Football

Birmingham Dunn by Rovers star David: Match Review

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A brace from David Dunn against his old club Birmingham ensured Blackburn collected three points in a 2-1 win that virtually guarantees their Barclays Premier League survival.

Dunn, who spent three-and-a-half years with the midlands outfit before rejoining Rovers in 2007, fired past Joe Hart after just five minutes to give the hosts the lead.

James McFadden equalised for Birmingham after the break direct from a free-kick before Dunn's 67th-minute header sealed a win that takes Sam Allardyce's team 14 points clear of the relegation zone with seven games to play.

Although there seemed little prospect of a blockbuster in store before the start of play with Birmingham already comfortably positioned in mid-table, the opening stages were fairly frenetic.

Jason Brown, who was once again deputising in the Rovers goal for the injured Paul Robinson, looked to have made a costly error after only three minutes when he fumbled a cross at the feet of Cameron Jerome, but Martin Olsson was on hand to shepherd the ball from danger.

Just two minutes later, Dunn rifled Blackburn ahead against his former employers, taking down a failed clearance by Roger Johnson and lashing the ball past Hart.

The hosts were on the attack again soon after and Nikola Kalinic narrowly failed to make contact with El-Hadji Diouf's cross in the box.

At the other end McFadden almost pulled Birmingham level with a fierce strike from outside the area that Brown did well to turn around the post after it had taken a deflection on its way toward his goal. Liam Ridgewell headed the resulting corner over.

Morten Gamst Pedersen then tried a spectacular overhead kick, but was ruled offside.

Just after the half-hour mark Lee Bowyer lofted a ball into the danger zone which bounced down to Craig Gardner, but having taken a touch the former Aston Villa player blazed his shot high and wide.

Blues skipper Stephen Carr then whipped a low ball into the six-yard box, but Brown got down to smother it.

Six minutes before the break Diouf caused a scramble in the box with a delivery from the touchline that Hart struggled to deal with, but Ridgewell put the ball behind before Pedersen could get to it.

Dunn then slammed the ball past Hart in even more emphatic fashion from close range after being fed by Michel Salgado, but the Spaniard was adjudged to have committed a foul in the build-up and it remained 1-0.

Rovers seemed in control, but within 10 minutes of the restart, they had been pegged back.

Pedersen felt he was hard done by after referee Mark Clattenburg awarded Birmingham a free-kick just outside the box for a push on Johnson, but McFadden stepped up calmly to curl the ball around the Blackburn wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Substitute Jason Roberts, who had come on for Kalinic at half-time, attempted to hit back on the hour, but after linking up well with Dunn and Pedersen and turning his man in the box, the striker's shot was blocked and went behind for a corner.

Seven minutes later though Rovers had regained their lead, and Dunn was the hero once more, heading Diouf's corner home from close-range after outmuscling Carr.

The midfielder was booked for an over-exuberant celebration with the Blackburn fans, but few could blame him for savouring the moment.

Junior Hoilett, who had come on for Diouf, cut into the box incisively with a little over 15 minutes to go but his effort went wide, while Blues boss Alex McLeish threw on the attacking trio of Sebastian Larsson, Christian Benitez and Kevin Phillips in search of an equaliser.

Dunn was then removed from the fray with only minutes to go after being fouled by former Rovers player Barry Ferguson.

McFadden saw an effort cleared and Johnson a shot saved late on, but Blackburn hung on for a win that means they should be able to breathe easy for the rest of the campaign.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
David Dunn
Birmingham

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