(image via expressandstar.co.uk)
Blackburn 0-1 Wolves
After the insomnia cure that was Fulham last week it was no surprise that the ticket sales for Blackburn weren’t as high as they usually are.
The fact that it is January, after Christmas and absolutely freezing cold is another. But despite all this, the Wolves support who were there, put the Rovers fans to shame.
They have had a few problems of their own, despite having 2 of the best forward players in the league in Gestede and Rhodes. This reared its head for the first time midway through the second half as Van La Parra blazed the ball over after a shot from Dicko had hit the bar.
The Boos rang out around Ewood with chats of “Bowyer sort it out” coming from the fans the other side of the divide. But enough about Blackburn because Wolves were excellent.
Wolves were the better side from the kick off, very similar to the Watford game on boxing day where you could only see one winner from early on. Despite this though, once the ball approached the penalty area everyone seemed to freeze and not know what to do.
Any balls into the box were easily dealt with by man mountain Grant Hanley and the best chance of the half came when Danny Batth had a great header cleared off the line from underneath the bar from a corner.
What we saw at Molineux earlier in the season was evident again here. Moaning at the ref, timewasting, gamesmanship were all in place to try to get under the skin of Wolves.
Thankfully it didn’t work and only added the frustrations of their own fans.
Once the second half was underway things were different.
It was almost as if the players had been told to actually have a shot on goal as we looked much more dangerous and when Dicko laid the ball off brilliantly to Edwards for the goal it was fully deserved.
As at Watford though, this spurred Blackburn into action and they suddenly looked dangerous even if their chances were at a premium.
With them going forward more, inevitably left space open at the back and Wolves really should have capitalised on it. The VLP miss that I mentioned before was unlucky as it came to him off the bar but Edwards had one where all he needed to do was fall on the ball and it would have gone in. It might have had a slight bobble before he hit it but it was sliced wide regardless.
Henry had a chance as well after a run from just inside the Blackburn half went unchallenged but he couldn’t keep the ball down and it sailed over.
After all this good work it could have been for nothing had King connected better right at the death with a ball that dropped to him just inside the penalty area.
He tried to place it but Ikeme was just big enough to get his body in the way and smother it.
Not one player would get a rating under 7, everyone did their jobs and did it well. Stearman in particular was outstanding and without doubt Man of the Match for me. Even his bizarre attempt at a clearance that hit the base of his own post late on couldn’t go against him.
Iorfa wasn’t as impressive as he has been but this was a different type of game, it was much more physical than what we have seen for the majority of the season and he did well. Price and McDonald did well in the middle and stifled the supply to Rhodes and Gestede to such an extent the latter was taken off to a chorus of boos.
Dicko held the ball up better in the second half and almost looks back to full match fitness after his lay off. VLP continues to be an enigma wrapped inside a puzzle. In the space of a few minutes he can beat 3 players in one move and fall over the ball and let it go out of play the next.
In the closing stages when he was up front on his own as we were defending for our lives, he was superb though. He drew 3 free kicks just using his pace and looked a genuine threat at times.
A great day out, fully deserved 3 points.