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Blackburn 2-1 Leicester: Match Report
Published : 25 Aug 2012 17:31:27
`Pensioner' Pedersen has last laugh
Morten Gamst Pedersen silenced his critics to earn Blackburn a 2-1 win they barely deserved against an unfortunate Leicester side.
Rovers' global adviser Shebby Singh earlier this month labelled the Norwegian "a pensioner" - something which was met with criticism from boss Steve Kean and the Professional Footballers' Association.
Singh apologised afterwards but this afternoon Pedersen, 30, rolled back the years with a superb 79th-minute strike - celebrated with the aid of a walking stick - which extended Blackburn's unbeaten start to the npower Championship season.
Rovers had been far from impressive in collecting four points from their opening two games and the same could be said yet again.
The hosts were indebted to Paul Robinson after the former England number one pulled off a superb save to keep out a point-blank header from David Nugent.
And the dominant Foxes were made to pay shortly after the half-hour mark as 36-year-old Nuno Gomes, a free summer signing after being released by Portuguese side Braga, opened his account in English football with a sweet finish from the edge of the area.
Jamie Vardy, who bagged 34 goals for Fleetwood last term, took advantage of Scott Dann's mistake to level matters soon after the restart, and then saw a header ruled out for offside, before Pedersen had the final say.
Leicester flew out of the blocks but it was City keeper Kasper Schmeichel who almost got caught out early on by an unorthodox bounce off a slick surface at Ewood Park.
If there was a touch of fortune about Schmeichel's let-off then there was nothing but quality about Robinson's 12th-minute save at the other end.
Foxes frontman Nugent, a matter a yards out, appeared certain to find the net with a header from Ben Marshall's cross but Robinson somehow palmed the ball away.
Rovers, having made four changes with David Dunn, Bradley Orr and Colin Kazim-Richards all injured, were disjointed in the opening quarter and failed to match the intensity of their visitors.
An unmarked Vardy headed Liam Moore's deep cross off target for Leicester before Dann made a last-ditch block to deny in-form midfielder Andy King, searching for his third goal in the season's opening three league fixtures.
But out of nowhere Blackburn took the lead in the 33rd minute.
Jason Lowe escaped Paul Konchesky down the right and found Gomes, who had timed his run to perfection and dispatched into the bottom corner with a neat finish from 18 yards.
The pattern of the game continued after the goal and Nugent's drive was parried out by Robinson, but Rovers maintained their lead going into the interval.
A frantic start to the second half saw Nugent denied again before Bruno Ribeiro also saw a header kept out at the other end.
And it was no surprise to see Leicester draw level in the 55th minute.
Rovers centre-back Dann was punished for defensive hesitancy as Vardy nipped in to finish from 12 yards out.
Vardy was then denied a 75th-minute second as his super header was wiped out by an assistant's flag.
And just two minutes later Pedersen sealed an unlikely victory for Blackburn with a right-footed finish from the left side of the penalty area - sending a clear message with his celebration.
Blackburn 2-1 Leicester: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.