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Haven't we met before?

16 November 2015

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New boss Paul Lambert has been involved in some entertaining encounters with Rovers over the years, as both a player and a manager.

The 46-year-old Scot has come up against Rovers on three occasions as a manager, each time whilst in charge of Norwich City.

The first clash came in August 2010, as the two teams locked horns at Ewood Park in the second round of the Carling Cup.

Rovers strolled into the next round, as a hat-trick from Mame Biram Diouf – on his first start for the club – helped secure a 3-1 win over the then League One outfit. 

The next meeting arrived in the Premier League, as a last-gasp Grant Holt penalty salvaged a dramatic 3-3 draw for the Canaries in October 2011.

Junior Hoilett had opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, before Steve Morision hit back in the 53rd minute. Rovers regained their lead just after the hour mark, as Yakubu slotted home, before Chris Samba put further daylight between the two teams.

Bradley Johnson's deflected shot pulled a goal back for Lambert’s men with just eight minutes remaining and as the game entered stoppage time, referee Anthony Taylor harshly adjudged that Steven Nzonzi had handled the ball in the box and Holt kept his composure to earn the hosts an unlikely share of the spoils.

In the reverse fixture at Ewood Park, in April 2012, Hoilett's superb strike helped Rovers claim the three points courtesy of a 2-0 win.

Mauro Formica had earlier given Rovers the lead from Morten Gamst Pedersen's cross, before Hoilett’s exquisite effort beat John Ruddy after the break and ended Rovers' run of five straight defeats.

As a player, Lambert came up against Rovers twice, whilst representing Celtic in the UEFA Cup.

The two teams met in the second round of the competition during the 2002-03 season, with the Bhoys in hoops coming out on top.

Lambert started the opening clash at Celtic Park, before being replaced by John Hartson on 76 minutes. The game was still goalless at this point, but Henrik Larsson's late strike secured a slender advantage for Celtic going into the second leg.

Rovers were soundly beaten in the return leg at Ewood Park, as Larsson again got on the scoresheet on the quarter-hour mark, before club legend Chris Sutton put the result beyond doubt on 68 minutes.

A minute later, there was a role reversal, as Hartson was replaced by Lambert, who helped see the game out for Celtic, who went on to reach the final of the competition that season, which they lost to Porto after extra-time.

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