Date: 2nd September 2007 at 6:49pm
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Rovers continued their unbeaten start to the new campaign with a 1-0 victory over Manchester City, who have now suffered back to back defeats following a bright start.

However, the game was severely overshadowed by referee Mike Dean, who all but destroyed the game as a spectacle due to his penchant for issuing cards. He reduced both teams to ten men in what was a fairly sporting game. Some say it takes true vision to turn a game on its head and I`m not sure what Mr. Dean saw but he conjured red cards from somewhere.

Mark Hughes, as anticipated, made changes to the line-up with all of the rested players returning to the starting line-up, meaning it was another opportunity for the strike partnership of Roque Santa Cruz and Benni McCarthy to develop.

It was Man City though, under the stewardship of Sven Goran Eriksson, who made the brighter start, with a rasping and spontaneous drive by Martin Petrov from all of 25 yards that forced Brad Friedel into a smart save being the highlight of their early excursions.

However, the game`s first turning point arrived on 13 minutes when Benni McCarthy prodded Rovers ahead.

David Bentley whipped across a corner that was met by the towering Chris Samba at the back post and he calmly and accurately headed back across goal for Sants Cruz to rise majestically. He was denied by Kasper Schmeichel but he could only present the ball to McCarthy who tapped home from inside the penalty area.

As clouds began to gather over Ewood, Rovers went about their work with great panache. It was apparent that Rovers were going to cause City problems with crosses and it was from another set piece that David Dunn ghosted in unmarked and diverted a head at goal. Alas, it was marginally too high and City survived.

Rovers endeavoured to turn the screw and their crisp passing on a greasy surface was a joy to behold at times. A deep searching cross from Stephen Warnock was expertly headed down into the ground and consequently towards the top corner by the impressive Santa Cruz. This effort was expertly turned away by Schmeichel.

From the resulting corner that was whipped in with venom by Gamst, Santa Cruz glanced a header across goal only to see it rebound off the post. The rebound sent the City defence into chaos and Richard Dunne comically headed against his own cross bar and, with a sigh of relief, City but the ball out again.

Just like the beating of the drums around Ewood, Rovers` attacking was relentless. The fans were roaring on the Rovers in dogged pursuit of a second goal that would kill the meek attempts of City to stay alive in this fixture.

The last moment of attacking quality was once again produced by Rovers. Another sharp passing move including Santa Cruz, Bentley and with the ball eventually arriving at Gamst, who forced a smart save from Schmeichel, Rovers were unlucky not to go in at half time with a greater advantage.

Eriksson had reshuffled just before half-time converting to a 4-4-2 formation that had stemmed the flow of Rovers attacks but he was looking for greater attacking impetus in the second period.

However, once again Rovers threatened. Smart link-up play between the front two released Santa Cruz who bamboozled Micah Richards who was loathe to put a foot in, but Cruz lost his footing slightly and Schmeichel once again came out on top in their tussle.

However, the game was turned by the eccentricity of Mr. Dean on 54 minutes. A sense of pathetic fallacy engulfed Ewood as Tugay was sensationally booked twice in minute for two nothing tackles, the second of which was quite bizarre considering he did nothing more than pinch Dietmar Hamann`s shirt.

A disjointed period ensued with both teams trying to figure out their best way to approach the game courtesy of Mr. Dean`s unwanted intervention.

However, just as things began to settle he dismissed Dunne for his second booking after he hauled Santa Cruz down.

From the resulting free-kick Rovers won a corner and Samba should have made it two when he connected with the cross unmarked.

Rovers continued to press with City offering little at the other end, generally resorting to free-kicks from distance that were poorly directed by their foreign legion.

As the game became stretched Brett Emerton was making his presence known with a number of surging runs, exploiting his new found freedom to attack following the re-shuffle that had seen Andre Ooijer replace McCarthy.

He was twice thwarted by the unassailable Schmeichel. The final chance fell to an out of sorts Gamst from the boot of Emerton. His through ball found the Norwegian but he tried to be a little too fancy and insipidly lobbed the ball into Schmeichel`s arms.

The final whistle was greeted by a cacophony of cheers from the home fans as fortress Ewood shook proudly with another victim of Rovers` attacking football leaving empty handed.

However, it is another win for Rovers and their first clean sheet of the league campaign.

Player Ratings

Friedel 7
Not a great deal to do but pulled off a wonderful early save.

Emerton 8
Brilliant performance both in attack and defence.

Warnock 7
Typical performance.

Nelsen 8
Always cleaning up at the back.

Samba 8
Sound again, although should have scored.

Bentley 8
Put across some quality crosses and put in a mature central display after the re-shuffle.

Gamst 5
Looks terribly out of sorts in the area at the moment. Some decent crosses but needs to wake from his coasting slumber.

Dunn 7
Another committed display.

Savage 6
Unfortunately injured early on.

McCarthy 8
True poachers goal and looks settled once again. Great link-up play with Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz 8
On another day he would have had a hat-trick. This time a ‘keeper got the better of him.

Tugay 6
Very unlucky to be sent off.

Ooijer 6
Did his defensive duties admirably.
No time to impress.


34 Replies to “Rovers 1v0 Man City”

  • I know some of you may question my choice of MoM but i genuinely feel he perhaps doesn’t get the credit his reliable performances deserve. As for Mr. Dean, well what an idiot. He well and truly destroyed a very decent game. We said we were worried about his affliction to issue cards and he once again has helped all those who call rovers a dirty team. We have now been issued two reds this season and both give an inaccurate portrayal of rovers. Tugs second yellow was DISGRACEFUL!!! Absolute idiot. Oh well, we still emerged victorious, sign of a very good team IMO.

  • Typical Dean performances wasn’t it, it is this kind of thing that doesn’t help Rovers reputation!!!
    It’s a fine win for Rovers against a good Manchester City side, and I know what you mean about Emerton, although personally Samba would get my vote again, as you brother says he’s a “Machine!!!”
    Rovers are quielty going about their business aren’t they, not too many are paying that much attention to them, but the soon will!
    14 games unbeaten now, not bad is it.

  • Yer great result shows where we are heading great attendance too, even tho lot of manc fans still a high attendence hopefully a lot more to come too!!!

  • No mention of Dunn’s persistant fouling after his yellow ….. thought Mr. dean bottled it after two bad calls (Dunne’s first yellow was wrong)

  • I to thought Emerton should have got MOTM. He played well both at right back, then as a winger. I have to agree with the refereeing performance. I thought that there were only 2 bookable offences in the whole game, Samba’s tackle late on which was about which was a tad late, and Dunne’s secondable bookable offence. It is a shame the game was littered with yellow, as it was no where near a dirty game. To comment on Ciy’s performance, I don’t really rate Schmeichal. I think he was at fault of our goal, as a decent keeper would know to push the ball away from the dangerzone, not push it to an on coming striker. His shot stopping was ok, but crosses he looked very weak. A little like Jesus. Saves well, but ****e on crosses (I’m chuckling to myself…been thinking about that all morning! I don’t have much of a life… 🙂 ) I don’t think City will struggle, but I can’t see them pushing for Europe either. Unless we caught them on a bad day.

  • Yeah I think we showed their frailties and the fact that they are perhaps a little off from being ready to challenge at the upper echelons of the division. Still they do have some very good players. Dean totally ruined the game, I too felt some of the yellows were needless. This will go along way to see Rovers fined once again!!!

  • Decimus Poole – “A little like Jesus. Saves well, but ****e on crosses (I’m chuckling to myself…been thinking about that all morning! I don’t have much of a life… 🙂 )”
    I am more than chuckling about that I am wetting my pants, I will probably burn in hell for it though lol!

  • roversman – You called Emerton as Man of the Match, having studdied highlights on Match of the Day 2 and Sky Sports I COMPLETELY agree with you the guy was OUTSTANDING, he was ALL over the pitch, his fitness levels are out of this world. His underrated value all too often goes against him.
    He probably still will not win the poll, but he was WITHOUT DOUBT the Man of the Match.

  • And why shouldn’t they dude, Rovers play some BRILLIANT football don’t they that would have people dribbling on their seats if it was from one of the “big four”

  • excellent pefrmance from our guys… really should of been 2 or3… City never really threatened. Good to see Benni get off the mark… the longer he went on the more it would of weighed him down.

  • The offside thing seems to be catching. Cruz, I noticed, wandered there on one or two occasions. Maybe, Sparky should have a training session on the offside rule. Get out the salt and pepper pots, and rolled up piece of paper (thats how I explained the offside rule to the missis. It became more complicated with the new offside rules…Needed at least two more salt and pepper sets!)

  • My ex missus had never watched Match of the Day, but she surprised me one day by watching it then telling me she had watched it, the next time we went out she said I had to explain the offside rule. I thought she would forget, but right in the middle of the pub she gets out this bit of paper and a pen and gets me to explain it, never felt under so much pressure before as there were people around that I could see where ALSO looking, and listening lol!
    Getting to the “interfering with play bit” was fun!!!

  • Well it wasn’t that long ago that you were our boogy team which has now been snatched by Villa but I think we will be to much for you at the Bridge IF we play well.

  • It’s not often i’m quietly confident of playing Chelsea, but now’s about the best time for it. A few crucial injuries, obvious under performers… I just wish this was “the home game”. Have no fear, this will be one of the hardest games of the season, and they’ve certainly overcome the “bogey team” aspect, but this is as good a time as any to get this game out of the way. Could be a close one i think.

  • MikeyGamst, be loud -no need to whisper. Shaun Wright-Phillips vs Bentley? I think Bentley wins hands down – he can cross the ball for a start. Across the rest of the paddock we can compete. We’ll be fine, we’ll get a point at least. And here’s a wildcard: Mourinho for first manager fired this season!…lol

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