Friday, October 21, 2011

Tottenham's record at Blackburn Rovers

Tottenham have shown great improvement in recent weeks and will look to improve on their draw at Newcastle United last weekend.   Undefeated in five Premier League games as they go to Ewood Park to play Blackburn Rovers, they will have to match last year's result to maintain their progress and assault on a Champions League place.

Blackburn Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur

Blackburn have had a difficult start to the season and are currently in twentieth position in the Premier League with five points.  They have won only one of their eight matches, although it was a rather stunning performance, coming from behind to defeat Arsenal at Ewood Park.  They were behind at the interval (1 - 2) but scored three second half goals to lead 4 - 2 and held off a late surge from Arsenal to win 4 - 3.  Last weekend they drew 1 - 1 at QPR and they also gained a point at Fulham.  They have lost their other three home games to Wolverhampton Wanderers (1 - 3) on the opening day, to Everton (0 - 1) and Manchester City conceding  four second half goals.  They have also lost at Aston Vila and Newcastle United.  In the Carling Cup they have enjoyed home successes over Sheffield Wednesday and Leyton Orient.

In the Premier League, their leading scorer is Ayegbeni Yakuba who has two goals while Reuben Rochina has scored four in League (1) and Cup (3).  Last week central defender and captain Christopher Samba who was reported to be a possible signing for Tottenham during the summer scored their goal at Loftus Road.  Manager Steve Kean has been under pressure since taking charge from Sam Allardyce last December.

Recent Results at Ewood Park 
Feb. 2011  Won 1 - 0  Crouch
For the second successive season, Peter Crouch was the match winner for Tottenham at Ewood Park.  In the third minute he rose above the defence to head in a diagonal cross from Rafael Van der Vaart.  A hard-working team performance and some good saves from Heurelho Gomes ensured that Spurs held out to take the three points.

Dec. 2009  Won 2 - 0  Crouch (2)
Two goals from Crouch secured victory for Spurs.  The first came at the end of a first half which had seen Rovers in the ascendancy.  Tom Huddlestone had attempted a long range shot which went awry and ended up as a perfect pass to Niko Kranjcar on the right. His cross was headed in off the bar by Crouch.  The second was scored with seven minutes left when Crouch was put through by Jermaine Jenas, he advanced towards the penalty area to shoot past Paul Robinson.  It was a hard-earned win which many previous Spurs teams would not have gained.

Apr. 2009  Lost 1 - 2  Keane
This was a match which Spurs dominated but lost in the final ten minutes as Blackburn were assisted by some debatable refereeing decisions.  Robbie Keane had given Spurs an early first half lead which they held until late in the game.  With ten minutes left the referee send Wilson Palacios off for a second bookable offence but two minutes poor defending at a corner gifted Rovers an equaliser.  One minute from time rovers snatched an undeserved winner - Spurs had thrown away three points.  

Apr. 2008  Draw 1 - 1  Berbatov
Dimitar Berbatov put Spurs ahead after seven minutes but Blackburn levelled after half an hour.  Spurs, having won the Carling Cup a few weeks earlier were in a run of poor results that lasted through to the end of the season.

Since 1996 when Spurs Won 2 - 0 at Blackburn on the opening day of the season with two Chris Armstrong goals they have started a run which has seem them lose on only three occasions in 14 games.  They have won 6 times and drawn on 5 occasions with only three defeats.  That win in 1996 also saw Gary Mabbutt break his leg and be out for the rest of the season. 

Overall League record at Blackburn:
P  47  W  14  D  11  L  22  For  51  Ag  71

Premier League Record:
  P  17  W  7  D  4  L  6  For  19  Ag  14

Memorable Result at Ewood Park:
The Tottenham victory in February, 1998 was totally unexpected as they were struggling under Christian Gross in a relegation battle.  That day Spurs showed an previously unseen togetherness and determination to battle for the points which they took with three goals from Nicoli Berti, Chris Armstrong and Jurgen Klinsmann.  It was only their second away win of the season, since success at Everton in Gross' first match as manager.

Tottenham have completed the 'double' over Blackburn for the past two seasons and to maintain this season's upward progress will need to take three points on Sunday to keep the pressure on the teams around them who are striving for fourth place.  The lack of fit central defenders is causing a problem as only Younes Kaboul and Sebastien Bassong are fit and Jake Livermore had to stand in against Rubin Kazan in central defence on Thursday evening's win in the Europa League.  With Blackburn again having a difficult season, Tottenham will be hoping to add to their misery by winning at Ewood Park for a third successive season.  


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