Date: 21st January 2010 at 9:05am
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Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce discusses his thoughts on our Carling Cup defeat at Aston Villa on Wednesday with Sky Sports.

Rovers’ Carling Cup dream ended on Wednesday after a 6-4 defeat at Villa Park (meaning we lost 7-4 on aggregate) but this wasn’t without some controversial moments that Allardyce believes costs us a place at Wembley. After going 2-0 up through Nikola Kalinic former Rover Stephen Warnock (after a foul on Ryan Nelsen from Gabriel Agbonlahor) put Villa back in the match and then television replies seem to show that Agbonlahor handled the fourth Villa goal.

Allardyce told Sky Sports News: “I have just been looking at the fourth goal, I can believe what I have seen today – not just one decision, but Agbonlahor’s handball, Milner shot going wide and it hits both his arms and goes in.

“The big one is the first one [Warnock goal], yes we could take some responsibility but that is the major one and that is what has cost us most of all.

Big Sam also bemoaned the sending off of Christopher Samba towards the end of the first half as he felt it was harsh, however, he didn’t blame the referee (Martin Atkinson) for that as by the letter of the law the defender had to go.

He added: “He perhaps tackled with the wrong leg and he has a split second to make a decision. They want to outlaw tackling and because this looks like a penalty he has given it. I can’t blame him for sending him off as that is the rule, even though it is a daft rule – he was trying to make a genuine attempt for the ball.

However, in general it is Atkinson that Big Sam feels should take a large amount of the blame for our Semi-Final exit.

Allardyce also said: “He was a major factor, no doubt about it and the players are majorly disappointed, we didn’t have this in the first game.

“The club itself have had six semi-finals in recent years, and if you lose it is the hardest thing to take. It is not often you get the chance to get there, and you don’t want to be blaming yourself and unfortunately we can look at other people and say they are to blame.

Atkinson (and his officials) did make some wrong decisions, however, even without these and had the two controversial goals been ruled out then we would’ve still conceded four goals and gone out. I know that things could’ve been different had this happened but we’re out and no amount of blaming people for this will change it, it’s hard but we’ll accept this and have to hope that the fighting performance (with ten men for most of the match) can be carried forward into the Premier League now and we’ll build on our win over Fulham from last Sunday.


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17 Replies to “Allardyce Points The Finger At Atkinson”

  • it was a foul on nelson, and a handball by heskey, this won them the game in the end. it lifted their crowd and players and they got back into it. without this ba decision, i feel we would of won it

  • i think we should maybe move a way from blaming people Yes the ref got a couple fo decisions wrong but for me it is time to appreciate the game for what it was – a cracking game. I am gutted though.

  • It takes two good teams to make a good game and you should be proud of your lads for their effort. I would agree that both matches were littered with refereeing howlers but isn’t that what generates so much discussion afterwards. Two sets of people see the same incidents totally differently. I’m not going to go through them as we’d never agree!

    The very best of luck for the rest of the season!

  • Yup, no point bleating, we had 2 blatant penalty claims in the first leg which were not given, so it’s evened itself out.
    Incidently, Ryan Nelson went down too easy, Agbonlahor hardly touched him.

  • The foul on Nelson perhaps, but where in the world exactly was the deliberate handball from big Emile? If there’s one thing worse than fans that are sore losers, it’s having the manager do it!

  • it wasnt deliberate, but the ball did hit his hand and go through to warnock, cant complain though, in all honesty if givet had closed down young then the cross wouldnt have gone in in the first place, still both sides played a cracker and we didnt deserve to lose.

  • What about the two penalties Villa should have had in the first leg? Moan all you want but over the two legs it was a fair result.

  • It was a fair result moocher – you are correct – we can’t do anything about it now. However, the penalty appeals in the first leg = Agbonlahor dived and Chimbonda did as much as Agbonlahor did to deflect Milner’s goal in… So not penalties. 2nd leg – you’re first goal should not have stood, simple as that. That incident changed the match.

  • I can understand his anger as passions run high just after a game. Some lovely balanced views from you Rovers fans here and I salute you for that.

  • Fair result in the end the gap between both teams isn’t as big as most believe, when we play football not the hoof!!! as for the sore losers? villa would be saying the same as us!! if it happened to them? the push on Nelson was a foul and the turning point. Nelson would never have gone down if he could have cleared it!!! what would be the point?? as for agbonlahor he goes down as quick, fast and as easy as any premiership player!!! at the end of the day villa had the edge and that’s it but that’s what takes you to finals. For Rovers if we carry on like we played for the first half we will turn the corner. Lets hope BFS lets the lads play.

  • you are right, should have had a pen for Chimbondas handball in the first leg.. but I think Agbonlahor went down to early for that one. He did foul nelsen for your goal, but the heskey hand wasnt his fault… also the if you give your 4th to agbonlahor, it shouldnt stand because it was handball… but having said that, if you had scored your penalty from chimbos hand, we wouldnt be debating this as things would have turned out different! anyay great game, lets hope we dont see each other as much next season! no disrespect!

  • This was a game of legs more so than any other factor. 3 matches in a week with mostly the same line up and the players must be exhausted. When Samba’s poor tackle gets him sent off we’re asking 9 tired field players to stretch the field and work that much harder. Poor defending, late tackling and lots of goals were inevitable at that point. It was an exciting game and although I’m disappointed, I do not begrudge AV anything. They fought hard and finished well. I would rather they won the Carling Cup than any of those Manchester fools.

  • I still have questions over Samba’s foul? I am still not convinced it was a pen, but as I was at the game last night (Unfortunatly in the Holte End!!), I saw it from 100 yards away and have still not seen a close-up of the tackle. I thought the guys played with a lot of heart last night and hope Dunny is back soon!!

  • I wish Big Sam wouldn’t blame the officials quite so much – I know he’s gutted – we all are but it takes away from a fantastic match and a epic battle by Rovers against the odds. On the two issues, I can’t see why Nelso would go down without being fouled – he was in front of the striker. Defenders don’t dive in their own penalty box – it’s football suicide! As for the penalty, Samba was genuinely going for the ball – it was not cynical and a red card harsh. There’s no point in worrying about it now – bring on Wigan and hopefully Rovers will remember how to play football! Lat’s make a late challenge for the Europa league!!!!

  • Nelson doesn’t dive. Not his style. It was definitely a foul. So was Samba’s tackle on Agbonlahor. It was a perfectly justified red card and PK. There wasa a lot to complain about in that game but Sam is doing us no favors by crowing on and on about it. If he mentioned it once and let the tv announcers pick up the slack, then we could walk away with our heads high like proud warriors, victims of circumstance. Instead we sounds like whingeing babies.

  • I think Sam was letting his emotions get the better of him after a cracking game of football – all could see that we played well and held on with 10 men.

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