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Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Blackburn   0 - 0   Stoke

By Oliver Brett

Blackburn's Franco di Santo and Stoke's Danny Collins tussle for possession
Franco di Santo and Stoke's Danny Collins tussle for possession

Blackburn had to settle for a point in the absence of manager Sam Allardyce.

The Rovers boss was recovering from heart surgery and his side, with Neil McDonald again acting manager, missed several chances to clinch the win.

Franco di Santo was foiled early on, while Steven Nzonzi's shot on 56 minutes rebounded off a post.

Paul Robinson was kept busy in the Blackburn goal with midfielder Dean Whitehead spurning two excellent chances to give Stoke the lead.

Despite the scoreline, this was by no means a drab affair as two teams noted more for their functional football than their aesthetic style looked determined to defy those labels.

Gael Givet and Brett Emerton recovered from their injuries to feature for the hosts, while Nzonzi also came into the side - with Jason Roberts, Vince Grella and Lars Jacobsen missing out.

Pulis pleased with improving away form

For the visitors, James Beattie and Rory Delap were on the bench alongside the back-from-suspension Abdoulaye Faye and the fit-again Glenn Whelan.

Mamady Sidibe and Liam Lawrence were in the starting line-up for Stoke.

Blackburn were the quicker of the two sides to find their rhythm, and for the second match in succession Di Santo missed an early opportunity to open the scoring.

Bursting through the offside trap he controlled Keith Andrews' pass well, but slid his shot too close to Sorensen, the Dane making a fine save with his left arm.

Though there was little craft from either side, the game served up plenty of chances, including one for the visitors before too long.

606: DEBATE
Erdles

A perfectly weighted pass from Ricardo Fuller released Whitehead, but the midfielder could not beat Robinson.

The hosts lost the influence of the in-form David Dunn after 31 minutes, Roberts filling the void left when the club's leading goalscorer limped off with a calf injury.

And it was Stoke making most of the headway now, with Robinson called to make a second important save, this time from Lawrence after the ball had somewhat fortuitously rebounded into his path off Sidibe.

Australian midfielder Grella came into the Blackburn line-up immediately after half-time after Andrews had become the club's second victim of a calf strain.

Draw a fair result - McDonald

Stoke had their best period of the match, Andy Wilkinson catching Givet napping before firing his shot wide.

Fuller was making a nuisance of himself and when he found Whitehead after a penetrating run, the striker completely fluffed an excellent opportunity.

Blackburn finally woke up from their slumber, Ryan Nelsen connecting well with a bicycle kick saved by Thomas Sorensen, before Nzonzi drove a left-footed volley on to the upright.

The visitors were not settling for a point, sending on former Blackburn player Beattie for the final 20 minutes.

Fuller remained a threat on the right, and his dangerous cross found Beattie on the edge of the six-yard box. But the striker needed a touch before shooting and yet another chance had gone begging.

In a frantic conclusion, Blackburn created plenty of dangerous openings but the final ball tended to go astray.


Neil McDonald (Blackburn):
"The boys kept on going, and were trying to win the game right up to the last minute which was good. We've said we want to make people come here and work for the points and Stoke have definitely done that.

"For us, it's definitely a point gained against a side who are very hard to beat. I spoke to Sam [Allardyce] this morning. He's gone through the operation and is fine.

"I've enjoyed the experience."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis:
"It was pretty end-to-end at times, both sides had really good chances - unfortunately for us we never took ours.

"We can defend a little bit better at times but going forward we were really a threat. Our goalkeeper had a fine game, I think Thomas [Sorensen] is as good as anyone in the league.

"I think we are a lot more cagey away from home than we were last year."


Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Blackburn 0-0 Stoke FT
(HT 0-0)

      Blackburn

      Substitutes

      Stoke

      Substitutes

      Ref: WebbAtt: 25,143
      BLACKBURN
      STOKE

      Possession

      • Blackburn 53%
      • Stoke 47%

      Attempts on target

      • Blackburn 4
      • Stoke 4

      Attempts off target

      • Blackburn 7
      • Stoke 3

      Corners

      • Blackburn 9
      • Stoke 2

      Fouls

      • Blackburn 12
      • Stoke 11
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+2:10 The referee signals the end of the game.
      • 90:00+1:21 The ball is crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Christopher Samba has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
      • 89:20 Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 89:20 Booking Andy Wilkinson goes into the referee's book.
      • 89:15 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gael Givet by Andy Wilkinson.
      • 84:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andy Wilkinson by Vincenzo Grella. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Matthew Etherington, clearance made by Vincenzo Grella.
      • 83:44 Brett Emerton crosses the ball, save by Thomas Sorensen.
      • 82:23 Substitution (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Tuncay Sanli coming on for Ricardo Fuller.
      • 81:47 Brett Emerton produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
      • 80:23 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Vincenzo Grella by Salif Diao. Shot on goal comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen from the free kick.
      • 79:47 Vincenzo Grella takes a shot. Robert Huth gets a block in.
      • 78:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Lawrence by Morten Gamst Pedersen. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
      • 77:01 James Beattie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gael Givet. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
      • 75:00 Matthew Etherington takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.
      • 74:14 Shot by James Beattie from deep inside the six-yard box clear the bar.
      • 73:52 Liam Lawrence decides to take the corner short.
      • 72:01 Effort from outside the penalty box by Brett Emerton goes wide left of the target.
      • 71:28 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line, clearance made by Robert Huth.
      • 69:29 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Liam Lawrence, Foul by James Beattie on Pascal Chimbonda, free kick awarded. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
      • 67:27 Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Thomas Sorensen.
      • 67:27 Substitution James Beattie replaces Mamady Sidibe.
      • 67:27 Foul by Liam Lawrence on Vincenzo Grella, free kick awarded.
      • 66:29 Substitution El-Hadji Diouf goes off and Morten Gamst Pedersen comes on.
      • 64:47 Ricardo Fuller concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Nzonzi. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
      • 64:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Franco Di Santo on Robert Huth. Free kick taken by Abdoulaye Faye.
      • 60:18 Thomas Sorensen takes the free kick.
      • 60:18 Booking Booking for Franco Di Santo for unsporting behaviour.
      • 60:05 Foul by Franco Di Santo on Robert Huth, free kick awarded.
      • 59:04 Free kick awarded for a foul by Vincenzo Grella on Salif Diao. Abdoulaye Faye takes the direct free kick.
      • 57:44 Franco Di Santo fouled by Salif Diao, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Brett Emerton from right channel.
      • Correction - 55:13 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf, Shot by Steven Nzonzi from inside the penalty area hits the post.
      • 55:13 Inswinging corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf from the left by-line, Shot by Steven Nzonzi from inside the penalty area bounces off the post.
      • 55:04 El-Hadji Diouf produces a cross, save by Thomas Sorensen.
      • 54:30 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by El-Hadji Diouf, clearance by Danny Collins.
      • 53:53 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf, Shot by Ryan Nelsen. Thomas Sorensen makes a save.
      • 53:11 The referee blows for offside against Ricardo Fuller. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
      • 52:37 Effort from deep inside the area by Andy Wilkinson misses to the right of the goal.
      • 51:47 Ricardo Fuller fouled by Christopher Samba, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Abdoulaye Faye.
      • 50:50 Substitution Abdoulaye Faye replaces Ryan Shawcross.
      • 49:22 Mamady Sidibe fouled by Ryan Nelsen, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Liam Lawrence.
      • 46:34 Shot from just outside the area by El-Hadji Diouf goes over the bar.
      • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
      • 45:01 Substitution Keith Andrews goes off and Vincenzo Grella comes on.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+1:04 It is the end of the first-half.
      • 38:35 Liam Lawrence takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
      • 37:38 Ryan Nelsen takes the free kick.
      • 37:38 Booking Dean Whitehead is booked.
      • 37:27 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dean Whitehead on El-Hadji Diouf.
      • 36:00 Foul by Jason Roberts on Dean Whitehead, free kick awarded. Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.
      • 35:26 Matthew Etherington concedes a free kick for a foul on Brett Emerton. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
      • 34:27 Free kick awarded for a foul by El-Hadji Diouf on Liam Lawrence. Direct free kick taken by Liam Lawrence.
      • 32:27 Corner taken right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf to the near post, clearance by Dean Whitehead.
      • 32:15 Brett Emerton produces a cross, Danny Collins gets a block in.
      • 31:03 Substitution (Blackburn) makes a substitution, with Jason Roberts coming on for David Dunn.
      • 27:05 Shot by Liam Lawrence. Save by Paul Robinson.
      • 24:44 Gael Givet produces a cross.
      • 23:29 David Dunn takes a outswinging corner.
      • 21:25 Inswinging corner taken by David Dunn, save made by Thomas Sorensen.
      • Correction - 18:36 Dean Whitehead takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
      • 18:36 Dean Whitehead takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
      • 17:07 Dean Whitehead takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
      • 16:40 David Dunn produces a cross, Dean Whitehead makes a clearance.
      • 16:12 Corner taken short by David Dunn.
      • 14:48 Shot by Christopher Samba from a long way out goes over the target.
      • 12:28 Foul by Mamady Sidibe on Keith Andrews, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Paul Robinson.
      • 11:32 David Dunn challenges Robert Huth unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thomas Sorensen takes the direct free kick.
      • 8:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Fuller by Keith Andrews. Direct free kick taken by Danny Collins.
      • 7:57 Foul by Ricardo Fuller on Steven Nzonzi, free kick awarded. Keith Andrews takes the direct free kick.
      • 6:36 Keith Andrews takes a shot. Save by Thomas Sorensen.
      • 6:21 Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Thomas Sorensen makes a save.
      • 4:57 David Dunn challenges Dean Whitehead unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Liam Lawrence.
      • 3:17 A cross is delivered by Keith Andrews, Thomas Sorensen makes a save.
      • 2:30 Ricardo Fuller handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
      • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Premier League results

      28 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

      Home Team Score Away Team Time
      Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham R
      Blackburn 0-0 Stoke R
      Fulham 1-1 Bolton R
      Man City 1-1 Hull R
      Portsmouth 1-4 Man Utd R
      West Ham 5-3 Burnley R
      Wigan 1-0 Sunderland R

      Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 28 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Chelsea 13 25 33
      2 Man Utd 14 17 31
      3 Tottenham 14 14 26
      4 Arsenal 12 21 25
      5 Aston Villa 14 8 23
      6 Man City 13 7 22
      7 Liverpool 13 9 20
      8 Sunderland 14 1 20
      9 Stoke 14 -2 20
      10 Fulham 14 2 19
      11 Burnley 14 -12 17
      12 Blackburn 14 -12 17
      13 Wigan 14 -16 17
      14 Hull 15 -14 16
      15 Birmingham 13 -3 15
      16 Everton 13 -6 15
      17 West Ham 14 -2 14
      18 Bolton 13 -11 12
      19 Wolverhampton 13 -14 10
      20 Portsmouth 14 -12 7

      see also
      Saturday football as it happened
      28 Nov 09 |  Football
      Saturday's football photos
      28 Nov 09 |  Football
      Allardyce to miss Carling Cup tie
      01 Dec 09 |  Blackburn



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