Tag: Blackburn

FA Cup: Semi Final Draw

FA Cup holders Arsenal must wait until next Monday to find out who they will meet in this year’s semi-finals at Wembley.

Shortly after seeing off Manchester United in an exciting Sixth Round tie at Old Trafford, Arsene Wenger’s men were paired with the winners of Bradford City and Reading in the last-four.

Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel and Arsenal fan Dermot O’Leary made the draw for the semis, which drew out Aston Villa to face the victors of Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers’ replay in early April.

Bradford or Reading Arsenal
Aston Villa Liverpool or Blackburn Rovers

The two ties will be played on the weekend of 18 and 19 April at the national stadium, exact dates and times will be confirmed soon.

Read more at The FA

FA Cup: Liverpool 0-0 Blackburn

There was little magic in this FA Cup quarter-final on an afternoon when, for once, Liverpool’s free-flowing football deserted them in the face of a committed and well-organised Blackburn side.

A 0-0 draw meant that the Reds failed to score for only the third time in the last 12 matches as mid-tabled SkyBet Championship side Rovers frustrated the home side.

Blackburn succeeded where, a week ago, Premier League champions Manchester City had failed in not only keeping a clean sheet but avoiding defeat as they brought their hosts’ five-match winning run at Anfield to an end.

However, based on their first-half performance, there may be a tinge of regret on Blackburn’s part that they are not already celebrating a trip to Wembley.

An eight-minute injury delay for Martin Skrtel, who fell awkwardly in an aerial challenge with Rudy Gestede and appeared to briefly lose consciousness before being carried off wearing a neck brace, disrupted the flow as early as the third minute.

Blackburn responded to the lengthy break better and threatened to overwhelm their off-key hosts, who struggled to dominate midfield with Emre Can replacing the injured Joe Allen.

Gestede, Rovers’ 15-goal top scorer proved to be a handful for a remodelled defence which now had substitute Kolo Toure at its heart with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet also enduring his fair share of aerial tests.

Toure’s reading of the game allowed him to cut out a break from Craig Conway but the Blackburn midfielder was able to regain possession and swing over a cross which Glen Johnson chested narrowly past the post under pressure from Gestede.

Conway was less precise with his next effort, blazing over when presented with a free shot after Toure had given the ball away and got caught out of position.

Blackburn continued to dominate with Raheem Sterling, positioned out wide on the left, having to track back to block a Gestede but for all their pressure they could not force the breakthrough.

Liverpool’s efforts were sporadic with Adam Lallana having a penalty claim turned down for a challenge by Matt Kilgallon, Toure blasting home only to be denied by an offside flag and Daniel Sturridge’s fierce effort in added time parried away by Simon Eastwood.

If the home side were hoping the interval would help put things right in the second half Alex Baptiste’s 49th-minute header, tipped over by Mignolet at full stretch, was a warning it would require more than a 15-minute break to alter the momentum.

Liverpool needed something to jolt them into life and the introduction of Mario Balotelli just before the hour was aimed at doing that, although Toure again came closest to scoring with a header against the post from close range.

Balotelli’s blast high into the Anfield Road End was evidence of the job Blackburn had done in frustrating their opponents, although Baptiste got away with a surreptitious shirt-pull on the Italy international as the match entered its last 15 minutes.

Jordan Henderson’s angled drive was batted away by Eastwood as Blackburn mounted a determined rearguard action in the face of late pressure which saw Sterling head wide but the visitors fully deserved the chance for another shot at securing a semi-final spot on home turf.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Man Utd face Arsenal in FA Cup quarter-finals

FA Cup holders Arsenal will travel to Manchester United in the quarter-finals next month.

United confirmed their place in the last eight after coming from behind to win 3-1 at Preston North End.

The Gunners, who beat Hull City in last year’s final, defeated Middlesbrough in the fifth round.

Liverpool host Blackburn, League One survivors Bradford City face Reading while West Midlands rivals Aston Villa and West Brom will meet at Villa Park.

Liverpool’s last-eight draw will give Steven Gerrard hope of reaching Wembley in his final season at the Reds, although they will have to overcome a Blackburn side who have knocked out Premier League opposition in Swansea and Stoke already this season.

League One side Bradford are into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 1976, and will be confident of progressing further after beating Premier League sides Chelsea and Sunderland in the previous rounds.

The quarter-final draw was made by England boss Roy Hodgson and Brian Finney, son of Preston legend Tom Finney, at Deepdale on Monday before the Preston-Manchester United game.

The draw in full:

Liverpool v Blackburn
Bradford v Reading
Manchester United v Arsenal
Aston Villa v West Brom

Ties to be played on 7 and 8 March.

FA Cup: Blackburn 4-1 Stoke

Stoke knocked out of FA Cup as Josh King scores Blackburn hat trick

Ten-man Stoke suffered FA Cup embarrassment at Ewood Park as they were torn apart 4-1 by a second-string Blackburn side with Josh King, one of those fringe players, scoring a hat trick.

The 23-year-old, on only his 14th appearance this season and with just one league goal to his name, was a nuisance for a Potters defence which was severely hampered by the sending off of Geoff Cameron just before half-time.

Former Rovers boss Mark Hughes, a three-time FA Cup winner with Manchester United, could only watch as the ex-Red Devils youth team player sent his side crashing out of the competition and Rovers into the quarter-finals for the second time in three years.

King’s poacher’s finish equalised Peter Crouch’s early goal before he won the penalty from which Rudy Gestede scored his 14th of the campaign when he was pulled back by Cameron.

The 23-year-old Norway international had caused the visitors problems with his blistering pace before the break but he enjoyed the extra space available against 10 men for 45 minutes and twice raced clear to score with virtually identical goals just 10 minutes into the second half.

King, who attracted some interest from struggling Barclays Premier League clubs in the January transfer window, is out of contract in the summer and if this performance cannot persuade manager Gary Bowyer to offer him a new deal then it will certainly have made someone else’s mind up.

Despite beating another top-flight side Swansea at home in the last round, the priority for Rovers is to close the 10-point gap to the Sky Bet Championship places so, with that in mind, manager Gary Bowyer made eight changes from the midweek win over Rotherham.

Hughes, by contrast, was targeting some silverware and his only alteration from the team which lost to Manchester City on Wednesday was a switch of goalkeepers with England international Jack Butland replacing established number one Asmir Begovic.

There was a sense that Rovers were missing an opportunity and that was reflected in the crowd of 13,934, although that would have been more had police not objected to Stoke having an extra allocation of 2,000 on safety grounds.

When Crouch, on target for the third successive match, smashed home a 10th-minute Victor Moses corner it appeared the script was being followed.

Marko Arnautovic and Mame Biram Diouf had chances to put the game bed inside half-an-hour but let Rovers off the hook and King, at the heart of every real threat, took full advantage.

He should have equalised midway through the half with only the goalkeeper to beat but his shot grazed the crossbar and he also guided a header wide before, after 36 minutes, he deflected Shane Duffy’s powerful header past Butland from close range.

Having created a good chance for Gestede after stripping Philipp Wollscheid for speed, only for his team-mate to fluff his shot, King was fouled by Cameron in the eight minutes of stoppage time for three lengthy injury breaks.

The Stoke defender was shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor and Gestede did not make a mistake with his second chance from the spot.

Rovers ensured there would be no turnaround of momentum in the second half as King – had scored five goals in his previous 68 appearances – twice raced through to slot the ball past Butland in carbon-copy goals within five minutes of each other.

Stoke were deflated and dejected and home fans took great delight in taunting their former manager.

It all got a bit too much for some of the visiting supporters, some of whom became involved in a minor scuffle with stewards and police late in the game.

Hughes ordered his players to go acknowledge what was left of the travelling fans at the final whistle.

It looked more like an offer of an apology but that should not take anything away from another impressive cup performance from Blackburn.

Read more at ESPN

Championship: Blackburn 2-1 Rotherham

Blackburn kept up their chase for a play-off place as Jordan Rhodes’s late goal secured victory over Rotherham.

Midfielder Craig Conway gave Rovers the lead with a superb curling effort from 20 yards.

Rotherham were dominant after the break and deservedly drew level when Matt Derbyshire poked home Paul Green’s low cross.

But Blackburn snatched victory when Rhodes stabbed home a loose ball after poor defending from the Millers.

The winner came two minutes after the hosts had hit the post through Rudy Gestede.

Rotherham still had time to find an equaliser but Green put a free header wide when presented with a golden chance.

Blackburn remain ninth, ten points behind the final play-off position, occupied by sixth-placed Brentford.

Rotherham drop to 19th, just three points above the relegation zone.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Blackburn 3-1 Swansea

Rudy Gestede strikes to send Blackburn past nine-man Swansea

Rudy Gestede showed why he is reported to be interesting a number of Premier League sides with the crucial goal as Blackburn sent nine-man Swansea tumbling out of the FA Cup in the fourth round.

Kyle Bartley was sent off in only the seventh minute for a denying a clear goalscoring opportunity but Gylfi Sigurdsson put the 10 men ahead in the 21st minute with a glorious strike.

However, Rovers levelled two minutes later through Chris Taylor and substitute Gestede, formerly of Cardiff, put the hosts ahead with 12 minutes left. There were fewer than 6,000 fans at Ewood Park but they went home happy after Craig Conway made it 3-1 in the 89th minute.

And there was still a sting in the tail to come for Swansea as Sigurdsson showed his frustration with a reckless lunge at Taylor to become the second visiting player sent off.

Both teams made changes, with Swansea boss Garry Monks naming only six of the same side that were hammered by Chelsea last weekend and leaving new signing Kyle Naughton on the bench.

The Blackburn side featured six changes and their fans may have wondered where the goals were going to come from with Gestede and Jordan Rhodes only among the substitutes.

But Josh King set about ensuring the pair were not missed early on and his pace was crucial in Bartley seeing red.

The defender looked favourite to get to a long ball from Matt Kilgallon but he hesitated and an arm hooked over King’s shoulder as he burst through on the edge of the box was enough to persuade Craig Pawson to send him off.

Tom Cairney’s free-kick had Lukasz Fabianski in trouble as he pushed the ball back into the middle and was fortunate that King screwed his shot wide when he should have scored.

Monk responded by taking off the unlucky Tom Carroll and sending on defender Federico Fernandez.

Swansea’s defence were really struggling to cope with King and he beat them for pace again with a break down the right before slipping at the crucial moment.

The ball found its way to Cairney 25 yards out and his shot was heading for the top corner before Fabianski intervened.

The pitch was hard and bobbly but Sigurdsson took the tricky surface out of the equation by blasting a shot into the top corner for the opener.

The midfielder picked up the ball on the left and drove into the middle before letting fly past a helpless Simon Eastwood from 30 yards out.

Two minutes was all it took for Rovers to equalise, though, and it was a fine move that ended with Taylor hooking in.

The hosts switched play from right to left and good interplay sent Markus Olsson scampering away. His cross was headed down by Cairney and Taylor showed great control on his chest before finishing smartly.

Bafetimbi Gomis had been ineffective in the first half but he set up a shooting chance in the opening moments of the second before being foiled by a good block by Shane Duffy.

With an hour gone, Bowyer sent on top scorer Gestede, who was left out entirely last weekend following reports of a bid from Crystal Palace, and in the 77th minute Rhodes entered the fray.

A minute later Blackburn were ahead. The cross came in after the hosts played a corner short and, although Gestede did not make good connection with his initial header, he reacted well to volley in.

Rovers still needed Duffy to make another superb block to preserve their lead, the defender denying Angel Rangel when he looked to be clean through, while Nelson Oliveira shot straight at Eastwood.

But the result was put beyond doubt with a minute of normal time left as Conway’s shot found its way under Fabianski, and two minutes into added time Sigurdsson became the eighth Swansea player to be shown a red card this season.

Read more at ESPN

Championship: Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Cardiff City started their return to the Championship with a point as the Football League season openedwith a draw at Blackburn Rovers.

Kenwyne Jones headed Cardiff ahead in the first half at the far post, having had a close-range header saved earlier.

The hosts were level before the break as Tom Cairney sent a 25-yard strike into the corner.

Neither side could threaten in a scrappy second half as the sides shared the points.

Blackburn ended last season unbeaten in 12 league matches and, despite being unable to add significantly to the squad in the summer due to lack of financial clout, were looking to build on that momentum.

They thought they should have had a penalty in the opening minutes when former Bluebird Rudy Gestede headed against Mark Hudson’s hand but a free-kick was awarded, which Cairney wasted.

Television replays suggested that the offence took place inside the area.

Cardiff, relegated from the Premier League in May, managed just three wins in 17 league matches under boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season.

But, despite having just two available centre-backs to choose from, they looked a threat from set plays, taking the lead when Jones was left unmarked to head through Paul Robinson’s hands after Hudson flicked on Peter Whittingham’s free-kick.

The lead lasted until six minutes before half-time when Blackburn, looking short of ideas, capitalised on Whittingham’s slip and Cairney fired expertly home from 25 yards.

Gestede headed Craig Conway’s cross just wide as Blackburn started to look the more dangerous at the start of the second period.

Gary Bowyer’s men dominated the possession but rarely managed to create any meaningful opportunities, while Cardiff looked increasingly content with the point.

Solskjaer still hopes to add to his squad before the end of the transfer window and both sides will aim to be in the promotion picture after another 45 games.