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Not So Friendly, Friendly


Alan75
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Rovers completed their pre-season friendlies with a 4 – 0 win against Spanish club Espanyol this afternoon. Unfortunately it appeared that no one informed the Espanyol players that it was a friendly.

The La Liga side had two players booked and were reduced to nine men, after Albert Riera was dismissed for what appeared to be a blow at Paul Dickov and goalkeeper Carlos Kameni, was red carded for a foul on Matt Jansen.

With Rovers never troubled by the La Liga side, Rovers took total command following the dismissal of Riera on the half hour mark, and deservedly took the lead on 38 minutes, when Steven Reid collected a cross from Vratislav Gresko to score from close range.

Shortly before the half time whistle Rovers went further ahead, with a goal from Morten Gamst Pedersen, who’d collected a Dickov, flicked on Reid cross.

Half time 2 – 0.

Within 5 minutes of the second half kicking off, Shefki Kuqi, opened his Ewood Park account when he volleyed home a Lucas Neill cross pasted a helpless Espanyol keeper. Five minutes later Kuqi made it 4 – 0 when he delicately slipped the ball past the advancing keeper.

With around 15 minutes of the second half played Dickov made way for Matt Jansen to come on, but Jansen’s appearance was short lived after he was hacked down by Espanyol’s keeper Kameni, as Jansen attempted to round the keeper. At the time the incident looked serious, with Jansen immediately waving to the bench for assistance.

With Jansen was carried off on a stretcher, the enjoyment of a 4 – 0 win was diminished and the final whistle didn’t come soon enough for many of the Rovers fans. Fortunately the worst fears of a further major injury was dispelled after the game when both Mark Hughes and Jansen confirmed that the injury wasn’t as bad as first thought.

Final Score. Rovers 4 Espanyol 0.

Rovers Team.

Friedel, Neill (Taylor 53), Todd (Harkins 53), Mokoena, Gresko (Matteo 81), Emerton, Savage (Tugay 67) Reid, Pederson (Gray 76), Dickov (Jansen 56)(Derbyshire 65) Kuqi (Johnson 72)

Sus not used Enckelman, Flitcroft, Douglas.

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