Date: 28th January 2010 at 4:11am
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Blackburn Rovers added another victim in the domination of Lancashire, with goals from Morten Gamst Pedersen and Nikola Kalinic ensuring a massive 3 points.

After the setback of the League Cup Semi-Final, Sam Allardyce fielded a versatile formation, which was capable of shifting from a 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3 to a traditional 4-4-2.

Chimbonda, Nelsen, Givet, Olsson
Emerton,Nzonzi, Gamst, Hoillet

With both teams holding mid to lower end table positions, it was never going to be a classic encounter, however, for both clubs, it was a massive 6 pointer, with the winner climbing towards safety, whilst the loser, well, time will tell.

In a game of minimal clear cut chances, it was Wigan who were of to the brighter start. Early pressure from the Latics, as in form striker, Rodallega, took his chances from distance, however, his 25 yard bomb dragged wide of Robinson’s goal. Blackburn countered, with Kalinic unlucky not to score his first Premier League goal, his strike from the 6 yard box striking the wood work.

Both teams continued to try there luck from distance, Nzogbia and Rodallega for Wigan, whilst Nzonzi for Rovers, were all wasteful in there attempts.

20 minutes in, Morten Gamst Pedersen showed them how its done. A long free kick chipped in by Brett Emerton was punched away by stand in keeper, Stojkovic. The ball bounced up just outside the 18 yard box. Running onto it at full steam, Pedersen struck the sweetest of shots, more commonly known as ‘The Tugay’, screaming into the top left corner of the net. Blackburn 1-0

Wigan responded well to the early set back, pressuring the home team, with most of the play in the Rovers half. Paul Scharner was left unmarked from a corner, however his tame header floated over the bar. Rodallega and Scharner then took turns to strike from distance, though the Rovers defence put their bodies on the line to prevent any damage to Paul Robinsons net.

Half Time- Blackburn 1-0

In what can only be described as a boring, slow start to the second half, it took 15 minutes for the first real opportunity at either end. An inswinging corner from James McCarthy, was met by the head of Gary Caldwell, who appeared to foul Chimbonda in the process. The header went straight into the back of the net, referee Lee Mason, blew the whistle, awarding the goal……1-1

Steven Reid Came on for the ineffective Hoillet, and picked up a yellow card within minutes. The foul count started to increase dramatically, with both teams, ‘getting stuck in’. Not a game for the faint hearted….

With this Lancashire derby fizzing out into a draw, it was young Croatian striker, Nikola Kalinic, who has been provided the burden of carrying the Rovers Strike Force, scoring his first goal in the English Premier League. An outswinging corner by Morten Gamst Pedersen found Kalinic, who’se diving header flew straight into the back of the net, 2-1 Blackburn.

Kalinic and Diouf soon made way, with Jason Roberts and Franco Di Santo coming on.

Blackburn could of sealed the game in the dying seconds of normal time. A quick counter saw Jason Roberts race away with the ball. Roberts then teed up Martin Olsson, however the young Swede’s effort on goal was saved by Stojkovic. 5 nervous minutes of injury time followed, however, Blackburn managed to hold out, ensuring a vital victory against neighbours Wigan.!

Kings of Lancashire….
Another victory against another local outfit. What chance do Preston and Accrington Stanley have of promotion to the Premier League…..another 12 points in the bag!

Player Ratings
Sorry Lads, no visual coverage of today’s game so just working of highlights and the radio coverage


11 Replies to “Rovers Steer Clear of Relegation!”

  • A crucial, CRUCIAL 3 points, especially since we have two away games coming up as well. We made hard work of it in the end but to be fair their goal was a blatant foul and the ref was very poor. But in the it was my personal man of the match – Kalinic who was the difference between the sides and not just in terms of the goal, all round he was terrific.

  • I watched the match twice today and it was a lot more cracking than Sas let on. Sam fielded a young, versatile and aggressive lineup and the lads seemed quite comfortable moving all over the pitch. Olsson started at left back but was ahead of at least 4 midfielders on several occasions, creating chances and showing an attacking ferver. MGP was excellent today. He played a central midfield role and was the creative force behind the offense. He was unlucky not to get a second goal in the 62nd minute when he rose above Emo and Melchiot and beat the keeper with a beautiful header that bounced back off the crossbar. Kalinic was our workhorse. He gave chase to every ball and never let Wigan’s back 4 settle in and distribute to the midfield. Everyone else played well. In particular, our midfielders dominated the center of the pitch for long stretches and played lots of simple passes on the deck. Our long ball tactics were used primarily as a counter attacking measure and were surprisingly effective given the lone striker. When Roberts, Di Santo and Reid came on, we reverted back to the more traditional 4-4-2 and were less creative and controlling in the middle of the field. Roberts and Di Santo made up for it with hustle. Aside from the last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 15 of the second half, the Rovers dominated a surprisingly beautiful game. It was worth two viewings.

    Player Ratings
    MGP – 9 – Player of the match. Could have easily had 2G, 2A
    Kalinic – 8.5 – aggressive, creative, finally got a league goal
    Olsson – 8 – poor finish at the end but worked his tail off
    Emo – 8 – much more timely tackling, effective on offense
    Chimbonda – 7.5 – excellent link up play on the wings
    Givet – 7 – tough tackling, excellent cover for Samba
    Nelson – 7 – clutch block to save a goal, typical strong match
    Nzonzi – 6.5 – Is starting to get comfortable with MGP and Emo
    Robinson – 6.5 – A couple of decent saves but not really tested
    Roberts – 5.5 – came on to hold up play, missed a clear chance
    Di Santo – 5.5 – showed some good hustle
    Reid – 4.5 – not bad, but killed our offense creativity

    Benni McCarthy – 1 – as in 1 stone over weight

  • Also, Lee Mason–the ref–turned in the worst reffing I’ve seen all season. That was atrocious. Tons of late calls and mysterious calls where contact that shouldn’t have been a foul earned yellow. Between he and his crew, they were the primary reason things got chippy and heated on the pitch. He was Wigan’s best player.

  • fantastic! cheers for that SoCal! As I said, this was probably our first game of the season where we didnt have live TV coverage…..when i get home il see if I can edit the post and put up your match ratings, if you dont mind that is?

  • lol as ive said b4 im a critical basterd so ima look at the negatives first diouf was caught dallying on the ball way too often and got penalised for it he nearly gave a goal away by tryin to play for the foul and i though emo started of a bit poor but got into it.Nzonzi has some amazing long passes right through the cente but still strugglin in the holdin role.Over all a good performance frm the lads a wins all i wanted and a wins what i got

  • Excellent performance and I have to agree with Socal, the match was a good entertaining one. good goal from pedersen and kallinic, who i thought was going to have another one of those days when he hit the woodwork.

  • Good to see the positivity back in the play of the lads – the 4-3-3 we played (no it wasnt 4-5-1 as some suggest) really gave our play some unpredictability. I thought Diouf was a marked improvement on his usual showing…

  • Not sure that we’re out of the relegation scrap just yet but it sure feels good to be winning again. Mikey, I would agree that Kallanic was my man of the match too – he worked incredibly hard – I presume BSA is resting him for the Hammers. Perhaps a sure footed Nelson challenging MGP for the honour of MOTM?. The side looked a little uncertain at times – I thought they could have really imposed themselves on a livley Wigan. Also agree with Aadil – Diouf ran into trouble too often, made things too complicated and fell over far too easily – what is it with talented players? Why can’t he just play football and let his obvious talent show itself? Hoillett a little inefective and I prefer Ollson on the wing where he can get at the opposition defences more.

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