Without a win in 7 Premier League matches, Blackburn made the trip to London to battle against the resurgent Tottenham. With 5 wins in their last 7 in all competitions, Tottenham where on there way out of the drop zone, could the same be said about Rovers.
Blackburn welcomed back Brett Emerton and Benni McCarthy into the starting squad, with Martin Olsson dropping in at left back.
Blackburn did start of the brighter of the two teams. A whipped in corner from Morten Gamst Pedersen was fumbled by the rather eccentric Heurelho Gomes, however the Rovers front men couldnt pounce on the opportunity. Repeated corners followed, but no chances were created. Blackburn then paid the price for trying to play their way out of defence. Aaron Lennon robbed Martin Olsson of the ball, and darted down the flank, cutting into the box. Despite a last ditch attempt by Nelsen to cut the play out, Lennon cut the ball back towards the oncoming Pavlyuchenko, who side footed past Paul Robinson. Tottenham 1-0.
Things almost became worse for Rovers. David Bentley stepped up and whipped a trademark free kick on from the left flank, 35 yards out. Pavlyuchenko almost doubled the lead, his glancing header striking the woodwork. The ball dropped at Ledley King’s feet, with his shot cleared of the line by Captain Nelsen.
Rovers almost clawed their way back in the game. A delightful throughball by Ooijer sent Emerton free, who chipped the onrushing Gomes, but Woodgate was there to clear the ball. Rovers then started to push on, with Martin Olsson trying to make amends for his error, whipping the ball in from the left flank. McCarthy beat his market, but his first time shot blazed over the bar.
Rovers next chance really should of found the back of the net. A Brett Emerton free kick from 35 yards bounced nicely in the penalty box, however Chris Samba was unable to make any contact with the ball, with only the slighest of deflections needed to send the ball goal bound.
Inexperience from left wing back Martin Olsson left Rovers short one player. Olsson lunged into a tackle on Aaron Lennon, with Howard Webb playing the advantage for Tottenham. Olsson was definately going to recieve a card at the next stoppage. The next stoppage occured due to a late tackle by Olsson, who was immediately given a card. Olsson was fortunate to find him self still on the pitch, but he ran out of luck 10 minutes later. Aaron Lennon raced down the flank with the ball, and Olsson slid in, at least a metre away from the ball. Howard Webb showed no hesitation, Olsson picked up his second yellow and first red in his Blackburn Rovers career.
Lennon almost doubled the lead before the break, but his deflected shot was saved by Robinson. 1-0 Tottenham Half TIme.
Benni McCarthy could count himself unlucky, but Rovers needed to take of a striker. He was replaced by Danny Simpson. Rovers best chance of the second half fell through another Emerton free kick. The ball was chipped into the box, with Roque Santa Cruz attempting to head the ball from ankle height, directing it straight at the keeper. Where was the volley?
In a rather tame second half, Tottenham directed play, but created minimal opportunities for the second goal. Their best chances where through David Bentley free kicks. A cross from the left flank found the head of Jonathan Woodgate, who struck over from only metres out.
The only joy for Rovers in the second half was the rousing reception each time Robinson got his hands on the ball, with the Tottenham crowd chanting Englands Number 1.
Frazier Campbell had a chance to seal the game late on, but his glancing header rolled wide of the post. The second was not needed though, as Tottenham climbed out of the relegation zone, and Rovers dropped into it, 1-0 Tottenham
Paul Robinson 7
Made a great save, couldnt do anything about the goal
Ryan Nelsen 8
Captain Courageous. Saved us twice of the line, gave his all
Chris Samba 5
Poor game from the big man. Found himself out of position several times, really should of got on the score sheet also
Andre Oijer 5.5
You could see he was trying, but it just was not good enough. Bentley ripped past him every time, and Lennon got his way in the second half
Martin Olsson 2
Gave away the goal, 3 really rash tackles, deserved to be sent of. The kid has talent, but it wasnt there today at all.
Keith Andrews 4
To win a game of football, the 2 central midfielders really need to be involved in most passages of play. Our two central midfielders were not in involved in almost every piece of play. Hence, we did not win the game….
Aaron Mokoena 4
Same as Keith Andrews
Brett Emerton 5
Poor game from Emo. Could of done better with the chip, a few poor crosses, was of the pace.
Who? I have backed him, backed him and backed him, but he was embarresing. 1 good corner, thats it. What has happened….
Benni McCarthy 7
Benni worked well up front. COuld of scored, but was creating, running around, worked hard. I feel the wrong man was taken of at the break.
Roque Santa Cruz 5
Should of come of at the break instead of Benni. Roque just doesnt look like his mind is focused on the game. He wanders of, doesnt chase like he use to, and really should of buried a goal.
Danny Simpson 6
The kid aint doing too bad. But he is lacking confidence whilst moving forward, should of pulled the trigger a couple of times
No Real impression
No real impression
I dont understand.
How can we see things, and the manager, assistants, board, everyone else cant.
Why do both our strikers feel the need to challenge the same ball on every goal kick?
Why do our wingers like to come in and sit as central midfielders?
Why do our defenders think they are creative midfielders and want to take on half the team? Olsson paid the price, Samba lost it a few times.
Why cant we put the ball in the back of the net?
WHERE IS THE CONFIDENCE!!!!!!!
Yes he is 38. Yes he cant play every game. However, we simply need him out there. I dont see how we can have 2 of Mokoena, Warnock, Andrews or Grella in Central Midfield. We need a creative player in there. Maybe Carlos is not ready to play 90 minutes every game, but we sure do know the influence Tugay can have.