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Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Saturday, 9 April 2011 17:02 UK

Blackburn   1 - 1   Birmingham

Dunn tackles Bowyer at Ewood Park
Birmingham's Bowyer opened the scores at Ewood Park

Blackburn came back from behind to earn a share of the spoils against fellow strugglers Birmingham at Ewood Park.

Lee Bowyer put the visitors ahead with a header from Cameron Jerome's dinked pass across the face of goal.

But Junior Hoilett equalised in first-half injury time, stealing the ball off Liam Ridgewell and beating Ben Foster before calmly slotting into the corner.

Birmingham have now taken four points from two games while Blackburn made it three draws on the bounce.

The visitors arrived at Ewood Park without a win away at Blackburn since 1968 and that record still stands, but it was the fight for Premier League survival that took precedence in this match.

Level on points but only two points off the relegation zone ahead of the match, both managers had called on their players to give their all in this crucial encounter.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean, without a win in seven games, had dubbed the matches remaining in the season run-in as cup ties.

McLeish praises Birmingham character

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish, meanwhile, wanted his side to bare their teeth and win only their third of 20 away league games.

But it was a fairly toothless affair in the opening half hour, with the game most notable for a string of nervy misplaced passes and one early Chris Samba header for Blackburn.

All that changed when Blues took the lead though, Sebastian Larsson unleashing a teasing cross into the box which Jerome prodded across goal and Bowyer headed in.

There was a hint of offside about the 34-year-old's effort but the goal stood and the game finally took off.

With noise levels rising inside Ewood Park, Roque Santa Cruz almost grabbed an equaliser for Rovers but the 29-year-old forward could only head Hoilett's cross past the post.

Kean went on the offensive after injury forced off defender Ryan Nelsen, the manager throwing on striker Jason Roberts to partner Santa Cruz at the head of the home attack.

But it was the Blackburn defence that was soon being tested as Larsson rattled the post with a fine free-kick from 20 yards out.

Blackburn players 'disappointed' - Kean

Rovers were unlucky not to get something from a frenzied spell of pressure in the Birmingham box as Roberts nodded a looping header towards Ben Foster's goal but the ball went over.

Roberts clashed heads with Blues defender Roger Johnson in the melee and Blackburn capitalised when the defender returned to the pitch after treatment seven minutes into injury time.

Liam Ridgewell, possibly distracted by Johnson's return, allowed Hoilett to nick the ball off his toes and the Canadian youngster coolly took the ball past Foster and slotted into an empty net.

Larsson brought out the best in Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson shortly after the restart, the former England man having to stretch to palm away the Swedish midfielder's smart free-kick from the edge of the area.

At the other end, Santa Cruz almost had the better of England goalkeeper Foster but he could only nod the ball on to the bar.

Birmingham had Foster to thank for keeping them in the game as the clock ticked down, the 28-year-old bravely taking the ball off Martin Olsson has he bore down on the goal.

Few clear cut chances were on show in a second half punctuated by a string of scrappy fouls and free-kicks and the game eventually fizzled out despite the high-tempo efforts of both sides.


Blackburn boss Steve Kean:

"I wanted to take a big leap today but we're taking little steps and we just have to keep chipping away.

"If all the teams around you pick up wins and you only get a point you're massively disappointed.

"But today we are probably a little bit better off than when we started.

"The atmosphere in the dressing room is really down. But we will soon come to realise that this is a good point today."

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish:

"We came back in the second half. We really could have crumbled after [the equaliser] but we had our backs to the wall.

"It was a bad moment for the player (Liam Ridgewell) but the next challenge for him was to see if he could recover from it and that's what he did.

"In the end I'm happy with the point. Larsson's free-kick crashed off the post but you can never rule Blackburn out with their long throws and some excellent footballers."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Blackburn 1-1 Birmingham FT
(HT 1-1)
  • Hoilett 45+7
  • Bowyer 32

Blackburn

Substitutes

Birmingham

Substitutes

Ref: FoyAtt: 28,426
BLACKBURN
BIRMINGHAM

Possession

  • Blackburn 51%
  • Birmingham 49%

Attempts on target

  • Blackburn 5
  • Birmingham 5

Attempts off target

  • Blackburn 10
  • Birmingham 1

Corners

  • Blackburn 8
  • Birmingham 2

Fouls

  • Blackburn 10
  • Birmingham 10
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+7:45 The referee brings the game to a close.
  • 90:00+7:31 Close range headed effort by Christopher Samba misses to the right of the target.
  • 90:00+7:09 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the outswinging corner, Cameron Jerome makes a clearance.
  • 90:00+5:41 David Dunn gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Carr. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 90:00+4:02 Craig Gardner is adjudged to have handled the ball. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 90:00+0:10 Kevin Phillips takes a shot. Blocked by Christopher Samba.
  • 88:37 Shot on goal by Brett Emerton from just inside the area goes over the target.
  • 88:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phil Jones by Cameron Jerome. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 87:51 Christopher Samba produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
  • 85:01 Brett Emerton delivers the ball.
  • 84:24 Stephen Carr concedes a free kick for a foul on Morten Gamst Pedersen. David Dunn crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing.
  • 84:24 Booking Stephen Carr goes into the book.
  • 82:24 The ball is delivered by Kevin Phillips, clearance made by Brett Emerton.
  • 81:29 Craig Gardner takes a shot. Christopher Samba gets a block in.
  • 80:35 Centre by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance by Cameron Jerome.
  • 79:32 Foul by Sebastian Larsson on Martin Olsson, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from left channel.
  • 79:32 Booking Sebastian Larsson booked for unsporting behaviour.
  • 77:35 Foul by Morten Gamst Pedersen on Sebastian Larsson, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Sebastian Larsson.
  • 76:55 Corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line to the near post, Sebastian Larsson makes a clearance.
  • 76:39 Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line to the near post, save by Ben Foster.
  • 76:31 Michel Salgado takes a shot. Blocked by Kevin Phillips.
  • 74:45 Curtis Davies concedes a free kick for a foul on Benjani Mwaruwari. Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
  • 72:25 Shot from close in by Christopher Samba misses to the left of the target.
  • 71:56 The ball is crossed by Brett Emerton.
  • 70:09 Jermaine Jones gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kevin Phillips. Ben Foster takes the direct free kick.
  • 70:09 Booking Booking for Jermaine Jones.
  • 68:51 Substitution Brett Emerton comes on in place of David Hoilett.
  • 68:03 A cross is delivered by Jason Roberts, clearance by Curtis Davies.
  • 67:21 Benjani Mwaruwari has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
  • 65:52 Unfair challenge on David Hoilett by Craig Gardner results in a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen from the free kick, save by Ben Foster.
  • 65:52 Booking Craig Gardner is cautioned.
  • 64:25 Outswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save by Ben Foster.
  • 62:31 Substitution Benjani Mwaruwari joins the action as a substitute, replacing Roque Santa Cruz.
  • 62:20 Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball.
  • 59:58 Foul by Barry Ferguson on Jermaine Jones, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 58:59 Craig Gardner is caught offside. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 55:46 David Hoilett crosses the ball, Roque Santa Cruz takes a shot.
  • 51:08 Jermaine Jones concedes a free kick for a foul on Cameron Jerome. Sebastian Larsson has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, save made by Paul Robinson.
  • 47:16 The ball is delivered by Stuart Parnaby, clearance made by Phil Jones.
  • 45:40 The ball is swung over by Michel Salgado.
  • 45:01 The second half has started.
  • 45:01 Substitution Roger Johnson leaves the field to be replaced by Curtis Davies.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+8:32 The ref blows to signal half-time.
  • 45:00+7:43 Kevin Phillips fouled by Jermaine Jones, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance by Martin Olsson.
  • 45:00+6:19 GOAL - David HoilettBlackburn 1 - 1 Birmingham David Hoilett grabs a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackburn 1-1 Birmingham.
  • 45:00+1:02 Michel Salgado takes a shot. Liam Ridgewell gets a block in.
  • 45:00+0:32 The ball is crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance by Liam Ridgewell.
  • 44:19 A cross is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • 44:13 A cross is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance by Sebastian Larsson.
  • 43:59 Morten Gamst Pedersen decides to take a short corner.
  • 43:54 David Hoilett crosses the ball, blocked by Stephen Carr.
  • 42:26 David Dunn gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Gardner. Sebastian Larsson produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
  • 41:14 David Dunn delivers the ball, Roque Santa Cruz has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.
  • 39:17 The ball is delivered by David Hoilett.
  • 36:19 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Sebastian Larsson.
  • 35:11 Lee Bowyer concedes a free kick for a foul on Michel Salgado. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 34:25 Substitution Jason Roberts is brought on as a substitute for Ryan Nelsen.
  • 33:40 The ball is swung over by David Dunn, Close range header by Roque Santa Cruz goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 31:48 Cameron Jerome provided the assist for the goal.
  • 31:48 GOAL - Lee BowyerBlackburn 0 - 1 Birmingham Lee Bowyer grabs a headed goal from close in. Blackburn 0-1 Birmingham.
  • 30:25 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line, Ben Foster makes a save.
  • 30:19 Jermaine Jones delivers the ball, blocked by Stuart Parnaby.
  • 25:40 David Hoilett handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 25:00 Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line to the near post, Stephen Carr manages to make a clearance.
  • 23:34 Craig Gardner gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Roque Santa Cruz. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 21:56 Kevin Phillips takes a shot. Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.
  • 20:49 David Hoilett gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stuart Parnaby. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 17:45 Michel Salgado fouled by Cameron Jerome, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 16:37 A cross is delivered by Kevin Phillips.
  • 15:48 Lee Bowyer fouled by David Dunn, the ref awards a free kick. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Jermaine Jones.
  • 10:17 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Phil Jones concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Ridgewell. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 10:07 A cross is delivered by Martin Olsson, clearance by Lee Bowyer.
  • 9:24 Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Jermaine Jones.
  • 7:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Carr on Morten Gamst Pedersen. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save by Ben Foster.
  • 6:27 Cameron Jerome produces a cross.
  • 4:20 The referee gives a free kick against Lee Bowyer for handball. Centre by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Christopher Samba has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 3:35 Stephen Carr crosses the ball.
  • 3:06 A cross is delivered by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Ryan Nelsen.
  • 1:39 Martin Olsson challenges Sebastian Larsson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
  • 1:39 Booking Martin Olsson receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 0:56 Jermaine Jones produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 0:00 The game kicks-off.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 9 Apr 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 32 38 69
2 Arsenal 30 30 59
3 Chelsea 31 30 58
4 Man City 31 23 56
5 Tottenham 31 8 53
6 Liverpool 31 4 45
7 Everton 32 4 44
8 Bolton 32 3 43
9 Newcastle 31 2 39
10 West Brom 32 -13 39
11 Fulham 32 1 38
12 Stoke 32 -3 38
13 Sunderland 32 -10 38
14 Blackburn 32 -12 35
15 Birmingham 31 -12 35
16 Aston Villa 31 -14 34
17 Blackpool 31 -18 33
18 West Ham 32 -18 32
19 Wolves 32 -20 32
20 Wigan 32 -23 31

see also
Saturday's football photos
09 Apr 11 |  Football
Saturday football as it happened
09 Apr 11 |  Football



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