Rovers in cruise control
Phil Thompson told Soccer Saturday that Blackburn were always in control as they beat Portsmouth 2-0. With games fast running out Blackburn all but sealed their Premier League status, leaving Pompey still desperately seeking the win they need to survive the drop. Thompson felt that Blackburn were finally utilising their strengths and he credited Sam Allardyce for the clubs change in fortunes since he took over. He told Soccer Saturday: "It was comfortable. The last 15 minutes or so were a bit difficult for Blackburn, but they were well in control of the game. "They had all the energy and all the passion and Sam Allardyce must have told them 'you're all going to play my way and if you don't you're out'. "They're getting the ball into the box now and they're making use of Christopher Samba being there on the edge of the box. "Beni McCarthy had loads of energy today, more than I've seen of him in any game and he was playing off the back of Samba and that's how they got their first goal. "I think it must have been about 70 minutes before Portsmouth had a chance or even got into the opposition's area, and it was poor from them." Dry spellMorten Gamst Pedersen put Rovers ahead with his first goal of the season. The Norwegian midfielder has had the driest of dry spells in front of goal this term, having previously averaged nine goals a season for the previous four years. And Thompson admitted he was surprised by the stat. He said: "Mark Hughes got the best out of him. When he was there with Graeme Souness he failed to deliver, and certainly underachieved. "But I didn't know he hadn't scored this year, because you used to get about seven or eight goals from this guy. This season he hasn't looked like scoring, but he did get on the end of this one." Tense Portsmouth made changes in the second half and did have the opportunity to get back into the match when they were awarded a penalty. However, John Utaka wasted the chance to set up a tense finish when he blazed over from 12 yards, and Thompson felt the changes came too late. He said: "Credit to Portsmouth for getting back into the game, but I think the changes came too late. "They've got some quality players at Portsmouth, but they've certainly not done it and Peter Crouch looks so frustrated in the front line. It was only when Kanu, Jermaine Pennant and Utaka came on that they had a bit of a chance.
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