In one of the most abysmal home performances in recent history, Blackburn were put to the sword by a clinical Cardiff outfit who look certain to achieve what many considered Rovers to be favourites for, automatic promotion.
Manager Henning Berg decided to make 3 changes to the line up that featured against Burnley, Joshua King, Dickson Etuhu and Markus Olsson brought in to field a 4-4-2 line up
Henley, Hanley, Dann, Martin O
Formica, Etuhu, Lowe, Markus O
The fixture started off brightly, both teams looking to gain the upper hand in midfield, with Rovers pushing hard onto their man, giving Cardiff no time to move. Jason Lowe imposed himself early with a solid challenge whilst Martin Olsson and Adam Henley showed that if Cardiff wanted to attack, they would not go down the flank. Joshua King looked lively with the ball at his feet whilst Jordan Rhodes showed his attacking prowess, searching and fighting for what came his way.
Despite the even opening 15 minutes, Cardiff became the team who took the ascendency. Bellamy and Helguson showed all their experience early on, holding the ball up well for the link men to surge forward. Noone showed pace down the right flank whilst Whittingham was content being the distributor, spraying passes across the field as required.
What was lacking though was any sight on goal, Formica blazing over from distance the closest either side came. Until the half hour mark. Poor defending down the Rovers left edge saw an unmarked Noone cut back onto his stronger left foot, before floating a cross into the 6 yard box, Hudson opening the scoring with a free header.
Within moments, Cardiff almost went to up, Bellamy pouncing on a delightful throughball before drilling a venemous strike onto the cross bar, Rovers breathing a sigh of relief as they would head into the break only a goal down.
The second half provided more of the same, Cardiff dominating possession whilst Rovers showed very little. The introduction of Colin Kazim Richards changed the tempo of the game. CKR provided a physical outlet, linking up the midfield with Jordan Rhodes and Josh King who had now moved to a wider role.
It was this link up play which created the equaliser, a delightful throughball saw King surge forward, striking through the keepers legs. 1-1
The score’s were not to remain level for long though, woeful defending saw Cardiff regain the lead. Rovers were unable to clear a Cardiff free kick, the ball rebounding back into the box to the unmarked Bellamy, taking a touch before powering home past Robinson. 2-1
Blackburn then were left to rue exactly what might of been with 2 golden opportunities in the space of only minutes. Etuhu’s deflected shot was brilliantly saved, the ball falling into the path of Jordan Rhodes. From a tricky angle, Rhodes cut back for Formica who managed to drill a 6 yard effort into the cross bar. Moments later, Rhodes found some space and appeared to be brought down inside the box, only for referee Simon Hooper to wave play on.
The missed opportunities were capatalised on by a ruthless Cardiff outfit, Scott Dann the guilty party on both occasions. A goal kick saw Helguson flick on for Mason, who managed to round Dann with ease before finding the far corner of the net. 3-1
Only moments later, Dann showed it would be a night to forget, a wayward pass from the central defender scooped on by the Cardiff attack, Helguson squaring for Kim to bury home… 4-1 Full Time
Paul is struggling. 4 shots, 4 goals. Whilst you wouldnt directly blame him for any of the 4, he should of at least got a strong hand on one. His distribution is not as effective as it once was
The young lad shows the hunger and passion of any teenager. Positioning and ability will continue to develop
Scott is like the current Australian weather. You dont know whether it is going to be a nice Summer’s day or Rain, Hail and Storm in the space of hours. Against Cardiff he was abysmal at fault for 2 if not 3 of the goals.
Not as bad as his partner in crime, or maybe Dann just made him look better. The partnership is not working
Martin O 6
Very solid in the first half, dissapeared in the second. Nothing going forward which is what made him a few years back
Showed glimpses of attacking flair and talent. Showed phases of rubbish. No consistancy in his game and missed a sitter at a vital moment of the game
I read a tweet saying Etuhu was a poor man’s Aaron Mokoena. Enough said really.
I dont think Lowe really knows what his role is. A holding midfielder, a play maker, box to box, central mid, who knows. Needs to be given a role and make it his own. Or go back to right back
Markus O 5
No real impact, hence coming off
Josh King 7
Looks a very talented footballer. Pace, tricks and knows where to be. Hopefully with time he will understand that you can not beat everyone. Beat one and pass it. Otherwise he will be Man Uniteds equivalent of Daniel Sturridge, so much talent wasted by being greedy
Jordan Rhodes 6
Needs the ball. If anything he lacks an ability of finding the ball. Yakubu had an uncanny knack of finding the ball deep in the half and working with it. Rhodes just lacks that ability.
Made the difference. Strong, hungry and technically superior then most on the field