There are some days when you just have to walk off into the sunset and accept that you deserved to lose. You were beaten by the better team and you could have done better.
Yesterday against Everton was not one of those days.
Rovers contrived to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in thrilling fashion with two missed penalties and an inspired performance from opposition goalkeeper Tim Howard somehow robbing Rovers not just of victory but of a point which would have been the minimum reward the performance deserved.
The first half lacked anything in the way of serious quality where the biggest talking point was the withdrawals of Morten Pedersen and David Dunn through injury but the second half is where the drama unfolded.
About a minute into the half Mauro Formica was bundled over by Everton youngster Ross Barkley and the perfect chance arose for Rovers to take the lead – Hoilett was the man who grabbed the ball and charged with putting Rovers ahead but Howard made a decent save from a fairly tame spot kick to keep the scores level.
This still didn’t deter Rovers who pressed further with the frustrating Jason Roberts replaced by the much more lively David Goodwillie.
Rovers then contrived to hit the frame of the goal twice and Tim Howard was called into action countless times before being awarded a second spot kick as Mauro Formica was again felled in the box.
This time the fouled player was the taker and even though the spot kick was better struck the frame of the goal was again to the rescue with Howard this time beaten soundly.
If anything the penalty was TOO well struck.
So, into injury time and still no breakthrough, oh well… let’s settle for a point then? It wasn’t even to be that as Chris Samba was adjudged to have clambered all over Victor Anichebe and Mikel Arteta stepped up to show Rovers how to take a penalty with cool precision sending Paul Robinson the wrong way.
Dominant, lively, but still with zero points.
Is someone trying to tell us something?
Paul Robinson – 6
Steady and a good save from Leighton Baines but was largely redundant.
Failed the penalty lottery.
Michel Salgado – 6
Much better from Salgado than the last two games.
Stood up to task much better.
Chris Samba – 8
See star player.
Gael Givet – 7
A bit sloppy at times but some well timed headers and usual tenacity saw him through well.
Gelled with Samba well.
Martin Olsson – 6
Lively coming forward and steady in defence. Did his usual job well but is still a much better winger than full back.
Could benefit from being stronger in the tackle.
Brett Emerton – 7
Last ever game in blue and white and put in a sterling effort. Worked his go nads off as usual and was very effective down the right.
Goodbye Brett, you’ll be missed. Shame it didn’t end how you wanted it to.
The Zonz – 6
REAL mixed bag from Steve. At times he was superb in the centre of the park with excellent distribution and thunderous tackles.
At other times he seemed to be more interested in shouting at the ref and fouling.
David Dunn – 5
Game cut short by usual injury story on the half hour.
Before that – he was terrific.
Morten Gamst Pedersen – 4
Another one who came off early on with a knock.
Unlike Dunn though he was borderline useless.
Jason Roberts – 3
Horrible, horrible day at the office from J-Rob.
Slow off the mark, sloppy in possession and porr holding up of the ball.
Junior Hoilett – 7
Excellent when given the ball apart from the odd time where he chose the wrong option. Largely though he had Everton running scared as they doubled up on his quick feet.
Some more intelligent play could see him be a world beater. Pretty poor penalty however.
Mauro Formica – 7
At times looks like the classiest player in the world and certainly puts in the yards. Can consider himself unlucky not to be getting a higher score but the penalty confirmed it wasn’t his day.
Another one who missed a penalty with a well hit but slightly off line effort.
Radosav Petrovic – 5
A little off the pace if you ask me and his anticipation skills aren’t too clever.
But he’s big, he’s strong and has a good engine on him so expect him to get better with more games.
Looks very promising. Hungry, lively and with a good eye for goal as his crossbar effort showed.
A 150% improvement on Jason Roberts on the day.