Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 29 August
Referee: Phil Dowd
Full time - Blackburn Rovers 0-0 West Ham United
95 min - Dowd blows the whistle and that is it. West Ham have not let in a goal away from home yet this season, which is a positive heading into the international break. Zola will be pleased enough with a point from this game, which, on paper, was not the easiest.
94 min - Another superb block from Collins to stop Samba's volley. Blackburn have a late, late corner. Pedersen delivers and Samba is penalised for a foul on Green. Surely, that will be that?
93 min - Just seconds to go and both teams are giving the ball away with alarming regularity.
91 min - 23,421 fans have 'enjoyed' this game this afternoon. It has not been a great spectacle, I must admit. We're 90 seconds into added-time and no nearer an opening goal.
90 min - Superb play from Collins saves the day for the Hammers. Samba holds off Spector and drills the ball across the face of goal, where the Wales defender does brilliantly to hack the ball clear under pressure from Kalinic. We're going to have at least three minutes of added-time.
89 min - A minute to go and Blackburn have another long throw opportunity level with the West Ham penalty area. Pedersen hurls the ball in and Spector heads clear.
88 min - Dunn has been Blackburn's most potent attacking threat and it is from his prompting that Kalinic finds Hoilett, but the youngster's shot is dragged just wide of the far post.
87 min - Collison is replaced by Kovac. I reckon that sums up Zola's aims for the remaining three minutes plus added-time. A nil-nil draw will do the West Ham boss nicely.
85 min - Samba outjumps Collins for about the first time all afternoon. The ball drops to Kalinic, but the Croat's overhead kick is too close to Green. Radoslav Kovac is going to come on at the next break in play.
84 min - A loose pass in the Blackburn midfield is picked up by Parker. He finds Stanislas, who has the chance to play in Cole, but instead the youngster opts to shoot and blazes high and not very handsome.
83 min - Another Pedersen long throw flicks off Upson's head and falls to Kalinic. The ball is fed back to Hoilett, who drops his shoulder but sees his low shot blocked by Faubert.
81 min - Into the final ten minutes and both Nouble and Hines are warming up. I suspect Zola will settle for a point now, though.
80 min - After an age of messing about, Pedersen curls the free-kick over the top.
78 min - Parker is the third Hammer to be booked for a foul on Dunn and Rovers have a free-kick on the edge of the box.
77 min - Hoilett comes within a yard of giving Blackburn the lead. Collison loses the ball deep in the Rovers half to Pedersen. The Norwegian finds Dunn, who curls a delightful pass into Hoilett's path with the outside of his right foot. Hoilett bears down on Green, who is stationed near the edge of his area, but the youngster's shot clears both the goalkeeper and the crossbar.
76 min - Dunn goes down in the box, but nothing is given and the midfielder gets a talking to from Scott Parker for his troubles.
75 min - Nikola Kalinic makes his home debut for Rovers, replacing Roberts. The crowd boos the decision to replace the striker.
74 min - Nearly brilliant from Parker, who goes on a slalom run past two Blackburn challenges before trying to thread the ball through to Stanislas. Unfortunately, the pass is slightly overhit. Dunn is shown the yellow card for a foul on Dyer inside the centre circle.
72 min - There is shot on target number 12 from David Dunn. Pedersen and Hoilett work the opening for the former England U21 man, but his curler thuds into Green's midriff.
70 min - According to the stats, we've had eleven shots on target in this game. The statistics, I can assure you, do not tell the full story about proceedings. As I type, Dunn drags another effort disappointingly wide.
68 min - A half-chance for the lightning quick Hoilett, but the Canadian youngster scuffs into the side-netting.
66 min - Samba meets Dunn's corner, but is unable to get any pace on his header and Green grabs the ball with ease. As predicted, Zola brings on Dyer for Jimenez.
65 min - Jimenez tricks his way to the edge of the Blackburn box, but his touch lets him down and the chance is lost. Rovers break and force a corner off Faubert. Dunn to take...
64 min - This game is crying out for some quality in the attacking third. Is it time for Kieron Dyer? Or perhaps Frank Nouble or midweek scorer Zavon Hines?
61 min - Faubert finds Stanislas with a glorious crossfield pass. The winger crosses to Cole, who is challenged by Givet and the ball breaks to Parker 30 yards out. The England midfielder shoots...well wide.
60 min - Blackburn make a change. Youngster David Hoilett replaces Nzonzi. Hoilett notched in the Carling Cup in midweek and is sporting some nice red boots.
57 min - The home fans are getting a bit restless with their side's inability to create chances. No sign of cinema fan Salgado yet, but Kieron Dyer and Danny Gabbidon are warming up on the touchline.
54 min - West Ham's last goalless draw at Blackburn was in December 1980. Meanwhile, Noble is booked for a foul on David Dunn. Pedersen floats the ball in, Samba heads goalwards and Green makes an easy catch.
51 min - Blackburn win a free-kick on the left touchline. Dunn's delivery is awful and Green claims the ball with ease.
49 min - Jimenez takes a tumble over the advertising hoarding in the process of winning a corner off Chimbonda. Noble takes and finds Cole at the near post, He lays the ball off to Collins, but the defender's shot flies high and wide of the near post.
48 min - Ooohs from the away fans as Cole lets fly with a left-foot ping from 25 yards. Robinson might have got a touch on that, but referee Dowd gives a goal kick.
47 min - A little bit too intricate inside the Rovers penalty area from Stanislas, who cannot poke the ball through to Cole following a neat build-up down the right involving Noble and Collison.
46 min - West Ham get us back underway...
No changes for either side at half-time. Will we see a goal during the second 45 minutes?
Blackburn's players are first back out on to the pitch and are doing a little warm-up exercise along the touchline. For some unknown reason, the floodlights are on here at Ewood Park...
Half-time - Blackburn Rovers 0-0 West Ham United
47 min - Cole receives a bit of treatment after Grella falls on top of him. The big man is back on just in time to hear Dowd's half-time whistle.
46 min - Blackburn fashion a shooting chance after Pedersen's cross is smashed against Collins by Upson. The Welshman clears, but only to Dunn, whose follow-up effort is cleared. We're going to have one extra minute.
45 min - That is comfortably the worst effort of the day from Nzonzi, whose 25-yarder flies about the same distance over the top.
44 min - West Ham get a few bodies forward, with Noble, Cole and Jimenez all inside the penalty area waiting for Stanislas' cross, but the ball flies over the top of them all and Jacobsen hacks clear.
41 min - Chimbonda gallops down the left wing and swaps passes with Pedersen. He appears to have lost control of the ball, but it sits up well for the full-back, whose curling shot is straight at Green.
38 min - More good defending from Collins denies Dunn again after Roberts had laid off Jacobsen's cross.
35 min - Samba, Grella and Pedersen combine down the middle of the pitch to find Dunn. The midfielder skips past a challenge before being stopped by a fine challenge from Collins. Had he got past the Welshman, Dunn would have been through on goal.
33 min - Collison finds Jimenez with a defence-splitting pass, but the South American just cannot get the ball under control under pressure from Givet, and he can only stab it through to Robinson.
30 min - Green has to be alert after Spector slices his clearance straight up in the air. The goalkeeper comes out and punches the ball clear of the danger area. Seconds later, Green does well again to prevent a corner after Spector heads the ball back to him a little bit too powerfully.
28 min - Superb touch from Cole to control Green's goal kick. The forward held off Givet with ease before killing the ball on his right instep. Very impressive.
27 min - Rovers come close through Samba, but his shot clips Faubert's head on its way over. Pedersen whips in the corner and Dunn heads well over the top.
23 min - Good football again from the visitors. Parker clips the ball over the Rovers defence for Cole, whose shot is blocked into the path of Jimenez. The Chilean looks odds-on to open his account in a claret and blue shirt, only for Chimbonda to deny him with a miraculous block. A minute later, the full-back repeats his trick and West Ham win a corner. Noble takes, but it comes to nothing.
22 min - West Ham are giving away far too many free-kicks around their own penalty area. Noble is the latest culprit, pushing Pedersen. This one is central, about 30 yards out. David Dunn waves Samba away. Pedersen shoots and the ball hits the top of the wall and skips through to Green.
20 min - Cole nearly scores the goal of the season! The striker holds off a challenge in midfield, with referee Dowd putting his whistle to his lips to blow for a foul before allowing Cole to go on. He beats Jacobsen and Givet with a neat turn and then out-muscles Samba inside the box, only to lift his shot over the crossbar from an acute angle.
18 min - Noble and Faubert contrive to give the ball away. Pedersen swings in a cross, and Green dives bravely between Upson and Roberts to claim the ball. Good goalkeeping, that.
17 min - Signs that West Ham are starting to find their feet here.
15 min - Super football from West Ham ends with Jimenez slipping a pass to Cole. The big man hits his shot well and first-time, only for Samba to make a lunging block. The ball breaks to Stanislas 25 yards from goal, but his effort is blocked by Grella. That's the Hammers' best passage of play so far.
13 min - Cole is looking a little bit isolated up front at the moment. Stanislas and Jimenez need to get closer to him to benefit from the big man's knockdowns.
10 min - Jack Collison does some fine work down the left flank, holding off three Rovers players before winning a throw-in close to the corner flag. Unfortunately, all his hard work comes to nothing and Blackburn clear with ease.
9 min - A booking for James Collins, who pleads his innocence after Pedersen falls under his challenge a couple of yards outside the penalty area. Dunn takes the resulting free-kick, Samba heads the ball down and Roberts stabs it just wide at the far post. That was a close-call for Zola's men.
8 min - Another half-chance for Cole. Stanislas struts inside Jacobsen and clips a cross to the near-post, where the England striker can only flick his header wide.
6 min - Robinson comes almost to the halfway line to take a free-kick. The ball falls to Dunn, who wins a corner off Parker. Pedersen has a bit of trouble placing the ball inside the quadrant. When he does, he whips the ball into the near post, where Noble heads clear. Pedersen scored direct from a corner in midweek, so West Ham will have to be aware of that trick from the Norwegian.
5 min - Ewood Park is buzzing. The reason is nothing to do with what is going on on the pitch. Instead, the home fans are excited by the sight of former Turkey and Rovers midfielder Tugay, who walks into the ground and in front of the Walkersteel Stand before taking his seat on the home bench.
4 min - It's been a quiet start so far. Faubert's backpass puts Green under pressure and he concedes a needless throw-in. Pedersen launches another bomb into the penalty area, where Samba can only divert the ball out for a goal kick.
1 min - Nzonzi wins an early throw, which Pedersen launches into the danger zone. Upson heads the ball against team-mate Spector, but Green claims it easily. West Ham break and Cole gets clear of Samba, but his right-foot finish is weak and rolls straight to Robinson.
3.01pm - Blackburn are going to get us underway attacking the Darwen End.
2.57pm - Here come the two teams... Blackburn are led out by goalkeeper Paul Robinson, while Matthew Upson is wearing the armband after temporarily handing it to Scott Parker in midweek.
2.53pm - A first chorus of 'Bubbles' from the visiting faithful. The Hammers supporters are up in the top tier of the Darwen End, for those of you who know Ewood Park. For those that don't, the Darwen End is the one to the right as you look at the pitch on the television.
2.50pm - Both sets of players have headed back to the dressing rooms. The fans are being treated to an interview on the big screen with former Real Madrid and Spain right-back Michel Salgado, who is on the subs bench for Blackburn today. We have just learned that Salgado likes to go to the cinema.
2.41pm - The sun has come out. I'm not sure it'll be around for long, though, so I thought it was worthy of mention. For now, Ewood is bathed in sunlight. Chelsea have beaten Burnley 3-0 in the day's early kick-off. The result is met with a small round of applause from the Blackburn fans, no doubt pleased with the demise of their Lancashire rivals.
2.40pm - The starting ten outfield players are going through a series of stretches with first-team coach Kevin Keen, while the substitutes are engaging in a spot of 'two-touch'. In the goalmouth, Academy goalkeeping coach Jerome John is again filling in for Ludek Miklosko, who is nursing with a back injury. On the goalkeeping front, Canada Under-20 stopper Adam Street has travelled with the first-team squad this weekend. He is going through a few warm-up exercises with John, Robert Green and Peter Kurucz.
2.30pm - It's a cloudy, slightly chilly afternoon here in Lancashire. Ewood Park is slowly filling up, with dozens of fans standing in front of the Riverside Stand. West Ham's supporters are gathered in the Darwen End. A win this afternoon should be enough to take the Hammers back into the top half of the Barclays Premier League table. Pascal Chimbonda is making his Rovers debut after joining the club from Tottenham in midweek, while David Dunn and Australia midfielder Vince Grella are making their first league starts of 2009/10.
Gianfranco Zola has named the same starting eleven as lined up for the Barclays Premier League visit of Tottenham Hotspur six days ago.
West Ham United will seek to maintain their perfect record on their travels, having started the season with a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 15 August. Since then, the Hammers have been beaten 2-1 at home by Tottenham before bouncing back to winning ways with a 3-1 Carling Cup second round victory over Millwall on Tuesday evening.
West Ham are unbeaten in their last three visits to Ewood Park. Their most recent visit, on 21 March, ended in a 1-1 draw. Mark Noble opened the scoring before Irish midfielder Keith Andrews levelled matters.
The Hammers are without the injured Herita Ilunga (jaw), while new signing Alessandro Diamanti is awaiting international clearance. Long-term absentee Valon Behrami (knee) is back in full training and could be in contention for the trip to Wigan Athletic in a fortnight's time.
Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Jacobsen, Chimbonda, Samba, Givet, Dunn, Nzonzi (Hoilett 60), Grella, Andrews, Pedersen, Roberts (Kalinic 75)
Subs: Brown, Salgado, Emerton, Khizinashvili, Olsen
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Collins, Upson, Spector, Parker, Collison (Kovac 87), Noble, Jimenez (Dyer 66), Stanislas, Cole
Subs: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Tomkins, Nouble, Hines