Blackburn Rovers 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Last updated : 24 August 2005 By Footymad Previewer
High flying Spurs were held to a goalless draw by ten-man Blackburn Rovers following the sending-off of Lucas Neill 14 minutes from time.

A spirited Rovers performance earned them their first clean sheet of the season against a lacklustre Spurs side.

Rovers launched the first notable attack on eight minutes. Following a ball over the top by Robbie Savage, Morten Gamst Pedersen found himself with time and space to pick out a man, but his cross fizzed across the face of goal.

On 13 minutes, a foul by Michael Brown on the edge of his own box presented Rovers with an inviting free- kick. Pedersen's whipped effort goalwards appeared to be heading for the top corner, however it curled just inches wide with Paul Robinson stranded.

Rovers threatened again six minutes later, Pedersen cushioning the ball down to Steven Reid with his head, but the Irishman's fierce volley swerved wide of the right-hand post.

Rovers looked comfortable in possession, with Spurs' first and only effort on goal in the first half, a tame Andy Reid shot from distance on 26 minutes, which floated harmlessly into the arms of Brad Friedel.

The best chance of the half arrived on 29 minutes, with Shefki Kuqi unlucky not to find the back of the net. Pedersen jinked away from two Spurs defenders before playing the perfect ball through to the big Finn, and despite successfully lifting it over the onrushing Robinson at full stretch, the ball drifted narrowly wide of the far post.

The home side continued to press and on 38 minutes, Savage's deep free-kick from the left eluded the entire Spurs defence, but with the goal at their mercy both Andy Todd and Ryan Nelsen failed to make contact as the ball bounced agonisingly wide of the right hand post.

Edgar Davids was brought on to steady the Tottenham ship early in the second half, but again it was Rovers who looked more likely of taking the lead.

On 55 minutes, Pedersen's vicious ball into the area was brilliantly controlled by Kuqi, but the 28-year-old's header lacked the pace needed to beat England keeper Robinson.

The former Ipswich Town hitman worked tirelessly upfront on his own and again went close with a towering header on 68 minutes.

Rovers were forced to play the final quarter of an hour with only ten men, following the dismissal of Lucas Neill.

The Australian, Rovers' man of the match against Fulham, picked up his second booking of the game for a mistimed challenge on Davids.

The introduction of in-form striker Jermain Defoe wasn't enough to produce a goal, as a draw ultimately seemed a satisfactory result for both sides.