Goalless at the Boleyn

West Ham United and Blackburn Rovers shared their second goalless draw of the season at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday afternoon.

In a match of few chances, it was the two goalkeepers who will been most pleased with their afternoon's efforts, as both made key second-half stops to ensure the spoils were shared.

Before kick-off, there was a typically warm east-end welcome for the club's new chairmen and suitably, the first home game under the new owners got underway in fine afternoon sunshine, which was mirrored by a bright start from the hosts.

But for all their possession and endeavour Gianfranco Zola's side could only trouble Paul Robinson once, when a fierce Alessandro Diamanti free-kick forced a tip over from the Blackburn No1.

As the half wore on, however, the Hammers had their own England international goalkeeper to thank for keeping the score level as Robert Green pushed Morten Gamst Pedersen's goalbound corner over the bar.

After Brett Emerton was booked for pulling back Diamanti, Rovers were to come even closer to taking the lead as Pedersen was felled by Behrami 25 yards out. The Norwegian international nearly followed up his stunning midweek strike against Wigan Athletic with another, as he curled the subsequent free-kick against Green's crossbar.

Gianfranco Zola had handed the task of picking up an eleventh straight home win over Rovers to the same eleven players that started the 0-0 draw at Portsmouth in midweek. The big story, though, was the return of Herita Ilunga and Scott Parker to the bench following their recoveries from hamstring injuries. Carlton Cole was also on the bench again following his successful comeback from a knee injury and the game was not an hour old when Zola chose to introduce him to the action in place of Radosalv Kovac.

After hitting the bar in the first half, Pedersen was next denied by the acrobatics of Green in the second, as he brilliantly tipped a 20-yard drive from the midfielder away from the top corner. The Hammers then had Cole to thank for hacking Gael Givet's close-range shot off the line.

The game was quickly becoming a battle of the two England hopefuls between the sticks. Green was almost singlehandedly keeping West Ham in the game as he brilliantly stopped substitute Jason Roberts' shot from eight yards out.

The save drew a huge round of applause from the majority of the 33,093 crowd and they were almost cheering even louder shortly after as Robinson had to be at his best to tip Diamanti's 30-yard set-piece over the bar.

Zola threw on Freddie Sears and Parker in place of Nouble and Behrami as they went all out for the win but, after four minutes of added time, they had to settle for their third straight Premier League draw. The point stretches their unbeaten run against the Lancastrians to seven matches.

A trip to Blackburn's local rivals Burnley follows next for Zola's side, who move up a place to 15th in the Premier League table.