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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2007, 19:11 GMT
Blackburn 1-2 West Ham
By John Sinnott

West Ham's Carlos Tevez and Blackburn's Christopher Samba
Samba gave Blackburn an early second-half lead
West Ham climbed off the bottom of the table after they beat Blackburn Rovers with a contentious goal.

Bobby Zamora scored West Ham's winner after the assistant referee adjuged his shot had crossed the line though television replays showed it had not.

The visitors had to come from behind after Christopher Samba powered in a header early in the second half.

Carlos Tevez led West Ham's revival, winning and scoring a penalty, while David Bentley was sent off late on.

606: DEBATE

Blackburn were furious that Brett Emerton was adjudged to have fouled Tevez to concede the penalty, while West Ham's winning goal left the home side just as flabbergasted.

Zamora's shot hit Tevez, who was in an offside position, on the line, but as the Argentine ran off to celebrate his colleague's goal, the officials concurred that the ball had gone into the net.

The win, only the second under Alan Curbishley, moved West Ham to within eight points of fourth-from-bottom Sheffield United as Blackburn's Uefa Cup hopes suffered a knock.

If Blackburn were left bewildered by the manner of Zamora's goal, Mark Hughes' side must be equally puzzled how they took nothing away from a match they had controlled until the Tevez penalty.

Much of their early success stemmed from their two wingers Bentley and Morten Gamst Pedersen.

It was a Pedersen corner that set up Samba's goal and during the first-half the Norwegian was Blackburn's most dangerous player.

He sent over a succession of crosses from the left, one of which Luke Derbyshire almost connected with at the far post.

Pedersen then flashed an ambitious shot past the post and he should have given his side when he had only Green to beat, only to dink his shot the wrong side of the post.

Soon after the restart lethal left-foot delivered a corner that gave Blackburn the lead.

Pedersen sent over the ball to the near post and Samba rose above the West Ham defence to thump a header past Green.

Green might feel his defence should have offered him more protection as Marlon Harewood got in the way of James Collins as the West Ham defender tried to track Samba's run.

It was fitting that Tevez should have equalised for West Ham given his prodigious work-rate.

The Argentine went close with a shot early on and his delicate lob created a chance for Harewood, who pulled his volley wide.

Zura Khizanishvili also defended well to block a Tevez shot.

West Ham's Argentine won the penalty by dragging the ball back, a trick that saw the Argentine upended by Emerton.

The penalty decision sparked a furious reaction from the Blackburn players, but Tevez ignored the commotion to plant the ball in the corner of the net.

Soon after West Ham were back on the attack and following a goalmouth scramble Zamora fired in that controversial winner.

Blackburn's misery was completed when Bentley was red-carded after picking up a second yellow.


  • Blackburn manager Mark Hughes:

  • "The assistant referee got key decisions wrong and we paid the penalty.

    "The penalty came from a theatrical dive and there was little contact. The second goal was cleared off the line - it was a comedy of errors by officials.

    "The assistant is human, but he has made key errors. It's a crazy situation."

  • West Ham manager Alan Curbishley:

  • "We haven't had much luck this season.

    "Whatever luck comes our way we have to take and it's not over.

    "We needed to put three points on the board. We have a lot to do and we must win our next game."


    Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Khizanishvili, Warnock, Bentley, Kerimoglu (Peter 79), Dunn, Pedersen, McCarthy, Derbyshire (Roberts 65).
    Subs Not Used: Henchoz, Gallagher, Brown.

    Sent Off: Bentley (90).

    Booked: Bentley, Emerton, Roberts, Dunn.

    Goals: Samba 47.

    West Ham: Green, Neill, Collins, Ferdinand, McCartney, Bowyer, Reo-Coker, Noble (Mullins 46), Etherington, Harewood (Zamora 56), Tevez (Boa Morte 84).
    Subs Not Used: Spector, Walker.

    Booked: Bowyer, Reo-Coker, Zamora, Ferdinand.

    Goals: Tevez 71 pen, Zamora 75.

    Att: 18,591.

    Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).

    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    17 Mar 07 |  Football


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