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Gen?lerbirligi 3 v Blackburn 1


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With approximately 3 minutes to go before half time Rovers went 1 nil down when Skolo lobbed Friedel from around 30 yards, after the Blackburn keeper had come out of the area to head clear a long ball from Gençlerbirligi. Within a further minute Gençlerbirligi went two up with a low shot by Youla after he found himself free on the edge of the box.

After starting well in the first half, Blackburn went on to the back foot as Gençlerbirligi took command of the first half coming close with three headers, one of which rattled the cross bar before going out for a goal kick. On the stroke of half time Gençlerbirligi were forced to replace their injured keeper after he fell awkwardly.

Half time 2-0

At the start of the second half Souness made a change, bring on Cole for Jansen in an attempt to cause more problems up front and take the pressure off the Rover’s defence who had appeared uncoordinated in the first half.

Twelve minutes in to the second half a pass by Gresko was collected by Cole in the area, who turned the defence to lay the ball back to Emerton, who in turn made no mistake in slotting the ball in to the back of the net. However within 3 minutes Gençlerbirligi went 3-1 ahead as Youla collected a long ball over the top to beat Amoruso and slot the ball past Friedel.

With approximately 20 minutes to go before the final whistle Souness made further changes, bringing on Grabbi and Reid for Yorke and Baggio.

Within minutes of coming on Grabbi was unfortunate not to win a penalty when he was pulled down by a Gençlerbirligi defender who had taken a liking to the Italian’s shirt.

With 12 minutes to go Reid missed an opportunity to score after collecting a cross ball from Grabbi, however after taking an extra touch he collided with a Gençlerbirligi defender. With 4 minutes remaining Grabbi snatched at an Amoruso free kick to volley the ball over the bar, and then shortly afterwards Emerton was brought down at the edge of the box. The resultant free kick being chipped over the bar by Thompson.

With Gençlerbirligi looking impressive in attack Blackburn now have it all to do in the return leg at Ewood Park.

Final Score 3-1.

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