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Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Monday, 18 October 2010 21:56 UK

Blackburn   0 - 0   Sunderland

Boudewijn Zenden
Conditions at Ewood Park made life difficult for the players

By Jamie Lillywhite

Blackburn salvaged a point against Sunderland despite playing more than half the match with 10 men following the dismissal of defender Chris Samba.

In first-half added time Samba slipped, and having been dispossessed by Danny Welbeck, hauled down the striker on the edge of the area and was sent off.

Earlier, on a wet night, Darren Bent went clean through but his effort was blocked by the agile Paul Robinson.

Bent headed straight at Robinson late on but Rovers deservedly earned a draw.

Prospects for a high-scoring encounter were not good, with only 22 goals between the teams in 14 previous Premier League meetings, and both sides mustering seven apiece in their opening eight games.

Torrential rain sweeping across Ewood Park suggested otherwise, as did the inclusion of Bent, scorer of more than half of Sunderland's Premier League goals since his arrival from Tottenham in the summer of 2009, and declared fit after the groin injury that kept him out of the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.

Given the congested bottom half of the table either struggling side could have risen as high as seventh with a victory but there were few efforts on target.

Morten Gamst Pedersen, direct from a free-kick on the right flank, almost surprised Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland goal but the Belgian, preferred to fit-again Scottish international Craig Gordon, tipped over the bar.

Midway through the opening period a slip from Gael Givet allowed Bent to bear down on goal from his shot from 15 yards was smothered by Robinson.

Then in first-half stoppage time there was another stumble from a Blackburn defender, this time Samba, and it resulted in a red card.

606: DEBATE
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Following the much-fabled attack on the physical nature of Blackburn, among other clubs, from Fulham's Danny Murphy it was not a malicious challenge from the Congolese centre-half, he merely lost his footing on the slippery turf and dragged down Welbeck after the on-loan Manchester United striker seized upon the opportunity to pounce.

Referee Lee Probert, having consulted his linesman, correctly applied the letter of the law in dismissing the giant Samba, and was also right to award a free-kick on the edge of the area where the first contact was made, but Blackburn suffered no further loss as the resulting set piece was blocked by the wall and Bent dragged an effort resulting from the loose ball a yard wide.

After the break Bent, looking short of match sharpness, headed an inviting right-wing cross from Ahmed Elmohamady badly wide, and with a mistake looking increasingly likely to settle the contest Mignolet fumbled a long ball and was relieved to see Titus Bramble hack clear.

Bent was again in the thick of the action when he latched on to a loose ball and Robinson needed to time his sliding tackle to perfection, but the astute Steed Malbranque was quick to collect and lobbed a delicate effort narrowly off target.

Sunderland's record £13m signing Asamoah Gyan was introduced midway through the half and headed an early half chance over.

Understandably attacking options were more limited for Blackburn following the loss of Samba but they substitute Benjani should have done better with a shot on the turn that sailed high, wide and not at all handsome.

As the game continued to fluctuate Robinson needed to be at full stretch to keep out a fine 20-yard curling effort from Gyan, while substitute Boudewijn Zenden fizzed a drive narrowly wide and Bent should have given the goalkeeper more of a test from only six yards out as Sunderland finished strongly.


Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce: "It feels like a win for us.

"There wasn't much going on between both sides in the first half, there were only half chances apart from Bent going clean through. Paul Robinson pulled off a very, very good save. That, we felt, was the turning point.

"The other turning point was the sending off. We can't criticise the referee for that because he's through on goal, I'm just thankful that the assistant referee got it right that it was outside the box when he could easily have given a penalty.

The re-organisation at half-time worked exceptionally well for us and we limited Sunderland to very few chances indeed. It was a great point in the end."

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce: "We can't keep relying on Benty to score us a goal and that was a bit evident tonight. Normally he might have taken two or three chances - that's what he's been doing for us for the last 18 months - but we've got to contribute and come up with some goals from somewhere else.

"It was frustrating - we've had enough attempts on goal but really we should be taking one of the chances we created.

"Blackburn were arguably better with 10. It was an even contest up until then. We've created enough chances. On another day we'd take one of them. Unfortunately that is our Achilles heel.

"There were a lot of positive points. We are young, we are a bit naive, we were a bit naïve with 10-15 minutes to go. We tried to force things a little bit too early but the signs are good."

Live text and stats

 

Monday, 18 October 2010

Premier League

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

      Blackburn

      Substitutes

      Sunderland

      Substitutes

      Ref: ProbertAtt: 21,894
      BLACKBURN
      SUNDERLAND

      Possession

      • Blackburn 50%
      • Sunderland 50%

      Attempts on target

      • Blackburn 3
      • Sunderland 7

      Attempts off target

      • Blackburn 6
      • Sunderland 9

      Corners

      • Blackburn 5
      • Sunderland 3

      Fouls

      • Blackburn 12
      • Sunderland 11
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+3:21 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
      • 90:00+2:19 Shot from a long way out by Phillip Bardsley goes wide of the left-hand post.
      • 90:00+1:31 Corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Darren Bent.
      • 88:40 Unfair challenge on Titus Bramble by Steven Nzonzi results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
      • 87:08 Darren Bent takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
      • 85:53 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Boudewijn Zenden misses to the left of the target.
      • 85:20 David Dunn has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.
      • 84:21 Unfair challenge on Martin Olsson by Titus Bramble results in a free kick. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 83:27 Unfair challenge on Phillip Bardsley by David Dunn results in a free kick. Jordan Henderson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 82:09 Ahmed Elmohamady decides to take the corner short.
      • 82:00 Asamoah Gyan takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
      • 81:43 Mame Diouf has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
      • 81:28 Boudewijn Zenden takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
      • 80:16 Substitution Mame Diouf is brought on as a substitute for Benjani Mwaruwari.
      • 79:38 Darren Bent is ruled offside. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 77:12 Lee Cattermole is penalised for a handball. Indirect free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
      • 76:06 Titus Bramble takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.
      • 75:43 Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Steven Nzonzi gets a block in.
      • 74:43 Substitution Boudewijn Zenden comes on in place of Steed Malbranque.
      • 74:43 Ahmed Elmohamady takes a outswinging corner.
      • 73:12 The offside flag is raised against Benjani Mwaruwari. Titus Bramble takes the indirect free kick.
      • 72:42 Effort from inside the area by Benjani Mwaruwari misses to the right of the goal.
      • 71:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Asamoah Gyan on Phil Jones. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 71:13 Benjani Mwaruwari is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
      • 70:58 The ball is swung over by Jordan Henderson, save made by Paul Robinson.
      • 69:13 Asamoah Gyan is caught offside. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
      • 68:31 The ball is sent over by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Simon Mignolet makes a save.
      • 66:53 Darren Bent concedes a free kick for a foul on Phil Jones. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
      • 66:12 Header from deep inside the penalty area by Asamoah Gyan goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
      • 64:33 Shot from just outside the box by Steed Malbranque goes over the bar.
      • 64:07 Substitution David Dunn comes on in place of Michel Salgado.
      • 63:42 Substitution Benjani Mwaruwari comes on in place of Nikola Kalinic.
      • 63:14 Substitution Asamoah Gyan comes on in place of Nedum Onuoha.
      • 58:31 Danny Welbeck is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
      • 54:18 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 53:36 Unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen by Steed Malbranque results in a free kick. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 53:08 Brett Emerton produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.
      • 52:03 Close range headed effort by Darren Bent misses to the right of the target.
      • 50:31 Ahmed Elmohamady delivers the ball.
      • 49:13 Shot by Martin Olsson from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.
      • 47:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Olsson on Steed Malbranque. Strike on goal comes in from Darren Bent from the free kick.
      • 45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+5:23 The players leave the pitch at half time.
      • 45:00+4:21 Darren Bent produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.
      • 45:00+4:12 Phillip Bardsley takes a shot.
      • 45:00+2:15 Sent off Christopher Samba sent off.
      • 45:00+1:26 Christopher Samba challenges Danny Welbeck unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jordan Henderson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 44:48 Christopher Samba concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Welbeck. Direct free kick taken by Danny Welbeck.
      • 43:29 Booking Ahmed Elmohamady shown a yellow card.
      • 43:12 Ahmed Elmohamady concedes a free kick for a foul on Gael Givet. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 42:41 Foul by Nikola Kalinic on Michael Turner, free kick awarded. Michael Turner takes the free kick.
      • 41:23 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phillip Bardsley by El-Hadji Diouf. Phillip Bardsley takes the direct free kick.
      • 39:06 Michel Salgado concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Welbeck. Free kick taken by Phillip Bardsley.
      • 35:23 El-Hadji Diouf is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Simon Mignolet takes the free kick.
      • 33:46 Nedum Onuoha gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Phil Jones. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
      • 33:34 Centre by Ahmed Elmohamady, Christopher Samba makes a clearance.
      • 32:15 Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Nikola Kalinic misses to the right of the target.
      • 29:36 Jordan Henderson concedes a free kick for a foul on Michel Salgado. Morten Gamst Pedersen delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 27:01 Booking Booking for Nikola Kalinic for unsporting behaviour.
      • 26:46 Foul by Nikola Kalinic on Michael Turner, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
      • 25:55 Nikola Kalinic takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 24:31 Outswinging corner taken by Jordan Henderson, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.
      • 24:20 Darren Bent takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
      • 23:19 El-Hadji Diouf fouled by Michael Turner, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
      • 21:58 Centre by Ahmed Elmohamady.
      • 21:08 Martin Olsson fouled by Ahmed Elmohamady, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
      • 20:51 Nikola Kalinic takes a shot. Titus Bramble gets a block in.
      • 20:13 Effort from deep inside the area by Danny Welbeck misses to the left of the target.
      • 19:16 The official flags Nikola Kalinic offside. Simon Mignolet takes the indirect free kick.
      • 16:54 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Christopher Samba challenges Simon Mignolet unfairly and gives away a free kick. Simon Mignolet takes the free kick.
      • 16:43 El-Hadji Diouf sends in a cross, Jordan Henderson makes a clearance.
      • 15:50 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen played to the near post, save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 15:24 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Lee Cattermole makes a clearance.
      • 14:32 Foul by Phillip Bardsley on Nikola Kalinic, free kick awarded. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen, Simon Mignolet makes a save.
      • 13:27 Titus Bramble concedes a free kick for a foul on Nikola Kalinic. Direct free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
      • 11:49 Booking Booking for Brett Emerton for unsporting behaviour.
      • 11:21 Brett Emerton challenges Phillip Bardsley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.
      • 9:00 The assistant referee signals for offside against Steven Nzonzi. Indirect free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
      • 8:26 The referee gives a free kick against Lee Cattermole for handball. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the free kick.
      • 7:05 El-Hadji Diouf sends in a cross, clearance made by Phillip Bardsley.
      • 6:28 Ahmed Elmohamady produces a right-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.
      • 4:07 Phil Jones concedes a free kick for a foul on Phillip Bardsley. Jordan Henderson crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing.
      • 3:08 El-Hadji Diouf crosses the ball, clearance by Titus Bramble.
      • 1:55 Nikola Kalinic is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
      • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.




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      Premier League results

      18 Oct 2010 23:59 UK


      Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 18 Oct 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Chelsea 8 21 19
      2 Man City 8 7 17
      3 Arsenal 8 8 14
      4 Man Utd 8 7 14
      5 Tottenham 8 3 14
      6 West Brom 8 -3 12
      7 Bolton 8 0 11
      8 Aston Villa 8 -3 11
      9 Stoke 8 -2 10
      10 Blackpool 8 -5 10
      11 Everton 8 1 9
      12 Fulham 8 0 9
      13 Sunderland 8 0 9
      14 Blackburn 8 -1 9
      15 Wigan 8 -9 9
      16 Newcastle 8 0 8
      17 Birmingham 8 -4 7
      18 Wolves 8 -5 6
      19 Liverpool 8 -6 6
      20 West Ham 8 -9 6

      see also
      Blackburn v Sunderland as it happened
      18 Oct 10 |  Football



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