Blackburn and Birmingham shared the spoils at Ewood Park, with the home outfit ruing what might have been, lacking that bit of spark in the final third.
M G Pedersen
R S Cruz
Realistically, it was a game Blackburn needed to win. With a tough run home, and form not the greatest, an inconsistent Birmingham outfit were ripe for the picking, though Rovers couldnt take advantage.
A game of few chances, with an aerial battle occuring between both outfits. A lack of width from the home team, with Morten Gamst Pedersen looking completely out of place on the left flank, his only involvement being from long throws and corners. As threatening as the set pieces were, they were to no avail, as Birmingham scrapped away in their box, countering in turns via set pieces and counter attacking play.
The best of Rovers chances fell to the heads of Samba and Nelsen, with the centre backs failing to make the most of the chances. Roque Santa Cruz was ineffective as the loan man, failing to hold the ball up, whilst Junior Hoillet was the go to man, his trickery and pace giving Birmingham nightmares.
Despite all this attacking enterprise, it was Birmingham who opened the scoring, a goal which put a knife in the heart of the Ewood faithful. Jerome was released down the right flank, Robinson drawn into the striker, who lobbed a neat chip over the Rovers keeper, leaving Lee Bowyer, who looked a touch offside, the simplest of headers, 1-0 Birmingham.
Brum almost doubled their lead minutes later. Gardner was fouled metres outside the box, with Larsson slamming the free kick into the far post, Rovers breathe a sigh of relief.
Nelsen picked up a knock, Jason Roberts getting some early game time, with Phil Jones dropping into defence
Blackburn did manage to clinch an equaliser before the break,a fortunate break for the home outfit. Junior Hoillet pounced, robbing Ridgewell, dashing 30 yards, rounding the keeper and slotting it in, 1-1 Half Time.
As for the second half, a dull half, with both teams failing to really generate a clear cut opportunity. Santa Cruz had the best of chances, his header from point blank range deflected over the goal. He made way for Benjani, shaking his head whilst walking of the pitch, knowing how poor his performance actually was.
The useless M G Pedersen continued to lose the ball out wide, but realistically was our main threat once Hoillet strained a hamstring, replaced by Emerton. Pedersen’s long throws looked to be our main means of scoring, however Birmingham sat tight, clearing the ball to safety.
Blackburn just didnt have enough in the final third, and will have to settle with a point, leaving them 3 points clear of the drop zone….
Paul Robinson 6
Made one vital save which kept Rovers alive, would be dissapointed at rushing out on Jerome on a tight angle
Martin Olsson 6
Wanted to go forward, looked like there was a noose around his neck, preventing him from crossing the half
Michel Salgado 6
Nothing flashy, as expected..
Chris Samba 6
Not as solid as usual, and was pretty poor up front, failing to make his presence felt.
Injured early on, lets hope its not too bad
Phil Jones 7
Solid in midfield. Shut down any movement in the centre circle, and when he dropped into defence, proved to be a fast outlet in counter attacking
Jermaine Jones 5
Sloppy performance from J.J. Left a hole far too often
M G Pedersen 4
Worst on pitch. Disinterested, sloppy, way too casual. Blackburn need the experienced players fighting to get themselves out of trouble, MGP needs to shape up
David Dunn 6
Showed glimpses of what he is capable off, appeared to be trying too hard though. Just need him to sit back, and pick his moments to make his mark
Junior Hoillet 9
Best on pitch. Classy finish, dazzling down the flank, and a constant threat
R S Cruz 5
Very poor. Getting paid big big dollars, and failing to produce the goods
Jason Roberts 6
Ineffective, even with a partner up front
The best of the 3 strikers out there….and thats not saying much. He actually looks really committed, and throws himself at the defence