Blackburn Rovers 2 Aston Villa 0


Blackburn’s new owners had plenty to cheer about as a brace from Morten Gamst Pedersen gave them a 2-0 victory and ensured they made a winning start against Aston Villa.

Rovers, playing for the first time since being taken over by Indian company Venky’s, took the lead in stoppage time at the end of the opening period thanks to Pedersen’s delightful looping free-kick.

The Norwegian then struck again midway through the second half to wrap up a comfortable victory for Sam Allardyce’s side.

Venkateshwara and Balaji Rao, the directors of Venky’s, came on to the pitch to greet Blackburn’s fans before kick-off and received warm applause.

Morten Gamst Pedersen
Morten Gamst Pedersen

Once things got under way Rovers’ players seemed eager to please the new owners as well, with Jason Roberts sending a dangerous ball into the box in the opening few minutes that was cleared away.

Rovers snatched the lead just before the interval through a Pedersen free-kick, the midfielder curling a strike perfectly just over Brad Friedel and in.

The hosts appeared to be threatening another goal and in the 66th minute it duly arrived, Pedersen again providing the finish after getting his foot to Ryan Nelsen’s drive following a scramble at a corner.

Villa boss Gerard Houllier responded by bringing on Robert Pires in place of Stephen Ireland, the French veteran making his first Premier League appearance since 2006.


* 01 Robinson
* 04 Samba
* 05 Givet (Chimbonda 46)
* 06 Nelsen
* 27 Salgado
* 28 Jones
* 08 Dunn
* 12 Pedersen (Goulon 72)
* 10 Diouf
* 23 Hoilett (Diouf 64)
* 30 Roberts


* 13 Bunn,
* 31 Hanley,
* 33 Morris,
* 39 Chimbonda,
* 26 Goulon,
* 09 Kalinic,
* 41 Diouf

Aston Villa

* 01 Friedel
* 02 L Young
* 03 Warnock
* 05 Dunne
* 21 Clarkyellow card
* 06 Downing
* 07 Young
* 09 Ireland (Pires 69)
* 25 Bannan
* 28 Hogg (Herd 81)
* 11 Agbonlahor (Delfouneso 78)


* 22 Guzan,
* 30 Lichaj,
* 34 Lowry,
* 08 Pires,
* 27 Osbourne,
* 31 Herd,
* 14 Delfouneso

Newcastle 1 Blackburn Rovers 2


BLACKBURN Rovers match-winner Jason Roberts again fired a pointed message towards boss Sam Allardyce – but admitted he isn’t taking a Spurs start for granted on Saturday.

The out-of-favour striker came off the substitutes bench to score the winner for the second time in four days as Rovers defeated Newcastle United 2-1 to move them towards mid-table.

Roberts, whose angry celebration was a clear sign of his continued discontent at Ewood Park, scored the 82nd-minute winner after Morten Gamst Pedersen’s early opener had been cancelled out by Andy Carroll.

Morten Gamst Pedersen
Morten Gamst Pedersen

It was no less than Rovers deserved after a display full of heart, passion and ability, but Roberts admits he has no clue whether he has earned a start against Spurs on Saturday.

He said: “I have a great record against Newcastle.

“Like I said last week when I am on the pitch, it is no surprise, my goal scoring record speaks for itself. I score goals.

“I think I have almost a goal every time I play against them.

“You would think people would know that but it is good to get on the pitch and score again.

“I thought Newcastle played well, a lot of respect for them, but it was a committed performance from the boys.

“I don’t pick the team. Like I said other people take the responsibility and make the decisions. My goal scoring record though…..

Jason Roberts
Jason Roberts

“Second top goal scorer last season and well on the way this year.

“I am totally comfortable, I don’t pick the team but when I play you see what I do.

“It is no problems for me. I just come on and do what I do.”

For Allardyce it was a sweet victory on his first return to St James’ Park as a manager, having been relieved of the position two years ago.


* 26 Krul
* 02 Colocciniyellow card
* 03 Jose Enrique
* 06 Williamson
* 12 Simpson
* 04 Nolanyellow card
* 07 Barton
* 18 Gutierrez
* 24 Tioteyellow card (Routledge 88)
* 09 Carroll
* 23 Ameobi (Ranger 46)


* 33 Soderberg,
* 05 Campbell,
* 27 Taylor,
* 10 Routledge,
* 17 Smith,
* 11 Lovenkrands,
* 30 Ranger


* 01 Robinson
* 04 Sambayellow card
* 05 Givet
* 06 Nelsen
* 27 Salgado
* 28 Jonesyellow card
* 39 Chimbonda
* 07 Emerton
* 12 Pedersen
* 09 Kalinic (Roberts 52 yellow card)
* 23 Hoilettyellow card (Dunn 84)


* 13 Bunn,
* 31 Hanley,
* 08 Dunn,
* 26 Goulon,
* 10 Diouf,
* 30 Roberts,
* 41 Diouf