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banner Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 14:48 GMT
Blackburn dispatch Barnsley
Corrado Grabbi opened the scoring against Barnsley
Grabbi scored only his second goal for Blackburn
Blackburn 3-1 Barnsley
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Blackburn had little difficulty overcoming Barnsley despite fielding an under-strength side in their FA Cup third-round clash, and a trip to Millwall awaits in the next round.

Corrado Grabbi put Rovers ahead after half an hour with a sharp finish from near the penalty spot, and skipper David Dunn doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time with a penalty.

  Match details
30 mins: Grabbi opens the scoring for Rovers
45 mins: Blackburn skipper Dunn scores from the penalty spot
48 mins: Johansson makes the game safe with a free header
65 mins: Dyer gets a consolation for Barnsley
When Nils-Eric Johansson headed a third three minutes after the break, the match was effectively over.

Despite a deflected strike from Bruce Dyer in the 65th minute and a few half-chances in the closing stages, Barnsley never looked like staging a dramatic comeback.

Blackburn boss Graeme Souness decided to rest Matt Jansen and leave Damien Duff, Craig Hignett, Brad Friedel and Tugay on the bench, while Andy Cole was ineligible.

Souness opted to start with Grabbi and Mark Hughes in attack, and it was the veteran former Manchester United striker who proved the most influential player in the early stages.

We needed to keep some players fresh - we thought we could do that tonight and it turned out we got it right
Blackburn boss Graeme Souness
Grabbi wasted a good chance in the fifth minute before Hughes fired in a dangerous shot from the edge of the box a minute later, which Kevin Miller did well to stop.

It was 20 minutes before Barnsley managed a significant attack, and it was another veteran frontman who went close.

Mike Sheron turned and volleyed a Dave Mulligan cross from the edge of the area and Alan Kelly was only just able to tip it around the post.

Blackburn skipper David Dunn got the vital second goal
David Dunn made no mistake from the spot
The miss proved costly 10 minutes later when Grabbi broke the deadlock after Hughes and Lucas Neill combined well down the left.

The decisive period in the match came on either side of the interval.

Sheron missed a golden chance to equalise for Barnsley when one-on-one with the keeper in the 37th minute.

And with the half-time whistle about to blow, Chris Morgan effectively ended the visitors' hopes by needlessly bringing down Neill in the box, allowing David Dunn to score from the spot.

We gave people too much time and did not mark the men that they should have been marking
Barnsley manager Steve Parkin
A good start to the second half from Barnsley saw Chris Barker miss with a free header from six yards out, only seconds after the break.

But again the Premiership outfit were quick to take advantage, going three goals clear in the 53rd minute when Johansson was left unmarked at a free-kick to head home.

Barnsley managed to get on the scoresheet when the tireless Dyer saw his long-range effort deflected over Kelly.

But in the remaining 25 minutes the Tykes could only manage a couple of good efforts from substitute Lee Jones - and Blackburn ended the game in complete control.

Blackburn: Kelly, Curtis, Taylor, Johansson, Neill, Johnson (Tugay 77), Mahon, Dunn, Gillespie (Hignett 24), Hughes, Grabbi. Subs Not Used: Bjornebye, Duff, Friedel.

Booked: Gillespie.

Barnsley: Miller, Mulligan, Chettle, Morgan, Barker, Donovan (Christie 63), Ward (Sand 75), Neil, Barnard, Dyer, Sheron (Lee Jones 79). Subs Not Used: Regan, Marriott.

Booked: Donovan, Neil, Ward.

Att: 10,203

Ref: P Dowd (Stoke-on-Trent).

BBC Sport's John Murray
"Not a sniff of an upset"
Blackburn boss Graeme Souness
"We were guilty tonight of a little showboating"
Blackburn striker Mark Hughes
"It was an enjoyable match"
Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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