Tag: Rudy Gestede

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.

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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