Blackburn Rovers supporters were left devestated and frustrated after a spate of fortune ensured Norwich would secure a late, late point against an extremely impressive Rovers outfit.
Lowe, Givet,Samba, Olsson
From the outset, it was always going to be an open, entertaining game. Both teams were moving the ball well, and both had a direct style of play. Blackburn Rovers were using the trickery of Rochina and Formica, whilst Pilkington’s pace was the outlet for the home side, darting down the flank on every occasion. The first real chance came for Rovers, Yakubu holding the ball well before feeding Formica, blasting slightly over from 20 yards. Yakubu tried his luck from a scissor kick only metres out, however it was blocked on the line.
Norwich found plenty of space down the flanks, with Pilkington and Hoolahan linking well. And it was this combination which almost created the opener, feeding Morrison who only had to tap it in, but a desperate intervention from Givet insured it would not be the case. David Fox then tried his luck from distance, a half volley forcing Paul Robinson into a wonder save.
Blackburn almost picked out an unlikely own goal, Pedersens free kick almost carried into the goal by Ruddy, replays showing it just stayed on the line. However Hoilett was not to be denied minutes later, jinking in past 2 men before unleashing a venemous strike from the edge of the box and into the top corner, giving Rovers a 1-0 Half Time lead.
The lead didnt last long though, as Norwich replied with a wonder goal of their own. The ball sat up for the ex conference striker, blasting an unstoppable volley, 1-1.
Parity was restored, but that didnt last long as Blackburn reclaimed the lead. Formica’s clever through ball found Yakubu, who buried his shot past the near post, 2-1 Blackburn.
Rovers fans thought they were in dream land only minutes later as Morten Gamst Pedersen struck a sweet free kick across the face of goal, Chris Samba diving in and heading home, 3-1 Blackburn.
However it just wasn’t to be. Norwich brought it back to a one goal gap with 6 minutes to go, Johnsons’ 30 yard attempt deflecting of Jason Lowe, leaving Robinson stranded and looping into the net. 3-2.
It got worse for Blackburn, as referee Mr Taylor made a name for his self, awarding an atrocious penalty after Steve Nzonzi was adjudged to have handled in the box. Holt stepped up, sending it into the far left corner, inches from the outstretched hand of Paul Robinson.
3-3 Full Time
Paul Robinson 6
Could do absolutely nothing about any of the goals conceded, would be extremely dissapointed to concede another 3 though…
Jason Lowe 5
Pilkington ran the young man ragged, but he did shore it up in the second half
Gael Givet 7.5
A stellar performance from Givet in central defence. A few vital interventions prevented chances from 6 yards out
Chris Samba 7
Fought hard and pushed on throughout the game, a well taken goal, but would be upset that he has not been able to keep a clean sheet yet again
Martin Olsson 6
Needs to be further up the pitch. Looks as if he is stuck, wants to bomb forward but cant
Steve Nzonzi 6
Allowed Norwich to boss the midfield early, but came into the game as it went
Gamst Pedersen. 5
Average performance, apart from the Samba Free Kick
Ruben Rochina 8
What a delightful player to watch. MOM
Mauro Formica 7
Another cracking player to watch. Looks like his position is just off the shoulder of the striker, and he played it well
Junior Hoillet 7
Super strike to give Rovers the lead, moved the ball well, picked up a knock though
1 shocker, and 1 goal from the Yak. I would take that average every day of the week!