ENGLISH LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP

Ewood Park, England

Referee: Stuart Attwell | Attendance: 18010

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Blackburn Rovers

  • Jordan Rhodes 82'

1 - 2

FT

Bolton Wanderers

  • Kevin Davies 2'
  • Lee Chung-Yong 61'

Eagles inspires Trotters victory

A fine individual display from Chris Eagles inspired Bolton to a 2-1 victory over abject neighbours Blackburn.

Kevin Davies struck after 93 seconds against his former club in a first half dominated by Wanderers.

Eagles was a constant menace alongside Jacob Butterfield and Lee Chung-Yong, the attacking trio operating behind a typically robust and effective Davies.

Butterfield, Lee and Davies were recalled as three of six changes made by Whites boss Dougie Freedman, but his alterations soon looked inspired and Blackburn had goalkeeper Paul Robinson to thank for not being further behind at the break.

Eventually Robinson was unable to prevent greater damage when he turned Eagles' 61st-minute free-kick against the post to leave Lee with a close-range formality, before Jordan Rhodes headed Rovers to within touching distance of a scarcely deserved point eight minute from time.

Victory ended a run of four straight draws for Bolton, still unbeaten in six games under Freedman's stewardship, while Blackburn must bounce back from consecutive defeats and a stuttering start to Henning Berg's tenure when they make the short trip to face fierce rivals Burnley on Sunday.

Josh King was handed a first Rovers start as Markus Olsson made way to accommodate the on-loan Manchester United forward.

Keith Andrews replaced the suspended Mark Davies in Bolton's midfield but all Freedman's other switches were understood to be of a tactical nature, with striker David Ngog demoted to the bench despite netting a last-gasp equaliser at Brighton on Saturday.

Ngog's replacement, Bolton captain Kevin Davies, immediately vindicated his manager's decision by firing the visitors into a second-minute lead.

Ex-Burnley winger Eagles shuffled in from the right flank amid boos from the home support to slip Davies beyond the Rovers backline and the 35-year-old lashed high past Robinson.

Twice before the half hour Eagles brought impressive stops out of Robinson - driving low and venomously from 30 yards with his right foot before crisply volleying left-footed towards the far corner from the inside left channel.

Bolton's three ex-Ewood men were all involved in a 31st-minute opening - Stephen Warnock's low cross finding Andrews, who did his perfectly-timed run a disservice with a tame side-footed effort that spun off Davies and out for a goal kick.

Robinson had to save well from Eagles once more before the half was out, while also arching backward to tip Zat Knight's deflected hook goalwards over after those in front of him failed to deal with Jay Spearing's free-kick.

Danny Murphy slammed Blackburn's only opening of the half over at the back post from Martin Olsson's cross and it came as little surprise when the hosts were booed off at the interval.

Berg's men started the second period with greater purpose but Robinson remained their key man, requiring fingertips to keep a delicate 25-yarder from Butterfield out of the top corner.

The former England man's next save was in vain - touching Eagles' free-kick onto the post after Dickson Etuhu bundled over Blackburn's tormentor-in-chief and springing gallantly to his left as Lee tucked home the rebound.

A woefully off-target 25-yarder from Murphy brought further venom from the terraces and Robinson saved superbly again to deny Knight from a Spearing corner.

Warnock was alert to block Mauro Formica from close quarters and a lifeline belatedly arrived for Rovers when Colin Kazim-Richards, on for King, angled a ball from the left to the back post where Scotland striker Rhodes ghosted in to head his 15th goal for club and country this season.

A final chance fell to Rhodes via Murphy in stoppage time but he could not scramble home.

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Scoring Summary

  • Blackburn Rovers
  • Bolton Wanderers

Match Stats

  • Blackburn Rovers
  • Bolton Wanderers
19(10) Shots (on goal) 14(9)
13 Fouls 13
5 Corner kicks 3
2 Offsides 1
50% Time of Possession 50%
1 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
11 Saves 10

Teams

  • Blackburn Rovers
  • Bolton Wanderers
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards