Tag Archives: olsson

Allardyce ready to raid former club for Swedish left back

Hammers target Blackburn defender as Allardyce ramps up January transfer activity

Laurie Whitwell


13:34 GMT, 4 January 2013



13:34 GMT, 4 January 2013

Sam Allardyce will look at signing Martin Olsson to cover West Ham's need for a new left back.

The Swedish international played under Allardyce when he was in charge of Blackburn and handed in a transfer request last summer with his agent stating he would refuse to play in the Championship.

But Olsson stayed and has played 21 times this season. He would cost around 2million.

Reunion: Allardyce want to reunite with Blackburn's Martin Ollsson (centre) at Upton Park

Target: Martin Olsson is one of the players Sam Allardyce would like at West Ham

Allardyce said: ‘If they have made Martin available I would definitely be interested because I worked with the lad at Blackburn when I was there for two years.

‘I had a really good time developing him into what I consider to be quite a good player.

Swede: The 24-year-old is currently first choice left back for Sweden and has won 14 caps for his country

Capped: Olsson (left) has already won 14 caps for Sweden

‘But whether Blackburn are wanting to sell anybody in their plight to get back into the Premier League I don’t know.

‘We’ll need to find a left back as quick as we can. Joey O’Brien has a tight hamstring and George McCartney is out for a number of weeks. So our left back area is a little weak at the moment.

Allardyce also confirmed his interest in Arsenal’s Marouane Chamakh.

On the move: Marouane Chamakh (right) in training with Arsenal team-mate Abou Diaby on Thursday

On the move: Marouane Chamakh (right) in training with Arsenal team-mate Abou Diaby on Thursday

‘We’ve made an inquiry,’ he said. ‘The situation I have with Andy Carroll being injured and Modibo Maiga going to the African Cup of Nations, this moment as a striker we have Carlton Cole and that’s it.'

Barnsley 1 Blackburn 3 – match report: Keith Hill sacked

Barnsley 1 Blackburn 3: Hill sacked as Tykes slip to foot of the table


18:01 GMT, 29 December 2012



18:06 GMT, 29 December 2012

Managerless Blackburn put two days of off-field turmoil behind them to record a first win in seven matches against npower Championship strugglers Barnsley – whose manager Keith Hill was sacked after the game.

Henning Berg was dismissed as Rovers manager on Thursday following one win in 10 games at the helm.

Rovers' senior coaching staff were also shown the door and, under the caretaker control of reserve-team boss Gary Bowyer, it was the only signing of Berg's 57-day reign that opened the scoring at Oakwell.

Three and easy: Rovers recorded their first win in seven games

Three and easy: Rovers recorded their first win in seven games

Match facts

Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman (Stones 46), Foster, McNulty, Golbourne, O'Brien, Dawson, Perkins, Done (Noble-Lazarus 46), Tudgay, Davies (Sinclair 70).

Subs Not Used: Lidakevicius, Hassell, Harewood, Greening.

Booked: McNulty.

Goals: Dawson 76.

Blackburn: Kean, Henley, Hanley, Dann, Martin Olsson, Rochina (Markus Olsson 67), Murphy, Lowe, Vukcevic (Kazim-Richards 46), Rhodes, King (Nuno Gomes 90).

Subs Not Used: Usai, Henrique, Morris, Rosado.

Booked: King, Vukcevic.

Goals: King 29, Rochina 44, Rhodes 90.

Attendance: 9,153

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex).

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On-loan Manchester United forward
Josh King's bundled home before the half hour and a sublime individual
effort on the stroke of half-time from Ruben Rochina gave Blackburn
breathing space.

Stephen Dawson reduced the arrears
during a lacklustre second half, the closing stages of which were marred
by the sight of Barnsley forward Marcus Tudgay receiving lengthy
treatment following a collision with Rovers goalkeeper Jake Kean and
leaving the field on a stretcher.

That reduced Hill's side to 10
men having used all their substitutions and, in the eighth of nine
additional minutes, Jordan Rhodes muscled his way on to Jason Lowe's
long ball to seal Blackburn's triumph and send Barnsley to the foot of
the table.

Stephen Foster returned to the heart
of the Barnsley defence after suspension ruled him out of the Boxing Day
defeat to Birmingham, while Scott Wiseman, Matty Done and Craig Davies
were restored to Hill's starting line-up.

Bowyer tweaked Blackburn's attack by selecting Rochina and Simon Vukcevic in support of top scorer Jordan Rhodes.

Colin Kazim-Richards and Diogo Rosado
dropped to the bench while David Dunn, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Gael
Givet and Dickson Etuhu were among a host of senior players absent from
the squad.

Barnsley almost took the lead in the
ninth minute when Scott Dann's botched clearance presented Davies with
an opportunity but Rovers managed to scramble clear.

More slack defending, this time a
poor backpass from Martin Olsson, presented Dawson with a shooting
opportunity but Grant Hanley was in place to head clear.

Hotshot: Jordan Rhodes settled the game in the dying embers

Hotshot: Jordan Rhodes settled the game in the dying embers

Davies had the ball in the net with
17 minutes played but the whistle had gone for a foul on Adam Henley and
Blackburn then began to make most of the running.

Rhodes uncharacteristically skied
over after Rochina released Henley in the 23rd minute and Barnsley could
not claim the opening goal was not on the cards when it arrived.

Straight from a Kean clearance, King
raced clear of the Tykes backline and, although Luke Steele save his
initial effort, the rebound struck him and bobbled into the net.

Rovers remained on the front foot and were rewarded in style by Rochina.
Wiseman backed off the advancing former Barcelona B playmaker, who
stormed into the penalty area and lashed past Steele at his near post.

Kean saved well from Tudgay on the
stroke of half-time but that did not persuade Hill against making a
double substitution at the break as Reuben Noble-Lazarus and John Stones
replaced Done and Wiseman.

Kazim-Richards was also on at the
interval for the injured Vukcevic and almost extended Blackburn's lead
in the 54th minute, seeing a shot deflected behind.

That opportunity was inventively
set-up by Rochina and Blackburn let the initiative slip after he limped
off midway through the half.

Barnsley sensed the opportunity and, with 14 minutes to go, Dawson lashed home emphatically from 20 yards.

The host's charge for an equaliser
was concluded without Tudgay – leading to the huge allocation of injury
time that Rhodes crowned with his 12 Blackburn goal in 21 starts.

Middlesbrough 1 Blackburn 0 match report

Middlesbrough 1 Blackburn 0: Boro bounce back and pile the pressure on Berg


17:37 GMT, 26 December 2012



17:44 GMT, 26 December 2012

Lukas Jutkiewicz struck the game's
solitary goal midway through the second half as Middlesbrough bounced
back from Saturday's npower Championship defeat at Leeds to keep their
automatic promotion hopes alive.

Polish striker Jutkiewicz struck for
the second successive game with a clinical low finish from the edge of
the penalty area to lift Tony Mowbray's side up to third, within a point
of second-placed Hull.

Christmas cracker: Lucas Jutkiewicz scores the winner

Christmas cracker: Lucas Jutkiewicz scores the winner

Match facts

Middlesbrough: Steele, Friend, Woodgate, Bikey (Rhys Williams 46), Hoyte, Ledesma, McEachran (Smallwood 56), Leadbitter, Emnes (Bailey 72), Jutkiewicz, McDonald. Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Halliday, Miller.

Booked: Ledesma

Goals: Jutkiewicz 67.

Blackburn: Kean, Henley, Grant Hanley, Dann, Martin Olsson, Rosado (Dunn 79), Murphy, Lowe, King, Rhodes, Kazim-Richards (Rochina 83). Subs Not Used: Usai, Givet, Pedersen, Etuhu, Vukcevic.

Booked: Henley.

Att: 22,882

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

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Blackburn, who have now won only once under manager Henning Berg in 10 matches, were made to pay for missed chances and continue to slide down the table after securing just one point from their last six fixtures.

Rovers' late substitute Ruben Rochina was denied a late equaliser when Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele kept out his free-kick, but the home side were also guilty of some wasteful finishing.

Defender Andre Bikey and Argentinian striker Emmanuel Ledesma returned for Boro, while Portugal Under-21s international Diogo Rosado made his first start for Blackburn with midfielder Danny Murphy and defender Grant Hanley also recalled by Berg.

Middlesbrough made the brighter start as Jutkiewicz and Ledesma both fired over the crossbar from inside the penalty area before 16-goal Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes fired a shot just off target at the other end.

Rosado then tested Steele with a swirling, angled drive from 35 yards that was well held by the Boro goalkeeper and in a see-saw opening Jutkiewicz's header from Ledesma's cross was gathered by Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean.

Close call: Jordan Rhodes is kept out by Boro defence

Close call: Jordan Rhodes is kept out by Boro defence

Middlesbrough defender George Friend and midfield team-mate Grant Leadbitter both fired in shots from outside the area, but the home side were given a let-off in the 24th minute when Rhodes spurned a gilt-edged chance from close range.

Boro continued to rain in shots from long range. Rosado, again from more than 30 yards, striker Scott McDonald and Ledesma all tried their luck from distance before the break, the latter's well held by Kean in the 35th minute.

Both sides went in search of the game's opening goal in an even contest, but the score remained goalless at the interval.

Mowbray replaced Bikey with Rhys Williams during the interval and the latter was straight into the action, blocking Rovers striker Josh King's goalbound effort before Murphy's 20-yard shot was well held by Steele.

Jutkiewicz was next to waste a golden opportunity when he headed wide from six yards from McDonald's telling cross in the 50th minute, while Rovers striker Colin Kazim-Richards saw his header saved by Steele before blazing the rebound over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

Jutkiewicz dragged an angled shot wide and forward team-mate Marvin Emnes arrowed a 25-yard effort off target, but in the 67th minute Boro broke the deadlock.

McDonald pulled the ball back towards the edge of the penalty area from the left and Jutkiewicz buried a low, right-footed shot into the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Blackburn boss Berg replaced Rosado with David Dunn in the 78th minute before fellow midfielder Jason Lowe fired a low angled shot just wide and moments later visiting goalkeeper Kean denied Boro a second when tipping McDonald's close-range effort over the crossbar at full stretch.

Rovers almost snatched a point in the final minute, but Rochina's goalbound free-kick was brilliantly saved by Boro keeper Steele.

Blackburn 1 Cardiff 4: Bluebirds stretch lead at the top

Blackburn 1 Cardiff 4: Bellamy dreaming again as Bluebirds stretch lead at the top



23:22 GMT, 7 December 2012

Old boy Craig Bellamy enjoyed a
goalscoring return to Blackburn as Cardiff cantered four points clear at
the top of the Championship.

The Welshman edged his side back in front five minutes after Josh King had cancelled out Mark Hudson’s.

Four-star: Craig Bellamy celebrates scoring Cardiff's second

Four-star: Craig Bellamy celebrates scoring Cardiff's second


Blackburn: Robinson, Henley, Grant Hanley, Dann, Martin Olsson, Formica (Nunes 70), Etuhu, Lowe, Markus Olsson (Kazim-Richards 46), King, Rhodes.

Subs not used: Kean, Givet, Pedersen, Rochina, Vukcevic.

Booked: Martin Olsson, Hanley, Lowe.

Goal: King 51.

Cardiff: Marshall, Connolly, Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Noone (Kim 69), Conway, Cowie, Whittingham, Bellamy (Mason 80), Helguson (Gestede 90).

Subs not used: Lewis, McNaughton, Gunnarsson, Lappin.

Booked: Hudson, Noone, Helguson.

Goals: Hudson 34, Bellamy 55, Mason 84, Kim 85.

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Attendance: 12,460.

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Cardiff went on to make their ascendancy count with substitutes Joe Mason and Kim Bo-Kyung scoring in the final six minutes.

Bellamy, 33, said: ‘I was so fortunate to win a trophy with Liverpool last season but if I can finish my career by getting Cardiff to the Premier League with Cardiff it might be a dream come true.’

Cardiff were on top from the start and there was little doubt they would take their current run to 16 points from a possible 18 on offer. Their constant harrying of Rovers midfield ensured they quickly won back possession and they used it effectively once in control of the ball.

Defender Hudson gave them a 30th-minute lead by heading in his fourth goal of the season from Craig Noone’s cross.

King levelled at the start of the second half, converting a intelligent pass on the turn from substitute Colin Kazim-Richards.

But parity was short-lived. Bellamy, who had hit the bar in the first half, swapped headers with Heidar Helguson and angled a shot home.

Helguson grew increasingly influential and it was his work as a link man that set up Cardiff’s grandstand finish.

Flying high: The Bluebirds are now four points clear at the top of the Championship

Flying high: The Bluebirds are now four points clear at the top of the Championship

His header allowed Mason to run
through and shoot past Robinson before his square ball picked out
Bo-Kyung to fire into the corner.

The defeat extended Rovers’ poor form under new boss Henning Berg.

The Norwegian is yet to see his team
win at home in four attempts and one victory in eight games overall has
seen the side plummet down the table.

Berg admitted: ‘Cardiff were a better
all over. They had better finishing and defended better than us. The
way we used the ball in first half is way off where we want to be. We
can play better.’

Rout: Kim (left) completed the scoring

Rout: Kim (left) completed the scoring

Derby 1 Blackburn 1 – match report

Derby 1 Blackburn 1: Robinson leaves it late to deny Black first Rovers win



16:49 GMT, 20 October 2012

Theo Robinson struck a minute from time to rescue a point for Derby and deny Blackburn caretaker manager Eric Black a first victory.

Rovers' 8million pound signing Jordan Rhodes looked to have secured the points for the away side with a crisp volleyed effort in the 34th minute, but the Rams snatched a deserved equaliser when Robinson bundled home from point-blank range.

A share of the spoils continues Blackburn's unbeaten away record in the npower Championship, but the expensively-acquired squad have now gone five games without victory.

Leaving it late: Theo Robinson scores two minutes from time to rescue a point for Derby

Leaving it late: Theo Robinson scores two minutes from time to rescue a point for Derby


Derby: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, O'Connor (Tyson 84), Coutts, Hendrick, Bryson, Hughes, Sammon (Jacobs 75), Robinson.

Subs Not Used: Deeney, O'Brien, Bennett, Gjokaj, Freeman.

Goals: Robinson 88.

Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson, Lowe, Dunn (Formica 67), Etuhu, Pedersen, Rhodes, Kazim-Richards.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Murphy, Nuno Gomes, Rochina, Grant Hanley, Ribeiro.

Booked: Kazim-Richards.

Goals: Rhodes 34.

Attendance: 22,958

Referee: Mark Haywood

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Black boldly opted to relegate captain Danny Murphy to the bench, with David Dunn returning in the centre, with Derby unchanged from their goalless draw against Brighton last time out.

The opening exchanges were largely unremarkable, although Blackburn's passing was awry early.
Dead balls appeared their likeliest route to goal, Morten Gamst Pedersen twice causing problems with curling free-kicks from the left side of the area.

Richard Keogh dealt with the first one well but the second, in the 21st minute, was powerfully met by Scott Dann, whose header needed a strong save from Adam Legzdins.

Three minutes earlier Robinson had a good chance for the hosts, getting on the end of James O'Connor's cross at the far post but not managing a firm enough connection.

Back-to-back Derby corners caused problems, Jake Buxton's header diverted wide by Dann and Robinson's effort nodded high and wide.

Blackburn rallied and began to dictate matters in midfield and another free-kick, this time from the right, saw Pedersen draw a full-stretch save from Legzdins at the top corner.

In the 34th minute the visitors took the lead, Colin Kazim-Richards chipping towards Pedersen, whose cushioned header found Rhodes in support.

The Scotland striker waited for the ball to drop then fired home first time from 20 yards.

Bradley Orr, breaking forward from right-back, had two chances for Blackburn before the break but failed to add to the lead.

Deadly finisher: Jordan Rhodes opens the scoring for Blackburn

Deadly finisher: Jordan Rhodes opens the scoring for Blackburn

It took just 40 seconds of the second half for Rovers to go close again, Martin Olsson surging down the left wing and cutting back for Rhodes, who was desperately close to adding the finishing touch.

Derby were not giving up hope yet and fashioned a fine chance of their own when Jeff Hendrick's cross found Bryson 10 yards out.

The midfielder could not keep his snap shot down but the warning had been served.

Hendrick and Bryson both shot over in quick succession and Paul Coutts curled an ambitious effort on to the roof of the net as the Rams grabbed the initiative.

Derby continued to press without success, Buxton rising to meet a 66th-minute corner but missing the target.

Nigel Clough made the curious decision to move from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 for the last 15 minutes, Conor Sammon departing to leave Robinson alone in attack.

Clough eventually remedied that by sending Nathan Tyson on and he drew a smart save from Paul Robinson within moments of coming on.

Derby were committing more men forward now and as Blackburn counter-attacked Mauro Formica went close to curling in his side's second from 25 yards.

The equaliser arrived in the 89th minute, the energetic Bryson drilling low and forcing an impressive save low from Robinson.

Unfortunately for Rovers the ball squirmed to Robinson and he converted, via Robinson, from a tight angle.

Blackburn 0 Wolves 1: Match report

Blackburn 0 Wolves 1: Soko goal sinks Rovers as fans flock back to Ewood



16:36 GMT, 6 October 2012

Wolves striker Bakary Sako's spectacular strike 12 minutes from time ensured Blackburn's first home game of the post Steve Kean era ended in defeat.

A crowd of 17,034 was comfortably Rovers' highest of the season as hoards of disgruntled fans returned to Ewood Park to mark the end of Kean's deeply unpopular reign.

But they were subjected to a lacklustre performance as caretaker boss Eric Black stuck with the five-man defence that secured a goalless draw at Nottingham Forest in midweek, leaving forwards Jordan Rhodes and Colin Kazim-Richards to probe manfully with little service.

Take that: Wolves Bakary Sako celebrates with Anthony Forde after scoring the winning goal for his side

Take that: Wolves Bakary Sako celebrates with Anthony Forde after scoring the winning goal for his side

Match facts

Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson, Formica (Nunes 46), Grant Hanley, Murphy, Lowe (Etuhu 72), Kazim-Richards, Rhodes.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Dunn, Pedersen, Rochina, Nuno Gomes.

Wolverhampton: Ikeme, Stearman (Forde 53), Johnson, Berra, Foley, Davis (Zubar 61), Doumbia, Henry, Ward, Sako, Ebanks-Blake (Batth 87).

Subs Not Used: McCarey, Nouble, Jonsson, Margreitter.

Booked: Henry, Sako.

Goal: Sako 78.

Attendance: 17,034

Referee: Nigel Miller

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Rhodes had claims for penalties rejected in each half and his strike partner spurned Rovers' best chance shortly after Sako's magnificent long-range effort left goalkeeper Paul Robinson with no chance.

Stale Solbakken's Wolves leapfrog their opponents to go third on the back of three consecutive wins on the road, while Blackburn fall to ninth with no victory in four matches.

Wolves started the brighter of the two sides and Sako drew a fine early save from Robinson, firing a loose ball through a crowd of defenders.

Moments after a robust challenge from Karl Henry on Kazim-Richards went unpunished, Rovers had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Nigel Miller when Rhodes went to ground under the attentions of Richard Stearman.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the 19th minute, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake thudding a header against the post from Kevin Foley's cross.

Happy man: Wolves manager Stale Solbakken celebrates at the end of the game

Happy man: Wolves manager Stale Solbakken celebrates at the end of the game

Kazim-Richards almost found a vital touch at the end of Martin Olsson's teasing left-wing cross before the Blackburn striker was clattered on the knee with half an hour gone – Henry failing to escape a booking on this occasion following a heated altercation.

Rhodes' poachers instincts were on display five minutes before half-time when he collected the scraps from a goalmouth scramble to force a reaction stop from Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme.

The Scotland international striker had another penalty shout turned down early in the second half when he grappled with Roger Johnson and continued to look like Rovers' main threat despite little ammunition.

In the 51st minute Blackburn winger Fabio Nunes mishit a cross that landed on the top of the net with Ikeme scrambling.

Wolves got bodies in the way of speculative efforts from Bradley Orr, Danny Murphy and Kazim-Richards before the visitors regained the attacking impetus they showed in the first half.

Substitute Anthony Forde might have done better when he curled beyond the far post following excellent work from Sako.

In he 78th minute, Sako decided to do the work himself to glorious effect.
Blackburn only partially cleared a corner and the ball fell to the Frenchman, who took a fine first touch to engineer space and rifled a superb 25-yard effort beyond Robinson.

Rovers almost levelled moments later when Nunes produced a delicious cross that caused confusion between Ikeme and Wolves centre-back Christophe Berra, but Kazim-Richards could not direct his close-range header goalwards.

As the hosts belatedly committed men forward, Forde burst forward on the counter attack in stoppage time but blazed wide with only Robinson to beat and fellow substitute Ronald Zubar unmarked.

Blackburn 1 Middlesbrough 2: Lukasa Jutkiewicz turns screw on Steve Kean

Blackburn 1 Middlesbrough 2: Jutkiewicz turns screw as Kean fails to hit points total



20:59 GMT, 21 September 2012

Steve Kean will spend a nervous weekend sweating on his future after a Lukas Jutkiewicz double condemned his Blackburn side to a surprise defeat.

The Rovers manager was set a tough target of 16 points from the opening seven games by the club’s Indian owners Venky's and has come up two short.

The fact Blackburn have produced a table-topping total of 14 will go in his favour, but director Shebby Singh was brought in during the summer with a mandate to shake things up at the relegated club and he is not expected to extend the kind of sympathetic hearing Kean enjoyed last season.

Missed the target: Steve Kean was told he had to earn 16 points from Blackburn's first 7 games - they only got 14

Missed the target: Steve Kean was told he had to earn 16 points from Blackburn's first 7 games – they only got 14

Game over: Lukas Jutkiewicz scores the second goal

Game over: Lukas Jutkiewicz scores the second goal

Match facts

Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson (Grant Hanley 48), Ribeiro (Formica 46), Murphy, Etuhu, Nunes, Nuno Gomes, Rhodes.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Lowe, Dunn, Pedersen, Rochina.

Booked: Martin Olsson, Givet, Orr.

Goals: Grant Hanley 89.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte,
Woodgate (Hines 84), Bikey, Friend, Thomson, Carayol (Zemmama 88),
Leadbitter (Bailey 88), McEachran, Emnes, Jutkiewicz.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Ledesma, Arca, Luke Williams.

Booked: Steele.

Goals: Jutkiewicz 7, 61.

Att: 13,405

Ref: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).

Blackburn came into the game boasting their best start to a season in 18 years having gone six games unbeaten.

The last time they kicked off a
campaign so successfully they finished as Premier League champions.
Those days are long gone. Kean did have high expectations of hitting his
points target, a optimism founded partly on the fact that he possesses a
dyanmic strike force of Jordan Rhodes and Nuno Gomes.

The Portuguese was recalled here to
take on a Middlesbrough defence that shipped four goals in losing at
Blackpool on Tuesday — a third away defeat for Tony Mowbray’s men.

But Middlesbrough turned up in the
form that has seen win all four of their home games this term and were
ahead in the seventh minute.

Justin Hoyte made sure he got distance
on his clearance from inside the Boro area and 1.3m signing Jutkiewicz
rose above Gael Givet to win the ball.

He cleverly found Marvin Emnes with
his flick on and by the time the Dutchman returned a pass, Jutkiewicz
was away from the leaden-footed Givet and slotting past Paul Robinson.

Punishment: Jutkiewicz (right) celebrates his first goal

Spin: Grant Leadbitter turns away from Danny Murphy

Punishment: Jutkiewicz (right) celebrates his first goal while Spin: Grant Leadbitter dodges Danny Murphy

Minutes later keeper Robinson
misjudged Grant Leadbitter’s inswinging free-kick and was relieved to
see it fly past his post as the visitors took control.

The players left to a round of boos at
the break and things didn’t get much better in the second half. Within
seconds of the restart Mustapha Carayol’s cross was cleared off the
line but there was no denying Jutkiewicz on the hour mark.

The lively
Carayol cut in from the left and delivered the ball to the far post
where Jutkiewicz sent a header into the top corner. Grant Hanley sparked
hopes of a comeback when he headed in from six yards with two minutes
left but Blackburn failed to find an equaliser in the closing stages.

Thriller: The few fans who did show up got to see an entertaining game

Thriller: The few fans who did show up got to see an entertaining game

Blackburn 2 Barnsley 1: Match report

Blackburn 2 Barnsley 1: So, will Venky's still axe under pressure Kean



23:13 GMT, 18 September 2012

So, what happens next Blackburn are still unbeaten and still top of the Championship. But if manager Steve Kean fails to beat Middlesbrough on Friday night, he will fall short of the points target set for him by Indian owners Venky’s.

Surely, even by the bizarre goings-on in east Lancashire over the last couple of years, they wouldn’t contemplate sacking him then Not when he has got so close to that ambitious demand of 16 points from his first seven games.

Not after backing Kean by bringing in the likes of 8million record signing Jordan Rhodes, who took his tally to three goals in two games last night, and Portuguese veteran Nuno Gomes, who scored for the fourth game in a row to snatch an 85th-minute winner.

On target: Gomes came off the bench to score the winning goal

On target: Gomes came off the bench to score the winning goal

A crowd of 12,772 was a reminder that all is still not well. And when Kean was admonished on the touchline 10 minutes from time by referee Scott Mathieson for complaining that Barnsley had encroached on Danny

Murphy’s free-kick, his own supporters urged the official to send him off. But even the manager’s harshest critics struggled to put much conviction into the sporadic chants of ‘Kean out’.

Rhodes was particularly impressive in front of watching Scotland boss Craig Levein, equalising in first-half added time after former Chelsea youth product Jacob Mellis had capitalised on neat work by Martin Cranie and Chris Dagnall to fire Barnsley into a 31st-minute lead.

Rhodes to success: The 8m signing scored his third goal in as many appearances

Rhodes to success: The 8m signing scored his third goal in as many appearances


Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson, Formica (Lowe 90), Murphy, Etuhu, Pedersen (Nunes 80),
Rochina (Nuno Gomes 66), Rhodes.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Henrique, Dunn, Ribeiro.

Booked: Etuhu.

Goals: Rhodes 45, Nuno Gomes 85.

Barnsley: Alnwick, Stones (Perkins 73), Wiseman, Foster, Golbourne, Cywka, Dawson, Cranie, Mellis, Dagnall (Etuhu 70), Davies (Harewood 65).
Subs Not Used: Steele, Done, Digby, Noble-Lazarus.

Booked: Mellis.

Goals: Mellis 32.

Attendance: 12,772

Referee: Scott Mathieson

Scott Dann swung a free-kick wide on
the right towards the edge of the box, Morten Gamst Pedersen headed back
across goal and Rhodes took the ball on his chest before turning to
hook it past two defenders and goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.

For despondent Barnsley boss Keith
Hill it underlined the unfair advantage handed to Blackburn by their
48m parachute payments from the Premier League.

He said: ‘We’ve taken on the kings of Savile Row and, to a certain degree, played the better football but we can’t compete. It’s a travesty. How can you be rewarded for getting relegated

‘They’re trying to create a Premier League II and organise who gets promoted back from the Championship. If they’re going to give money away, share it equally among the Championship clubs.’

In fact, the game was won by Gomes, signed on a free this summer, after he came on as a 66th-minute substitute. There were just five minutes left when fellow Portuguese Fabio Nunes crossed from the left towards the near post and the 36-year-old tucked the ball in from close range.

‘I thought we were dreadful in the first half,’ said Kean. ‘But you look for special players to get you back in the game and that’s what they’ve done.’

Bristol City 3 Blackburn 5: Jordan Rhodes strikes in eight goal thriller

Bristol City 3 Blackburn 5: Rhodes gets off the mark as Kean's boys go top after thriller



16:45 GMT, 15 September 2012

Jordan Rhodes' first goals for Blackburn book-ended a sensational win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate and sent under-fire manager Steve Kean to the top of the npower Championship.

Kean once again had to contend with speculation over his future this week and will have been relieved to see his side claim three points they appeared to have squandered.

Albert Adomah gave City a flying start after 48 seconds but Rhodes linked up with Nuno Gomes to open his account before the half hour and returned the favour 10 minutes after half-time.

Bang bang: Jordan Rhodes struck twice for Blackburn

Bang bang: Jordan Rhodes struck twice for Blackburn


Bristol City: Heaton, Foster, Louis Carey, Fontaine, Cunningham, Adomah, Skuse, Pearson, Woolford (Anderson 84), Taylor (Davies 71), Stead (Baldock 63).

Subs Not Used: Gerken, Kilkenny, James Wilson, Elliott.

Goals: Adomah 1, Pearson 69, Baldock 83.

Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Givet (Grant Hanley 37), Dann, Markus Olsson (Martin Olsson 22), Ribeiro, Etuhu, Murphy, Pedersen, Nuno Gomes (Rochina 78), Rhodes.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Dunn, Formica, Jorge.

Goals: Rhodes 28, 90 Nuno Gomes 55, Rochina 81, Dann 90.

Att: 14,657

Ref: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).

Stephen Pearson equalised for the hosts and Sam Baldock did likewise in response to a magnificent solo effort from fellow substitute Ruben Rochina.

But centre-back Scott Dann reacted quickest to lash home when Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner dropped on the penalty spot early in stoppage time and Rhodes made hay on the counter attack as City pushed for another leveller.

Blackburn reach the summit as the Championship's only remaining undefeated team, while Derek McInnes' City follow up consecutive wins with two straight losses.

Ryan Taylor returned to the Bristol City line-up to partner former Blackburn striker Jon Stead in attack, while Richard Foster deputised for the injured Mark Wilson at right-back.

Ex-City defender Bradley Orr was included in Kean's only change, Mauro Formica making way.

The home fans were sent into raptures by a goal from their side's first attack.

Stead was allowed space down the right channel to find Adomah, whose toe poke deflected into the bottom corner.

Rhodes and Nuno Gomes linked promisingly in attack as Rovers looked to responded and the former was thwarted by City goalkeeper Tom Heaton and full-back Greg Cunningham after being set up by his strike partner.

Thump: Scott Dann strikes late on

Thump: Scott Dann strikes late on

The Scotland international improved upon those near misses in the 28th minute, capitalising upon a slip from Robins centre-back Liam Fontaine to convert Bruno Ribeiro's through ball.

Either side of the goal Kean was forced into defensive changes as Markus Olsson and Gael Givet hobbled out of the action to be replaced by Martin Olsson and Grant Hanley.

Orr produced an excellent last-ditch block to deny Stead from close range as City looked to recreate their flying start to the first period, but Rovers took the lead in the 55th minute.

Dixon Etuhu combined with the impressive Danny Murphy to feed Rhodes, who turned provider on this occasion as Nuno Gomes found a composed low finish.

Opener: Albert Adomah opens the scoring for Bristol City

Opener: Albert Adomah opens the scoring for Bristol City

Just before the hour Stead headed over from Martyn Woolford's cross with his last act, as McInnes introduced Sam Baldock.

His side were level with 20 minutes remaining as Adomah danced past Olsson and Etuhu down the right to Pearson, who swept beyond Paul Robinson into the corner.

In response Kean threw on Rochina in place of Nuno Gomes and he made an instant impact with a devastating run from inside his own half, crowned with an exquisite finish into the top corner.

But fellow substitute Baldock had the final word as the Blackburn defence stood off and allowed him ample time on the edge of the area to fire past Robinson.

Both sides pushed for the win but Rovers' extra cutting edge – 8million-worth in the case of Rhodes – proved the difference.

Martin O"Neill still chasing Steven Fletcher

O'Neill pledges to add to Sunderland squad while still chasing Wolves striker Fletcher



23:30 GMT, 17 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is refusing to give up his pursuit of Wolves striker Steven Fletcher and has vowed to bring in new faces before the closure of the transfer window.

Wolves have turned down two bids from Sunderland for the former Scotland international and O’Neill has so far refused to match the Championship club’s 15million valuation for a player, who put in a transfer request two weeks ago.

The stalemate between O’Neill and Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey has delayed the Sunderland boss’s pursuit of other targets, including Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady, Blackburn full-back Martin Olsson and loan deals with Manchester City pair James Milner and Adam Johnson.

Still searching: Martin O'Neill wants to reinforce his squad

Still searching: Martin O'Neill wants to reinforce his squad

So far only free agents Carlos Cuellar and Louis Saha have been added to the Sunderland squad which is looking for the club’s first ever win at the Emirates on Saturday, and their first league win at Arsenal since Tony Adams made his league debut 29 years ago.

But O’Neill promised Sunderland supporters he will have made significant additions by the end of this month.

He said: 'We’re exploring everything and anything you’re thinking, trust me we’re trying it. We’ll get the players in. We need to be competitive and our squad is definitely not strong enough. It’s going to be a tough old season anyway and we don’t have the strength in depth, maybe more so than other clubs, but that’s my job.

'In an ideal world it would great to get them all in. I have a number of options and I’m trying as best as I can to get the players I need and the targets I was looking at to improve the club. It’s not to say there aren’t a load of players out there or abroad that couldn’t improve us and by the end of the transfer window I hope to do that.

Hard to get: Wolves are resisting Sunderland's attempts at obtaining Steven Fletcher for less than 15million

Hard to get: Wolves are resisting Sunderland's attempts at obtaining Steven Fletcher for less than 15million

'I don’t think I’ve ever cheap-skated when it comes to buying players. I was accused some time ago of paying well over the odds for Ashley Young, and 9million was an awful lot for us to pay for a kid from Watford but I don’t mind paying over the odds here if this person is value for money. That’s fine and that’s what I’m thinking about.'

On van Persie he added: 'It’s a major loss to them, I’m not just talking about this weekend but in terms of the whole season. He’s one of the top five strikers in world football, maybe even less than that, after Messi and Ronaldo.

'They’ve obviously tried to pre-empt that knowing his position by getting other players in and even if he had stayed, I think Arsenal would have strengthened anyway.

'He’s a loss to them because of the number of goals but also his whole contribution to the team as captain. Arsenal have survived losing major players in the past, Thierry Henry for example, but they’ve got players in to replace them. It’ll be a disappointment to lose van Persie.

'I remember some weeks ago Sir Alex Fergsuon coming out and saying he wanted van Persie and they don’t usually announce that unless there’s a really good chance of it happening.'