Premier League - Howard gaffe gifts Rovers win

Eurosport - Mon, 16 Aug 00:09:00 2010

A gaffe from Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard gifted Blackburn a 1-0 win at Ewood Park on the opening day of the Premier League season.

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Blackburn's goal was scored by Nikola Kalinic on 14 minutes after Howard, who had claimed a Morten Gamst Pedersen ball forward on the edge of his penalty area, then allowed the ball to slip from his grasp.

Blackburn should have been ahead after just two minutes, Kalinic heading into the path of Martin Olsson who found himself clean through on goal. As Howard came out to block the Swede lifted the ball over him, but also the bar.

Rovers lost their captain David Dunn after just 10 minutes, the influential midfielder injuring his groin after tackling Steven Pienaar on the touchline. He was replaced by Steven N'Zonzi.

Following Kalinic's grateful hooked finish from 18 yards it became a backs-to-the-wall effort, with Everton in control of the match.

Miss a Match? We didn't

Blackburn 1 Everton 0

The Rovers midfield never got to grips with Pienaar, Leon Osman and Mikel Arteta, and David Moyes's side had possession for long periods.

But, to their credit, Blackburn defended well and their defence was never really troubled until stoppage time at the end of the game.

Indeed the home side should have wrapped it up inside the last 10 minutes, but they contrived to miss two good opportunities.

N'Zonzi headed over from six yards after El-Hadji Diouf's inviting cross from the right; then N'Zonzi failed to pick out the unmarked Mame Biram Diouf, on loan from Manchester United.

Everton had a great chance to level the game in stoppage time, but Phil Jagielka's drive from 18 yards was brilliantly palmed away by Paul Robinson.

For Moyes and Howard it was an opening day to forget, but Sam Allardyce's team showed great resolve and will be buoyed by the start they have made to the new season.

Mark Applin / Eurosport

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