Dunn heads Rovers a point
Former England international spares his home side's blushes
Last Updated: 05/03/12 9:06am
David Dunn celebrates his late leveller
David Dunn rose from the bench to inspire relegation-threatened Blackburn as his headed equaliser gave them a deserved point against Aston Villa.
Villa dominated the opening half of the game and were rightly in front by the interval courtesy of a well-taken goal by Charles N'Zogbia.
However, credit to Steve Kean, he brought on Dunn and Martin Olsson at the start of the second half and it was the former who headed in Bradley Orr's teasing cross to seal the draw.
Villa dominated the early quarter of an hour, pinning the hosts back in their own half and almost grabbing a fourth-minute lead through Marc Albrighton.
N'Zogbia picked up the ball deep into the Rovers box and laid the ball back to the midfielder, who lashed his shot over the bar from eight yards.
Morten Gamst Pedersen headed away a dangerous corner from Albrighton before Rovers had their first chance when Pedersen's goalbound drive was blocked by the head of Stephen Warnock.
Villa grabbed a deserved lead in the 24th minute when Carlos Cuellar threaded the ball to N'Zogbia in the box and he slammed a left-foot shot past Paul Robinson into the roof of the net.
N'Zogbia almost grabbed his second in the 44th minute when he struck a low, close-range shot which was superbly tipped away by Robinson.
And for all Villa's dominance, Kean's men almost grabbed an equaliser with the last kick of the first half when Junior Hoilett met a Pedersen cross but shot over from six yards.
Rovers looked brighter after the restart and came close to an equaliser in the 46th minute when Martin Olsson's low cross from the left just eluded Yakubu in front of goal.
Villa responded with a swift move which ended with Robinson blocking a low shot from Stephen Ireland, then recovering well to smother an attempted follow-up from Alan Hutton.
The home side had another chance in the 55th minute when Steven Nzonzi headed across the box and Scott Dann jumped to direct another header onto the roof of the net.
Rovers were enjoying their best spell of the game and came close again in the 61st minute when substitute Dunn fed Hoilett, whose drive was parried by Shay Given.
Given denied Rovers again in the 70th minute by reacting superbly to block a Pedersen shot after Orr's initial ball into the box had only been half-cleared.
Villa came close to extending their lead in the 79th minute when Robinson got down well to palm away Gabriel Agbonlahor's header from a Warnock cross.
But Rovers grabbed the equaliser their second-half performance deserved in the 84th minute when Orr floated in a ball from the right and substitute Dunn headed past Given at point-blank range.
Villa substitute Barry Bannan immediately responded with a long-range drive which Robinson did well to tip round his left-hand post.
|Blackburn Rovers||Team Statistics||Aston Villa|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||5|
|7||Shots off Target||4|
|41.2||1st Half Poss.||58.8|
|67.3||2nd Half Poss.||32.7|
Barclays Premier League
|5||West Ham United||18||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||18||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||18||17|
Blackburn v Aston Villa
Stiliyan Petrov believes Charles N'Zogbia is starting to fulfil his potential after a difficult start to life at Aston Villa.
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish remains alert to the threat of relegation after his side's 1-1 draw with Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Steve Kean praised the impact of his substitutes who came on to help his side claim a 1-1 draw courtesy of David Dunn's late header.