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- Sat, 27 Apr 2019 20:34:23 +0000: Norwich 2-1 Blackburn: Canaries promoted from Championship – as it happened - Blackburn Rovers | The Guardian
A screamer from Mario Vrancic proved decisive as Norwich clinched promotion to the Premier League with another charming performance
Paul Doyle’s match report has landed, so I’ll leave with you that. Thanks for your company and emails. Congratulations to everyone connected with Norwich City, who thoroughly deserve promotion. They are Premier League!
“Hi Rob,” says Laurence Bennett. “Are they not singing ‘Farke Life’? I wish I was there to join in, but no tickets!”
Ah yes, of course they are, and I am an idiot.
Here’s Ben Godfrey
“This is the best day of my life. We’re young and hungry and I think it shows on the pitch.”
A huge, throaty cheer went round the ground as the final whistle was blown. Daniel Farke clenched his fists in triumph before embracing his coaching staff. Some of the players are in tears; most of them are beaming; all of them are consumed with joy. Delia Smith is singing along to Parklife. It’s a lovely and rather moving scene.
Full time: Norwich 2-1 Blackburn Norwich are back where they belong.
90+4 min Two more substitutions for Norwich - Jordan Rhodes and Moritz Leitner replace Onel Hernandez and Teemu Pukki.
90+2 min Marco Stiepermann, who scored a fine first goal, walks off to a standing ovation. He’s replaced by Alex Tettey.
90+1 min The corner is half cleared to Rothwell on the edge of the area. He chests the ball down and swishes a volley over the bar. That was a chance.
90 min There will be three minutes of added time. Conway’s cross is headed behind by Godfrey for a Blackburn corner.
89 min If it stays like this, Norwich will need a point from their final match at Aston Villa to win the title.
87 min “As I said,” says Simon McMahon, “it’s not like me to shoehorn a reference to my own club into an email, but for those that might not know, Craig Conway scored twice for Dundee United in the 2010 Scottish Cup final.”
86 min Norwich have calmed the game down after that jittery spell, and they will soon be officially promoted to the Premier League. That’s when the party will really start, unless somebody puts on the floorfiller of a third goal before then.
85 min “Get the Job Done City,” says Erik Orring. “Never mind the danger!”
84 min Stiepermann is struggling. He challenged Chapman and accidentally did the splits, injuring his groin in the process.
82 min “Hi Rob,” says Charlie Robinson. “Like your earlier correspondent, Phil Withall, I also support a team aiming for promotion from the Championship this season, and I share his ambivalence regarding joining a division that could generously be described as venal. But the Premier League does have room for goodies alongside the baddies, and if Norwich can position themselves as playing feelgood football with humble goodwill, as you rightly say they have done this season, they could become the sort of team that Southampton and Swansea have been in years just past. Those of us who are tired of owners from brutal authoritarian regimes and hedge-funds are crying out for a club just like Norwich to do well in the Premier League and charm the socks off everyone. So I don’t think Phil should be too despondent yet - they could be the antidote to the shameless and charmless moral bankruptcy of our top flight.”
81 min Armstrong is booked for a hack at the superb Jamal Lewis.
79 min Chapman wins a corner for Blackburn, who are having their best spell of the half. It’s all getting a bit nervy. Norwich will be promoted no matter what, but the team and supporters want it sealed mathematically tonight so that they can celebrate accordingly.
78 min Aarons is limping after a challenge on Chapman, as is Buendia after a tackle by Rothwell.
76 min A half chance for Blackburn, with Williams heading over from the penalty spot after a flat cross from the right.
74 min Yet another missed chance for Norwich! Hernandez moves through on goal and slips the ball past Leutwiler, but Bell clears off the line. Moments later, Stiepermann’s fierce low shot is palmed away superbly by Leutwiler.
74 min Norwich are passing the clock down and are 16 minutes away from promotion. Gonzo’s Tea Room will be rocking tonight.
71 min Another Blackburn change: Bradley Dack is replaced by Harry Chapman.
70 min Hernandez skips round the outside and crosses low into the area, where Bell screws an attempted clearance behind for a corner.
68 min “Blackburn fan here half-watching half-pretending to be interested our dinner party guests’ conversation about Cavapoo breeding (no I don’t live in Blackburn anymore),” says Neal Wallace. “Norwich are a wonderful side, but spare a thought for Blackburn, who have also somehow cultivated a feel-good atmosphere out of the pits of absolute despair. Something to celebrate all round.”
66 min In other news, here’s more on Sheffield United’s ascent to the Premier League.
65 min Dack whacks a lamentable free-kick into orbit.
64 min Zimmermann is booked for taking a shortcut through the back of Brereton 22 yards from goal. It’s a fair way to the left of centre, and Bradley Dack is going to take it.
63 min Conway’s deflected cross from the left just evades the sliding Dack at the near post. Norwich are well on top but Blackburn are still a threat.
61 min Another chance for Norwich! Buendia plays a neat pass into the area for the right-back Aarons, who splatters over the bar from a tight angle.
60 min “Hi Rob,” says Ian Wilson. “It’s lovely to see how Norwich are playing this season, they’re producing wonderful approach football and scoring some great goals. I love the combination of skill, work rate, and team spirit. But bloody hell they’ve missed some chances in recent games. They create so many… should be 6-1 up in this game. But as you say, it’s great fun, and it’s uplifting to see football played this way.”
Yes, that sums it up: it’s feelgood football. Not just the way they play, but also the atmosphere around the club. There’s no entitlement or expectation, just humble goodwill. That probably sounds patronising but it’s not meant to be. They evoke a more innocent, decent time.
58 min A Blackburn change: Whatever Happened To Jack Rodwell is replaced by Craig Conway.
56 min: Hernandez hits the bar! It was another thrilling strike. McLean’s long pass out to the left gave Hernandez to isolate Bennett. He ran into the area, shifted the ball onto his right foot and blasted a spectacular shot that flew across Leutwiler and smacked off the bar.
55 min Norwich are reasonably comfortable, although a third goal would allow everyone to relax.
53 min Dack is booked for a studs-up challenge on Buendia. He got the ball but the referee felt he came through Buendia to do so.
52 min Stiepermann lopes forward and picks out a clever square pass to Buendia, whose first-time shot from 16 yards is blocked.
50 min After an excellent passing move from Blackburn, Bell’s 20-yard shot is blocked by Godfrey.
48 min “Talk about kicking a man when he’s down, Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Mr Dony is a man on the edge. I think, although I’m not sure, he supports Liverpool. And Wales. Almost as bad as being a Dundee United and Scotland fan. You know it’s not like me to shoehorn a reference to my own team into an email, but the only time Dundee United have featured in an MBM was the 2014 Scottish Cup Final v St. Johnstone when I threatened / promised to give it all up if we won. So I blame the Guardian.”
47 min Buendia almost makes it 3-1 with an improvised overhead kick that is palmed away by the sprawling Leutwiler. That was a fine effort and a smart save.
46 min Peep peep! Norwich begin the second half. Blackburn have made a change, with Ben Brereton on for the anonymous Danny Graham.
Peep peep! Norwich are on course to secure promotion tonight. They raced into a 2-0 lead through cracking long-range strikes from Marco Stiepermann and Mario Vrancic, but Lewis Travis’s precise finish brought Blackburn back into the match. See you in 10 minutes for the second half.
45 min There will be two minutes of added time.
44 min Bell shoots high and wide for Blackburn. They are still a threat, although Norwich look like they could score with every attack.
43 min “I’ve let Norwich down, I’ve let the MBM ‘community’ down, and I’ve let myself down,” says Matt Dony. “I’ve also let Morrissey down, but that doesn’t seem like a bad thing. I’ll make it up to Norwich by supporting them against most teams in the Premier League next season. Whenever I’ve seen them, they’ve been so entertaining! Oh, I suppose I’ve also let you down, Rob. But, I guess you’ve received enough emails from me in the past to know exactly how low I set the bar!”
You’ll always get a pass for your emails during the Euro 2016 semi-final.
42 min McLean drives a fine angled pass to Lewis, who moves it infield to Hernandez. He turns back onto his right foot and thwacks a fine shot that goes this far wide of the far post with Leutwiler beaten.
40 min Buendia, who looks desperate to score on today of all days, drags the ball cleverly past two defenders in the area before lashing a left-foot shot wide of the near post from a tight angle.
38 min “Morning Rob,” says Phil Withall. “I’m feeling somewhat conflicted at the moment. I’m loving the way Norwich are playing, the type of football they have served up this season has been exemplary. I also love the fact they are on the verge of winning the title. However, I find the whole concept of the Premier League repulsive. The way it has evolved into a monstrous, avaricious thing that is slowly destroying clubs in their attempts to reach it and the self-serving way it wilfully ignores the rest of football in pursuit of money just doesn’t sit well with me. I’ll enjoy this morning, if and when promotion is secured yet my jubilation will come with a major feeling of despair.”
Yeah, I know what you mean, and that’s without mentioning the inequality that makes it extremely difficult for promoted teams to finish in the top half of the Premier League, never mind achieve something memorable. Maybe promotion should be optional. No thanks, we’ll just keep enjoying life in the Championship.
36 min Buendia’s booming free-kick from the left nicks off the head of Travis and flashes just wide of the far post.
35 min Rodwell’s left-foot shot from 20 yards is blocked. Blackburn are playing well now. They were overwhelmed in the first 21 minutes, but that surprise goal from Lewis Travis has changed the mood of the game.
32 min Another reason to love Norwich: they have a lot of left-footed players. That always makes a team look more elegant. Well, it does if those players can pass the ball like Vrancic, Stiepermann, McLean and others. A team with 11 clones of Julian Dicks wouldn’t exactly be the poster boys for elegance.
29 min “Evening Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Congratulations to Norwich on their promotion to the Premiership, thoroughly deserved. As you know, I wouldn’t normally try to shoehorn a reference to my own team into an email, but Farke’s Norwich do remind me a bit of Dundee United, and one or two others. Provincial teams who have the odd great season, and occasionally get one over the big boys. Norwich and Raith Rovers spring to mind, whose fans I think will still have large canvases of the scoreboard at Bayern Munich in their living rooms ...”
I didn’t know Raith led at Bayern Munich. That’s great. Look at the team they were up against as well.
28 min Now Blackburn almost equalise! Armstrong runs at Lewis and curls a fantastic cross that somehow beats everyone in the six-yard box.
28 min “A push and a rush and the Premier League is Norwich’s!” says Matt Dony, who is so pleased with himself that I almost don’t have the heart to point out that it was ‘rush and a push’ rather than ‘push and a rush’.
27 min: Fine save by Leutwiler! This is great fun. Pukki gets round the back on the left and picks out Stiepermann, whose close-range shot is blocked by the legs of Leutwiler.
24 min “No Sky TV in my humble home, but do I care?” says Deborah Stolworthy. “No. Absolutely love to read your commentaries. You always say such kind words about the boys. OTBC!”
They make me do it. They’re the most charming, likeable team I’ve seen in many a year. I really hope they keep this team together.
Blackburn’s first attack of the match leads to a goal. Travis, found by Bell in space on the edge of the D, places a precise low shot into the bottom corner. It was hit so softly but it was accurate enough to beat the diving Krul to his left.
Seconds after Pukki somehow missed from six yards, Vrancic collected the ball 25 yards from goal. He had a look around, had another look, realised nobody was coming to challenge him and arrowed a spectacular rising drive into the far top corner. What a goal!
Pick that out!!
18 min Lenihan gets a yellow card, and it could have been worse. He miscontrolled the ball on the halfway line and was robbed by Pukki, who was about to surge through on goal when he was cynically tripped by Lenihan. You can see why Andy Madley didn’t send him off, because Williams was trying to get round to cover, but on balance I think that was a clear goalscoring opportunity and therefore should have been a red card.
16 min Buendia turns smartly and cracks a sweet shot just wide of the far post from 25 yards. He is a glorious footballer.
15 min Pukki appeals unsuccessfully for a penalty when his volley is blocked by the arm of Lenihan. That would probably have been given with VAR.
It’s a fine goal from Marco Stiepermann. Moments after Hernandez had a shot blocked after receiving a gorgeous pass from Buendia, Vrancic won possession and played the ball square to Stiepermann. He moved it onto his left foot and struck a low, left-footed drive from 25 yards that arrowed past the diving Leutwiler.
It’s been coming!
11 min I think Blackburn have had a kick, but I’d struggle to tell you much about it. It’s been so one-sided.
9 min Lewis moves down the left and slides a square pass to Hernandez, who pirouettes elegantly on the edge of the area and drives a low shot just wide of the far post.
8 min It’s a pleasure to watch this Norwich team. They pass the ball so smoothly, with lovely angles and movement off the ball. The big bad world of the Premier League will be an almighty test, but all right-thinking folk (who don’t support Ipswich) should wish them well.
6 min Norwich are playing some lovely stuff. Vrancic lifts a pass forward to Pukki, who chests it smartly into the path of Stiepermann. He moves onto the ball and sidefoots high and wide from 25 yards.
4 min Stipermann wins Norwich’s first corner, which is put behind for a second. Buendia’s inswinger is headed clear.
3 min Norwich have started confidently. Lewis’s sharp low cross is touched off by Pukki by Hernandez, who is crowded out in the area.
1 min Peep peep! Blackburn, in Cambridge blue and white halves, get the match under way. Norwich are in yellow and green.
There’s a heck of an atmosphere at Carrow Road. There’s yellow and green everywhere – flags, scarves, replica shirts, probably a bit of sick in the gents from someone who got carried away this afternoon.
It’s finished Sheffield United 2-0 Ipswich, so United will play Premier League football next season. Chapeau!
The chances of Norwich playing Brighton next season have just increased: Pascal Gross has equalised for Brighton at home to Newcastle.
In reality, Norwich have already been promoted, such is their goal-difference advantage over Leeds. They’ll be joined in the Premier League by Sheffield United, who lead Ipswich with a few minutes remaining at Bramall Lane. That result means Norwich will start tonight’s match in second place, behind Sheffield United on goal difference.
Norwich City (4-2-3-1) Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Lewis; McLean, Vrancic; Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez; Pukki.
Substitutes: McGovern, Leitner, Rhodes, Klose, Tettey, Hanley, Cantwell.
Blackburn Rovers (4-2-3-1) Leutwiler; Bennett, Lenihan, Williams, Bell; Travis, Rodwell; Armstrong, Dack, Rothwell; Graham.
Substitutes: Raya, Nyambe, Chapman, Mulgrew, Brereton, Evans, Conway.
Evening. There’s a party in NR1 tonight, and we’re all bloody well invited. It’s taken a bit longer that expected, but tonight’s the night when Norwich City should formally secure promotion to the Premier League. All they need is a point at home to mid-table Blackburn Rovers, who are in excellent form but have nothing to play for except pride, and you know what Marsellus Wallace said about that.
Norwich won’t want to sneak over the line with a fifth consecutive draw, however. They have played such gorgeous football for most of the season that they will be desperate to put on one last show for their supporters. The talismanic Emi Buendia was suspended for the last two home games, those dramatic 2-2 draws against Reading and Sheffield Wednesday. With him back in the side, Norwich should be ready to party.Continue reading...
- Sat, 27 Apr 2019 20:27:01 +0000: Mario Vrancic blasts Norwich past Blackburn and into the Premier League - Blackburn Rovers | The Guardian
Norwich confirmed their return to the Premier League with a swagger, winning here with the brio that has become the leitmotif under their German manager, Daniel Farke. They will go up as title winners if they earn a point or more next Sunday at Aston Villa. Not that Farke was thinking about that immediately after a promotion he described as “a sensation and a miracle”.
Nor was his mind on the daunting challenges that await next season. “I don’t want to be too scared so I’m not thinking about Pep Guardiola or Jürgen Klopp’s side,” he said. “Today I’m just interested in celebrating. Even if the rest of the club wants to go to bed, I will celebrate on my own.”Continue reading...
- Thu, 25 Apr 2019 09:45:46 +0000: Football quiz: how much do you know about Premier League title races? - Blackburn Rovers | The Guardian
Who ate well? Who left it late? Who won on goal difference?
Which player was mentioned by name in Kevin Keegan’s infamous "I would love it" rant during the 1995-96 run-in?
Which club has won the Premier League on goal difference?
Chelsea’s 2-0 win at Anfield in 2014 is often remembered for Steven Gerrard’s slip. Which player made his league debut for Chelsea in that game and was named man of the match (in the Guardian, at least)?
Manchester United won the first Premier League title in 1993. Who came second?
Arsenal did not lose any of their 38 league matches in the 2003-04 season. How many did they win?
Manchester City won the title in 2012 thanks to a 3-2 victory over QPR on the final day. When did Edin Dzeko and Sergio Agüero score their goals?
The 87th minute and 89th minute
The 90th minute and 93rd minute
The 92nd minute and 94th minute
The 95th minute and 98th minute
What food did Claudio Ranieri promise his Leicester players if they kept clean sheets during their run to the title in 2016?
Fish and chips
Manchester United pipped Chelsea to the title by two points in the 2007-08 season. Which player made the most league appearances for United that season?
Edwin van der Sar
Arsenal beat Everton 4-0 in May 1998 to clinch the title. Which player (who went on to become a Premier League manager) opened the scoring with an own goal?
Which club won the title even though they lost their last two games of the season?
1 and above.
2 and above.
3 and above.
Not familiar with the title race. Do you support Spurs?
5 and above.
Not familiar with the title race. Do you support Spurs?
4 and above.
Not familiar with the title race. Do you support Spurs?
6 and above.
That's an impressive score.
7 and above.
You made top four but didn't win the title
8 and above.
You made top four but didn't win the title
9 and above.
Close but you just missed out on goal difference
0 and above.
10 and above.
You are the title winner of this quizContinue reading...
- Tue, 15 Jan 2019 22:35:36 +0000: Blackburn 2-4 Newcastle: FA Cup third-round replay – as it happened - Blackburn Rovers | The Guardian
A much-changed Newcastle side survived injuries and a Blackburn fightback to earn a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup after extra time
And with that, I’m gone. Bye! Here’s Andy Hunter’s match report:
Rafa Benitez has a chat with BT Sport:
It’s a big bonus for everyone. The players were working so hard. Really pleased with the effort of everyone. The main thing I said to everyone is everyone was on the pitch giving everything, giving 100%, fighting for each other. And they did it. To win fighting and scoring four goals is better for the confidence of the players. If you win you have more confidence for the net game. The main thing now is to get three point against Cardiff.
Cal Roberts says he’s happy:
It still hasn’t sunk in yet. Just surreal. It’s what you work for, and for it to happen on a night like this, on my first start, it’s great. Playing 90 minutes and a little bit more, it’s what you work for every day.
Blackburn’s performance completely petered out in the final 15 minutes, understandably, but they did well with an under-strength side and are unfortunate to lose, when Newcastle’s first goal was a deflection and their third was offside and scored long after the first half of extra-time should have ended. They will look back at Dack’s chance in extra time, the moment when they might have taken control of the tie.
120+3 mins: And that’s it! Blackburn go out, Newcastle go into round four.
120+2 mins: A cross comes in from the right. Schar heads the ball, and Graham heads Schar. Just goes flying right through the middle of him. Both players stay down.
120+1 mins: There will be one minute of stoppage time in this half. There were three in the first! Three! I still can’t get over that.
119 mins: Newcastle fans are olé-ing their team’s every touch.
118 mins: The clock is ticking down with Newcastle having a succession of throw-ins on the left flank.
115 mins: Murphy is sent running clear on goal, but Bennett does remarkably well to catch him up inside the penalty area and then slide in from behind to win the ball without conceding a penalty. Murphy gets it back and sets up Joselu, whose attempt is saved.
114 mins: Perez flicks the ball on to Joselu, who blasts a shot goalwards, saved by Raya. He is offside, and this time the linesman spots it.
112 mins: Blackburn win a corner, which is sent towards Dack, level with the near post, but he seems to misjudge its flight and heads only air!
111 mins: The corner goes long, is headed down to Schar, and his shot on the spin flies into the side netting.
110 mins: Murphy pulls the ball back from the byline, Joselu nudges it goalwards, and Raya saves. It didn’t look to me like the ball quite crossed the line, but Newcastle get a corner anyway.
109 mins: Newcastle bring Atsu on for Ritchie, ending the evening’s substitutions.
108 mins: Now Murphy has a go from 50 yards, but Raya doesn’t spill this one.
And surely that’s sealed it! The ball is looped into the Blackburn half, with Perez in loads of space running from left to right. He carries it into the penalty area before blasting through Raya, who gets a hand to it but can’t stop it!
106 mins: The fourth half is under way!
Elsewhere in the FA Cup tonight, Sheffield Wednesday have beaten Luton 1-0, and Shrewsbury have beaten Stoke 3-2.
And that’s half-time in extra time! Blackburn should have scored, Newcastle shouldn’t have been allowed to, but it’s a funny old game, etc and so forth.
A stinging shot from distance from Schar, Raya flaps back into play and Joselu taps in! Questions to answer: 1) How were there three minutes of stoppage time at the end of that 15-minute half? 2) How did the linesman not notice how offside Joselu was?
105 mins: What a chance for Blackburn! Graham’s lovely pass into the area is nodded down to Dack, and that was a sitter! He sends the ball rolling wide from 15 yards, with only the goalkeeper in front of him.
105 mins: And Conway sends his shot into the wall. Not just into the wall, but into their shins.
104 mins: Dack is steamrollered by Longstaff, and earns his side a decent shooting chance from the free kick. Conway stands over it.
103 mins: Richie Smallwood’s race is run, and Joe Rothwell comes on for Blackburn.
102 mins: Meanwhile, Schar is holding a thigh. Newcastle’s players are literally falling apart.
100 mins: Hayden is sprayed on the left hip/buttock area with some kind of magic spray, and rises gingerly to his feet.
99 mins: Hayden is down now. I can’t remember seeing anyone having to substitute the substitute of a substitute, but that might be what Newcastle are about to do.
99 mins: Blackburn spend an age with the ball around the edge of Newcastle’s area before finally working some space for Bell, who promptly overhits his cross. Throw-in.
97 mins: Bell crosses from the left, and Nuttall heads wide from 12 yards, with Fernandez getting in his way.
94 mins: Newcastle bring on Ayoze Perez and take off Callum Roberts, scorer of their second goal.
93 mins: Remarkable goings-on in the Cup game at Stoke, where the home side were 2-0 up against Shrewsbury with 20 minutes to play and have just gone 3-2 down with 10 to go.
91 mins: I think the only person who has unequivocally enjoyed this game is Neil Warnock. It’s not been terrible, far from it, but neither side would have volunteered for extra-time pre-match.
91 mins: They’re off!
“Something about Dack’s hairdo makes me think he’s a pirate captain from a bygone era,” says Scott Bassett. “Is there a more pirate-y number in the modern game?” He looks more second-rate boy-band than pirate to me, but I can see where you’re coming from.
It’s been a game of two halves, one of which was wildly entertaining, and one of which was less so. We have two more to come.
90+4 mins: That’s it! The teams remain undivided, and we’ll have some extra time!
90+3 mins: Raya catches the corner, and then Fernandez stops him releasing the ball. The referee shows his first yellow card of the evening.
90+2 mins: Longstaff has the ball in the middle, 35 yards out, with runners right, left and centre. He can’t quite find any of them, but the ball is booted out for a corner.
90+1 mins: Conway has a shot from just inside the area, and it deflects off a defender. In the first minute an optimistic shot from a Newcastle player was sent spinning into the net in similar circumstances; this one has all its pace taken off it and rolls straight to Woodman.
90+1 mins: Into stoppage time and this has become extremely scrappy. Three minutes of it will be played.
88 mins: Longstaff’s excellent sliding challenge on Bennett on the half-way line stops a Blackburn counter-attack.
86 mins: Dack’s first shot of the evening, from 30 yards, bounces well wide.
85 mins: Temporarily at least, Blackburn have Newcastle penned into their own half. The crowd roars. They knock a 60 yard pass straight out of play.
82 mins: An error-strewn couple of minutes, which has seen very few passes find their target, ends with a Blackburn goal kick.
81 mins: Ten minutes or so remaining, and extra time looms.
80 mins: For a change, Newcastle push down the right. Ritchie produces a cross that is pure Murphy. Goal kick.
78 mins: Now Harrison Reed is injured, so Blackburn take him off and bring on Bradley Dack, their top scorer.
77 mins: Murphy takes on Reed again. This time what comes out of the Murphy tombola is a useless cross that floats straight out of play. He has switched from right flank to left in this second half, and is doing pretty well there so long as you ignore his final ball.
73 mins: Blackburn make their second change, taking off Adam Armstrong, the scorer of their first goal, and bringing on Joe Nuttall.
72 mins: Blackburn’s momentum has stalled, allowing Newcastle to take the very marginally upper hand.
70 mins: Murphy takes on Reed, inevitably wins the race, but then blasts a left-foot shot over the bar from a very acute angle.
69 mins: Newcastle win a corner, which Hayden diverts just wide of the near post.
67 mins: It looks like he got caught in the chin by a couple of Lenihan’s fingers as the Blackburn man swung his arms for leverage in attempting to win the ball.
66 mins: Blackburn win a free kick and send it towards the back of the box, where Lenihan outjumps Schar. The Newcastle defender goes down clutching his face, though, so the referee has to stop the game.
65 mins: Blackburn bring Brereton off, and Conway on.
64 mins: The ball bounces up in midfield, and Smallwood has a pretty high boot as he challenges Hayden, who goes down in apparent agony. That might have hurt, if only Smallwood had made any contact with Hayden whatsoever. Which he didn’t.
61 mins: Lenihan cleaned out Joselu a moment after he’d met the ball. Chris Sutton on BT Sport is demanding a penalty, but this falls under the Law of the Free Hit, under which a defender or goalkeeper is allowed to do absolutely whatever they want to a forward in the moment after he’s had a shot.
61 mins: Ooooh! Murphy, who is looking the most likely source of further goals for Newcastle, pulls the ball back and Joselu turns it wide at the near post.
57 mins: Lascelles goes off, with Isaac Hayden replacing him.
56 mins: Blackburn pump the ball into the area, and the ball plops off Graham’s head towards Lascelles, who can’t move to it so a Blackburn player gets there first, winning a corner. Woodman catches it, though, so no harm done (except to Lascelles).
55 mins: Lascelles is still on the pitch, and potentially getting more injured with every pace.
54 mins: What a miss! Blackburn pass the ball into the area, Lascelles’ attempt to clear only sends it looping further into the area, and Brereton volleys wastefully wide!
52 mins: Lascelles is still on the pitch, but can hardly walk. Blackburn attack down the left, but Brereton tries to dummy the cross at the near post and there’s only a defender behind him.
51 mins: Ritchie’s left-footed shot from 20 yards flies a yard or so over the bar.
49 mins: Manquillo’s lovely cross from the left seemed to be dipping towards Murphy’s pate, but Bell got his eyebrows to it first and it rolls harmlessly away.
48 mins: Blackburn play the ball down the left and Lascelles shepherds it out of play - but in his final few strides he pulls up, clutching his right hamstring. He’s only been on the pitch for two minutes!
46 mins: Newcastle have brought Lascelles on at the break, replacing Clark, who seemed to be limping at times in the first half.
46 mins: Peeeeep! They’re off! Again!
In tonight’s other FA Cup ties, it’s Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Luton, and Stoke 1-0 Shrewsbury, with Tyrese Campbell grabbing the goal.
10174 - Tyrese Campbell has scored his first ever FA Cup goal, 10174 days after father @1kevincampbell scored his first in the competition (Arsenal vs Cambridge, March 1991). Legacy.
45+2 mins: And that’s half time! Blackburn claw their way back from a two-goal deficit to go into the break level!
Bell’s lovely crossover turn befuddles a defender but his cross hits another one and goes behind. From the corner Lenihan rises highest and heads powerfully into the far corner!
44 mins: Blackburn win a free kick deep inside their own half, send it forwards and win a free kick deep inside their opponents’ half. This one is sent into the area, and then headed back out of it again.
43 mins: A rare foray forwards for Newcastle ends with Murphy’s shot deflecting behind for a corner, which is flicked on at the near post and headed clear at the far.
42 mins: There has been a total absence of notable incident in recent minutes. Blackburn are dominating possession, but are either inside their own half, or stuck on the flanks.
38 mins: Blackburn give the ball away to Murphy, who has a straightforward chance to play Joselu in with a first-time pass but overhits it, and Raya collects.
35 mins: Lenihan meets the corner with the meatiest chunk of forehead, but the ball flies high.
35 mins: Travis plays a delicious chipped pass down the right flank, and Blackburn win a corner from it.
They try something different here! A long ball is pumped up to Graham, who controls well and then finds the perfect pass for Armstrong, whose run into the area has gone entirely unnoticed, and he lifts the ball over Woodman!
32 mins: Blackburn’s main tactic appears to be passing down the left, thumping a crossfield ball to Reed on the right, and then giving it away in short order.
31 mins: Good stat, this. The Newcastle Chronicle published an article about Roberts earlier today, if you’d like to know more.
26 mins: Newcastle win a free kick just inside the centre circle, inside their own half. Schar puts it down and shoots! It’s not a bad effort, either: the ball plops onto the roof of the net, though the goalkeeper would surely have saved it had it been on target. And the ball was moving anyway, so the free kick has to be retaken.
23 mins: Murphy looked offside when the ball was first played through to him there.
22 mins: Murphy is released on the right, beats Nyambe for pace and blasts the ball at the near post. Raya pushes the shot away but Murphy gets it back, centres and Roberts volleys in!
Cal Roberts, making his first start for Newcastle, doubles his side’s lead!
20 mins: Danny Graham, who is looking dangerous, nods down to Smallwood, whose shot from the edge of the area deflects to safety.
19 mins: The human one, obviously.
18 mins: I can only assume that the very loud single voice the TV microphones are picking up belongs to Tony Mowbray. He sounds like a contestant on One Man and his Dog.
15 mins: Graham misses from close range! While offside! The ball is chipped over the defence and he controls on his thigh and then prods across goal and beyond the far post. It was a very marginal offside call, but the linesman got it right.
14 mins: Murphy runs down the left, stops as he nears the byline and passes back to Ritchie, whose low shot is saved at the near post.
9 mins: “I’m merely writing to note how much I like Blackburn’s crest,” says Matt Burtz. “I think the single red rose is magnificent. That is all.” I quite like Newcastle’s. Funny seahorses that are half actual horse? Yes please.
6 mins: Smallwood loses the ball to Longstaff in midfield. This is an excellent clash of names.
5 mins: Lots of space in the stands. I think the coldest I have ever been was at Ewood Park one January, many moons ago. Apparently it’s pretty mild tonight, so that’s that excuse out.
2 mins: Longstaff collected a pass about 30 yards out and with his back to goal, bang in the middle of the pitch. He controlled, turned, took a touch and then another (not much by way of closing down here) and then finally shot towards the right side of goal. The ball hit Bell and flew right into the opposite corner, with Raya totally stranded. There were 57 seconds on the clock.
A shot from range, a massive deflection and Newcastle have the lead!
1 min: It’s on! Newcastle take the kick-off, roll the ball back to a defender, and he passes it straight into touch. The only way is up.
Right, all preambles and preparations are complete. Brace for football!
The players are on their way out of the tunnel!
I will not mention the B word, but if you’d like news of the evening’s first comprehensive defeat, there’s this:
Here’s some snippets from the two managers. First, Rafa Benitez:
Always to win is good because it gives you more confidence. We will try to do our best today and try to come through. You know our list of injuries. We have to manage with the squad that we have, but at the same time I’m confident we can go through. The players know each other really well, they know what we want. We’ve approached the game the same as always.
We’ve got a bit of illness, varying degrees of illness. A player left our hotel on Saturday morning because we didn’t want him to pass on his virus, but it looks like one or two have picked up what he had. We’ve got a couple on our bench who aren’t feeling 100%. The big issue is our defence. It’s a problem for us but we’ll give it our best shot tonight. It’s a good challenge for us, a good test against a Premier League side. I know they’ve made changes but they’ve still got a few players that cost a few quid.
Apparently Blackburn’s changes are down to an outbreak of illness.
“Is it not typical of the current increasing disrespect of the FA Cup that BBC 5 Live are currently covering some ‘meaningful vote’ rather than the far more important task of a proper build up of this fascinating Third Round tie? The game has gone,” rages Jonathan Denness. Meaningful vote? Is it the X Factor final?
Thinking about the team changes for tonight’s game, I wonder why some clubs enter the competition at all (and I’m not only, or even mainly, thinking of Newcastle or Blackburn here). I don’t think entry into the FA Cup is automatic: every club must apply for their place. It’s not even free: it costs £75 to do so. Why bother, if you’re only going to make 10 changes and get knocked out at the earliest opportunity? And when was the last time a top-level club chose not to play in it?
Here’s the Press Association’s take on the teams:
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez made eight changes to his starting line-up for the FA Cup third-round replay against Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Matt Ritchie, Sean Longstaff and Ciaran Clark were the only survivors from the team that had started Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League loss at Chelsea. Winger Callum Roberts was handed his first Newcastle appearance since making his debut in January 2015.
Some random pre-match reading for you. Nothing to do with this game, either team or the FA Cup, but I wrote it and here it is:
That is, I believe, five changes for Blackburn, eight for Newcastle.
Team news is in, and this is it:
Blackburn: Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Travis, Bell, Bennett, Reed, Smallwood, Armstrong, Brereton, Graham. Subs: Rothwell, Leutwiler, Dack, Nuttall, Conway, Butterworth, Grayson.
Newcastle: Woodman, Sterry, Fernandez, Schar, Clark, Manquillo, Ritchie, Longstaff, Roberts, Murphy, Joselu. Subs: Lascelles, Rondon, Hayden, Perez, Yedlin, Harker, Atsu.
Referee: Lee Probert.
“We just have to prepare ourselves for everything in this game because we are not sure on what is coming,” said Blackburn’s Tony Mowbray about tonight’s test. With Newcastle having changed , eight players and a formation for the first meeting at St James’ Park, nobody but Rafa Benítez and his team knows what kind of side he is likely to put out tonight. “It will be the same idea,” said the Spaniard. “We will look to protect some players and provide some balance. We will try to find the balance with those who played the other day and those who will give us fresh legs.”
Newcastle play Cardiff at home on Saturday, an enormously important game for the Premier League’s 18th-placed side, particularly as they have lost to Manchester United and Chelsea in their last two league games and face Manchester City and Tottenham after Neil Warnock’s men. Their focus will surely be on maximising their chances of taking three points from that fixture. “If it was my decision, you might want to win a game and go into Cardiff at home on the back of a win with your centre forward scoring a goal and keeping a clean sheet,” said Mowbray. “Or you might send the kids and not worry about the result and focus on trying to beat Cardiff.”Continue reading...
- Tue, 15 Jan 2019 22:33:14 +0000: Newcastle see off Blackburn with Joselu and Ayoze Pérez extra-time flourish - Blackburn Rovers | The Guardian
In word and deed Rafael Benítez gives the impression the FA Cup is a competition Newcastle can do without. His players’ commitment to victory at Blackburn suggested otherwise. The Premier League strugglers lost a two goal lead and two central defenders to injury before securing their place in round four with a spirited, clinical performance at Ewood Park.
Newcastle were taken to extra time – an exertion both managers would rather have avoided – by Tony Mowbray’s determined Championship side as Adam Armstrong and Darragh Lenihan cancelled out an early advantage provided by two academy graduates. The visitors then lost Ciaran Clark plus his replacement, Jamaal Lascelles, to injury before extra-time goals from Joselu and Ayoze Pérez brought merited reward plus a welcome shot of confidence.Continue reading...
Historical Transfer News and Team Gossip has been archived below:
- Fri, 24 May 2019 16:13:00 +0000: Keep your card! - Blackburn Rovers News
The club would like to remind all Season Ticket holders to keep hold of their Season Ticket card, all existing cards will be reactivated, upon renewal, for the 2019-20 season.
- Fri, 24 May 2019 13:30:00 +0000: Our Pride, Our Passion, Our Rovers! - Blackburn Rovers News
Season Tickets for the 2019-20 campaign are on sale now!
As eyes start to turn to next season, Rovers are delighted to announce that Season Tickets for the 2019-20 Championship campaign are on sale now.
- Fri, 24 May 2019 10:57:00 +0000: A big summer ahead - Blackburn Rovers News
It promises to be a busy summer for Darragh Lenihan - both on and off the pitch
Summer time is an opportunity to relax for most, but Darragh Lenihan is set for a busy next couple of months!
- Fri, 24 May 2019 09:20:15 +0000: Chapman keen to develop further under Mowbray - Blackburn Rovers News
“Even when I was back at Middlesbrough, the support from the Rovers fans on social media was overwhelming"
Harry Chapman has thanked the Rovers supporters for their backing since returning from Middlesbrough, and is keen to continue developing under boss Tony Mowbray.
- Thu, 23 May 2019 15:34:00 +0000: I'm ready to fight for a first team spot - Blackburn Rovers News
Tyler Magloire reflects on his breakthrough campaign and is targeting a place in Tony Mowbray's squad in pre-season
Tyler Magloire says the 2018-19 season has been one he'll never forget, but insists he won't be resting on his laurels.
Newly relegated Blackburn Rovers have now resigned themselves to loosing many of their top players in the closed season due to their unsuccessful season just gone which will break the hearts of many of their supporters. One of the first players who will make an exit from Ewood Park is French midfielder Steven N`Zonzi who look set to return to the premier league as their are now a number of clubs battling for the players signature.
On a plus note the side from the north have many targets on their scope for the new season as Steve Kean looks to bolster his squad options with the first of these to be signed being the Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes. The influential striker has just signed a two year deal to take him to Ewood Park on a free transfer as he was released from his previous side Braga at the end of the season.
Another two players who have been signed by kean so far are Danny Murphy and Leon Best who have recently both signed lucrative deals to help the side retake their position in the top flight of English football. Both players arrived on free transfers which is always a bonus for clubs and bring with them a wealth of experience.
Want away winger Junior Hoilett is another player who is close to leaving the club this summer as he is on the verge of a move to German side Borussia Monchengladbach. The player is also said to have held talks with many of the premier leagues top clubs but it look for than likely that the player will look for pastures new in on of Europe’s top leagues. The twenty two year old has just been seen to fly out to Germany to seal this deal so barring a disaster you will see him in the colours of Monchengladbach next season.
Finally rover have also been involved in arranging the transfer of up and coming Ipswich goal keeper Scott Loach who has been on Keans radar for some time and are now looking to hijack an approach from Watford. The young keeper is thought to be the perfect player for Kean to rebuild from the back and it is believe that Loach is very keen on a move up north.