It was more heartache yesterday as Rovers made it 9 games without a win in a real mixed bag performance. A short summary of the game would be a great Rovers performance in the first half, some suicide defending to put the side 2-0 down, some spirited play to draw level, a scandalous ‘foul’ on David James preventing a 3-2 lead and then Pompey scoring a winner to send the away fans home devestated again.
In the first half Rovers were clearly the better team with Santa Cruz going close and Warnock slicing wide from a good opening where he really should of scored. Brett Emerton’s corners were also causing problems, one in particular was headed onto the cross bar by a Pompey defender.
It was 0-0 at the break and I feel Blackburn could feel unfortunate to not be in the lead.
In the second half the ugly side of Rovers reared its head again. Portsmouth came out looking refreshed having had a kick up the proverbial by Tony Adams and went at Rovers with a new verve. Crouch headed Glen Johnson’s cross past Paul Robinson and 4 minutes later Rovers got caught out again with some shocking defending from Chris Samba. Defoe raced onto a great through ball and rounded Samba far too easily, Rovers were 2-0 down and to be fair to Paul Robinson in goal, he had pulled off some great saves but could nothing about either goal.
However, the promising sign from Paul Ince’s side was that instead of hide and capitulate Rovers galvanised themselves and came back. The spur they needed was provided by Matt Derbyshire. He replaced the frankly shattered Benni McCarthy and provided the spark that Blackburn needed.
Here is the important thing as well – he did it in his prefered central striking role!
Derbyshire headed home a looping cross from Gamst Pedersen and Tugay scored a screamer 5 minutes later to send the away fans wild. 2-2 and Rovers were right back in it.
However, the turning point came on 77 minutes when Derbyshire scored again and had the goal disallowed for a ‘foul’ on David James. In truth Andre Ooijer who was the rumoured guilty party had done nothing wrong. He stood his ground as David James leant over him and spilled the ball. Derbyshire then whipped it home. The goal was chalked off but it shouldn’t of been.
Portsmouth then claimed victory as Sean Davis lashed home a rebound when Rovers again should of cleared.
In summary though. Paul Ince’s charges should of won and could of won if it hadn’t of been for some slack defending and a shocking referee decision.
Story of our season so far. But the positives to be taken from the game are –
– Much, much better performance from the side than at Spurs.
– Coming from 2-0 down shows real character, especially for a side in the bottom 3.
– Despite what people say, all the players are willing to fight for Ince.
We just need to catch a break. Keep the faith.
Robinson – 8
Some great saves and could do nothing with any of the goals.
Ooijer – 6
A steady days work but could of got forward more.
Samba – 5
Not one of his better days. Was at fault for second goal.
Nelsen – 7
As usual as solid as a rock.
Warnock – 6
Back at left back and did a lot to help the side’s balance. Supported Pedersen well but was a bit too eager to get forward.
Emerton – 7
Vastly improved from the Spurs game, looked fitter and offered pace. More of this please.
Andrews – 5
Unfortunately offered very little. Let the game pass him by, should not be scared to go forward. Need more from Keith.
Tugay – 7
Same as usual. Great on the ball, kept things ticking over and always makes space for himself. Great goal – does he ever score a bad/scrappy one?
Gamst Pedersen – 7
A much better showing again. Looked lively and his crossing was up to scratch.
Santa Cruz – 8
Needs a goal but you can’t fault that work rate. Unlucky not to have scored and provided a focal point for the attack.
McCarthy – 6
Skill was there and looked eager but the fitness wasn’t there to match it. When he does get back up to speed after his bereavance leave he will be a real handful.
Derbyshire – 8
Great work rate again and caused Pompey all sorts of problems. Should of had 2 goals but for the referee.
Villanueva – 6
Given little time to impress.
People will again moan as we lost but this was much better tactics wise and in spirit from Paul. He had the team playing together and really how much more bad luck can we have?
He had the players in the right positions.
It is the players that need to cut out the mistakes. I am sorry but Ince did very little wrong.
Liverpool At Home
I know people may think I am insane (again) but could this be the game to turn things?
Not expected to get anything and with the unpredictable nature of this season… you never, never know.