In what was a game where 3 points must be the only outcome, Blackburn Rovers showed they might just have some fight left in them, goals to Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett earning Rovers a 2-0 victory over an out of sorts Norwich outfit.
The major talking news was the reinstatement of the French Warrior, Gael Givet in the Rovers defence, replacing the injured Hanley.
Orr, Givet, Dann, Marcus O
Gamst, Dunn, Formica
It was a tense start for the home team as Norwich managed to maintain the best of the early possession. Moving the ball well, Norwich showed exactly why they were sitting safely in this years campaign, an ability to hold the ball whilst getting in behind the opposition defence. However with all the possession, Norwich failed to create the clear cut opportunity.
Rovers were content on sitting back, Gael Givet proving immense on his return to the Rovers squad. Marcus Olsson was more then holding his own at left back, whilst Morten Gamst Pedersen decided to put in a solid shift. However it was the midfield combination of David Dunn and Jason Lowe which proved intriguing. Dunn ran his socks off, getting into dangerous positions when needed whilst tracking back at all occasions. Jason Lowe, whilst appearing out of the action, did all the little things required of a holding midfielder. He was that man in midfield which sat there, cleaned up and moved the ball quickly.
To their credit, Norwich did manage to force the hand of Paul Robinson. Jon Hawson drove from 25 yards out, stinging the palms of the Former England Number 1, whilst Grant Holt failed to make the chance count, heading wide from 6 yards.
The best chance of the half fell to Yakubu. A neat run down the right flank saw a deep cross sent in, Morten Gamst Pedersen leaping highest and heading back across goal. Back to goal, Yakubu leapt with an acrobatic scissor kick, however his mishit struck the woodwork and rolled wide.
Rovers fans didn’t have to wait much longer to ease their frustrations. A sharp counter found Yakubu on the left flank. With little support, a layback for the surging Morten Gamst Pedersen was on offer. Surprisingly, Gamst pounced, striking a sweet first touch cross across goal, Formica pouncing at the far post to bury home, Blackburn 1 Norwich 0.
Buoyed by the goal, Rovers started to take control of proceedings, closing out the half with an important 1-0 lead.
Blackburn Rovers then managed to enjoy the perfect start to the second half. Within minutes of the restart, Junior Hoilett picked up the ball down the left flank, took a few strides goal wards and sent a delightful, curling effort into the far top corner, doubling the advantage. Blackburn 2-0
After picking up an early Yellow Card, David Dunn was replaced by Martin Olsson, a delightful performance from Dunny. Martin dropped into left back, Marcus pushed into left midfield whilst Gamst played central.
Whilst on the pitch the second half started to fade away, off the pitch, the Rovers fans erupted. A string of consistent Venkys out chants drummed around Ewood Park, quiet possibly the loudest set of chants all season, Rovers fans highlighting their frustrations at the, ‘mismanagement’ of current owners Venkys Group.
Returning to the pitch, Rovers appeared settled with a 2-0 lead, Norwich reverting to some long ball football which suited Rovers just well. A late surge by the Canaries failed to test Blackburn with cameo appearances for Petrovic and Modeste slowing down the clock and earning Blackburn a vital 2-0 victory.
Paul Robinson 7
A few solid saves when called upon, saves that should be made and were made. Decent distribution, almost setting up Hoilett on the break
Bradley Orr 8
Proving to be a revelation at right back. Solid, consistent and boy can he send a cross in!
Scott Dann 6
Solid shift from Dann. Didn’t put a foot wrong, looked like he was comfortable playing second fiddle to the French Warrior
Gael Givet 9
Marcus Olsson 6
Looks comfortable at left back. Might be an option to drop him in there and allow Martin who has a few more tricks up his sleeve to drop into midfield
Jason Lowe 7
Did exactly what he had to do. Forced Norwich wide, held the ball well and distributed as required
David Dunn 8
David Dunn indeed bleeds Blue and White. Another stellar performance as Dunn lifted those around him to levels unseen so far this season
M G Pedersen 7
One of his best performances of the season. Looked extremely dangerous down the left flank, brilliant assist for Formica. Wasted a few crosses though
Mauro Formica 7
Formica turned up to play today. Worked hard all game and was in the right spot to bury home to give Rovers the advantage
Junior Hoilett 8
Goal of the season contender. When Hoilett is on, he is unplayable. 3 more games please Junior!
Wasn’t fed, but did what he had to do, held the ball up well, unlucky with the scissor kick!