Date: 1st May 2011 at 11:56am
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In front of a vocal and rocking crowd, Blackburn managed to claim all 3 points in the Lancashire Derby, defeating fierce rivals, Bolton Wanderers, 1-0 thanks to a well struck effort from rising star Martin Olsson.

The pressure was on Blackburn, attempting to notch there first win since January, and steer the club away from the drop zone. David Dunn was forced to watch from the stands, whilst Steve Nzonzi returned after serving his 3 match suspension

Paul Robinson
Gael Givet
Chris Samba
Phil Jones
Michel Salgado
Martin Olsson
Steve Nzonzi
Jermaine Jones
Brett Emerton
Jason Roberts

Both teams applied pressure early on, with Bolton not about to bow down and provide their local neighbours any favours. Rodrigo went close early on, after picking up the scraps from Kevin Davies, however his powerful volley drifted inches wide of the post. Blackburn were on the attack as well, Martin Olsson proving to be an early thorn, dazzling pace and trickery on the left flank, forcing his way past his man and into the box twice. However the final effort was lacking, as stand in keeper Bogdan was forced into a fine save, whilst Bolton defender Paul Robinson followed up with a header off the line to prevent the young Swede.

Rodrigo continued to press for Bolton, and should of put the visitors up after 15 minutes. A misplaced header by Gael Givet fell straight into Rodrigo’s path, however his volley from 6 yards struck the woodwork, Paul Robinson and Co breathing a sigh of relief. Blackburn did manage to take the lead, and it was through the pace and skill of Martin Olsson. The Swede picked the ball up down the left flank, ducked intowards the 18 yard box, before striking with the outside of the foot, and into the bottom corner of the net, giving Rovers a vital 1-0 lead after 25 minutes.

Rovers continued to press, with Salgado and Emerton holding their width on the right, and providing decent delivery into the box, though Benjani and Roberts just couldnt get onto the delivery. Rovers held the lead, 1-0 into the break

Blackburn needed a second, and Benjani was gifted an early chance, as Emerton found him from the deep, though the big target man just couldnt find his feet, Bogdan racing out to pick the ball from his toes. He soon made way, as Kalinic came onto the pitch.

Jermaine Jones and Steve Nzonzi bossed the midfield for Blackburn, the pair not giving Bolton any space, and shifted the ball wide as early as possible, giving Brett Emerton and Martin Olsson plenty of space and freedom

Rovers pushed further up the pitch, whilst Bolton started to attack, in vain as Blackburn became more dangerous on the counter, as Bolton left gaps. However Rovers could not capatalise, with substitute MB Diouf wasting the clearest of chances, blasting over from 8 feet, an opportunity which could of closed off the game.

Diouf was not the only player guilty of spraying a chance, Nzonzi headed wide whislt unmarked, Emerton’s free kick dropped just over the crossbar, and Olsson struck another one, into the side netting.

But one goal was enough, as Blackburn held onto their 1-0 lead, and claimed a massive 3 points to put them 3 points outside the drop zone, and a superior goal difference.

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson 7
Did what he had to do. In tough conditions, sent a few free kicks a tad too far, but was safe in goals

Michel Salgado 8
Delightful performance from the veteran. A cool head meant the right wing was well shut down, and linked really well with Emerton

Chris Samba 8
A captains knock. Fired the boys up at every opportunity, and minimised any effect Bolton had on the counter

Phil Jones 7
Defended really well, moved the ball quickly, guilty of losing the ball a couple of times

Gael Givet 8
Got his head screwed back on, and reminded us all of what he is capable of. He knew that when he got the ball, Olsson needed it ASAP, and he delivered

Jermaine Jones 8
Superb performance. Tracked hard, shifted well, shut down the midfield superbly.

Steve Nzonzi 8
We look a much safer, solid team when the Zonz is in our midfield. Composed and hungry, maybe it was a fall out with Allardyce, rather then a general attitude problem. More off and we will be safe

Martin Olsson 9
Man of the match performance. Extremely dangerous, great goal

Brett Emerton 7
The wise heads on the right side of the Rovers formation delivered, with Emerton and Salgado working well to shut down the flank, and hit on the counter.

Jason Roberts 6
Quiet game from Roberts

Benjani 5
Has been given his shot, time to go back to the bench. The worrying thing is, Kalinic has not looked any good when he has come on….

A lack of confidence is really affecting his performance…Showed some good positioning, but who knows whats going on in the young mans mind

MB Diouf
Back to Manchester please. After a delightful start, I think our rotation policy has harmed Diouf, a poor performance


11 Replies to “Rovers- 3 Points Closer to Safety”

  • Kalinic was the only one of our strikers who made the ginger minger make a save. He needs game time, but even at half speed he’s more of a goal threat than any of the others

  • Olsson was awesome!! This is the last time i will say this Mr Kean… Don’t play him at left back again! Nuff said. If we get Hoillett back for the right peg and drop Roberts and Benjani we should go and destroy the bogey side next weekend and make sure we’re playing in this league next season.

  • it was a delightful and assuring performance yesterday. very organized and spread the field well. tried to attack through different channels…we haven’t seen that for a long time. this match confirms that olsson needs to be our left-wing, not left-back from now on. and yes, benjani needs to go back to the bench, he is the worst on the ball among all our strikers…

  • Brilliant result! Olsson is def better in midfield – but can only play there when Givet is available.

  • agreed, does that mean hoillet plays out wide on the right? he always looks more dangerous on the left, cutting in and banging it with his right though

  • Yep, but with Olsson flying down one wing and Hoilett down the other, just think about how defences will get pulled one way and then the other! Oh, for a goalscorer or two in the middle!

  • Olsson left wing for me – I’d play Hoilett off a striker so he can drop deep. Not on the wing as I don’t think his crossing is that good. He is good at running at players and shooting (most of the time)

  • Agreed on the striker situation – Benjani was poor, Kalinic has suffered through lack of games and Diouf was awful…

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