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All you need is Duff ? ? ? ? ?Rovers v Arsenal


Alan75
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Rovers 2  Arsenal 0

Goals in each half gave Rovers a well  deserved win against the reigning Premier League Champions Arsenal this afternoon at Ewood Park.

With both teams fielding reshuffled defences due to suspensions and injuries, Rovers made changes to the midfield and forward line that had beaten Manchester City two weeks ago. Whilst Yorke replaced Cole as Hakan Sukars partner up front, the midfield welcomed back Damian Duff on the left and Gillespie replaced the injured Dunn on the right, to give Rovers a two pronged wing attack.

Neither team settled for the first 10 to 15 minutes, with no evident pattern of play from either team, however Rovers where the first to gain control, in not allowing Arsenal to settle, the Rovers battled to win every ball, preventing the London club from getting in to their normal passing game.

With David Seaman, Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole out through injury, Arsenal lost Martin Keown with a  leg injury midway through the first half.

After a hectic period in the Arsenal goalmouth, Duff celebrated his return from injury with a 22minute goal. After miss hitting his first attempt, the Arsenal defence failed to clear but when Tugay's strike was blocked Duff made no mistake volleying wide of the keeper.

As the game progressed Rovers gained midfield control, with Gillespie and Duff giving the reshuffled Arsenal defence problems, and Flitcroft and Tugay chasing and battling for every ball.

Although Arsenal made a number of attacking moves, the Rovers defence, in particular Berg and Short were resolute in preventing them from scoring, and when Arsenal did manage to break through, they found Friedel once again in top form.

On 52 minutes Rovers sealed the points when Duff fed the ball through to Tugay, who fired a low shot in to the corner of the net, leaving the Arsenal keeper stranded.

With 18 minutes remaining Souness made a change to the strike force taking off Yorke to give local 17 year old Paul Gallagher his premier league debut.

Although Hakan Sukar won the Peter Jackson man of the match award, this was a team performance, each player deserving credit for a solid professional performance, defending from the front.

Blackburn:

Friedel, Taylor, Berg, Short, Gresko, Gillespie, Flitcroft, Tugay, Duff (Johansson 69), Sukur, Yorke (Gallagher 78).

Subs Not Used: Grabbi, Douglas, Kelly.

Scorers : Duff (22), Tugay(52)

Booked: Duff, Tugay, Flitcroft, Sukur.

Arsenal:

Taylor, Lauren, Keown (Silva 18), Cygan, van Bronckhorst, Pires (Wiltord 69), Parlour, Edu (Jeffers 69), Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Henry.

Subs Not Used: Toure, Warmuz.

Booked: Parlour, van Bronckhorst.

Attendance: 29,840

Referee: S Bennett

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