Football: The Premiership / Sutton quick to show net profit: Blackburn's pounds 8m strike force find the target
Wednesday 24 August 1994
Leicester City. . . . . .0
THE momentum was some time coming, but Blackburn Rovers' pursuit of the championship is on again. The team that stumbled at Manchester United's heels on the home straight last season eventually sprinted clear of a Leicester City side who may soon find themselves preoccupied with the more desperate task of Premiership survival.
Chris Sutton required only 19 minutes and three attempts on his home debut to register his first goal for Blackburn and yield some dividend on Jack Walker's pounds 5m investment. Sutton's performance gave further evidence that his partnership with Alan Shearer may rival many of the current combinations.
Sutton may still lack the confidence and all-round productivity of Shearer, but he was undeterred by two earlier misses and gave Blackburn a 19th-minute lead.
Shearer, who scored from Sutton's knockdown at Southampton on Saturday, returned the compliment with a delicately flighted chip into the heart of Leicester's penalty area. Sutton launched himself into its flight-path and headed past a hopelessly exposed Ward.
Even so, it was not until the 59th minute when the Norwegian full-back, Henning Berg, claimed Blackburn's second, that Kenny Dalglish's ensemble produced the fluency required to stay with, and eclipse, the best at this level. Shearer's goal was mere embellishment.
Leicester, comprehensively defeated at home by Newcastle in their opening match, will feel last night's scoreline is a harsh representation of their endeavours at Ewood Park. Mark Draper's touch and shooting were unsurpassed by anyone in Blackburn's midfield, and the massive presence of Steve Walsh sustained the threat to Tim Flowers's goal.
Flowers was thankful for the assistance of a post as he scrambled to turn away Walsh's first-half header and made an important stop deep into the second, when Steve Agnew had the goalkeeper at his mercy.
Gavin Ward also made a significant contribution to Leicester's cause, and was perhaps fortunate Sutton was ruled to have fouled him before rolling the ball into the net for what would have been the former Norwich striker's second goal.
Blackburn toiled to raise the tempo in the second half until Robbie Slater's surge down the right created a chance for Jason Wilcox. Ward stood his ground to block the shot, but was then beaten following Wilcox's lofted centre. Sutton headed on, Shearer might have applied the decisive flick but instead the honour fell to Berg.
Now, at last, Blackburn were rampant and Ward lunged into a courageous double save to delay the third. That duly arrived, however, after 74 minutes.
Slater broke again, this time down the centre, and although his low shot came back off the foot of a post, Shearer swept in to score.
Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Flowers; Berg, Gale, Hendry (Warhurst, 64), Le Saux; Ripley, Slater, Sherwood, Wilcox; Shearer, Sutton (Pearce, 84). Substitute not used: Mimms (gk).
Leicester City (5-3-2): Ward; Grayson, Willis, Hill (Thompson, 65) Mohan, Whitlow; Draper, Blake, Agnew; Walsh, Joachim (Roberts, 65). Substitute not used: Poole (gk).
Referee: K Burge (Tonypandy).
Latest in Sport
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Thierry Henry 'singles out' Mesut Ozil, picking up on the Arsenal midfielder's embarrassing stats
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Support Engi...