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Blackburn Rovers 4 - Reading 2

Ewodd Park

20th October 2007. 15:00

Attendance: 19,425

Rovers 4v2 Reading

The message at Ewood on Saturday was one of togetherness, coming together as one community for one game, and the Rovers players certainly pulled together to brush aside a meek attack from Reading.

This game was won in the first half as Rovers showed their vast repertoire of attacking expertise to score three well executed goals.

Mark Hughes decided to start Roque Santa Cruz, to complete his miraculous comeback from injury. He was partnered in attack by a restored Benni McCarthy.

A tepid opening ten minutes was interspersed by some wayward long distance shooting from the away side.

A nice flowing move presented Chris Samba, once again finding himself on the edge of the area following an amble up field with a chance; only a half chance. McCarthy teed him up and he lashed a snap shot goal wards that was well saved by Marcus Hahnemann.

However, the opening goal wasn`t far away. Rovers were growing in confidence and the fluid movement of Santa`s support cast was causing the Reading defence copious amounts of problems.

Ewood was transformed into a cauldron of noise as the thumping home support sent out the battle cries to spark Rovers into action. Brett Emerton delivered a vicious whipped cross into the box which was met majestically by Santa Cruz at the back post. He elegantly headed back across goal for McCarthy to volley in.

A second goal soon followed, expertly created by the elusive David Dunn. He cut in from the right and as the Reading defence swayed in his direction he dissected the defence with a superb reverse ball into the path of Santa, who finished first time with some aplomb.

Rovers were in control and continued to maraud towards the Reading goal in numbers. A half chance followed but was cleared. However, it only fell as far as Stephen Warnock who chested down to the unmarked Tugay.

In a moment of brilliance and fitting of a player of his magnitude he immediately hit a first time half volley towards goal; struck so sweetly it deceived a desperate Hahnemann in flight.

Rovers were 3-0 up and relishing in the partisan atmosphere that had been created. The fine passing and movement of the attack, spearheaded by Santa was the crux of everything Rovers were creating.

A shell shocked Reading side created a solitary opening in the first half, a header for Bikey but he was denied by Brad Friedel.

Rovers proudly strutted off the park at the half-tie whistle, their omnipresent attacking display proving too much for Reading.

A double substitution at half time by Steve Coppell served as a warning that Reading were coming out for a battle in the second half. He reverted to a more recognised 4-4-2.

It was evident early on they were looking for quick goals. Leroy Lita fashioned a chance for himself that was well saved by Friedel.

Rovers were happy to sit back and absorb what Reading could muster and were largely untroubled for long periods.

Some nice flowing moves demonstrating the intelligent link-up play of Santa and McCarthy was a joy to behold by a jovial crowd who, like their heroes, were happy to sit back and enjoy the banter between themselves.

However, as a section of the crowd troubled themselves with mocking a steward too much, switching off from the action, Rovers` defence followed suit to let in substitute Kevin Doyle. He headed in at the near post after conspicuously shoving his marker to the ground.

Rovers response was immediate and had a tinge of arrogance about it. They demonstrated their superiority by going straight up field to score a fourth from the penalty spot.

Nice link up play between two substitutes, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Matt Derbyshire saw the latter skip into the area before being clipped. Andre Marriner, who had put in a sound display as referee, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Benni McCarthy lashed the ball into the bottom corner with great authority to make the score 4-1.

Reading had hit the bar earlier in the half and they soon added a second, a carbon copy of the first. Once again Nicky Shorey whipped a ball into the near post and once again Kevin Doyle headed in unmarked.

A blotch on what was a fine display through out. Rovers attacking prowess is growing and goals are coming from all angles at the moment.

Star Player

Benni McCarthy

There were a lot of star men out there, Dunn, Santa, Tugay but this is the first time this seaosn we have seen Benni of last season. He was creative, eager to be involved and showed tremendous understanding with his Paraguyan partner.

Player Ratings


Friedel 7

Left exposed for the goals but otherwise made some smart saves.

Emerton 8

A willing runner, defensively good again and offered plenty going forward.

Warnock 7

Had to leave prematurly due to injury but was once again decent.

Samba 7

Made a lot of blocks and interceptions and his reading of the game is getting better.

Ooijer 7

Another accomplished display. Fouled for Readings first goal.

Bentley 6

A quieter game from him although he remains a menacing threat through out.

Dunn 8

Made some excellent passes and won a lot of the ball. He is looking more and more like the Dunn of old.

Tugay 8

Great goal and great distribution.

Savage 7

A typical Sav display which will please the fans.

Santa Cruz 8

Set up the first brilliantly and scored a nice second. Wins an awful lot of the ball and his hold up play allows the others to be more fluid.

McCarthy 8

Took his first goal well and it was a great penalty. Full confidence is back in his game and it showed. Benni is back!

Khizanishvili 7

Looked sound coming on to replace Warnock.

Gamst 7

Looked lively, nice ball which led to the penalty.

Derbyshire 7

As ever a handful.




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The Journalist

Writer: Roversman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 21 2007

Time: 12:45PM

Your Comments

What a game and what a performance. Brilliant going forward. Need to avoid sloppyness in defence though.
roversman
Also, looks like my key men predictions were spot on! This predicting lark is a breeze!
roversman
Top report as ever dude, as for the predicting, keep this up as well.
Another three points in the bag is exactly what was needed, and was never in doubt. The sloppy defending could, and would be a worry against another team wouldn't it, as most will not allow you into a 3-0 lead will they (taking nothing awya from our own play of course!)
Things are looking VERY good at the moment aren't they.
Hughes Da Man
Indeed they are pal. Let's hope that the lads can keep it up. With Reid expected back in the next few weeks, we are going from strength to strength at the moment. A truly excellent game
roversman
you took them apart and the early three goals killed the game - just what has happened to the Reading of last season though?
merlin
Steve Sidwell, thats whats happened, he was a star in an average team, now he is an average player in a team of stars
sasman
It was the best first half performance I have seen at Ewood for quite some time. It would have been hard to keep that sort of momentum up for a full 90 minutes. The link up play between the front two was pretty awesome. It is good to see that the time on the bench/out of the squad has done McCarthy good. I thought Oojier had a solid performance. One of our underrated stars. But then agin he did Captain a very good Netherlands team. Zurab did very well when he came on, considering he has very limited first team starts. Slotted in like he hadn't been away. Nice to see the bald patch back. He makes it look I have a full head of hair!
Decimus Poole
Blackburn Rules!
diegoveron
Great report ROversman!!! watched the game on the TV and it should and could of been more!!!
MikeyGamst
 

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