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Samba Saves Blackburn Blushes

Blackburn Rovers have to consider themselves fortunate they are looking at a Ricoh Arena replay instead of losing in front of the most faithful of the faithful at Ewood Park.

After Roque Santa Cruz put Blackburn ahead inside of ninety seconds, two second half goals from the Sky Blues should have been enough. But the man who deflected Michael Doyle’s shot to give Coventry the lead saved Blackburn the embarrassment of losing to the mid-table Championship outfit.

Let’s be honest, the football on offer wasn’t all that great. Coventry made this a scrappy affair after going down a goal and the results were well deserved. About the only decent things on offer at Ewood park were the goals of Roque Santa Cruz and Aron Gunnarsson, Gunnarsson’s a thing of beauty. But let’s get down to the defining moments of this match.

1) Blackburn’s two disallowed goals. The first one is hard to decipher, but Steve Tanner was in the right position at the right time to see Gael Givet’s shirt tug on Scott Dann. While Allardyce can complain about the legleslation used in giving the foul, Tanner was well within the laws of the game to call it. McCarthy’s disallowed goal for offsides was off by a mile.

2) Christopher Samba’s equalizer. You hate to blame a keeper who was called into action just minutes before kickoff, but this one is all on Andy Marshall. He should have fielded that ball safely but instead of catching it, saw it bounce off the chest. He catches the ball, Coventry are in the quarter finals. Coventry’s back four who had defended so well in the initial ninety minutes were left out on an island in injury time as they simply lost all their shape. Nice make up after helping concede Coventry’s second goal.

3) The refereeing of Steve Tanner. People say we don’t praise referees when they have a good day. Steve Tanner had a great day at the office. He and his officials got all the big calls right and while Allardyce maybe complaining, he should be doing more complaining with regards to Blackburn’s second half performance than about one call that Tanner got right.

The five thousand Coventry City fans made the faithful Blackburn few sound mute. It makes you realize what is more important to those fans. Chris Coleman should fancy his side’s chances at home of a quarterfinal draw, but they will lamenting the one moment of glory that should have been. Blackburn got too big for their britches in the second half, and should have paid the price.

Other Thoughts From Saturday’s FA Cup Action
1) Roberto Martinez needs better forward play. For all the beautiful cutting passes they had against Fulham, there was zero cutting edge in front of goal. Now that could have been because of the brilliant defending Fulham did at marking him out of the game, but if you didn’t know who was playing, could you have known who were the Championship or Premier League side?

2) West Ham United are lucky to have escaped with a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.

3) Chelsea are the same old story. Their slogan should be changed to ‘we only play once we go a goal down’. Roman’s fake smile wore extra thin on me and it was nice to see grumpy Guus looking about as somber as Chelsea’s performance truly was.

4) Hull City complaining about Sheffield United’s opener was downright comical. Well taken equalizer though.

5) Five matches, four draws. Could we see a weekend where in seven matches, we have five replays?

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