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Declan's "Last Five", 25.08.01

Here is Declan Mulcahy's "Last Five"

THE LAST FIVE SEASONS:
BLACKBURN ROVERS (AWAY)


P   W   D   L   F   A
3   2   1   0   6   1

In fact the last five seasons consists of only three games since Blackburn were absent from the Premiership for the last two seasons. Spurs record over the three games is excellent having won two and drawn the other. However Gary Mabbutt will not have pleasant memories of Ewood Park having broken his leg there in the opening game of the 1996-97 season. This is Spurs first visit to Blackburn since Tim Sherwood moved from Blackburn to White Hart Lane

Saturday 30 January 1999
FA Carling Premiership
Blackburn Rovers (1) 1
Jansen 43.
Tottenham Hotspur (0) 1
Iversen 61.

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Filan, Kenna, Henchoz, Broomes, Davidson, McAteer, Dunn (Peacock 85), Wilcox, Duff (Marcolin 62), Ward, Jansen (Davies 63).
Subs not used: Croft, Flowers.
Booked: Dunn, Ward, Filan, Davies.
Sent off: Wilcox (62, Serious Foul Play).

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2):
Walker, Carr, Vega, Campbell (capt), Edinburgh, Anderton, Nielsen, Freund, Sinton (Armstrong 85), Iversen, Ferdinand.
Subs not used: Fox, Taricco, Young, Baardsen.
Booked: Freund, Nielsen, Carr.

Attendance: 29,643
Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)

Managers: George Graham (Tottenham), Brian Kidd (Blackburn)

Matt Jansen and Jason McAteer were both making their debuts for Blackburn having recently been signed by new manager Brian Kidd. David Ginola was suspended and missed the game for Spurs as did Tim Sherwood of Blackburn.

Blackburn started off well. Duff rounded Nielsen and Walker had to react quickly to save. Then Campbell fouled Jansen just outside of the penalty box. Wilcox took the free kick. Walker saved it but could not hold the ball. It rebounded to McAteer who hit the crossbar with a powerful shot.

Towards the middle of the half Spurs responded. Sinton had a fine run and opened up the Blackburn defence. His reverse pass found Iversen whose shot beat the goalkeeper but went wide. Anderton and Sinton both had good efforts but failed to score.

Just before half time Blackburn took the lead. The debutant Jansen scored an outstanding goal. He received the ball just outside of the Spurs penalty area. However he had his back to the goal and Campbell was marking him. Jansen quickly swivelled to the right beating Campbell and his shot entered the left corner of the goal leaving Walker helpless.

In the second half Jansen had another good opportunity just before Spurs scored but could not control the ball.

Then Nielsen lofted a high ball into the Blackburn penalty area. Ferdinand pressured the Blackburn goalkeeper Filan who proceeded to drop the ball. Vega touched it on to Campbell who headed it goalwards. Filan saved but again could not hold the ball. Iversen got his head to it and scored.

One minute later Wilcox was red carded for a late challenge on Nielsen. This was the third consecutive home game in which Blackburn had a player sent off.

The game had been open until now. However once Blackburn were down to ten men they simply got every player behind the ball and killed the game.

Saturday 7 February 1998
Blackburn Rovers (0) 0
Tottenham Hotspur (1) 3
Berti 37, Armstrong 89, Fox 90.

Blackburn (4-4-2): T Flowers; J Kenna, S Henchoz, C Hendry, G Croft (M Dahlin 62); S Ripley, T Sherwood (capt), W McKinlay (L Bohinen 82), J Wilcox; C Sutton, D Duff.
Subs Not Used: G Flitcroft, M Broomes, A Fettis.
Booked: W McKinlay.

Tottenham (4-4-2):
E Baardsen; S Carr, S Campbell (capt), R Vega, C Wilson (G Brady, 71); R Fox, D Howells, N Berti, A Nielsen (S Clemence 67); D Ginola, L Ferdinand (C Armstrong 70).
Subs Not Used: C Calderwood, F Grodas.
Booked: R Vega, A Nielsen, S Carr.

Attendance: 30,388
Referee: G P Barber (Pyrford).

Managers: Christian Gross (Tottenham), Roy Hodgson (Blackburn)

Spurs had an excellent but surprising away win which lifted them from eighteenth to seventeenth position in the league table. Blackburn were in third place at the start. Prior to this game Spurs had won only one away game and scored eight goals.

During the previous few days, Spurs had lost a cup replay to Barnsley 1-3 as a result of which Jurgen Klinsmann was missing from this game with a jaw injury. Meanwhile Chris Sutton the Blackburn forward had courted controversy by withdrawing from Glenn Hoddle's England B team after failing to be chosen for the first team.

Howells returned to anchor the midfield defensively which allowed Berti to move forward and show his skills. Ironically Roy Hodgson, the Blackburn manager, had managed Berti at Inter Milan. Early in the game Berti went close after a Ginola cross. Then in the 37th minute Fox beat Croft and crossed from the right. Henchoz failed to deal with the cross and the ball ran to Nielsen who backheeled it Berti who scored with a low shot.

Duff came close for Blackburn before half time. The ball hit Campbell and goalkeeper had to change directions before saving with his legs.

Blackburn had further opportunities in the second half. In the 70th minute Spurs lost Ferdinand and Wilson through injury, the latter being stretchered off. They were replaced by Armstrong and Brady respectively. The changes upped Spurs game.

Hendry went close twice for Blackburn. On the first occasion Howells cleared off the line and the second time Hendry hit the post.

With Blackburn throwing everything into attack to try and equalise in the last few minutes Spurs tool advantage of Blackburn's lapses. With a couple of minutes to go Berti crossed and Armstrong made it 2-0 with a shot from the edge of the area. In injury time Fox scored the third with a fine angled shot to the corner of the goal.

The scoreline flattered Spurs. However the Spurs players were so pleased that they ran a lap of honour around the pitch.

Saturday 17 August 1996
FA Carling Premiership
Blackburn Rov (0) 0
Tottenham H (1) 2
Armstrong 33, 67

Blackburn (4-4-2):
T Flowers; H Berg, C Coleman, C Hendry, J Kenna; G Donis, T Sherwood (capt), G Flitcroft (P Warhurst, 71), S Ripley (I Pearce 46); K Gallacher, G Fenton.
Subs Not Used: N Marker, G Croft, S Given
Booked: C Coleman

Tottenham (4-4-2):
I Walker; S Campbell, C Calderwood, G Mabbutt (capt) (S Nethercott 20 (C Wilson 29)), J Edinburgh; R Fox, D Howells, D Anderton (J Dozzell 69), A Sinton; E Sheringham, C Armstrong.
Subs Not Used: R Rosenthal, E Baardsen
Booked: J Edinburgh, A Sinton

Attendance: 26,960
Referee: P Jones (Loughbrough)

Managers: Gerry Francis (Tottenham), Ray Harford (Blackburn)

This was the opening game of the season. Spurs opened with a fine away win. However there was a cost as Gary Mabbutt broke his leg early in the game and was out for the rest of the season.

Blackburn had lost Alan Shearer in the close season to Newcastle and clearly missed his predatory instincts.

In the 20th minute Mabbutt moved to block Fenton. The tackle resulted in a broken shin bone for Mabbutt who was stretchered off. His replacement Nethercott lasted only ten minutes before he had to be replaced (by Wilson) with a nasty cut again after an incident with Fenton.

Just after the half-hour mark Donis set up a good opportunity for Blackburn in the Spurs penalty area. However there was no one to capitalise on it. Walker grabbed the ball and fed it to Howells who had a fine run before feeding Armstrong who was close to the far post. He stooped and scored with a fine angled header.

Tottenham's second goal came in the 67th minute as a result of a fine build-up by the team. Sheringham backheeled the ball to Anderton who in turn passed to Howells. The latter went wide to Fox who crossed to Armstrong who just had to side-foot the ball into the net.

Blackburn had some opportunities. Fenton missed when it would have been easier to score and Berg had a header well saved by Walker.

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