Robinson Earns Blackburn Precious Point
When Joe Hart and Paul Robinson started this game their recent careers bared striking differences.
After a remarkable start to the season, Joe Hart has cemented his status as first choice keeper for both Club and Country. Paul Robinson, dropped as England keeper and not selected for the World Cup, recently rejected the chance to represent his Country again, instead opting to focus on his club career rather than playing second or even third fiddle to Hart.
After 90 minutes the difference in performance was just as striking. Praise would be all Robinson`s. The criticism, well it was Hart`s turn to endure the crushing feeling of a Goalkeeper making a costly blooper.
When a Goalkeeper makes a rash decision, a mistake, the consequence is instant and often painful. As the ball was lobbed casually down the pitch, City fans would have felt at ease. Toure looked comfortable in controlling Kalanic and all Hart had to do was stand and watch. However, a sudden rush of blood, a miss-calculation and a disastrous choice saw Hart rushing towards the swirling ball and after a mix-up with defender Kolo Toure, Kalanic was left with the easiest of chances to slot home. Despite all the chances created and squandered by the Blues after this error, it will be Joe Hart who feels isolated on his trip home.
In Contrast, Paul Robinson was exceptional, the ex England stopper produced countless splendid saves and was the difference between his side gaining one point and leaving Eastland`s empty handed.
Nearly all of City`s 11 men had chances to grab a much needed goal, but due to our own profligacy and defensive desperation Blackburn managed to cling onto the point. After two goals in two games for England, Adam Johnson again looked destined to find the net with his trademark twisting runs causing mass confusion. After excellent link-up play with another of England`s starts, James Milner, Johnson was freed and within the first 5 minutes produced a wonderful save from Robinson and saw another curling effort just skim the post.
In Spite of all City`s chances Blackburn held the lead until a 56th minute goal from surprise starter Vieira. After Tevez took control, his perfectly timed and weighted cross found the Frenchmen and from two yards out it was impossible to miss.
City`s pressure continued and when Gareth Barry was introduced the intensity grew. In the space of 10 minutes, Brazilian forward, Jo, could have scored three goals, either one would have been likely to kill the opposition, but his naivety and an outstanding lunge from Samba on the stroke of full time helped Blackburn earn a precious point.