A brace from the King Of Fortress Ewood Park, David Dunn, sent the Ewood faithful into raptures, as Blackburn notched yet another home victory, this time slaying top ten outfit, Birmingham FC in a match which swayed both ways….
After an impressive performance against Drogba and Anelka, Phil Jones held his starting central defence spot with Chris Samba, whilst David Dunn started in his preferred free role just in behind Nikola Kalinic.
Blackburn get of to a dream start, with man of the moment David Dunn scoring against his old team. A long ball clearance from Chris Samba was knocked back by Nikola Kalinic. Dunn took a sweet first touch, before striking on the half volley, past the outstretched arms of Joe Hart and into the bottom right corner of the net.
The early goal sent the fans singing, however both teams failed to respond. James McFadden had the best of the early chances for Birmingham, his well struck shot was wickedly deflected, forcing a superb reflex save from Welsh International, Jason Brown. Birmingham continued to press, however the Rovers defence, marshalled by Chris Samba, managed to keep all at bay. Phil Jones did a superb job marking the physical Cameron Jerome
Dunn almost had a second with minutes to go in the half. Picking the ball up in midfield, Dunn scooted away, then released a no look pass to Salagado who was languishing in the penalty box. Salgado attempted to play a 1-2 to Dunn, however in the process fouled his marker. Dunn smashed the ball into the back of the net, but the play had been called back for the foul.
Joy turned to frustration for David Dunn after an incident late in the first half. Dunn played the ball to Diouf, and expected a return pass. However, Dioufy released Salgado down the right flank, with the attack fading out for a goal kick. Dunn was furious with Diouf for not playing the ball back to him, and Diouf, bein Diouf, didnt take kindly to it. Salgado appeared to team up with Diouf, with Rovers the Rovers captain storming off the pitch for the break.
Sam Allardyce must have had some stern words to the 3 experienced players, as they came back out in normal fashion for the second half. Nikola Kalinic was substitued for Jason Roberts, possibly with the weekend derby in mind.
In contrast to the first half, the second started of slowly. Roberts did his best to hold the ball up early, cutting past his man but dragging his shot wide. A long ball clearance from Birmingham was sent towards Johnson. The softest of fouls was awarded to Birmingham after a nudge by Gamst Pedersen. McFadden stepped up and slotted it into the far corner through a broken wall. Sam Allardyce would not be happy
Blackburn responded well though, and were denied a penalty. A through ball for Roberts was misdirected, but struck the arm of a Birmingham defender. The referee waved play on, however ordered a corner kick…..
Diouf stepped up for the free kick, bending it inwards. With the ball pretty much going straight into the net, Dunn made sure of it, flicking it in from 0.3 yards out. 2-1 Blackburn.
David Hoillet came on for Diouf, and almost immediately scored the third. Andrews switched the ball out wide for Hoillet, with the young Canadian getting past his marker, and then cutting intowards the box. However, the final shot was not there, as he attempted to bend the ball towards the far corner of the net, rather actually finding the far corner of the grandstand.
Rovers pressed in search of a third, to no avail. David Dunn was brought down with minutes to go by a rash challenge from ex Rover, Barry Ferguson, and was substitued immediately. Brett Emerton came on to close things down in the midfield.
Rovers almost conceded late, but Brown was on task. A misguided header from Samba left the ball in no mans land, with Brown just beating McFadden to clear the ball away.
Another home victory for Rovers….2-1
Jason Brown 6.5
Great save early on after a wicked deflection, however his organisation of the wall for the McFadden free kick was abyssmal
Michel Salgado 8
Another great performance from the ex Galactico. Actually looks like he has a bit of acceleration, positions himself well, and likes to get up on the counter
Phil Jones 7.5
Very solid from the young man. Again, handed a tough task in the physical Jerome, but managed to stand up to him all game. Well Done
Chris Samba 8
Solid as a rock. Much better from Samba, returning to the form of 2 years ago. Directed the defence well
Martin Olsson 7
Quiet game from the young Swede, but did what he had to do
3 Weeks ago, Delap and I took a no negative approach to Keith Andrews…..and I shall stick by it…enough said
Steve Nzonzi 6.5
Quiet game from Steve. The play really revolved around the flanks, but did what was asked of him when needed
David Dunn 9
Almost a hattrick for Dunny. looked a threat, a pleasure to watch from the local lad
El Hadji Diouf 7.5
Good performance from Dioufy. This is what we want from him, good in attack, solid in defence, and kept his mouth shut!
Gamst Pedersen 6.5
Sloppy foul to concede for the goal. Quieter then Diouf in attack and a few sloppy corners, lets hope he has his game boots on this weekend
Nikola Kalinic 6.5
Wasn’t his day today. We did not play as direct as normal, the ball was sent out wide or through the middle by Dunn. Big game for Kalinic on the weekend
Solid from Jason. A couple of good runs, one poor touch which could of set him up for a goal. Really gets targeted by the defence, unlucky not to earn a penalty
Looking extremely sharp and tricky. A real impact player for the time being
Little time to impress