Cole burns bright at end of Hammers' dark week

Blackburn Rovers 0 West Ham United 0

There were no goals, or bizarre back passes for that matter, but Carlton Cole once again underlined his growing reputation ahead of another spell of England duty with a display that was one of few high points in a dour match. Cole's selection under Fabio Capello has been mockingly used as an indication of how far Michael Owen's career has fallen away but his new status as an international looks more assured by the week.

As well as the pace and skill in evidence yesterday, as he made all of his own chances and showed Blackburn's Jason Roberts just how to play up front on your own, he joins an exclusive band of footballers that can claim to have swatted Chris Samba aside like he was Luka Modric. Gianfranco Zola can at least console himself with that after West Ham wilted under the pressure Blackburn were finally able to put on them in the closing stages, thanks to the prompting of David Dunn.

After the fall-out of the violence that marred his team's 3-1 Carling Cup win over Millwall, Zola was satisfied with his side's efforts and not troubled by Martin O'Neill being at Ewood Park, to watch James Collins.

He said: "Considering everything that's happened, it's a good result. I know my team can do better but I have to be pleased. I can't help it if Martin O'Neill is here – my two centre backs were vital because of the way they played we defended very well."

Cole threatened for the first time, powering past Lars Jacobsen and Samba to create a chance that never looked likely only to clip his shot high and wide from a narrow angle. Morten Gamst Pedersen and Samba each had efforts deflected and after the restart, Cole received the ball with his back to goal and tore towards goal only for his drive to fly just over Paul Robinson's crossbar.

Blackburn continued to do what they could but a Samba header again fell easily for Robert Green before Dunn created two fine chances for David Hoilett. First, he lifted the ball over the top only for the youngster to hit the side netting, and then he guided the ball through the West Ham defence for Hoilett to chip over Green and on to the roof of the net.

Sam Allardyce, the Blackburn manager, said of his team's problems in front of goal: "When things are going for you and in your favour, those chances go in and they're not. Those are the small differences that make all the difference in the Premier League. It's all about inches and at the moment we're the wrong side of those inches."

Attendance: 23,421

Referee: Phil Dowd

Man of the match: Dunn

Match rating: 3/10

News
peopleChildren leave in tears as Santa is caught smoking and drinking
Arts and Entertainment
A host of big name acts recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in London on Saturday
musicCharity single tops chart
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall has become the eighth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing
tv
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin