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Ince’s Blackburn Inch Past Everton








Everton 2-3 Blackburn Rovers

In the game of the day, Blackburn Rovers escaped Goodison Park with maximum points after snatching the winning goal three minutes into stoppage time in an entertaining, topsy-turvy battle with Everton on the opening day of the Premier League.


David Dunn gave new Rovers boss Paul Ince the perfect start on his Premier League managerial debut when he put his side infront with a stunning goal. But it was cancelled out by an equally breathtaking Mikel Arteta strike just before the half time whistle and then the Spaniard help set up Everton’s second goal for Yakubu.

That lead, however, only lasted a minute before Roque Santa Cruz restored parity for the visitors and three minutes into injury time, Dutchman André Ooijer became the most unlikeliest of heroes when he snatched all three points for Blackburn.

First Half

Everton were the more adventurous side in the opening minutes, with Mikel Arteta and Phil Jagielka trying to thread a killer pass to Yakubu but the Blackburn backline were alert to the early danger.

It was appropriate then that the home sides should have the first crack at goal after three minutes. Young Jack Rodwell fired in a low shot from 25 yards out but Paul Robinson dived to his right and kept his body on the ground to prevent a tricky late bounce from squirming through under him.

Straight to the other end, Morten Gamst Pedersen unleashed a searing left foot drive from a similar distance that took a slight deflection before trickling wide of the post.

Just a few minutes later, Roque Santa Cruz was presented with a free header right in the middle of the box but he thumped his effort wide.

On 12 minutes, the Paraguayan again missed another glorious open header when he jumped high to meet Steven Reid’s cross but he couldn’t keep it down this time.

Paul Robinson then had to make a full stretch save in the 18th minute to deny the Toffees going ahead. Leon Osman squeezed his way down the left flank and whipped in a cross aimed at the top corner of the far post and the former Spurs keeper had to react sharply to palm it over the bar.

But Rovers took the lead completely against the run of play in the 21st minute through a stunning David Dunn strike. The 28 year old cleverly checked inside Jagielka onto his left foot and curled in a gorgeous shot past the outstretched hands of Tim Howard.

David Moyes men struggled to get back into the game as Blackburn continued to press forward and create more chances.

In fact, Everton’s best opportunity to equalize didn’t come until the 40th minute when Arteta lined up a freekick just outside the box, but his swerving shot just shaved the crossbar.

But there was no stopping Arteta from hitting the back of the net from another set-piece a minute into first half injury time. The Spaniard looked up and saw Robinson slightly off his line before he curled in his majestic freekick on the left flank, right into the top corner of the near post.

Paul Ince was understandably less than impressed with his troops for conceding the leveller just before the interval.

Second Half

Everton again started the second half with the best opening chance when Leighton Baines whipped in a tantalizing cross for Yakubu who just failed to get enough purchase on his header as the ball skimmed off the side of his head.

Just as it was in the first period, Blackburn gradually worked their way into the contest and started dominating and creating openings again.

They almost regained the advantage on 55 minutes when Jason Roberts breezed past three defenders from the right wing all the way into the box but his final shot from six yards out was blocked by a desperate Joseph Yobo.

The hosts quickly regained the momentum and in the 60th minute, Arteta released Phil Neville down the byline and the captain’s cross found Osman, but Christopher Samba made a great interception just as the Toffees midfielder pulled the trigger.

Then on 62 minutes, Yakubu bolted down the left flank before cutting inside Samba on the edge of the box and let fly with his right boot but the shot just flashed wide.

But he simply could not miss two minutes later when the impressive Arteta dinked in a lovely cross from the left and the Nigerian rose high and hung in the air to nod the ball home at the far post.

The lead, however, only lasted 60 seconds as Santa Cruz capitalized on some lazy defending to equalize for Rovers. He sprung the offside trap to latch onto Stephen Warnock’s diagonal long pass before coolly slotting past Howard.

Roberts should have put Rovers back infront in the 72nd minute when he collected a lucky loose ball inside the box but his tame toe-poke was slapped away by Howard.

The chances infront of goal dried up as the game wore on, with both sides happy to battle it out in midfield and wait for the other to commit a mistake. But there was still late drama to be had.

A minute from time, 16 year old Jose Baxter almost created history by becoming the youngest ever player to score in the Premier League when he darted into the box to connect with Jagielka’s cross but the inexperienced teenager thumped his rushed header over the bar, with Robinson stranded.

Relieved with that lucky escape, Rovers went on to steal it right at the death when Warnock’s freekick found Ryan Nelson, who’s glancing header came back off the post and André Ooijer pounced gratefully from five yards out to hand Blackburn the most dramatic of wins on opening day.

LINE-UPS

Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard – Neville (c), Yobo, Lescott, Nuno Valente (Baxter 78’) – Osman, Rodwell, Jagielka, Baines – Arteta – Yakubu

Unused subs: Turner, Jutkiewicz, Gosling, Agard, Kissock, Wallace

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Robinson – Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen (c), Warnock – Reid, Dunn (Tugay 89’), Mokoena, Pedersen (Treacy 75’) – Santa Cruz, Roberts (McCarthy 82’)

Unused subs: Brown, Villanueva, Simpson, Derbyshire

GOALS

0-1: Blackburn Rovers (Dunn 21’)

1-1: Everton (Arteta 45+1’)

2-1: Everton (Yakubu 64’)

2-2: Blackburn Rovers (Santa Cruz 65’)

2-3: Blackburn Rovers (Ooijer 90+3)

BOOKINGS

Everton: Yobo (74’)

Blackburn Rovers: Warnock (44’), Ooijer (58’)



Pederson played in David Dunn who curled a sweet left-footer into the bottom right corner, late on it was Andre Ooijer who scored the winner, tapping home from close range.



21′ D. Dunn

45′ M.Arteta

64′ A. Yakubu

66′ J.S. Cruz

90′ A. Ooijer




21′ D. Dunn





45′ M.Arteta


64′ A. Yakubu



66′ J.S. Cruz


90′ A. Ooijer






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Ince’s Blackburn Inch Past Everton Reviewed by admin Ucop on 5:50 PM Rating: 5

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