Pedersen downs Eagles
By James Pearson. Last Updated: 20/04/05 9:52pm
Blackburn bounced back from their FA Cup disappointment with Morten Gamst Pedersen's goal giving Rovers a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Mark Hughes' side were outplayed against Arsenal on Saturday in Cardiff, but responded in fine style with a gritty victory over The Eagles.
The game was settled on the stroke of half time with Pedersen connecting with Robbie Savage's free-kick to score from close range.
With just four games remaining for Palace it looks a big ask for Iain Dowie's side to claw their way to Premiership survival.
Rovers showed great character in the opening exchanges to shake off a potential semi-final hangover defeat and begin the brighter of the sides at Ewood Park.
Firstly Gabor Kiraly was on hand to palm over Pedersen's inswinging corner and the Hungarian did well keep out Jon Stead's downward header from Pedersen's cross.
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The home side continued to create the better of the chances, but from a good break Stead was leaning back when connecting with Pedersen's cross and his attempt was well off target.
Palace fell asleep from a Savage free-kick after 22 minutes with Ryan Nelsen left unmarked at the back post, however the defender's shot skimmed the outside of the post.
Savage, who had already been booked for fouling Mikele Leigertwood, found himself walking a tightrope for a rash tackle on Wayne Routledge, although he did appear to win the ball.
The fire-brand Welsh midfielder then showed his good side when his superbly-delivered free-kick picked out Pedersen to stab home in the box.
The former Tromso star gambled on the ball travelling across the box to toe poke into the net past Kiraly off the underside of the cross bar.
Hughes wisely replaced Savage during the interval with experienced Turkish midfielder Tugay coming on for the former Birmingham City midfielder.
The half began like the first ended, with Rovers on the attack. Brett Emerton drilled a shot on goal and Kiraly did well to hold the shot with two players piling on the pressure.
Andy Johnson had the home side on the back foot when he ran at their defence, but Brad Friedel got down well to make the save despite seeing the shot late.
Danny Butterfield's name found its way into referee Peter Walton's notebook for a foul on Pedersen - with the game close to boiling over.
Rovers almost settled the contest through an unlikely source when Dominic Matteo connected with Pedersen's cross although his first-time effort was wide of Kiraly's near post.
Despite pushing more and more men forward Palace never really managed to force Friedel into a save of note.
Rovers found acres of space behind the visitors late on, but missed two golden opportunities to finish off the contest.
Firstly Reid was clean through on goal only to see Kiraly make a fine save before Stead found only the Hungarian after a lovely passing move.
Although Hughes' side failed to add a second, time finally caught up with Palace who now require an exceptional finish to their season to avoid the drop.
Give your Blackburn v Crystal Palace match ratings here.
|Blackburn Rovers||Team Statistics||Crystal Palace|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||1|
|12||Shots off Target||1|
Barclays Premier League
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||34||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||33||33|