren I'm looking at you. Benni has a 5.5 million release clause?!!??!? utter rubbish... that was last summer with Bellamy. Stop talking balls.
Report Abuse
07/05/2007 12:12:00

Whats this i hear reading dont want to be in Uefa cup next year. DOes this mean that placing can drop and we get intertoto at 9 if there not entering for it
Report Abuse
07/05/2007 12:22:00

Bents was the dogs bits again wasn't he. England have a "B" International coming up don't they, I'd say Bents is a NEAR cert for this, maybe we could even see Stevie Warnock given a chance (especially with Assley Cole going under gthe knife?!?!) dare I even hope for Derbs also, however unlikely this may be?
Hughes Da Man
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07/05/2007 13:55:00

Not wanting to play in the UEFA Cup and actually being in it are different things sasman. Coppell says Reading aren't prepared for it, but IF (which I don't think they will anyway) they make it he has said he will play the reserves. he doesn't want to be in it but they WILL take part if they make it. I can just about put up with the lack of respect the League Cup gets i the country but if this disrespect starts moving onto European competition that will be the final straw! They may as well lose both their last games in that case, oh hang on they will! They lost to Watford and we'll do them at Ewood on Saturday, so no worries Mr Coppell your wish is granted.
Hughes Da Man
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07/05/2007 13:58:00

I think we are very likely to beat Reading on SUNDAY but the Spurs game is the big one... Win that and we could be on to something.
Report Abuse
08/05/2007 09:05:00

We WILL beat Reading of this I have no doubt, if Bolton have entered the Intertoto Cup then we NEED to beat Spurs on Thursday, and even that might not be enough?!?!
Hughes Da Man
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08/05/2007 09:16:00

It is a tough call but the work rate and results gained by the players have given us theshot that many people didnt think possible a few weeks. back... COME ON ROVERS!!
Report Abuse
08/05/2007 12:46:00

No team has devine rights to anything, but I feel for ALL we've put into the season, for ALL the dodgy calls we've had against us and for ALL our awesome football (that has largely gone un-noticed) we not only deserve, but are worthy of a place in Europe next season. I sooo wanna beat the Spuds on Thursday BIG TIME!
Hughes Da Man
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08/05/2007 12:51:00

Report Abuse
08/05/2007 14:47:00

Is anyone going to the game?!?!?! We've only sold about 600 tickets so far... lets get on it people. Mikey will be near the back of the stand...
Report Abuse
08/05/2007 15:46:00

Maybe on another day Mikey would've had the company of HDM also as was requested a few weeks back. You'll make than enough noise for the pair of us though!
Hughes Da Man
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08/05/2007 15:56:00

I'm pretty sure I can... don't think your getting off that easily HDM. You may have missed this season, but if you think your missing next you've got no chance!!!!!
Report Abuse
08/05/2007 18:37:00

LOL :) You'll not be giving up will you! Maybe, and this is only a maybe we could do a Vital Blackburn gathering?!?! Try and get as many of us as possible to a game, and those of us that will need to buy tickets for that particular match could get them together so it's a load of Vital Blackburn louts!!! Maybe this could even be achieved for Pre-Season or dare I say the Intertoto Cup as tickets will be readily available and best of all CHEAP(er than usual!)
Hughes Da Man
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08/05/2007 20:00:00


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