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Last Updated: Monday, 27 September, 2004, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Charlton 1-0 Blackburn
Michael Gray and Brad Friedel are unable to stop Talal El Karkouri's header
Talal El Karkouri's first goal for Charlton gave Alan Curbishley's side victory over Blackburn.

The Moroccan headed home a Danny Murphy corner early in the second half.

Blackburn had the better chances in the game with Garry Flitcoft hitting the post in the first half and also drawing a fine save from Dean Kiely later on.

A poor punch from the Charlton keeper almost gifted Blackburn an equaliser, but Kiely's blushes were spared by his defence who cleared the danger.

If El Karkouri's header ensured Charlton won the three points the Moroccan's slick distribution also caught the eye.

Just before his goal he released Kevin Lisbie with an incisive pass, a move that ended with Lisbie sending a shot just wide.

Throughout the game Blackburn created a steady procession of chances and Mark Hughes' side also looked to have a reasonable penalty appeal turned down after Hermann Hreidarsson appeared to handle a Brett Emerton cross.

Early on Blackburn's Australian duo Lucas Neill and Emerton combined well to open up the Charlton left flank and then Matt Jansen did the same on the opposite wing.

Flitcroft managed to reach Jansen's cross only for his shot to rebound off the post.

Blackburn next tried to find their way through the middle, Paul Dickov holding off a posse of Charlton defenders and testing Kiely with a curling shot.

On 12 minutes Charlton lost Francis Jeffers after the former Everton striker twisted his neck.

Perversely the loss of Jeffers, who was replaced by Jonatan Johansson, heralded a period of Charlton pressure.

Soon after coming on Johansson got on the end of a cross from Lisbie, though his shot was blocked by Dominic Matteo.

Lisbie had an impressive game for Charlton, his intelligent running giving Blackburn all sorts of problems.

Luke Young also went close with a rising drive after a Charlton corner.

Having started so promisingly Blackburn ended the first half on a more positive note, Flitcroft going close again, this time from a header.

Four minutes after the restart Charlton went ahead when El Karkouri 's downward header squirmed under Brad Friedel.

It was the defender's first goal since his 1m summer transfer from Paris St Germain.

Blackburn stormed forward in search of the equaliser and Kiely did well to tip over another Flitcroft effort.

The Charlton keeper looked less assured trying to punch a Blackburn corner clear and after the ball came back into the box from a Flitcroft shot, Kiely had to be rescued by his defenders who crowded out Lorenzo Amoruso.

As Blackburn pushed up, gaps began to appear in the defence and Freidel did superbly well to save well from Radostin Kishishev, while Lisbie should have done better with a header.

The win saw Charlton climb five places into seventh in the Premiership.


Charlton: Kiely, Young, Perry, Fortune, Hreidarsson, Stuart, Murphy, El Karkouri, Hughes (Euell 76), Lisbie, Jeffers (Johansson 12), Johansson (Kishishev 76).
Subs Not Used: Andersen, Rommedahl.

Booked: Stuart.

Goals: El Karkouri 49.

Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Amoruso, Matteo, Gray, Emerton, Ferguson, Flitcroft (Tugay 70), Jansen, Dickov, Stead (Bothroyd 70).
Subs Not Used: Enckelman, Pedersen, Johansson.

Booked: Tugay.

Att: 26,193.

Ref: S Dunn (Gloucestershire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Charlton boss Alan Curbishley


Interview: Blackburn boss Mark Hughes




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