West Ham United v Blackburn Rovers
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 30 January 2010
Referee: Peter Walton
Final score - West Ham United 0-0 Blackburn Rovers
94 mins - Into the final minute and Faubert wins a corner on the right. Diamanti races across and curls the ball into the box. Blackburn clear and Diamanti falls to the ground under a challenge. Referee Walton puts the whistle to his mouth, but he blows for full-time rather than a free-kick.
92 mins - A long, raking pass from Upson finds Parker inside the box, but his low cross is too close to Robinson at the near post. Blackburn break and Green has to be alert to clear the danger on the edge of his own penalty area.
90 mins - We're going to have at least four more minutes.
89 mins - On the plus-side, it looks like West Ham are going to k,eep another clean sheet. Also, as results elsewhere stand, West Ham will climb one place to 15th.
86 mins - Good defending there as Upson heads Pedersen's cross clear under pressure from Hoilett at the far post.
85 mins - Diouf is replaced by Hoilett for the final few minutes. Parker links up with Sears and drives past two defenders before poking the ball across the six-yard box, but there is nobody there to supply the finishing touch.
82 mins - It might be West Ham's as Sears wins a corner down the right. Diamanti takes it short to Noble, who works it back to the taker. Diamanti curls the ball in and it hits a leg before bouncing to Collison, whose shot is also blocked. Finally, Noble and Diamanti combine again, and his shot is well gathered by Robinson.
81 mins - Into the final ten minutes and this is anyone's game.
78 mins - Nouble is replaced by Sears. The young man scored two goals in his first reserve-team game back from his loan spell at Crystal Palace. Can he add to it with his second goal at senior level?
77 mins - Robinson is the goalkeeper to shine this time, doing well to tip over Diamanti's rapier-like free-kick. The resulting corner is headed straight to Collison by Samba, but the Wales midfielder's shot is deflected wide.
75 mins - Another good chance for Rovers. 'Zonzi fires horribly over the top from ten yards. Seconds later, Roberts passes up and even better chance, beating Tomkins before shooting too close to Green. Put simply, he should have scored.
73 mins - Green has to be at his best to keep out a rasping shot from Pedersen. Spector takes the safety-first option and heads behind. The corner drops to Givet, whose shot hits Noble and is cleared off the line by the alert Cole.
71 mins - The Hammers are back on top here as Nelsen hacks Cole's downward header out for a throw. Blackburn make a change, replacing Kalinic with Jason Roberts.
70 mins - Scott Parker is the second West Ham substitute to enter the fray, replacing Behrami.
68 mins - Nouble gets the wrong side of Nelsen, who appears to tug at the young forward. Nouble stays on his feet, though, and wins a corner off the New Zealand defender. Diamanti curls the ball in and Robinson claims it above the jumping Tomkins.
67 mins - Cole wins a corner and the ball is worked back to taker Diamanti, The Italian's second ball hits a defender before Tomkins's stabbed effort is deflected over the top. The second corner is too high and flies harmlessly over everybody.
65 mins - Blackburn are playing quite well, all of a sudden, as Diouf wins another corner down the right. Pedersen trots across and takes it left-footed, and Cole is there to head clear at the near post.
61 mins - Kalinic shows good strength to hold off two West Ham players before going to ground under a challenge from Faubert. He won the ball, to be fair. Blackburn get the ball in the box and it breaks to Chimbonda, whose shot is absolutely nowhere near the goal.
59 mins - Cole is up top with Nouble, with Diamanti wide on the right, Collison wide on the left and Noble joining Behrami in central midfield.
58 mins - Time for Cole to enter, with Kovac the man to make way. That can only mean a switch to a 4-4-2 formation, with Cole joining Nouble up front. Blackburn also make a change, replacing Emerton with Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews.
56 mins - West Ham have spent the last few minutes camped in the Blackburn half. Twice Diamanti crossed and Blackburn cleared before the attack petered out with Spector heading too close to Robinson.
53 mins - It looks like Cole will be on soon as Zola calls the big man back to the bench.
52 mins - Away from the ball, Spector goes down under a challenge from 'Zonzi. The South African claims the American had walked into his shoulder. Replays are inconclusive. Spector, who had a good first half, receives some treatment.
50 mins - Blackburn win a rather fortunate corner off Noble. Diouf crosses and Kovac heads clear.
48 mins - Tomkins is penalised for a foul on Kalinic. That looked a bit soft. Diouf curls the ball in, it flicks of Kovac's head and Givet heads it well wide.
46 mins - The second half is underway with West Ham now attacking the Bobby Moore Stand end. No changes for either side at the interval.
Half-time score - West Ham United 0-0 Blackburn Rovers
46 mins - After exactly a minute of added time, referee Walton brings the first half to a close. Will we see Cole emerge after half-time?
45 mins - To be fair to Sam Allardyce's team, they have come into it in the last ten minutes or so. Chimbonda and Diouf combine down the right, but the latter's cross is mis-hit and bounces straight through to Green.
43 mins - Pedersen did fancy it! He steps up and curls a shot over the four-man wall and it pings back off the crossbar!
42 mins - Behrami loses his footing 25 yards out and brings down Pedersen. The Norwegian will fancy this set piece.
40 mins - Faubert brings down Diouf wide on the left. That will give Blackburn the chance to send Nelsen and Samba forward. Pedersen delivers the ball low and Tomkins clears well at the near post.
38 mins - Matthew Upson does well to head the ball clear to Diamanti, who turns and drives forward. Emerton decides to stop him by any means and pulls the Italian back. He is rewarded with a yellow card.
35 mins - Diouf wins a corner off Behrami. That is Blackburn's first of the game. Pedersen curls the ball and it looks like it might dip under the crossbar until Green intervenes. A shot apiece then. Pedersen takes his second corner and curls it into the side-netting at the near post.
32 mins - At present, the statistics read no shots on or off target for either side. Behrami tries to change that by romping down the right wing before being brought down by Nelsen. Diamanti whips in the free-kick and Robinson can only punch it behind at his near post. Diamanti's resulting corner is cleared by Samba.
29 mins - Blackburn almost get lucky from a Pedersen free-kick. The ball bounced back to the Norwegian and he headed it over the home back four as they came out. Kalinic looked like having a second to get his shot off, but he fell to the ground and the chance was lost.
28 mins - Spector goes on a superb 60-yard run, beating two Blackburn defenders before being challenged as he entered the box. Great stuff.
26 mins - Cole swaps places with Stanislas on the touchline. The sight of the England man is again welcomed by the Boleyn Ground faithful. I'm sure we will see Cole on the pitch later in the game...
24 mins - Spector finds Diamanti wide on the right. The Italian cuts outside Olsson before crossing low, forcing Nelsen to poke the ball behind for a corner. The ball is curled in, but the visitors clear with ease.
21 mins - Parker, Stanislas and Sears are sent out for a run along the touchline, and receive a nice cheer from the fans for their troubles. On the pitch, Nelsen makes an important challenge to stop Collison going clear into the Rovers box.
20 mins - Faubert picks up a pass from Noble near the halfway line before surging past 'Zonzi. He finds Kovac with a raking pass, but the Czech is in an offside position.
19 mins - Pedersen launches another throw into the box, where Samba flicks on, but the ball bounces harmlessly wide of the far post.
18 mins - When Blackburn do get the ball forward, it is invariably a long ball or clearance towards Kalinic, who is getting no joy out of Upson and Tomkins. West Ham, in contrast, are knocking the ball around confidently.
16 mins - Blackburn are carrying no attacking threat whatsoever. They literally cannot get out of their own half at present.
14 mins - Superb ball in from Faubert, but it's just too far in front of the sliding Kovac. That was a teasing cross, and Samba did well to divert the ball wide of his own far post. Noble's corner is punched clear by Robinson. That really was a magnificent ball in by Faubert.
11 mins - West Ham are seeing plenty of the ball. Blackburn are leaving Kalinic up on his own and he's not had a sniff of the ball yet. Jonathan Spector is showing plenty of endeavour down the left flank.
8 mins - Diamanti wins the ball back near the touchline and curls a cross over that is just too high for Behrami. Faubert picks up the loose ball wide on the right and launches the ball into the box, but Behrami cannot direct his header on target. Encouraging signs for the hosts, however.
7 mins - Behrami turns in the midfield and tries to release the rampaging Faubert, but the ball skips off the turf and behind for a goal kick. Nice idea from the Swiss, there.
5 mins - Spector blocks Diouf's cross out for a throw-in. Pedersen hurls the ball long into the six-yard box, where Green is there to claim.
4 mins - Absolutely no sign of the snow that has ravaged the north east this morning. Aside from a few clouds, it's a beautiful winter's day here in east London.
3 mins - Not a lot to report in the early going, aside from a Martin Olsson cross headed clear by Radoslav Kovac.
3pm - Gianfranco Zola gives his players a last-minute roar of encouragement. West Ham kick-off towards the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.
2.59pm - There is a buzz about the place this afternoon as Mr Sullivan and Mr Gold prepare to watch their first home match as owners of the club they support. West Ham's players look focused on the job in hand. A win could lift the home side to 13th in the table and further away from the bottom-three.
2.57pm - The teams are in the tunnel as the PA system belts out a succession of traditional East End tunes. On the touchline, machines blow pretty bubbles in the air. The stadium is filling up nicely, as you would expect for an important Premier League game. Here come the two teams...
2.56pm - The new chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold take their seats in the West Stand. Both have big smiles on their faces and are joined by their families, and who can blame them? Mr Gold, who grew up just a few yards from the Boleyn Ground, is sporting a claret scarf as he chats with England goalkeeper coach Ray Clemence.
2.55pm - There are a few familiar faces back at the Boleyn Ground for this afternoon's game. Martin Peters, Phil Parkes, George Parris, Mark Ward and Keith Rowland are all in the stands. Rowland, I am reliably informed, has been given the afternoon off coaching non-league Aveley to attend the match. Aveley travel to Sutton United this afternoon...
2.50pm - Looking at the two teams, it looks like both sides will be lining up with a 4-5-1 formation. Frank Nouble will lead the line for West Ham, while Croatia international Nikola Kalinic will do likewise for Rovers. The 22-year-old has scored three goals in his last two games, having netted three in his opening 19 appearances for Blackburn.
2.45pm - The Scandinavian Hammers are in town today, with a 40-odd strong group from across Norway and Sweden attending today's game. The chairman, Gjermund Holt, is joined by a pair of youngsters from the supporters' club on the touchline for a quick interview.
2.25pm - The two teams shared a goalless draw at Ewood Park in their first meeting in August, but last season's match at the Boleyn Ground was a different story as the Hammers ran out 4-1 winners against Paul Ince's side in August.
2.15pm - West Ham will be looking for their eleventh straight home win against Blackburn today, while at the same time trying to maintain their unbeaten start to their 2010 Premier League campaign. The players will be making their way out for their warm-up in five minutes and the home support will no doubt be delighted to see Cole, Parker and Ilunga out on the pitch with their team-mates once more.
West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola has named an unchanged side from the one that drew 1-1 at Portsmouth for Saturday's Barclays Premier League visit of Blackburn Rovers.
However, the big news comes from the substitutes' bench, where Herita Ilunga and Scott Parker have both returned from hamstring injuries to take their place among Zola's replacements. The duo come in for Fabio Daprela and the departed Luis Jimenez, whose loan spell from Italian club Internazionale has ended.
For Blackburn, Christopher Samba returns from suspension to take his place in the starting XI. David Hoilett is the man to drop to the bench.
The Hammers go into today's match unbeaten in their last 14 home meetings with Blackburn. Should Zola's side triumph, the result would make their eleventh consecutive victory over the 1994/95 Premier League champions. Indeed, Rovers' last win at the Boleyn Ground came way back in April 1994.
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Spector, Diamanti, Noble, Kovac (Cole 58), Behrami (Parker 70), Collison, Nouble (Sears 78)
Subs: Stech, Da Costa, Ilunga, Stanislas
Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Chimbonda, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Emerton Andrews 58), 'Zonzi, Olsson, Pedersen, Diouf (Hoilett 84), Kalinic (Roberts 71)
Subs: Brown, Salgado, Reid, Di Santo