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Double Dutch at Ewood!

Posted on 23 October 2011  - 12:00

Rafa van der Vaart struck twice to secure a fine win at Blackburn on Sunday.

Rafa van der Vaart struck twice to secure a fine win at Blackburn on Sunday.

The Dutch star converted Kyle Walker's cutback after 15 minutes as we dominated the early stages at Ewood Park.

Mauro Formica equalised against the run of play before half-time but van der Vaart was there again to strike a beauty from the edge of the box for what ultimately turned out to be the winner - a goal worthy of winning any game.

Victory made it five wins out the last six matches in the Premier League and moved us back above Liverpool into fifth.

Harry Redknapp made two changes from last week's 1-1 draw at Newcastle.

Aaron Lennon was back for his first start in the Premier League since August 28 while Sebastien Bassong came in for Ledley King to partner Younes Kaboul at the back.

We were quickly into our stride as first Lowe and then Givet defended superbly to prevent crosses from Adebayor and then Bale reaching their targets.

It was therefore no surprise that the opening goal came from the flanks and a superb break by Walker in the 15th minute.

On halfway, Walker played the ball to Adebayor on the touchline and took off, looping around the forward to receive the return pass. He sprinted past Givet, into the box and cut the ball back for van der Vaart to place a sidefoot shot into the far corner.

Seconds later and we were flying down the flanks again, this time Bale on the left. His cross was heading for Adebayor before Olsson intervened and Robinson had to be at his best to turn the ball over.

bburn away

The next chance was almost a carbon copy, but this time Adebayor was on the end of Bale's cross and Robinson managed to get across his goalline to keep the ball out.

Having dominated the first half-hour, it's fair to say Blackburn's equaliser came somewhat as a surprise.

It was simple in its execution as Pedersen floated over a free-kick, Samba won the crucial knockdown header and Formica was there to half-volley home from 16 yards.

Modric tested Robinson again to his right, Friedel palmed away Hoilett's snapshot and then Samba glanced inches wide as Rovers improved towards the end of the half.

We were back in the ascendancy at the start of the second half and ahead seven minutes after the restart.

Assou-Ekotto was the focal point, initially crossing for van der Vaart to set-up Modric, whose low shot was palmed away by Robinson.

Play continued, Bale missed Lennon's cross and the ball ended up back with Assou-Ekotto. He found van der Vaart again on the edge of the box and this time he swept home a wonderful curler, first-time from 20 yards, beyond Robinson's despairing dive.

Assou-Ekotto was needed at the other end soon after as Friedel spilled the ball under pressure, the full-back was there to hook the ball away. As play continued, Nzonzi blasted over.

The aerial route was always the most threatening and a Pedersen throw forced Friedel into action just after the hour, Samba again on the end of it and his flicked header needed a touch over the crossbar.

Robinson made his fifth fine save of the afternoon to turn away Modric's dipper and then the first batch of substitutions, including Danny Rose for Lennon.

Yakubu also entered the fray for Rovers and was straight into the action as Samba connected with another huge Pedersen throw and nodded down for the striker, whose goalbound header hit Bale and looped over.

Yakubu had a better chance in the 83rd minute, but sliding into the near post, could only angle his effort wide from Olsson's cross.

As you'd expect, there were a few nervous moments as crosses came in from all angles in the final minutes - Robinson went up for a late corner - but Kaboul, Bassong and the rest of the defence dealt with everything to ensure the three points went back to N17.

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Robinson; Lowe, Samba, Givet, Olsson; Vukcevic (Rochina, 70), Nzonzi, Pedersen, Hoilett; Roberts (Goodwillie, 82), Formica (Yakubu, 70). Subs: Bunn, Petrovic, Slew, Hanley.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Friedel; Walker, Bassong, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon (Rose, 70), Modric, Parker, Bale; Van der Vaart (Defoe, 88); Adebayor. Subs: Cudicin, Livermore, Townsend, Sandro, Pavlyuchenko.

Goals: Blackburn - Formica (28). Spurs - Van der Vaart (15, 53).

Attendance: To follow.

Referee: Mr S Attwell.