Rovers stun Charlton
By Richard Scott
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Blackburn Rovers produced a stunning fightback in the last 15 minutes to progress.Blackburn Rovers produced a sensational fightback against Charlton Athletic in the last 15 minutes to book their place in the last eight of the Carling Cup.
The 2002 winners looked to be crashing out before goals from Shefki Kuqi, David Thompson and David Bentley secured a 3-2 win for the visitors.
Charlton crashed to their fifth defeat in a row and they will wonder how they lost this match after seemingly cruising at 2-0.
Charlton had the first chance of the match after four minutes when Danny Murphy's neat flick set up Alexei Smertin only for his right-foot shot to be blocked by former Addick Andy Todd.
The game started at a frenetic pace but both teams struggled to keep hold of the ball with the tackles flying in.
Craig Bellamy should have put Rovers ahead on 13 minutes after being played in by David Bentley but his side-foot effort from eight yards was superbly saved by the recalled Dean Kiely in the Charlton goal.
Blackburn thought they had gone ahead on 18 minutes through Bellamy after a neat pull-back by Morten Gamst Pedersen, but it was disallowed after the assistant referee deemed that the initial cross by Brett Emerton had curled out of play.
Darren Ambrose had a good left-foot strike from around 20 yards on 21 minutes but Brad Friedel pulled off a smart save to parry it away to safety.
Charlton went ahead before half time through Darren Ambrose, as he was slipped in by Danny Murphy before rifling home with his right foot into the top right-hand corner.
Rovers should have equalised just before half time but Bellamy put it over from six yards after a deflected cross by Pedersen.
Charlton came out all guns blazing in the second half and Ambrose was only denied a second by a superb save from Friedel.
Charlton went 2-0 ahead just a couple of minutes later on 49 minutes, Murphy showing some nifty footwork to create space in the penalty area before coolly slotting home into the bottom right-hand corner.
Blackburn tried hard to get back into the game and after a powerful run by Steven Reid, Emerton shot straight at the keeper from 20 yards.
The visitors kept possession well for long periods of the second-half but were incapable of producing a final ball as Charlton sat back on their lead.
The introduction of Kuqi on 73 minutes for the lacklustre Emerton seemed to change the game as Blackburn went with two up front.
Kuqi got Rovers back in the game, two minutes after coming on, when he raced on to a through ball from Bellamy and poked the ball under the on-rushing Kiely.
Blackburn were back on level terms six minutes later after a sensational strike from the other substitute David Thompson. The ball broke to Thompson and, from all of 35 yards, he unleashed an absolute thunderbolt into the top right-hand corner to leave Kiely with no chance.
Blackburn carried on their momentum and, on 88 minutes, Pedersen found space in the area and unselfishly played in Bentley who sidefooted home to seal a remarkable comeback to take Blackburn through to the last eight.
|Charlton Athletic||Team Statistics||Blackburn Rovers|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||6|
|3||Shots off Target||3|