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[Archived] News Article -> 2012/13 Full-Time: Crystal Palace 2 Rovers 0

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Henning Berg's first match in charge of Blackburn Rovers has ended in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace. Rovers were never really in the match and, despite the fact that the away side hit the woodwork twice, can consider themselves lucky to have only lost by two goals.

Palace started brightly and controlled possession, troubling Rovers with their pace and width and it was their fine wide play that nearly saw them take the lead only minutes into the match, but Robinson produced a good save to deny Delaney. Despite the home side's dominance, Rovers nearly went ahead when Pedersen's corner was powerfully met by Etuhu, but the midfielder's header came back off the crossbar.

The reprieve appeared to spur Palace on and they then hit the woodwork themselves when Zaha's cross was headed onto the post by Bolasie. Zaha's pace and trickery made him a constant threat to the Rovers back four and, on the basis of today's performance, it is clear to see why he is wanted by several Premier League clubs.

It looked as though Rovers would go into the half-time level, but just in first-half injury time a sloppy piece of defending from Dann allowed Murray to beat him to a cross and head in off the underside of the crossbar.

Palace nearly doubled their lead just after the restart, but Hanley did extremely well to cut out Zaha's cross as the home side continued to control the match. Murphy and Etuhu were being over-run in midfield and it wasn't until well into the second half that Rovers forced Speroni into his first real save of the match, with Pedersen's effort going close to putting Rovers on level terms.

Palace eventually doubled their advantage when Murray went down under Hanley's challenge. There appeared to be little contact, but Murray picked himself up and sent Robinson the wrong way to grab his second goal of the match. He was then handed the ideal opportunity to complete his hat-trick when Palace were awarded another penalty, this time for Henley's challenge on Bolasie, but this time Robinson guessed the right way and produced a fine double-save to keep Rovers in the match.

Berg threw on Rochina, Formica and Vukcevic in an attempt to produce some sort of an attacking spark, but Rovers simply couldn't keep possession and were unable to mount any sustained pressure on the Palace goal. Rochina nearly gave Rovers hope when his left-footed effort thundered back off the post after a well-worked short corner, but in reality it was too little, too late and Palace held out to collect the three points.

Rovers are now 5 points off the automatic promotion places and fall to 8 points behind league leaders Cardiff if the Welsh side win their match later this afternoon.

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