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[Archived] News Article -> 2012/13 FA Cup Match Report: Derby County 0 Rovers 3

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FA Cup 4th Round

Derby County(0) 0 – 3 (1)Blackburn Rovers

Kazim-Richards 44, Dann 66,

Rhodes 71

Referee: S. Attwell Attendance: 14,013

The Rovers kept their season alive with a very professional display against Derby County at Pride Park. The home side were totally outplayed as the Rovers romped to an impressive win in front of a large and vocal travelling army of supporters. Whilst Venky's and Shebby Singh came in for a verbal blasting from the fans, the supporters were quick to sing the praises of Michael Appleton, who seems to have won them over with his honest assessment of the situation at Ewood Park. Certainly the players seemed to respond to the new manager and showed a willingness to work for the cause in what was an impressive "team" effort.

With Todd Kane cup-tied, having previously turned out for Preston North End in the competition during his loan spell at Deepdale, Jason Lowe was switched to right-back, whilst Morten Gamst Pedersen moved into the centre of midfield. Joshua King, who had recovered from injury, stepped into the right-wing spot vacated by Pedersen.

It was Pedersen who almost created an opening in the seventh minute when he whipped in a dangerous cross which Scott Dann couldn't quite connect with and the ball flew narrowly wide of goal.

In the next minute the Rovers suffered a blow when King pulled up with what appeared to be the same hamstring injury which has kept him out over the past few games. He immediately signalled to be subbed and was replaced by Ruben Rochina.

The game was fairly even as both sides probed for openings but without much success. The Rovers looked dangerous from set-pieces with Pedersen delivering some excellent crosses from corners and his fierce drive from a free-kick almost caught out Adam Legzdins in the Derby goal.

The home side posed little in the way of threat on the Rovers goal with Scott Dann and Grant Hanley snuffing out any danger, while Jason Lowe and Martin Olsson were able to get forward and support the attack. When Derby did enjoy spells of possession, they struggled to create an end product, although Conor Sammon might have done better with a shot on the turn, but the ball flew well wide of Jake Kean's goal.

The Rovers took the lead on the brink of half-time when Jason Lowe played a long ball forward which Jordan Rhodes allowed to run on. Colin Kazim-Richards seized his moment and, as Richard Keogh hesitated, Kazim-Richards muscled his way past him and took the ball into the area before blasting it past Legzdins into the back of the net. It was an excellent finish and just reward for the hardworking Kazim-Richards.

Young Jake Kean almost blotted his copybook early in the second half when he wandered too far from goal but somehow managed to extricate himself from what looked like a major blunder.

However, but for this momentary lapse the Rovers never really looked in danger of surrendering their lead in the second half. Rochina, who was his usual mixture of good and bad, fired a shot narrowly wide and also forced Legzdins into making a decent save to keep out another effort. In between, the Rovers had the ball in the net thanks to Markus Olsson, but a flag ruled it out as Jordan Rhodes was deemed to be offside when he crossed for Olsson to drill the ball into the net.

The Rovers' second goal came when Pedersen's dangerous in-swinging corner was only partially cleared. Danny Murphy, who was dominating play in the middle of the park, lifted the ball back into the area for Dann to chest the ball down before sending a ferocious volley over Legzdins and into the back of the net. It was an exquisite finish worthy of a top-class striker!

Five minutes later and the Rovers had clinched their place in the next round thanks to another piece of opportunism from Rhodes. Markus Olsson received the ball from Rochina and ran at the Derby defence before playing in Rhodes, who had timed his run to perfection. The Rovers striker lifted the ball over Legzdins as the Derby 'keeper came out in a forlorn bid to prevent the inevitable.

The remainder of the game was fairly straightforward as Derby looked a demoralised outfit, whilst the Rovers knocked the ball about in confident fashion.

Jake Kean clearly enjoyed his return to the club where he played as a junior. He made one error early in the second half which could have been costly, but, as with all young 'keepers, mistakes are going to be part of his learning curve. Once again he impressed with his ability to come for crosses and claim them.

Jason Lowe had an excellent game at right-back and for me seems a better player in this position than in midfield. Like Martin Olsson, Lowe got forward to support the attack but was sound defensively. Olsson again showed that his pace can be a threat going forward and he again linked up well with his brother, who was playing just in front of him.

Scott Dann and Grant Hanley were very impressive in the centre of defence with Dann being my Man of the Match. Whilst Hanley can be more than a little clumsy in giving away too many free-kicks, Dann seems to be finally finding his feet. He was always dangerous on set-pieces and his finish for the second goal was top class.

The central-midfield pairing of Danny Murphy and Morten Gamst Pedersen worked well as both were prepared to work hard in closing Derby down when they had possession. Murphy controlled the game in the centre of the park, whilst Pedersen provided a steady stream of dangerous crosses from corners and free-kicks. Appleton seems to appreciate the qualities which Pedersen brings to the team, particularly in terms of his willingness to cover the ground in both attack and defence.

Markus Olsson had another good game on the left wing and used his pace to run at the Derby defence and cause them untold problems. Joshua King, who lasted only a few minutes before succumbing to injury, was replaced by Ruben Rochina on the right wing and the young Spaniard was again the usual mixture of good and bad. However, he seemed to adopt a more disciplined approach in terms of sticking to his position rather than wandering wherever the mood takes him. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the more disciplined approach that Appleton appears to be bringing to the line-up.

In attack Colin Kazim-Richards was a constant thorn in the side of the Derby defence. Kazim-Richards used his muscle to put Derby defenders under pressure and this resulted in the Rovers making the breakthrough just before half-time. Having got himself in the clear he produced a quality finish and his link-up play throughout was first class. He is a spiky character and had an ongoing dialogue with officials and seems the perfect foil for the quieter Rhodes.

Jordan Rhodes again demonstrated that he can make the most out of very little and the way in which he finished the opportunity created by Markus Olsson again illustrated that he is a natural goalscorer. Once again it was noticeable that he was being asked to be rather more mobile up front and again he attempted to drag the centre-backs out of the middle by making runs into the channels.

This was undoubtedly the most impressive away performance of the season with the Rovers keeping Derby quiet for long periods of the game. Sound in defence, creative in midfield and with quality finishes it was a hugely encouraging performance.


Derby County

Adam Legzdins; John Brayford, Richard Keogh, Mark O'Brien (James O'Connor 83), Gareth Roberts; Paul Coutts, Jeff Hendrick, Will Hughes (Ben Davies 75), Craig Bryson; Jamie Ward (Michael Jacobs 72), Conor Sammon

Subs not used: Frank Fielding (gk), Conor Doyle, Kieron Freeman, Mason Bennett

Manager: Nigel Clough

Blackburn Rovers

Jake Kean; Jason Lowe, Scott Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson; Joshua King (Ruben Rochina 10), Danny Murphy, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Markus Olsson (David Dunn 83); Colin Kazim-Richards, Jordan Rhodes

Subs not used: Sebastian Usai (gk), Gael Givet, Fabio Nunes, Nuno Gomes, David Goodwillie

Manager: Michael Appleton


Derby County – None

Blackburn Rovers – Grant Hanley, Markus Olsson, Ruben Rochina

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