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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Sep 09 at 17:13 PM

Report: Rovers 3 Wolves 1

Rovers grabbed their first three-point haul of the season with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In the Ewood Park sunshine it was El Hadji Diouf who opened the scoring with his, and Rovers', first home goal of the 2009-10. Capitalising on some hesitant defending to race through and score on 19 minutes.

Despite dominating a first half in which Morten Gamst Pedersen hit the post, Rovers had to wait until the second to turn those chances into goals.

Gaël Givet thought he had headed Rovers 2-0 in front from David Dunn's corner on 57 minutes, but it was later credited to Jason Roberts who had got the final touch.

Roberts then turned provider on 64, breaking clear on goal he saw his effort saved but got to the rebound to feed Dunn to tap home into the empty net.

Brett Emerton made his long awaited return to action, whilst Michel Salgado was given his debut with five minutes to go.

Rovers did blot their copybook at the death when Stefan Maierhofer fired home with two minutes remaining, but it was a mere consolation as the home side claimed the points.

Watch the match highlights on Rovers Player

With a near fully fit squad at his disposal it was perhaps a surprise that Sam Allardyce chose to make just the one change from the side that drew 0-0 with West Ham United last time out. But that decision was fully vindicated by a dominating display.

After recovering from the groin injury that forced him to miss the match against the Hammers, El Hadji Diouf returned to the starting eleven, taking the place of Steven Nzonzi who picked up a foot injury whilst on international duty with France.

The home side started brightly in the Ewood sunshine, but it was the visitors who had the first shot at goal. Christophe Berra criminially shooting wide after Robinson couldn't hold Nenad Milijas's free-kick from the left.

But following that early scare it was all Rovers. A typically energetic run from David Dunn saw him find Jason Roberts in on goal but just as the number 9 was set to pull the trigger, a superb tackle from Matthew Hill thwarted the Rovers striker.

19 minutes saw Rovers open the scoring. El Hadji Diouf capitalising on a poor pass from Jarvis to Manceienne to intercept and race through on goal, as Wolves 'keeper Wayne Hennessey stood tall the former Senegal international kept the ball low, hitting it between Hennessey's legs and into the back of the net.

It was Rovers' first goal at Ewood Park this season, and El Hadji Diouf's first strike on home soil since his move last January.

Rovers then created three chances in a four minute spell but were left frustrated by some superb goalkeeping by Hennessey.

Morten Gamst Pedersen had the first effort, his fizzing free-kick seemed destined for the top corner only for a finger-tip save.

Two minutes later Hennessey was at it again, David Dunn's charging run saw him tee up Keith Andrews who blasted the ball goalwards only for the Wolves 'keeper pull off a point blank save.

A cross from Pascal Chimbonda found Keith Andrews on the edge of the area, he met the ball on the volley but it flashed narrowly wide.

On the stroke of half time Rovers inched ever closer to grabbing a deserved second, but Pedersen's free-kick crashed off the post and away to safety.

Sam Allardyce kept faith with the starting eleven, but opposition manager Mick McCarthy made two changes at the start of the second half. Greg Halford and Nenad Milijas replaced by David Edwards and Stefan Maierhofer.

Austrian Maierhofer almost made an immediate impact, letting fly from 25 yards with an effort that dipped narrowly wide. Ten minutes later he saw a close range shot blocked by Lars Jacobsen as Wolves threatened an equaliser.

But from a David Dunn corner kick on 57 minutes, those early second half worries were eased. His inswinging corner was met by a powerful header from Gaël Givet but Jason Roberts got the last touch to divert the ball past Hennessey and into the net.

The goal was initially credited to Givet, but it was announced over the PA that Jason Roberts had got the last touch. Moments later came Rovers' third, there was to be no doubt as to who got the last touch this time.

After a first half where Roberts fell foul to the linesman's flag, he finally beat the trap on 64 minutes.

A ball out of defence saw Roberts race clear, and although Hennessey got a hand to his shot, he was alert to get a touch to play it into the path of David Dunn who tapped home from two yards.

Brett Emerton made his long awaited return to first team action. The popular Australian replacing Morten Gamst Pedersen with 16 minutes to go. Ryan Nelsen re-introduced for the hobbling Chris Samba a minute later.

Rovers could and should have scored more, Keith Andrews saw two efforts blocked, then the Irishman was denied when Hennessey dived to tip away his free-kick.

Former Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado was given his first taste of Ewood football coming on for Lars Jacobsen for the last five minutes of the game. Given a great reception by the supporters, they then chanted "are you Tugay in disguise?" to the amusement of all.

A fourth goal did arrive, but to the surprise of everyone it was Wolves who grabbed it. Stefan Maierhofer poking home from a yard out with two minutes remaining.

That was the only blot on an otherwise perfect day.

ROVERS: Robinson (c), Jacobsen (sub Salgado 85 mins), Samba (sub Nelsen 76 mins), Givet, Chimbonda, Grella, Andrews, Diouf, Dunn, Pedersen (sub Emerton 74 mins), Roberts.

Subs not used: Brown (GK), Kalinic, Hoilett, Di Santo.

WOLVES: Hennessey, Stearman, Henry (c), Keogh, Halford (sub Edwards 46 mins), Berra, Jarvis, Milijas (sub Maierhofer 46 mins), Hill, Mancienne, Doyle (sub Surman 79 mins).

Subs not used: Hahnemann (GK), Elokobi, Jones, Vokes.

Booked: Andrews (Rovers), Stearman, Berra (Wolves)

Attendance: 24,845

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