Sunday, 28 October 2012

Jordan Rhodes Bails Out Blackburn

Jordan Rhodes
Jordan Rhodes saved strike partner Colin Kazim- Richards from an ear bashing by netting a stoppage-time winner as Blackburn beat Watford 1-0.

Kazim-Richards fluffed a chance to breach a resilient Hornets defence when he slipped taking a penalty and hit his shot against the bar.

And that gaffe looked set to rob Rovers of victory against a Watford team showing little adventure.

But Rhodes had other ideas.

When Reuben Rochina’s deflected shot landed at his feet, the £8million striker took his time and slotted past Manuel Almunia.

That clincher fired Blackburn back up to fifth in what could be caretaker- boss Eric Black’s last game in charge.

“We don’t give him the chances that his talent deserves,” said Black, “but he’s a top finisher and that was a top finish.

“He is not in the game for long spells and then comes up with something like that

“I didn’t know who would take penalties before the game but I assumed it would be Jordan because of his record.

“On the pitch a decision was taken by Kaz but he slipped.”

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola, though, believed his side was hard done to.

“I am disappointed,” he said. “Honestly, I couldn’t see them scoring because they were not causing problems for our defence.

“But the thing with this Championship is, you have teams that never give up.

“Maybe five minutes of extra-time felt too long from my point of view.”

This win should have been so much smoother.

Especially when ref Carl Boyeson harshly penalised Tommie Hoban for handling Rhodes’ shot with 15 minutes left.

The teenage defender could do little to get out of the way of the effort and was distraught.

That was until Kazim-Richards planted his left foot to steady himself to blast home the spot-kick and saw the turf give way.
  
His effort slammed against the bar and Hoban breathed a sigh of relief – for the time being at least.

Not that Watford deserved anything from this snooze fest.

Their wing-back system ensured they had enough bodies in the middle to foil the home side.

But it also stopped Gianfranco Zola's men from creating much themselves.

They were lucky to escape a decent penalty shot when Jean Alan Fanchone clearly tugged at Kazim-Richards shirt but the linesman bottled sticking up his flag.

And for the rest of the opening half Blackburn were restricted to long range shooting.

At least the home side showed some desire to net.

Watford's sole contribution in the second half was a Fanchone effort he crashed into the side netting.

Blackburn's created danger when Morten Gamst Pedersen got on the ball and angled in crosses.

Most were easily cleared by Watford's formidable three central defenders.

But Kazim-Richards did get his head to one in the 63rd minute only to see Almunia comfortably gather the ball.

Rhodes finally found some space between two yellow shirts to meet sub Martin Olsson's cross and guide the ball over, as Blackburn continued to raid down the left.

But when Kazim-Richards penalty miss was followed by a wild Ruben Rochina drive that cleared the bar, the game looked destined to remain goal-less.

That was until Rhodes saved the day with a typically clinical piece of finishing at the death.

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