Rovers drown Swans

2015-01-24 23:00

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Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers left it late as they rallied from a goal down to record what turned out to be a convincing victory over a depleted Swansea in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The early kick-off yesterday started with a bang as the Swans were reduced to 10 men after just six minutes of play.

Kyle Bartley hauled down Josh King when the Rovers frontman appeared to be through on goal, leaving the referee with no option but to brandish the red card.

Despite being reduced to 10 men, Swansea claimed first blood through Gylfi Sigurðsson’s 21st-minute strike, with the midfielder handing his side a lifeline in their quest to progress to the fifth round of England’s oldest cup competition.

However, any joy they felt at claiming the lead was quickly extinguished as Blackburn responded brilliantly by drawing level just minutes later. Swedish left-back Marcus Olsson whipped in an inviting cross from the byline and Scottish midfielder Tom Cairney did well to cushion a header into the path of attacking midfielder Chris Taylor, who lashed a powerful volley into the back of the net.

Rovers continued to pile on the pressure as they went in search of a second goal, although King saw his goal-bound shot saved by Lukasz Fabianski, while team-mate Craig Conway failed to hit home with a 40th-minute effort.

While Blackburn struggled to make their chances count in the first stanza, that was most certainly not the case after the break as they showed a clinical touch in front of goal.

The breakthrough they had been looking for eventually came in the 78th minute as, after a short corner, substitute Rudy Gestede headed Olsson’s cross into the ground before bundling the ball in from the edge of the six-yard box.

The goal appeared to break the resistance of the Swans, who had performed admirably with so few men at their disposal.

They fell further behind in the 87th minute after they pushed forward in numbers in a bid to snatch a late equaliser.

The defence backed off Conway, who spotted Fabianski off his line before trying his luck from range. The Polish stopper was unprepared for the effort on goal and fluffed his save, with the ball subsequently trickling under his body and over the line.

Swansea’s frustrating afternoon was summed up in the second minute of added-on time as goalscorer Sigurðsson received his marching orders following a dangerous tackle on Taylor, who had caused the visitors’ defence all sorts of problems throughout the match.

Gary Bowyer’s men can now look forward to a potential high-profile clash in the fifth round of the FA Cup. On the other hand, it is time to go back to the drawing board for Garry Monk’s Swansea .

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