since 1878

Blackburn Rovers (2) 2 - 1 (0) Ipswich Town

FA Barclaycard Premiership 2001-02

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Referee: P Dowd

Manager: Unknown

Ewood Park

Attendance: 23,305

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2941

























Match Report

Going down with the Leicester!

We're going down with the Leicester! Another defeat, this time to fellow relegation contenders Blackburn, means our great escape is isn't looking so great after all...

Ipswich turned out at Blackburn last night for the first time in their history in an all black strip. I'm beginning to wonder if this decision was made out respect to mark the death of Ipswich as a Premier League club, as another predictable defeat pushed Town closer to first division football.

If ever there was a game of two halves, this was it. In the first half, to put it bluntly, we were crap. The game was ultimately lost in the first 45 minutes, when Town hardly created a chance and let the home team take the initiative. Going into the second half two nil down, the team suddenly sprang into life, and almost took a point home. But the damage was done early on; you can't give Premier League teams two goal head-starts and expect to get anything out of the game.

To be honest, I don't like criticising George Burley, but the tactics were all wrong. Once again Town looked very negative early on. We never look like taking the lead at the moment, and question marks must be raised about the team selection. Why did Marcus Bent, hungry to prove a point against his old club, start on the bench? Why was Sixto Peralta, who improved the team dramatically after the break, also left out?

Blackburn's first was an almost exact replica of Chris Marsdon's goal a week ago. It was a good solo effort, but as with Marsden, the Ipswich defence made Damien Duff look far better than he actually was. He cut in from the left- he didn't even go forward, past the static Magilton, past McGreal, and past Holland. Not ONE player bothered to put in a challenge, so the midfielder tried his luck with a shot that went under Hreidarsson and past the recalled Sereni.

We did actually have the ball in the net with virtually our first attack after 43 minutes, but Armstrong had stayed well into an offside position before shooting. Blackburn's reply to the scare was immediate. It was David Dunn on the other wing, who this time did the damage. His cross found Andy Cole, who scored his obligatory goal against us with his back to goal.

The second half was much more encouraging, and proves what the team can do. But that only makes it all the more frustrating- if we hadn't have played like a bag of spanners in the first half, it could have been such a different outcome.

What was to be our consolation goal came in the 56th minute. Stewie, who headed firmly into the net, pounced magnificently on a Veno corner. Apart from giving us a lifeline, it was great to see the little man celebrating a goal. Hopefully this may be start of another scoring run for the normally prolific striker.

Town really took the game to the home team in the last half hour, but just couldn't grab an equaliser. The best chance probably came in the last minute, when McGreal steered a shot into the side netting.

To be honest, I didn't expect anything from this game, I thought Blackburn would be too good at home. But Graeme Souness' men looked mightily relieved to hold on to a point. Not much consolation I know, but in these desperate times we need to cling on to any hope there is.

I can't be bothered to go other the other action- not that there was much of it from Town anyway. It's now off to Newcastle, where again, we mustn't lose. What hope is there? I'm now looking back to the Gods, and laws of averages; it must our turn to get something soon!

From The Terrace

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