Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • February 24, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton fell to a very unfortunate 4-1 defeat at the hands of Lancashire rivals Blackburn at Ewood Park in a game where major decisions went against them.

Benni McCarthy put the hosts in front with a dubious penalty before Kevin Davies equalised after the break. But another penalty from McCarthy and goals from David Bentley and Morten Gamst Pedersen sealed a flattering victory for Mark Hughes' side.

Rovers almost took the lead inside the first minute at Ewood but David Dunn's 20-yard volley was well saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen down low to his left.

But Bolton responded brightly and almost broke the deadlock themselves after 10 minutes. Ivan Campo's long throw was flicked on by Davies but El-Hadji Diouf's overhead kick was well saved by Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Roque Santa Cruz was denied brilliantly by Andy O'Brien soon after, but it was the home side that took the lead on 25 minutes from the penalty spot.

Referee Mark Clattenburg adjudged Gretar Steinsson to have brought down Dunn inside the area and duely pointed to the spot, but television replays have since shown the Wanderers defender cleanly won the ball and the referee got the decision wrong.

Jaaskelainen saved two penalties in the same fixture last season, but was beaten this time as McCarthy fired low and hard down the middle to put Rovers in front.

Bolton went in search of an equaliser and almost responded immediately. Christopher Samba's error allowed Diouf to run at goal, his shot was saved by Freidel and Kevin Nolan was unfortunate as his rebound came back off the crossbar.

Santa Cruz almost doubled the home side's advantage a minute before the break, but his header from Brett Emerton's cross sailed inches wide of Jaaskelainen's goal.

Disappointed with how his side had attacked in the opening 45 minutes, Bolton manager Gary Megson replaced the ineffective Danny Guthrie with Grzegorz Rasiak at the break.

The Polish international thought he had made an immediate impact on the game. Within three minutes of coming on he had the ball in the net but he was controversially adjudged to have been offside after Davies had cut the ball back.

But the visitors didn't have to wait long as they put the ball in the net again just 60 seconds later. Campo's free-kick found Davies in the area who fired low and hard past Friedel at the second time of asking to score against his former club.

Their bright start to the second half continued and Nolan burst through the Rovers defence but his effort was well saved by Friedel down to his right.

The big American goalkeeper was again alert to keep his side on level terms just a minute later as he denied Gary Cahill his first goal for the club.

Despite their long period of dominance, Bolton found themselves behind again midway through the second half. Cahill went through the back of Dunn inside the area, leaving Clattenburg with no option but to point to the spot for a second time.

Just as he did in the first half, McCarthy stepped up to fire straight down the middle and give the hosts an undeserved lead.

The game was over less than five minutes later. With Bolton still shellshocked about the turn in events, Dunn beat Steinsson and delivered a cross to the back post which Bentley nodded past Jaaskelainen to give Rovers a two goal cushion.

Pedersen added a fourth in stoppage time, meeting Jason Roberts' ball to the back post to slot past Jaaskelainen at his near post to give his side a highly flattering 4-1 victory.

The victory moves Blackburn up to ninth in the Premier League while Bolton stay in 16th, just three points above the relegation zone with games against Liverpool and Arsenal to come.

Blackburn Rovers: Freidel, Emerton, Samba, Khizanishvili, Warnock, Bentley, Reid, Dunn (Mokoena 77), Pedersen, Santa Cruz, McCarthy (Roberts 82)
Subs Not Used: Brown, Tugay, Derbyshire
Booked: Dunn, Reid
Goals: McCarthy 25(pen),67(pen), Bentley 71, Pedersen 90

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Gardner, Nolan (Cohen 76), Campo (J O'Brien 76), Taylor, Guthrie (Rasiak 46), Davies, Diouf
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Meite
Booked: Campo, Diouf, Guthrie, Nolan
Goals: Davies 50

Attendance: 23,995
Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Shrewsbury Town 26 30
16 Cambridge United 25 30
17 Bolton Wanderers 25 29
18 Lincoln City 25 28
19 Fleetwood Town 25 28
View Full Standings >>


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