Local Legend David Dunn handed Blackburn Rovers another 3 points against local Rivals Burnley, entrenching them even deeper in the drop zone.
David Dunn recovered from the rash challenge from Barry Ferguson suffered midweek, and held his starting spot. Gael Givet was brought into the starting line up, whilst Jason Roberts started up front in place of Nikola Kalinic.
Blackburn Rovers: Brown, Salgado, Samba (c), Jones, Givet, Diouf, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Olsson, Dunn, Roberts
Bench- Bunn, Emerton, Grella, Chimbonda, Di Santo, Kalinic, Hoillet
In what never was going to be the finest game of football, the rash challenges started from the early moments. Tyrone Mears and Michael Duff struggled to mark Martin Olsson, whilst Nzonzi and Gamst Pedersen let Alexander know early on that they were there for business.
The early chances for both teams came from set pieces. Alexander tried to find his man at the far post from a wide free kick though the ball evaded all. Gamst Pedersen then tried in similar fashion, however his free kick didnt clear the first man.
The first controversial moment of the match occured in the 16th minutes. After a wayward clearance, David Dunn’s first time ball sent Martin Olsson through, who had made a dangerous slanting run. Olsson took a touch, then slotted it past the Big Fat guy in goals. However, the Assistant Referee had his flag up, and play was brought back for a free kick. After several replays, Olsson was in line at worst, unlucky for the Swede.
Further controversy minutes later, and once again, Olsson was involved. Another dangerous through ball found Olsson, who this time sprung the offside trap. Olsson cut into the box,took the ball past the Michelin tyre guy in goals, and was brought down. Mike Dean pointed to the spot, despite the protests of the man with more rolls then a bakery. David Dunn stepped up, slotting it into the top right corner of the net. Blackburn 1-0
Olsson continued to tear Mears apart on the left flank, whilst Salgado was also impressing on the counter on the right flank. Nzonzi held the midfield well, whilst Samba, leading by example, looked superb, teaming up with Phil Jones who was once again solid.
Burnley appealed for a penalty of their own, but referee Mike Dean correctly awarded a free kick. A through ball had Givet beaten, Samba making a late dash towards the unmarked Elliot. Samba completely missed the ball, bringing down Elliot just inches outside the box. From the resulting free kick, Alexander found Cort, however the striker couldnt direct his attempt goalwards.
Blackburn finished the half the stronger of the 2. Michel Salgado mistimed his volley from 6 yards, spraying it wide, whilst Jason Roberts could not convert from the corner, heading over
With local pride at stake, Burnley tried to turn the heat up in the early stages of the second half. However, they were found completely lacking in the final third, with Nugent well run off the ball by Phil Jones as Samba marshalled the Rovers back 4.
Martin Olsson could count himself very unlucky to not have a brace, after once again, being denied in controversial fashion. With goal line technology dominating the debate in world football, the perfect case for it appeared at Turf Moor. A brilliant turn and half volley saw Olsson’s shot strike the crossball and bounce downwards then out. Mike Dean waved play on, however after several replays, its still inconclusive whether the whole ball crossed over the line. A break for Burnley as the goal would have definately sealed the game.
Burnley had their chance at the other end, but spoilt a free kick, much to the amusement of the travelling Rovers supporters. A quickly taken free kick found David Nugent in an offside position. The Blackburn fans then started chanting, ‘That’s why your going down, that’s why your going down….’, much to the amusement of the Sky Sports commentators.
Sam thought it was time for a change, taking the hard working Diouf of for the more defensive minded Brett Emerton. Franco Di Santo also made a return to the Rovers team, replacing Jason Roberts who bulldozed everything around him.
Di Santo almost scored of his first touch. Neat play down the right flank between Emerton and Dunn saw Salgado being released. On the volley, the ex Galactico struck the sweetest of crosses, flat, and fast. Di Santo managed to get to it first, however his header drifted wide of the far post.
Burnley upped the tempo in the final 15, pushing on with no real chance at goal. Their best chance of the game almost fell to an own goal. A wicked low cross by Fox on the left flank, just evaded the on rushing strikers, with Samba making the deftest of touches, the ball trickling past the far post and out for a corner.
After 5 long minutes of injury time, Mike Dean blew the final whistle, the travelling Blackburn faithful torturing their local neighbours, as Blackburn held onto their 1-0 lead to climb to 41 points, and leave Burnley in 18th position
Jason Brown 7
Dont recall him having to make a save!
Chris Samba 8
Really marshalled the troops well. Organised the defence, worked hard, and made the right decisions as needed
Phil Jones 7.5
This kid really has stepped up and taken his opportunity. Can he be dropped for the Admiral? I really dont know, he is big, he is solid, reads the play well, and has good acceleration
Gael Givet 7
Solid return for the Frenchman. Shut down the left flank well, and allowed Olsson to push up the park
Michel Salgado 8
Another top game from the veteran. Finally showing the form and talent that Sam expected from him. What a brilliant volley cross on the right flank!
Steve Nzonzi 7
Battled well in the midfield, the extra pace against the veteran ALexander sure helped
Gamst Pedersen 6.5
Really wasted all the free kicks he took. Needs to be more dangerous from the set pieces, we do score 60% of our goals from them!!!
Martin Olsson 8.5
As Above, fantastic!
El Hadji Diouf 7
Did what he had to do. Dominated the right flank, linked well with Salgado on the break, and defended well
David Dunn 7.5
Would of liked more ball to feet, but would be delighted with yet another goal, and a derby day victory. Well done to the local lad!
Jason Roberts 7
Didnt get any clear chances, but made some dangerous runs and really drew the defence away from Olsson on several occasions. Good game from the big man
Franco Di Santo, Brett Emerton, Pascal CHimbonda, all had little time to impress.
We have completely owned Lancashire. 16 from 18 points against our lovely neighbours…lets hope none of them get relegated!!!
Blackburn 3 Burnley 2
urnley 0 Blackburn 1
Bolton 0 Blackburn 2
lackburn 3 Bolton 0
Wigan 1 BLackburn 1
lackburn 2 Wigan 1