November 10, 2012
Wait goes on for Berg after draw
Henning Berg is still waiting for his first win as Blackburn boss as his home debut ended 1-1 after an enthralling encounter against Birmingham.
Berg enjoyed many a battle with opposite number Lee Clark during their top-flight playing days and they went head-to-head in the dugout at Ewood Park in front of 14,919 fans - only 1,000 up on average from games under Steve Kean and caretaker boss Eric Black this term.
The Norwegian started his Rovers reign with one point from two away games and a draw here was the right result on the balance of play.
Spaniard Ruben Rochina handed Rovers a deserved early lead from the penalty spot after David Murphy felled Mauro Formica but, crucially, Birmingham pulled level almost immediately courtesy of Marlon King's ninth goal of the season from close range.
Both sides could indeed have clinched all three points but it was not to be, with Birmingham now 19 attempts without victory at Ewood Park stretching back to 1968.
Blackburn were undoubtedly the dominant side from the off.
Blues skipper Steven Caldwell denied Jordan Rhodes after Jack Butland had raced out of his area unnecessarily, before Rochina fired wide from 12 yards when well placed.
It was no real surprise when the hosts took the lead after 13 minutes.
Full-back Murphy brought down Formica in the area and Rochina stepped up to send Butland the wrong way from the spot.
But Birmingham pulled level almost immediately with their first real attack.
Chris Burke's cross was met by a combination of former City defender Scott Dann and Wade Elliott and the ball fell to Nikola Zigic, whose effort came back off a post and King was on hand to tap home from two yards.
The goal inspired the visitors and Ravel Morrison brought a save out of Paul Robinson before King fired narrowly wide.
Rovers passed up a great chance to retake the lead from Rochina's corner as the game flowed from end to end, with Blues very much now in proceedings.
Danny Murphy struck the side-netting from distance on the half-hour mark before both sides saw goals rightfully ruled out for offside.
Markus Olsson was presented with a clear opportunity to put Blackburn in front on the stroke of half-time but he could only fire wide.
Zigic headed wide from Burke's cross at the start of the second half when the towering 6ft 8in Serbian should really have done better.
Rhodes was next to threaten at the other end as his header was cleared off the line by Blues defender Paul Robinson in impressive fashion.
His Blackburn namesake got down well to deny marauding City full-back Murphy, while Rovers were being constantly dogged by the offside flag in the final third.
Formica brought a good save out of England prodigy Butland with former Three Lions stopper Robinson showing what he could do to turn away Burke's effort from distance.
Robinson then tipped over Hayden Mullins' 81st-minute strike from 30 yards before substitute Nuno Gomes' impressive effort flew over amid a breathless conclusion to proceedings.
Dann came within inches of a late winner against his former employers but a point apiece was just reward.
|Blackburn Rovers||Birmingham City|
|1 Paul Robinson||1 Jack Butland|
|16 Scott Dann||4 Steven Caldwell|
|3 Martin Olsson||30 Paul Robinson|
|31 Grant Hanley||23 Jonathan Spector|
|27 Adam Henley||3 David Murphy|
|18 Dickson Etuhu||8 Hayden Mullins|
|13 Danny Murphy||15 Wade Elliott|
|14 Marcus Olsson||7 Chris Burke|
|10 Mauro Formica||12 Ravel Morrison|
|11 Jordan Rhodes||9 Marlon King|
|23 Ruben Rochina||19 Nikola Zigic|
|34 Jake Kean||Colin Doyle 13|
|2 Bradley Orr||Pablo Ibañez 5|
|12 Morten Gamst Pedersen||Mitch Hancox 27|
|33 Simon Vukcevic||Papa Bouba Diop 32|
|6 Jason Lowe||Darren Ambrose 10|
|7 Fabio Nunes||Nathan Redmond 22|
|21 Nuno Gomes||Peter Lovenkrands 11|
|Simon Vukcevic for Ruben Rochina (61)||Nathan Redmond for Nikola Zigic (75)|
|Fabio Nunes for Marcus Olsson (71)||Darren Ambrose for Chris Burke (90)|
|Jason Lowe for Danny Murphy (84)|
|Ravel Morrison (59)|
|Jonathan Spector (84)|
|· Squads: Blackburn Rovers | Birmingham City|