Blackburn Rovers were left wondering how they failed to take all 3 points, let alone lose 2-0 to a rather lacklustre Newcastle outfit with Scott Dann potting an own goal and Gabriel Obertan finding the net in the last minute to confine Rovers in the relegation zone.
Anthony Modeste earned himself a debut start as Goodwillie fell sick pre-game. Chris Samba was left out as Rovers fielded an otherwise strong line up
Lowe Givet Dann Olsson
Hoillet, Petrovic, Gamst
A lively start saw Blackburn Rovers take the front foot, moving the ball well using the pace and width created by Hoillet and Olsson. Petrovic and Nzonzi took control of the midfield whilst David Dunn danced around the box, causing all sorts of mayhem for the makeshift Newcastle defence. Modeste looked a handful, his physical prescence as well as his positioning a key strength. In defence it was a scramble, however Rovers held firm whilst Olsson and Lowe dashed forward on the counter.
Without creating any clear cut chances for all the possesion, Rovers were hit in the worst possible way, 25 minutes in. With nothing happening in midfield, Ryan Taylor decided to take a shot from 30 yards. Scott Dann attempted to get a block in, however the ball only managed to deflect goalwards, leaving Robinson stranded and opening the scoring on Newcastle’s first foray into the Rovers half… 1-0 Newcastle.
Then the chances came. First up Gael Givet’s instinctive strike from a Gamst’ corner was cleared off the line by Danny Simpson, was Givet’s follow up spraying wide. Gamst and Nzonzi tried their luck from distance, whilst Modeste broke the offside trap, his strike blocked by a scrambling Collocini.
Controversy 38 minutes in as Junior Hoillet dashed goalwards. His fast feet appeared to be too much for Collocini, brought down inches outside the box. An infuriated Ryan Taylor protested replays showing Junior took a dive…
2 Minutes before the break, Rovers were given a golden opportunity to equalise. A chipped ball by Dunn saw Modeste brought down on the box. The experienced Dunn stood up to take the penalty, however it was a tame strike, parried away by Tim Krul.
Half Time 1-0 Newcastle
The second half started off slowly for Rovers, failing to maintain the pressure created. Formica was brought on 20 minutes in, whilst Modeste managed to fluff an opportunity as he was fed through by Gamst. Dann came closest, his flick on from a Gamst free kick straight to Krul, whilst Nzonzi kept trying from distance with no accuracy.
Givet found himself free in the box, yet his shot was blocked by Perch whilst Modeste was able to turn Collocini, though his volley went straight to Krul who was magnet like today!
Blackburn kept pushing on and in the end, it proved to their demise as Obertan broke in stoppage time, darting into the box before calmly slotting past Paul Robinson to put the game beyond doubt
Paul Robinson 5
Nothing to do with the first, but left the goal large for the second as well as some poor distribution
Jason Lowe 6
A bright spark in the Rovers defence. Positions himself well whilst always trying to move the ball upfield
Gael Givet 6
Still doesnt know how he didnt score at least one. Defended well
Scott Dann 5
One of those days….
Martin Olsson 6
Being wasted at left back, needs to be further up the pitch so he can concentrate on hitting that by-line
Steve Nzonzi 6
Faded in and out of the game, though really stepped it up in the second half. Poor pass to concede the second
Radosav Petrovic 6
Similar to Nzonzi, and also a poor pass to concede a goal!
Junior Hoillet 6
Looked dangerous all night and deserves more than a 6, but loses points for diving
Morten Gamst Pedersen 5
Some set pieces look dangerous, some are outright disgusting. Jeckyl and Hyde performance
David Dunn 6
Again worthy of much more than a 6, but a poor penalty really could of changed the game
Anthony Modeste 6
A lot of 6’s but thats what it was like… The big man showed lots of effort and ability, but can he finish?