Date: 12th September 2011 at 9:14am
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A super strike by former Barcelona starlet Ruben Rochina gave Blackburn an early lead, however the travelling outfit could not hold on very long, with Bobby Zamora striking back within 6 minutes.

Blackburn sent out what appeared to be an attacking line up, handing Deadline Day signing Scott Dann his first team debut, partnering Chris Samba in central defence. David Goodwillie was preferred up front to Jason Roberts, with Ruben Rochina pairing up with the Scotsman

Paul Robinson
Michel Salgado, Chris Samba, Scott Dann, Gael Givet
Mauro Formica, Steve Nzonzi, David Dunn, Junior Hoillet
Ruben Rochina, David Goodwillie

It was a nervous start for both the home and travelling outfits. Damien Duff looked most likely for Fulham, playing in an unusual role, partnering Bobby Zamora up front. His pace and positioning proved to be hot to handle, with Gael Givet struggling to keep up with the former Rover.

Whilst all the early possesion was with Fulham, Blackburn appeared to be dangerous on the counter. Goodwillie was doing his best to hold the ball up, whilst Junior Hoillet and Ruben Rochina were showing some impressive footwork and movement. And it was the latter who opened the scoring for Rovers. Collecting a return pass from David Goodwillie, Rochina took a touch and struck with minimal back swing, flying into the far corner of the Fulham goal, 1-0 Blackburn.

Blackburn immediately pushed on to gain a second, with Rochina and Hoillet yet again giving the Fulham defence a torrid time. However Rovers could not maintain the momentum, and it was Bobby Zamora who leveled things up for the Cottagers. Zamora turned Gael Givet inside out, who was having a poor half out on the left flank, bending the ball past the outstretched Paul Robinson and into the far corner of the net. 1-1

Things started to liven up as David Dunn attempted to move the ball as fast as possible, Rovers actually looking good playing the ball out of defence. Scott Dann was having a positive half, apart from a stray back pass, whilst Salgado flew into every tackle possible, some taking the ball and some not even coming close.

Half time came and Rovers were forced into a change, Chris Samba picking up a back strain, Givet forced into central defence whilst Martin Olsson pushed into left back.

Rovers were on the attack from the outset, setting up their best opportunity in the half. Formica was released down the left flank, with David Goodwillie flying into the centre of the box, Formica took the shot, however his tame attempt was easily picked up by Mark Schwarzer. Hoillet danced around the penalty box, a last ditch tackle by Sidwell prevented a shot from 10 yards.

On the other side of the pitch, Fulham began to apply the pressure after Rovers were forced into their second change, David Dunn off for Petrovic. Damien Duff continued to push up the pitch, with repeated crosses well cleared by Scott Dann and Gael Givet. The make shift central defence pairing were proving up to the task, with Olsson’s pace counteracting the pace of Duff.

Fulham’s best chance to seal the game came late on, with J A Risse darting down the left flank in acres of space. A delightful cross was spectacularly cleared by Gael Givet, inches from the approaching Bobby Zamora. Paul Robinson was kept on his toes throughout the later stages,
a fantastic save of a Dempsey attempt ensured Rovers were to clinch a point.

Their was a bit of controversy though as ever, with Mark Schwarzer taking out Junior Hoillet outside the box, with both players going up in an aerial challenge. Hoillet was stretchered off the field in a neck brace, whilst the Australian Keeper was issued a yellow card. The resulting free kick by Olsson led to little, both teams settling for a 1-1 result

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson 6
Would be very dissapointed with his positioning for the Zamora goal, but did pull off a pair of delightful saves late on. Distribution was unusually poor

Michel Salgado 6
The Spaniard needs to stay on his feet. He had his man covered, but when he decided to slide in, gave away too many silly fouls

Scott Dann 7
A good debut from Dann. A poor pass early on was forgotten after several blocks and interventions

Chris Samba 5
The big man was very quiet. Sat in defence, may have had a niggle before the game

Gael Givet 7
Well 3 for his first half performance, but a super second half performance. Really made the penalty box his own, shutting down the Fulham attack

Steve Nzonzi 6
Solid performance in the first half, but dissapeared in the second half, as did most of the Rovers midfield

Ruben Rochina 7
Was a spark and unlucky to be taken off. Was an unbelievable goal, a super strike from outside the box. Moved around really well, but needs to choose his moments better

David Dunn 6
Moved the ball well, but came off injured, again. Might need to be used to a more impact role off the bench

Junior Hoillet 7
Extremely lively in the first half, extremely flat in the second half. Needed to get more involved, hopefully the injury is not too serious

Mauro Formica 5
Poor performance. Did not even appear to be in the game at all

David Goodwillie 5
Looked out of his depth, not the start we wanted to see

Martin Olsson 5
Not much to do really, apart from camp in the penalty box

Petrovic 4
Looking poor. Really needs to start to up his game if he is to live up to expectations
Little time to impress


17 Replies to “Lacklustre Rovers Clinch First Point”

  • I didn’t think we were as bad as all that to be honest, started well and kept the ball on the deck in the first half. Didn’t have the confidence to keep it up in the second and reverted to Big Sam long ball which allowed Fulham too much possession. Decision making in the last third of the field needs to be improved but we looked dangerous when Junior, Rochina etc. had the ball at feet.

  • Also, agree re: Formica, he looked lost, but I thought Petrovic did well; put the tackles in and slowed the tempo when he was on the ball.

  • I think the dissapointment comes from conceding so soon after we scored, and a poor poor second half. We jjust could not maintain any possession!

  • Feel sorry for goodwillie. He ran around chasing balls for 90 mins for Scotland then had to do the same for us. Had zero support for most of the game, especially when Rochina went off. Ratings are fair. Disappointing second half. However, we held on and got a precious away point. It’s a start!

  • Dreadful second half but a point is a point.

    Not too sure about Givet for Star man after being torn a new one by Duff for the first 45.

    Scott Dann was better throughout, even with his dodgey pass!

  • First post -so be kind! Im not a Kean fan – but he was unlucky with injuries yesterday – we needed to freshen things up in the final third after 70 mins yesterday – but we’d used all our subs!!The front 3/4 looked half dead running around at the end!!
    Other things I gleamed from yesterdays game: Givet is not a left back (top cb though), salgado is a liability at times, dann is going to be great at the back for us, hoilett (as brave as he was) needs to pass sometimes, we need a top forward.
    A point will do for now – but we need to start picking up some wins otherwise kean will be gone!

  • A fair game – we earned a point against a poor Fulham side, that were there for the taking in the first half. Injuries didn’t help, but I didn’t think much of the players who came on – Petrovic was poor IMO. Second half the players looked tired, there was a lack of desire to win, and we sat back and defended.

  • Can’t say I agree with Givet. Anyone who plays that bad in the first half doesn’t deserve to be our “star player” and I don’t think he did any better than Dann in the second. Petrovic was good again today, and people overlook his overall display. His marking, tackling and breaking up play, may not be desirable, but it is effective. Goodwillie was unlucky. Total lack of support and stupid sub by Kean to replace Rochina with Lowe! Needed Yak or Simon on!

  • Agree with above, Givet was average overall IMO. They were raving about one of his clearances on Sky TV when if you ask me he was very lucky not to score an own goal as he didn’t make full contact with the ball and it skimmed off his foot out for a corner. Dann was man of the match for me, especially when this was his first game this season. Shame with the injuries we couldn’t get The Yak and Vukcevic on to shake things up a bit.

  • i say it’s still a very poor game overall, we were fortunate to claim a point. we looked like school boys kicking around; there were hardly any linked-up plays and movements…there was 0 attacking capability in the 2nd half, and i think formica made 0 contribution…

  • Second half we needed some freshness. Givet/Samba/Dann to fight it out/rotate the 2 centre back spots. full backs on the other hand… Salgado gives his all and links well with midfield but primary duty needs to be solid in defence, makes me worried every time he needs to challenge in the box. Olsson should start at left back but as well attacks and drives us going forward but is really a wing back or winger rather than a defender, concerning.

  • Goodwillie looks like he has been playing in Scotish Prem rather than English prem the last few years, oh hang on he has, I will give him more time to come up to premier league standard before i pass judgement. Can we cope with only having Dunn able to play a half of football each week? would we be better served with having him come off the bench if we need him? or would we run the risk then of having to sub him later on when he picks up a niggle? Goodwillie should have gone off instead of Rochina. Will be interesting to see if Roch can feed off Yak…

  • I thought we played quite well in the 1st half, and after Rochina’s rocket we should have killed the game off, Fulham were there for the taking. 2nd half was awful, all we kept doing was booting the ball long and hoping poor ole Goodwillie would do something with it. Kean made the wrong subs, and should have had words with the team to tell them to keep the ball on the ground. I thought Petrovic did OK. We need some players out there who are good with the ball at their feet, give Vuckevic a chance Kean!

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