Blackburn Rovers 5 Peterborough 2: match report

27 October 2009 10:10
Talk about getting on with life despite swine flu. Despite the drama of the outbreak of the virus at Ewood Park, the Blackburn Rovers fans were able to sing "5-2 and we've got the flu" as they progressed past Peterborough United.

There were first goals in English football for former Real Madrid full back Michel Salgado and £6 million forward Nikola Kalinić, while injury-plagued Steven Reid also managed his first goal in more than three years.

Not that Blackburn had it as easy as Tuesday night's score line would suggest and if the government were to hand out a video of this game in order to ease pandemic panic, they would do well to leave out the opening 55 minutes.

Once Morten Gamst Pedersen had opened the scoring, Chris Whelpdale pulled one back and even when Reid scored from the spot after Joe Lewis was sent off for a challenge on Pedersen, George Boyd equalised once again before the hosts made their numerical advantage pay with goals from Salgado, Benni McCarthy and the Croatian Kalinić.

Blackburn's refusal to name who is suffering with the virus has left plenty of room for speculation and while David Dunn was fit enough for bench, while Chris Samba, El-Hadji Diouf and Steven Nzonzi were not included in the squad.

Despite the concerns about the illness sweeping through the club and George Boyd's early effort being deflected wide, Blackburn started in the more alert and lively fashion and took the lead with just three minutes gone.

Youngster Junior Hoilett was pulled down on the edge of the area and the Norwegian winger Pedersen thumped a free kick into the top corner of Joe Lewis' net for his second of the season.

But Peterborough refused to wilt and despite being down to 10 men, with Charlie Lee receiving treatment, they drew level when a whipped cross from the left from Tommy Rowe was headed past Jason Brown by Chris Whelpdale.

Blackburn came close to pulling ahead once again when Pedersen's inviting cross was thumped into the ground by Hoilett and headed onto the bar by Kalinić.

Despite having just two wins in the Championship following their promotion, Peterborough continued to press hard and enjoy the better opportunities but Blackburn took control once again a minute before the interval thanks to a mix-up in the Peterborough defence.

Substitute Russell Martin's poor header back allowed Pedersen to get in behind the visitors' back four and he went down under a challenge from goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Referee Anthony Taylor showed a straight red card and Reid thumped the resulting penalty past substitute goalkeeper James McKeown to give the hosts the lead once again.

Boyd drew the visitors level again with a thumping strike just after the restart but Salgado eased the tension by squeezing in at the near post before Kalinić set up McCarthy after a quick break before the Croatian scored from the spot after Craig Morgan handled Martin Olsson's cross.

There was even a chance for Dunn to come off the bench to show that it was business as usual for Blackburn.

Match details

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Roberts; Salgado, Jones, Givet, Olsson; Hoilett, Emerton, Reid, Pedersen; Kalinić, McCarthySubs: Robinson, Jacobsen, Nelsen, Dunn, Roberts, Andrews, Van HeerdenBooked: Givet Peterborough (4-4-2): Lewis; Lee (Martin 35), Morgan, Pearce, Rowe; Whelpdale, Diagouraga, Frecklington, Boyd; Batt (McKeown 44), McLeanSent off: Lewis Subs: Coutts, Keates, Day, Green, Koranteng

Source: Telegraph