Robbie Savage steered Blackburn to a fine victory in Krakow yesterday the day after celebrating his 32nd birthday. He scored the equaliser with a header from David Bentley's cross, before Bentley went on to seal the points in this Uefa Cup group game a minute from time.
The win was overshadowed, however, by alleged racial abuse of the striker Benni McCarthy, leading to the 28-year-old South African squaring up to Krakow's Serbian defender Nikola Mijailovic after the final whistle.
The Rovers manager, Mark Hughes, said: "Benni was upset because a number of comments were made to him during the game. They were of a racist nature. We will speak to Uefa and make it clear to them who we think was involved. It's unfortunate something like this will tend to overshadow a great performance."
Hughes named the side which took a point away from Anfield at the weekend. He had warned before the game that Krakow, the Polish league leaders, would be tough opposition on their own patch and so it proved.
Blackburn were rocked in the 28th minute when Krakow took the lead, Cantoro's shot taking a big deflection off Tugay to leave Brad Friedel wrong-footed.
Krakow stepped up the pressure after that lucky break and Friedel was called into action when he saved cleanly from Cleber, who had surged forward.
Blackburn, however, regrouped and got the goal they were pushing for in the 56th minute through Savage, who reached a cross from Bentley and flicked a header beyond the despairing Emilian Dolha.
Blackburn kept up the pressure and Savage went close in the 74th minute after being released by Nonda. Hughes made his first change a minute later with Jason Roberts replacing the ineffective Morton Gamst Pedersen.
He almost secured the the points - and an eighth game unbeaten - with a minute to go but Dolha did well to keep his and McCarthy's efforts out. But, in the same move, Bentley then made the pressure tell, showing good composure to finish from a tight angle.
"We are really happy," Bentley said. "Coming to a place like this is going to be tough but we showed determination after not getting the start we wanted," he said. "Robbie has driven us on and kept us going and got us the goal. We went for the win and we got it. We have come here and we are really satisfied."
Wisla Krakow: Dolha; Baszczynski, Dudka, Cleber, Mijailovic, Blaszczykowski, Sobolewski, Cantoro, Zienczuk (Piotr Brozek, 66), Jean Paulista, Radovanovic (Kryszalowicz, 83). Substitutes not used: Pawelek (gk), Thwaite, Stolarczyk, Varga, Penksa.
Blackburn Rovers: Friedel; Neill, Khizanishvili, Ooijer, Emerton, Pedersen (Roberts, 74), Savage (Mokoena, 87), Kerimoglu, Bentley, Nonda, McCarthy. Substitutes not used: Brown (gk), Todd, Jeffers, McEveley, Gray.
Referee: S Johannesson (Sweden).Reuse content